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Photo by {artist}/{collectionName} / Getty Images

If you’re interviewing pharmacists, you have limited opportunities to speak with candidates and identify top professionals for your pharmacy. What kinds of questions should you ask to help you get it right?

Determine Competency and Soft Skills

Degrees, certifications and skills are essential in performing certain job duties. Specific, competency-based interview questions are critical in finding the right candidate. But remember, soft skills are important too. The interaction between pharmacy staff and patients has a significant impact on customer loyalty.

To help you get started, consider the six interview questions below and what to look for as each pharmacist candidate responds:

1.     Tell me about your three most recent positions and what caused you to look for new opportunities.

·         Obtain key details about duties and experience

·         Listen for complaints about management

·         Determine if the candidate is indecisive about their career path

·         Learn if the candidate’s job changes indicate a desire for challenging opportunities

2.     Describe two of your most significant accomplishments and the impact they made.

  • Learn about the candidate’s values
  • Find out if they are is a team player
  • Determine if the candidate is goal oriented

3.     How would your previous two or three managers rate your performance? What would they say are your strengths and areas for improvement?

·         Listen for honesty

·         Determine if the candidate is open to constructive criticism

·         Learn if they are self-motivated to make improvement

4.     Tell me about a time when a prescribed medication wasn’t appropriate for a particular patient. How did you resolve the issue?

·         Learn how the candidate resolves conflict

·         Gain insight into their interpersonal skills

·         Listen for clues about their ability to handle an issue without alarming a patient

5.     Describe a situation when there was an unexpected event in the pharmacy. How was it handled? How were you involved?

·         Listen for details about how the team was affected and if the candidate is a team player

·         Learn if safety protocol was followed

·         Take note of actions that demonstrate leadership skills

·         Discern if the potential pharmacist is customer-service conscious

6.     Describe a time when you had to speak with a customer who was very upset or angry. What triggered the reaction, and how did you respond to the customer?

·         Learn about the candidate’s customer service and communication skills

·         Find out how they react to pressure

·         Listen for clues about the pharmacist’s level of compassion for patients

As you prepare your interview questions, think about common occurrences in your pharmacy, and use them in the questions to help you find the right candidate.     

Access to Qualified Pharmacy Candidates

At WSi Healthcare Personnel, we’ve established screening and interview processes to help us quickly identify candidates who match the needs of your pharmacy. Contact us to learn more about our staffing solutions.