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Common pharmacist interview questions and how to answer them

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​At Maxxima, we are committed to providing you with the best support when it comes to finding your dream pharmacist role because we know it’s more than just a job; it’s your career.

Our experienced recruitment consultants are here to offer specialist advice to help you feel prepared and comfortable during the interview stage. One of the top tips we always give to our pharmacists is to practice answering common pharmacist interview questions out loud. This can help you to become comfortable responding to the questions you are likely to be asked, making you feel more confident and in control on the day.

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Locum versus permanent interview questions

We have looked at some of the most common pharmacist questions asked in interviews for locum and permanent roles and put together advice on how to answer them.

Your interview questions will likely differ depending on the type of pharmacy work you are applying for.

Interview questions for permanent positions

Interviews for permanent pharmacist roles tend to be more traditional, where you meet a potential employer and are asked a series of questions. In these types of interviews, you will also get the opportunity to ask any questions about the position to make sure it is the right fit for you.

Interview questions commonly asked when applying for permanent vacancies

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Interview questions for locum roles

Interviews for locum roles are more informal and conversational. They will often focus on your CV and the experience you have gained. At Maxxima, we carry out the interview process for many of our clients looking for locum pharmacists, ensuring a smooth process for everyone involved.

Learn more about locum pharmacist interview questions

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Common pharmacist interview questions asked when applying for permanent roles

Some of the more general pharmacist questions likely to be asked when interviewing for a permanent role include:

  1. What made you want to become a pharmacist?

  2. What is your favourite part of your role?

  3. What do you think is the most important aspect of a pharmacist’s job?

  4. What do you most dislike about being a pharmacist?

  5. What do you think are your strongest attributes as a pharmacist?

  6. Have you experienced an ethical dilemma in your work? How did you handle it?

  7. How do you stay informed on the latest pharmaceutical news?

We have taken a closer look at each of these questions and given advice on how to answer them.

1. What made you want to become a pharmacist?

This question gives you the opportunity to bring your passion for the role to life, going into detail about your commitment to the profession and what drives your ambition.

Example answer: “I’ve been passionate about helping people with their health for a long time and have always been interested in science. Becoming a pharmacist allowed me to combine these two interests and it allows me to do something I enjoy every day.”

2. What is your favourite part of your role?

You can show your enthusiasm for the role here and highlight the parts that bring you job satisfaction, elaborating on how your expectations have been met or exceeded since you started your career.

Example answer: “I like delivering patient solutions, seeing their health improve and educating people on the role of medication. I enjoy empowering people with the information they need around their conditions.”

3. What do you think is the most important aspect of a pharmacist's job?

The answer to this can be two-fold. You can elaborate on the purpose your role serves from a patient perspective, and why it’s so important for them to be satisfied with the service. You can also use this answer to show that you understand the business perspective, by noting how and why it's crucial to support the success of your setting and team.

Example answer: “I believe that providing quality care is the most important part of a pharmacist’s role so that patients feel confident to return and know their health is in good hands.”

4. What do you most dislike about being a pharmacist?

You can communicate a range of points in this, such as how you maintain patient trust and how you adhere to specific company processes.

Example answer: “A woman asked me a question about the medication her daughter was prescribed, as she was worried it wasn’t right for her. I had to tell her that I couldn’t disclose that information and breach patient confidentiality. However, I gave her the details of a local service that sounded like it might be helpful for her to try and share with her daughter.”

5. What do you think your strongest attributes are as a pharmacist?

Here you can take the opportunity to list multiple strengths and show how you can bring value to the role.

Example answer: “I am good at remaining level-headed under pressure and have a high level of patience, which means that I can work effectively and efficiently in busy environments. I also pride myself on my strong communication skills, which allow me to build strong relationships quickly with those that I work with.”

6. Have you experienced an ethical dilemma in your work? How did you handle it?

You can communicate a range of points in this, such as how you maintain patient trust and how you adhere to specific company processes.

Example answer: “A woman asked me a question about the medication her daughter was prescribed, as she was worried it wasn’t right for her. I had to tell her that I couldn’t disclose that information and breach patient confidentiality. However, I gave her the details of a local service that sounded like it might be helpful for her to try and share with her daughter.”

7. How do you stay informed on the latest pharmaceutical news?

Here you can give evidence of your commitment to keeping your industry knowledge updated.

Example answer: “I get email newsletters from various sites and I regularly read publications. Hearing about advancements in the industry really excites me and I like to discuss the latest developments with my team. I also watch online webinars and conferences, attending events in person several times a year.”

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Locum pharmacist interview questions

When applying for locum pharmacist roles with Maxxima, this will typically involve a more informal conversation with a member of our team, where we will discuss your suitability for the role.

This is also a chance for your designated recruitment specialist to understand more of your specific skills and experience and what you’re hoping to achieve from your next position.

Here are some common areas we typically cover in locum pharmacist interviews:

  1. Your skills

  2. Your qualifications

  3. Personal attributes and fit for the company

  4. Your experience

  5. Your compliance

There may also be an informal interview with the employer. Beforehand, our team will provide you with advice and guidance where possible, so that you can make the best first impression.

Pharmacist opportunities at Maxxima

As the preferred and sole supplier to a vast number of NHS hospitals and healthcare organisations throughout the UK, we have a wide range of pharmacist jobs available and can place you in a job before anyone else can.

We believe in doing things differently. We put people first and are committed to providing an exceptional service that leads to a long and meaningful relationship with every healthcare professional we work with. When you work with Maxxima, you’ll get personalised guidance from a specialist team, who have been supporting healthcare professionals for more than 20 years. We take the time to listen and find out what an exciting career would look like for you so that we can connect you with the right opportunities.

Register online today and one of our dedicated team will get in touch to discuss our current roles.

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