No job interview is easy. Whether you're trying to get a holiday job at a local department store or interviewing for a position that will mean a big promotion, or it's the job of your dreams and you just want to nail it – job interviews can make even the most secure amongst us have feelings of self doubt.
If you're seeking a job in the pharmaceutical industry, you know that the competition can be as vigorous as when you were trying to pass your pharmacy exam. That means you have to prepare just as intently as when you were in school.
Below is some advice to help you get ready for that all important interview.
Do your homework. You could be interviewing for a position in a retail pharmacy, a hospital or in another healthcare setting. Whatever it is, take the time to learn about the organization. Get a sense of where your position fits into the overall organizational objectives. This will lay the ground work for you to ask questions during the interview that demonstrate the time and energy you invested.
Be prepared for specific questions related to your position. There are always the typical interview questions anyone can expect. "Tell me about yourself." "What do you perceive as your strengths and weaknesses?" "Where do you see yourself in five years?" These common questions may come up during your interview and you should take the time to have prepared answers so you don't get caught unprepared.
However, you also need to think about specific questions.
- Why do you want to work here?
- What excites you about being a pharmacist?
- What do you see as two major issues facing the pharmacy industry today?
- How would you handle a conflict with a doctor or patient?
Think about other questions that may come up specific to your clinical background and how you would perform in the specific setting for which you are interviewing.
Have a list of your own questions. Clinical positions can be tricky. You want to really understand the time commitment, opportunities for professional training and growth, the ability to conduct research etc. So think about what is important to you and have a few questions ready. If you're interviewing in a clinical setting, some questions could include:
- How many hours are spent with service commitments per week/month?
- Are there any opportunities to teach or mentor pharmacy students?
- Are there any opportunities to publish?
- What current research projects are other pharmacists working on?
For retail positions:
- What is your customer volume?
- How many pharmacy techs will be working with me?
- How often will I be working alone?
- Are there non-pharmacy responsibilities associated with this position?
- Can I select my shifts or are they set by the store manager?
Once you've finished preparing for the specifics of your interview, don't neglect the core rules of job interview preparation such as arriving 10 minutes early; dress professionally; bring a clean copy of your resume; and most importantly, be yourself.
If you want additional resources for pharmacy job searching, take some time to review The American Pharmacists Association website for resources and listings.
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