TIPS FOR ANSWERING & MAKING A GOOD IMPRESSION
When interviewing for a pharmacy technician position, potential employers will ask a series of questions designed to help them get a feel for your education, as well as your ability to handle the requirements of the position, to understand how you would deal with customers, and to interact as part of a team.
We have put together a list of some of the most common questions asked of pharmacy technician graduates when interviewing for positions in hospitals, retail establishments, and independent pharmacies. Reviewing these questions, as well as any others that you can find on job preparation sites, will help prepare you for interviews, easing your anxiety, and boosting your confidence in your abilities to make a good impression.
TELL ME/US ABOUT YOURSELF.
This question is typically understood to be an ice breaker but, in reality, the interview has already started, and the potential employer is listening to find out if you are the best fit for the position. Give an overview of your accomplishments focusing on your experience, interests, and strengths that you will bring to the company.
The key is to remember that you are setting the tone for the rest of the interview. Be prepared but not overly-rehearsed. Emphasize your education, experience, and values that align with those of the organization.
WHAT MADE YOU DECIDE TO BECOME A PHARMACY TECHNICIAN?
Here the interviewer is interested in your career motivations. To answer this question, consider why you got into the field in the first place. Are you genuinely passionate about pursuing a career in healthcare within your community? Were you particularly interested in a career in chemistry? Perhaps you are interested in becoming a certified pharmacist and see a pharmacy technician position as the most logical step at this point in your career.
The key is to show enthusiasm for the position, from your favorite parts of the job to what you find most meaningful in it.
WHAT DO YOU THINK ARE THE MOST IMPORTANT QUALITIES THAT A PHARMACY TECHNICIAN SHOULD POSSESS?
The potential employer is interested in finding out about you and your skills, particularly those that will be most beneficial to the position and the organization. This question calls for some self-reflection, but the skills you will most want to emphasize are communication, customer service, reliability, flexibility, attention-to-detail, and problem-solving. Other essential qualities include patience and compassion, ethics, the ability to take the initiative, and the ability to prioritize when balancing projects.
The key is, to be honest!
WHY DO YOU WANT TO WORK FOR OUR COMPANY/THIS HOSPITAL?
With this question, the interviewer is looking to see if you’ve done your research on the position, whether you are familiar with them and their mission and values, and whether you are willing to be part of their future growth. Explain what you like about them, be complimentary, and detail how your strengths and interests align with theirs. In your research, did you discover anything about this potential employer that sets them apart from their competitors? Mention that!
The key is to show that you’re familiar with the hospital or pharmacy, and their culture, values, and vision.
HOW DO YOU HANDLE/RESPOND TO DEADLINES?
The prospective employer is interested in finding out whether you are the type of person who completes projects, balances multiple priorities, and who will not let customer service suffer if you are overwhelmed. Make sure to give examples from your experience demonstrating your ability to work quickly and without making mistakes. In many ways, deadlines are critical for ensuring that you are structured, organized, and able to complete tasks on time.
The key is to communicate that you can remain collected and efficient under pressure.
WHAT WOULD YOUR CURRENT/PAST COWORKERS SAY ABOUT YOU?
The interviewer is interested in having you discuss some personal qualities that you may not yet have covered at this point in the interview. Make sure to give examples of feedback that you’ve gotten from coworkers in the past. Can your colleagues count on you? Would they recommend you for a job based on your skills and demonstrated experience? Have your former/current coworkers said that you are patient, friendly, or that you go “above and beyond?”
The key is to communicate your positive attributes but not to sound like you are bragging or making outrageous claims.
HOW WOULD YOU DEAL WITH A DIFFICULT CUSTOMER?
As a pharmacy technician you will be working directly with customers, so the answer to this question is particularly relevant to the interviewer. Emphasize your ability to remain patient, polite, and calm. Talk about how empathetic and compassionate you can be, and share some strategies for managing angry/upset/aggressive customers. If you have experience in this type of situation, share it!
The key is to explain how you will keep the situation from escalating, to ensure that the customer feels listened to, and that you have done your best to solve their problem.
WHERE DO YOU SEE YOURSELF IN FIVE YEARS?
The potential employer wants to know that you’ve considered your future—and how they fit into it. Use the research you’ve done into them to explain how your future goals align with those of the organization. Explain how you would use your skills and experience to handle your responsibilities. Talk about how this position can help you attain your career aspirations—whether that is to continue to work as a pharmacy technician, move into management, or someday become a pharmacist.
The key is to reassure the potential employer that you are planning to be with them long-term.
SUMMING IT ALL UP
The interview questions you are asked are intended to help make sure that you are the right fit for a position. Do your research, prepare your answers, and present yourself confidently, and you will be well on your way to securing the pharmacy technician job of your dreams.