5 Tips for Interviewing Pharmacy Staff

When it comes to hiring pharmacists, pharmacy technicians and other pharmacy staff members, perhaps the first thing a hiring manager should keep in mind is this:


These professionals will be dispensing life-saving medicines to patients!


You, therefore, are on the hunt to find well-trained, conscientious and compassionate people.


To help you find such people during the interview process, consider following these five interview suggestions:


  1. Before you ever start interviewing, before you even post a job opening, make sure you have a clear job description available. In this job description, list the skills and educational requirements critical to being successful on the job. Then add some personality traits you believe are critical. This will help candidates self-identify whether or not they fit the job description. Take a look at your current successful pharmacy employees to see if there is a pattern in the type of personalities these employees possess. That should give you a good idea as to what to look for in candidates. Be careful, of course, to avoid any personality descriptions that could be discriminatory.
  2. Make sure anyone you wish to interview has a copy of the full job description a few days before the interview. During the interview, ask the candidates to explain why/how they fit the job description and where they differ.
  3. Because you’re looking for team members who are patient and compassionate, ask the candidates how they handle upset patients in the past. If they’re newly graduated pharmacists or pharm techs, ask how they’ve handled clients or customers in past jobs, and a) what the outcome was, and b) the specifics of how they handled/calmed an upset patient.
  4. Consider asking long-time and trusted staff members to sit in on interviews with you or to meet with and interview candidates themselves. Ask for their honest feedback before you hire any of the candidates.
  5. Possible interview questions to ask:

a.       Tell me about a time you were overwhelmed at work. How did you handle it?

b.      Tell me in detail of a time you went above what you were asked to do on the job.

c.       Tell me how you spot a patient who is presenting drug-seeking behavior?

d.      What information do you need – or what needs to happen – before you know that you have everything necessary to safely dispense a prescription to a patient?

e.      Tell me about what pharmacy organizations you belong to. How active are you within them? (This question can tell you about a candidate’s interest in staying abreast of pharmacy issues and trends.)

f.        Why should I hire you and not another candidate?


For help in hiring great pharmacists or pharmacy technicians, call upon the experts at Rx relief®. We can source, vet, interview and place terrific pharmacy professionals for your temporary, temp-to-hire and direct-hire opportunities. Contact us today.