Pharmacists fill a role for patients that is often missed by other healthcare professionals. A patient might see several doctors and receive prescription treatments from each of them. The pharmacist provides a common link between these different treatments. The pharmacist sees which medications are prescribed and identifies potential complications from mixing different treatments. A pharmacist earned an average annual salary of $116,500 as of May 2013, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. An aspiring pharmacist should take certain steps to prepare for the job interview.
Meet With Professional Pharmacists
Networking is a great way to prepare for an interview for a pharmacist job. Schedule some informational interviews with individuals currently working in the pharmaceutical industry. Ask them about their career path, the interview process and any lessons they’ve learned along the way. Ask them what issues they see occurring in the industry. Take notes and research these issues before you attend your own interview. This allows you to discuss these issues during your interview and demonstrate that you are informed about the current state of pharmacology.
Understand Who Will Interview You
During the interview process, you might meet with a variety of people. These include pharmacy supervisors, pharmacists or store managers. In some cases, you may meet with each person individually or you may meet with several interviewers in a panel format. With either format, it’s important to understand what each interviewer is seeking. Pharmacy supervisors want to know that you understand the interactions between different drugs. Fellow pharmacists want to see how you fit in their culture. Store managers want to be assured that you will communicate well with customers.
Demonstrate Customer Service Skills
While a pharmacist spends time preparing each prescription and reviewing each customer’s medicine list, customer service remains a high priority for this position. Customers, often suffering from various ailments, come in to receive their medications. The pharmacist meets with each customer and explains the proper way to take the medication as well as any potential side effects. Because of the high level of customer contact, the pharmacist must be able to communicate in a friendly and understandable manner. The interviewer will be observing your communication skills and interpersonal skills throughout the interview.
Practice Responses to Behavioral Questions
Behavioral questions allow interviewers to understand how you would handle various situations. These questions often mimic real situations encountered in the workplace. For example, an interviewer might give you a list of activities occurring simultaneously and ask how you would prioritize them; or he might describe a situation with an irate customer and ask how you would address that customer. Work with a friend and practice answering these types of questions.
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