35 Pharmacist Assistant Interview Questions with Answers

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 18 November 2022

Published 30 November 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

If you're interested in working as a pharmacist assistant, employers may want to check that you have sufficient industry-specific knowledge and experience performing tasks. To prepare for answering this, consider reviewing some common interview questions that interviewers ask aspiring pharmacist assistants. Reviewing those questions and preparing your sample answers can help you boost your confidence and make a better impression on the interviewer. In this article, we list 35 common pharmacist assistant interview questions, explain why interviewers ask them and provide sample answers to use as inspiration while preparing for your upcoming job interview.

Related: How To Become a Pharmacist

General pharmacist assistant interview questions

Answering pharmacist assistant interview questions is a standard part of applying for the role. It normally covers questions about your motivations, your technical abilities and your qualifications. During the first half of your meeting, the interviewer may decide to ask you these general questions:

  1. Why did you decide to apply for this job?

  2. Why are you leaving your current role?

  3. If you could change one thing about your personality, what would it be?

  4. What skills would you like to improve while working in this role?

  5. What do you do in your spare time that helps you be a better pharmacist assistant?

  6. How do you imagine a typical day in this role to look?

  7. What's the most challenging thing about working as a pharmacist assistant?

  8. What are some key qualities of a good pharmacist assistant?

  9. What makes you qualified for working in this role?

  10. Where do you see yourself in five years?

  11. Walk us through your CV.

Related: Interview Question: ‘Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years?'

Questions about background and experience

Every interview is unique and varies depending on both the interviewer and interviewee, but there are a number of questions that they often include. Here are some example questions about your background and experience:

  1. How has your education prepared you for working in a pharmacy?

  2. Can you describe a time when you maintained confidentiality at work?

  3. What's your strategy for handling tight deadlines?

  4. Have you ever had to multitask while working in a pharmacy?

  5. How do you keep yourself up to date with pharmacy news and trends in the industry?

  6. Can you tell me about a stressful situation at work and how you handled it?

  7. Can you talk about a time when you showed strong attention to detail?

  8. Can you speak about a time when you went above and beyond for a customer?

  9. What have you learned from your mistakes working as a pharmacist assistant?

  10. Can you describe a time when you followed strict rules and procedures to perform a task in a pharmacy?

Related: Pharmacist education requirements (and types of careers)

In-depth questions

In-depth questions test your expertise and allow interviewers to see if you'd know how to react in situations that may happen to professionals working in pharmacies. Here are some example questions you may expect to hear:

  1. What are some difficulties that pharmacist assistants manage?

  2. What's the most important thing to consider when running a pharmacy?

  3. How do you give excellent customer service while working with a larger number of customers?

  4. How do you feel about asking customers questions about their health?

  5. What would you consider a clinically significant interaction between drugs?

  6. What steps would you take if a customer you're talking to collapsed in a pharmacy?

  7. How do you use your fact-checking skills in a pharmacy?

  8. What are common signs of drug-seeking behaviour in patients?

  9. How do you educate customers on taking their medication?

  10. How would you deal with a customer who hands you a half-empty bottle of prescription medication and claims it doesn't work?

Related: A guide to pharmacy interview questions

Common pharmacy assistant interview questions with sample answers

Here are four common questions that interviewers ask candidates for pharmacist assistant roles with sample answers that you can use as inspiration while preparing for your interview:

1. Why are you interested in working as a pharmacist assistant?

This question is a good way for interviewers to assess your understanding of the role and your suitability for it. It's also an excellent opportunity for you to showcase your various skills, qualifications and experience to display your competence for the role. Try to answer this question in a way that encompasses multiple aspects of the role of a pharmacy assistant. Consider talking about any experience you've had dealing with customers or discuss your commitment to providing a helpful service to people.

Example: 'Being a pharmacist assistant allows me to combine my strengths and work in my desired work environment. I've been passionate about people's health for as long as I can remember, and chemistry and biology were the two subjects that I loved the most at school. Working as a pharmacy assistant has allowed me to learn and use my knowledge of different medicines and medical subscriptions, but what I enjoy the most is that I can do all that while helping and interacting with people. I've always been someone who prefers working in a customer-facing role.'

Related: 10 Effective Words to Use in an Interview

2. Have you ever had to deal with a difficult or challenging customer?

It's important for your interviewer to know that you can effectively deal with difficult customers. There are lots of instances where customers might prove to be difficult in a pharmacy because of the significance of getting the right medication on time. When answering this question, you may want to think about a time when you have dealt with a confrontational or belligerent person and explain why they were being difficult. It's important that you outline how you handled it or discuss things that you would do differently next time, as this shows good critical thinking and self-reflection skills.

Example: 'Yes, I think dealing with challenging customers is a natural part of working in this profession that I always try to handle in a calm and polite way. One time, an angry customer approached me to complain about purchasing the wrong medication from me the day before. The first thing I did was assure them in a calm voice that I'd be happy to help them. I asked questions to better understand the situation.

I offered that we look through that customer's purchasing records in our database, which also included prescriptions and notes from their GP. I quickly noticed that the doctor made a comment about changing the customer's medication because their chronic condition has been getting better in recent months. I explained it to the customer and showed them proof of that while checking again that the medication they brought in was the one that their GP prescribed. The customer apologised for raising their voice and thanked me for explaining the situation to them.'

Related: Interview Question: ‘Give Me an Example of Dealing With a Difficult Customer'

3. How would you respond to a customer asking for over-the-counter medicine that you've not heard of before?

Interviewers ask this question to test your honesty in the workplace and your ability to solve situational problems or seek help when necessary. It's important that you answer this question with customer service and transparency in mind. For instance, you can mention that you'd speak with a more experienced colleague and let the customer know that you're double-checking the medication. The ability to speak to your superior to ensure customer safety and satisfaction is typically what interviewers look for in pharmacist assistants.

Example: 'I always put my customers first and make sure I'm transparent with my answers and service. I'd tell them I need more time to learn more about this medication. I find that sometimes it's also useful to ask the customer if the medication also goes by a different name, but if it doesn't, I'd ask them what they use this medication for. At that point, I'm typically able to offer a substitute, but if the customer insists on buying that exact brand, I try not to push them and ask the pharmacists that I'm working with for help.'

4. Describe a situation when you went out of your way to help a customer.

Helping customers with their prescriptions, answering their questions and providing exceptional customer service are some of the most important responsibilities of pharmacy employees. Your potential employer may want to know if you're ready to do what it takes to help customers in all kinds of situations. To answer this question, consider using the STAR response technique to describe a situation, explain your role in it, tell the interviewer what you did and share the outcome of it.

Example: 'At my previous workplace, there was a regular elderly customer who was always struggling to go up the stairs which lead to that pharmacy. One time after they purchased their medication, I asked them if there was something that we could do to make getting inside easier for them.

At first, they seemed a little shy, but after a minute or two, they told me that it would be great if we installed an additional rail just outside the pharmacy. I brought it up that week during a staff meeting and offered my help in installing the rail. Luckily, the employer agreed that it could be useful for more patients. We installed the rail a few days later.'

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