Without pharmacy assistants to help run the show, your neighbourhood pharmacy would more than likely be pretty inefficient. Pharmacy assistants help ensure that inventory is ordered correctly, help fill prescriptions under the supervision of a pharmacist, and do a number of other important tasks necessary to the activities within a pharmacy.
The fact that there are so many pharmacies around means you’re likely to enjoy a fair amount of opportunity after finishing your training. Of course, getting the job of your dreams still involves completing an interview.
Want to make sure you’re ready to answer some of the toughest questions interviewers have for aspiring pharmacy assistants? Here are a few of the questions you’ll want to master.
Expect Questions About How You’d Deal With Stressed Customers
From time to time, customers can feel stressed or worried when they’re picking up medications at a pharmacy. They might be coming to terms with a new condition or illness, or simply not be feeling at their best. Occasionally, their frustration might manifest itself as they talk to the pharmacy assistant on duty. For this reason, employers want to know that you can remain professional in the face of a stressed customer. An interviewer might ask you to either give an example of a time you interacted with a difficult customer, or else to explain how you would behave in that type of situation.
What employers want to hear in this situation is that you were able to remain calm and professional enough to uphold your responsibilities. If the situation looked like it was spiralling out of control, they will want to know that you had the presence of mind to seek out assistance from a manager. To demonstrate your professionalism in the interview, you’ll want to make sure that you convey to the employer either that this is how you behaved in the past or it is how you would behave in the future.
Applicants for Pharmacy Assistant Roles May Be Asked About How They Work in Teams
Taking on a career as a pharmacy assistant means entering a world in which teamwork is an essential part of the job. Pharmacies are tightly regulated and employ a structure where the pharmacist is at the head of things, overseeing the work done by the pharmacy assistants under their supervision.
A good pharmacy assistant training program will provide you with all the hands-on skills you need to complete your tasks efficiently and correctly. In addition, the off-site externship placement component of your program will allow you to apply these skills in a real work and team setting, helping you develop your teamwork skills. A capacity to thrive within a team dynamic is necessary for proper coordination with the professionals you will work with. This is particularly true when dealing with multi-step processes around potentially sensitive information and products, such as when filling prescriptions.
Often, employers will approach this subject by asking whether you prefer working alone, or as a part of a team. It’s appropriate to say you enjoy both, but make sure you express a fondness for being a part of a well-functioning group. If you have an example of a time you succeeded in a group dynamic, be sure to bring it up as backing evidence.
Graduates of Pharmacy Assistant School Face the Dreaded “What Is Your Weakness?” Question
At some point, pretty much everybody faces the “What is your greatest weakness?” question in a job interview, and that includes graduates interviewing to become a pharmacy assistant.
It’s a tricky balance to achieve a good answer to this question, and there’s no single correct approach. As a rule, be truthful—getting caught in a lie is never a good thing—and express an actual weakness, but also explain how you are working to address it.
Here is an example for inspiration: Saying you sometimes underestimate the amount of time a task will take to complete. This weakness has repercussions, as you might find yourself struggling with an unmanageable workload—but isn’t insurmountable. You could say that you now make an effort to give yourself a little wiggle room so that you aren’t surprised by a task’s length.
If you want a little help figuring out a great answer to this question, consider reaching out to career services professionals at your school. Top schools like Medix College employ caring and expert staff devoted to helping students prepare for interviews and applications, and could be a great resource to help ensure you nail tough interview questions.
Do you want to prepare for a new, rewarding career?
Contact Medix College to learn about going to pharmacy assistant school!