Pharmacy Assistant’s Interview Questions

Post 7 - Pharmacy Assistant Interview Questions

Once you’ve graduated from our Pharmacy Assistant Diploma program, and is ready to become a Pharmacy Assistant, the opportunities are endless. You could work in a Community Pharmacy (in a store, like Shoppers Drug Mart) or an Institutional Pharmacy (in a clinic or hospital). 

But before you get the job, you have to ace the interview. 

Let’s explore some of the most common pharmacy assistant interview questions, tips for crafting the best answers and other things you can do to prepare for the big interview—both before and after. 


What are the most common pharmacy assistant interview questions? 

Every interview is different and the types of questions you’ll be asked depends on the people interviewing you as well as the type of organization. Generally, interviewers will ask a mix of behavioural, experiential and combination questions so they get all the information they need about your skills, work experience and strengths. In each of your answers, it’s a really good idea to give examples of situations when you’ve applied your skills. 

Let’s have a look at 10 of the most common pharmacy assistant interview questions and go over some tips on how you can give the best answers. 


Question #1: Why do you want this position? 

This is a super popular question you can expect to be asked in most interviews. Since you’re applying for a pharmacy assistant position, you could highlight that you love customer service and helping people. You could also discuss how you know medication makes a difference in people’s lives and you like being the person who can help others. Whatever your reason—try to relate it to the position. Also make sure you research the organization so you can talk about how great they are and why you want to work for them specifically. 


Question #2: How do you respond to deadlines? 

This is a backwards way of asking if you can manage your time. You’ll likely encounter your fair share of deadlines as a pharmacy assistant. If you’re asked this question, describe a situation when you had a strict deadline (or multiple) and how you prioritized your time and work. You could talk about how you are confident in your time management skills and you don’t see deadlines as a challenge but an opportunity to be organized.


Question #3: How would you handle a difficult customer? 

Customer service is a large part of a pharmacy assistant’s job and you may encounter a difficult customer from time to time. Think about ways you dealt with similar situations in the past—even if it wasn’t with a customer but maybe a fellow student or a family member. What happened? How did you handle it or what did you learn for next time? You can touch upon these points in your answer. You can also mention how you are empathetic but understand other customers need to be helped too, so you would try to handle the situation compassionately and efficiently.


Question #4: What is your greatest weakness? 

Ah, the dreaded weakness question. It’s actually not as bad as you think—it’s a great opportunity to demonstrate areas you have grown. Pick a weakness you’ve been improving at and discuss what you’re doing to make a change. It could be something like how you usually spend too much time on the fine details of a task but now you’re learning how to delegate and prioritize your time better. Whatever weakness you choose, make sure you name it and explain how you’re making improvements. 


Question #5: Say a customer asks about an over-the-counter medication you’ve never heard of. How would you handle the situation? 

This is an opportunity for you to demonstrate that you’ll be honest if you don’t know something. Explain how you would tell the customer to hold tight and you would bring a pharmacist over to assist them. Don’t make up information—it’s always best to ask another professional.


Question #6: Having a strong attention to detail is very important in this position. Tell us about a time when you demonstrated attention to detail at work? 

If you don’t have previous work experience, talk about something you did during your schooling. Maybe it was when you compounded an ointment perfectly on your practical lab exam, or maybe you filed a third-party insurance claim during your practicum. Explain what you did and the result of your work. 


Question #7: Describe a time when you maintained confidentiality at work.

As a pharmacy assistant, you will deal with confidential information daily. You must take care in properly filing prescription information and discussing medication with customers. Like most of your answers, make sure you describe a specific scenario, what you did and the result. 


Question #8: Tell us about a time when you demonstrated outstanding customer care or service.

This is a question we can almost guarantee you’ll see in the interview. Talk about your customer care and communication strengths. Give a solid example (even if it was something that happened in school or a job in an unrelated field) and talk about what you did and how the customer responded. This question gives you the opportunity to brag a little bit about your skills. 


Question #9: Say you are working at the pharmacy and a customer comes in with a complaint. How would you deal with it? 

Even if you don’t know the organization’s code of conduct for handling complaints, try to answer the question as best as you can. Or if you can, research how the organization does handle their complaints. You could explain how you would hear the customer out, take notes on the issue if needed and then ask for assistance from the proper authority figure, like a pharmacist or manager. It’s a good idea to mention how you would handle the situation but emphasize that you would still ask for help if you needed it. 


Question #10: Where do you see yourself in five years? 

Employers ask this question because they want to see that the person they’re hiring is driven. This is an opportunity for you to express your interest to move up in the organization and grow your skills. Be honest—if you see yourself changing positions down the line, tell them and be sure to express that you’d love the potential to grow in their organization. 


What should you do to prepare before the interview? 

Aside from preparing your answers to possible interview questions, there are a few other things you can do to get ready for your interview: 

  • Research the company.
    Spend some time reading about the company or organization you’re applying to. Learn about their services, company values and if you know who’s interviewing you, try to learn about them through platforms like LinkedIn. It will impress them if you can comment on something related to them during your interview. 
  • Have at least two questions ready to go.
    Usually interviewers ask if you have any questions at the end of the interview and the absolutely worst answer you can give is that you don’t. Prepare two questions ahead of time so you’ll be ready if they ask. Some strong questions include, “What are the opportunities for advancement in the company?” or “Do you offer development plans for your employees?” 
  • Bring copies of your resume.
    It’s always a good idea to have extra copies of your resume, just in case. You never know if there will be people in the interview who haven’t read it yet.
  • Dress professionally.
    Dress nice—it’s always better to be overdressed than the opposite. 


What should you do after your interview? 

The #1 thing you should do once your interview is done is shake hands! You should also do this as soon as you enter the room. 

Another nice thing you can do is send an email to thank your interviewer for their time. It can include a simple ‘thank you for your time and the opportunity’ and you should also express your interest in the position. After the thank-you email, make sure you follow up appropriately. For example, if the interviewer says you should hear back within a week, don’t follow up unless it’s been over a week. You want to seem interested but don’t want to come across as a pest. 


Now that you have common pharmacy assistant interview questions and before-and-after interview tips under your belt, you’re all set for the big day! 

If you’d like some help preparing for your interview, our Career Services team is here to support you. Contact them and they will be in touch to answer your questions! 


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