Navigation Skills: The Interview

Pharmacy CareersPharmacy Careers Fall 2013

Tips for navigating the pharmacy job interview, where many well-qualified applicants make mistakes.

Your resume and CV are perfect, your cover letter is immaculate, and your online presence is squeaky clean. But are you prepared for the job interview? The interview stage of the job search is where many well-qualified applicants make most of their mistakes. Facing a potential employer in person can be nerve-racking. These tips can help you navigate the pharmacy job interview—taking you 1 step closer to your desired career path.

Pharmacy Interview FAQs

  • Describe a clinical intervention that you have made.
  • What practice areas are you interested in?
  • What is one of the major issues facing pharmacy today?
  • Have you ever had a major conflict with a doctor or patient? If so, how did you handle it?
  • Describe a project or situation where you did not do your best. What could you have done differently and what did you learn from the experience?

Before the Interview

  • Practice answering questions in front of a mirror.
  • Decide what makes you qualified for the position, how you will fit in at the company, and what you can offer the employer. You’ll need to research the company and study your own experience.
  • Do a dry run of your drive to the interview location—you don’t want to get lost or arrive late the day of the interview.

Start a Conversation

Interviewers will expect you to engage in the conversation and show your interest for the position by asking questions. Take advantage of the opportunity and learn as much about the position as possible.

What to ask for retail

  • What is a typical day like?
  • What non-pharmacy duties will I be responsible for?
  • Are there additional training and professional development opportunities?
  • Are there any long-term advancement opportunities?

What to ask for a clinical residency

  • Are there opportunities to publish?
  • Are there opportunities to work with or precept students?
  • What makes the program unique or successful?
  • How are residents evaluated during the program?

During the Interview

  • Relax, smile, and make eye contact.
  • Back up your responses with personal anecdotes—the employer won’t remember one-word or clichéd answers.
  • Respond with the employer in mind—it’s not all about you.

After the Interview

  • Send an e-mail or handwritten note thanking the interviewer.
  • Try to relax as you await the outcome.
  • Be available for any follow-up questions or a second interview.

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