Pharmacy Technician Interview Questions

Pharmacy techs have to be personable and detail oriented.

Pharmacy techs have to be personable and detail oriented.

A pharmacy technician serves as the right hand to the pharmacist. Since they’ll work so closely together, it’s a good idea for the pharmacist to participate in the job interview whenever possible. The tech takes orders, counts pills, mixes custom prescriptions and processes insurance claims. A busy pharmacy needs to rely on the tech for accuracy and reliability.

How Does Your Background Prepare You for This Job?

Pharmacy techs don’t need to go through any formal training, although it helps if they’ve been through at least some form of formal training at a community college or trade school. On the other hand, someone who follows directions well and is a fast learner may move into the position after on-the-job training. At the same time, the tech must be able to show a state license in areas where it’s required. Even if the state doesn’t require a license, however, candidates who have taken the exam to get the credentials will bring some level of expertise to the role.

Tell Me About a Time When You Had a Difficult Customer

Pharmacy technicians interact with customers, physicians, staff at doctors’ offices and insurance companies. They need to be able to smooth over confrontations when they happen because dealing with the public and the professional community nearly guarantees conflict at some time. Recruiters asking open-ended questions rely on examples and stories about a specific incident that the candidate experienced. When asking for a story, recruiters also look at how the candidate handled the situation and what resulted from her efforts.

Do You Prefer Structure or Flexibility in Your Work?

This is not necessarily a trick question. The role of pharmacy tech actually requires a bit of both kinds of working situations on a daily basis. The interviewer wants to know if the candidate can do both. The ideal candidate is very organized and likes to know that everything is exactly where it should be -- something the pharmacists will also greatly appreciate. At the same time, flexibility is vital because of the varying demands on the tech's time from day to day.

How Do You Handle Stress?

In a busy pharmacy that serves a diverse clientele and a nearby medical facility regularly, the days can get really stressful. The phone’s ringing, customers are lined up at the counter and a co-worker calls in sick. Recruiters need to know how candidates react under pressure. Again, a simple story about a time when the candidate was bombarded on every side yet managed to maintain her cool will suffice. This kind of question allows recruiters to get a glimpse of the candidate’s attitude and disposition.

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About the Author

Linda Ray is an award-winning journalist with more than 20 years reporting experience. She's covered business for newspapers and magazines, including the "Greenville News," "Success Magazine" and "American City Business Journals." Ray holds a journalism degree and teaches writing, career development and an FDIC course called "Money Smart."

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