No doubt, Pharmacists play an important role in the health sector of every country. Pharmacists need professionalism, self-motivation, and confidence to succeed in this respective field. The work requires good communication and leadership skills. Moreover, if you have some prior pharmacy experience try to highlight how you managed to solve tricky situations by giving specific examples. Even if you lack experience, try to convince the interviewers how passionate you are for the desired position you have applied for.
The Pharmacy residency interview is quite long and the questions asked are in-depth and tricky. The interviewers try to determine the problem-solving capabilities of the candidate. Questions on professional goals and plans are often asked in such interviews.
To help you prepare well with your responses, it is essential to go through some of the most important questions along with sample answers asked in the Pharmacy Residency Interviews.
Top 21 Pharmacy Residency Interview Questions For Getting The Job Right Away
1. Tell us about yourself?
I grew up in an Indian middle-class family in Jaipur. Both of my parents are doctors and I think somewhere I have this medical gene. Since junior school, I have had a keen interest in biology and medicine.
After completing my schooling I decided to further expand my knowledge in this particular field. I am also a sports enthusiast who has actively taken part in sports events all my life. Being a state-level badminton player, I spend my free time playing badminton.
2. What do you think the role of a Pharmacist is?
I feel the Pharmacist is one of the most important people in the health sector. A Pharmacist is a person who plays an important role in the health care team of a patient. We as Pharmacists, communicate with the patients about their medications and ensure that they take them properly.
Apart from that, we also communicate with doctors about the side effects and other conditions of the medications to ensure the proper safety of the patients. I believe, Pharmacists have a very important role to play in every patient’s life as we try to help people get the best outcomes from their medications.
3. What made you interested in the field of Pharmacy?
I grew up in a joint family and most of the elders in my family took various medications as they were old. We had a local pharmacist who made them aware of their conditions and help them understand their medications in a very simple way. This eventually improved the health conditions of my elders and it was then I knew that ‘ Pharmacists’ are people who help others. At that time I only knew that I wanted to help people like he did and that thought eventually led me to where I am today.
4. Tell us about your most effective strength?
I believe I am an excellent communicator which allows me to effectively communicate with the patients as well as doctors. Communication is simply the most important life skill and to have acquired it, I would say it is an individual best strength.
All my school and college life I have been taking part in debates and extempore, I think that is what helped me to be so fluent and converse freely. I think this is my strongest strength because it helps me to easily connect with my co-workers and other people I come across.
5. What do you think is your weakness?
I think my weakness is not knowing when to say ‘No’. I don’t want to disappoint others as I am always willing to help. At times, even I am swamped with responsibilities, I don’t say No at the right time which eventually creates chaos and confusion later. I am currently working on this weakness as I know it could get me into huge trouble at times.
For that, after my work is done I ponder over the times when somebody asked me for a favor or something and then one by one evaluate when could I give said no. This is helping me to understand when to and when not to.
6. What drives your passion for a career in medicine?
Several factors derive my passion in this particular field. If I had to point out the main ones, I would say that helping others to improve their lives. Being a good pharmacist means being able to take responsibility for the needs of patients and guide them in the best possible way. I believe the true essence of being a Pharmacist can only be understood from behind the counters as the daily challenges are what teach us.
7. What are the characteristics of Colleges and coworkers you dislike the most?
I am a natural and ordinary easy-going person. One thing that I dislike the most about my co-workers is when they don’t take up responsibility for their actions. Moreover, fulfilling their responsibilities with accuracy in due time is what a good professional does. I dislike when people don’t do that because I believe it is everybody’s responsibility to do what is expected from them.
8. What makes you stand out amongst other applicants?
I think my passion and desire to learn about Pharmacy is what makes me stand out from the other applicants. Today, no matter where you go competition will never leave you. To be good you have to be the best and for that, I think I have a good amount of experience and knowledge in this field. My academics and extracurriculars are also strong enough to stand out from the rest.
9. What influenced you to pursue a Residency?
I have a strong desire to specialize in the field of Pharmaceuticals and that has influenced me to pursue a residency. I think doing a residency has to help me accomplish my career goals. Gaining experience with patients can help me understand how to effectively counsel them.
10. What type of Leadership qualities does a Pharmacist need – which ones do you currently possess and how do you intend to develop the others?
The first and foremost one is good communication skills. It is the best way to express our ideas and opinions and it is a must in our field. Leadership skills, being able to handle a group of people, and advising them to follow the right action plan are also needed. Apart from these, good decision-making, listening skills, and futuristic vision are important for a successful pharmacist.
I believe I have good communication and leadership skills which have helped me come so far in this profession. Somewhere I feel that I lack listening skills and I think it is important for me to develop them. For that, I have started to first calmly listen and understand the views of the other person and then react. I believe I would be able to develop my listening skills in a short time.
11. What do you do in your free time?
As I already mentioned that I am a state-level badminton player, I love to play badminton. Whenever I get time I go out to play badminton with my friends. Apart from this, I also like to read novels and expand my knowledge in the field. I also try to keep myself updated with the advancements taking place in my choice of study.
12. If you were not in Pharmacy, what would you do?
If I were not in Pharmacy, I would have made a career in sports. Playing badminton is also my passion, it is something that helps me to overcome stress and anxiety. If not for Pharmacy, I would have followed my passion but I don’t regret it. I am happy with the career choices I made and would continue to work in my field.
13. What do you think is the biggest issue Pharmacy is facing today?
To say that the last 2 years have been the worst so far would be an understatement. From the economy, health, education to social, national issues everything has been affected by the pandemic. Although this year things are getting back to normal for a change, we are seeing side effects of the previous years.
The healthcare department, in general, has been drastically affected. In the Pharmacy department, there are many issues and challenges for this year. The role of Pharmacists will grow as they have to be prepared for future disasters. New care models will have to be developed to help the people.
14. Can you describe your experience working in the pharmacy profession?
Working in the Pharmacy profession has been an incredible experience. Keeping a check on medicines, pointing out the side effects, and helping people with their dosages and everything had been a different experience altogether. I think it is a great profession and if you are interested in working as a Pharmacist, don’t back off. There are great opportunities for you if you are willing to work for them.
15. Tell us about your experience working with a patient as part of their health care team?
I have worked with patients who had hypertension and anxiety. My job as a Pharmacist was to explain to them when and how to take their medications. Sometimes, patients were very scared and nervous about starting new prescriptions, so I used to explain to them in depth how the medications work which helped them to be calm.
16. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I would like to work as a Pharmacist and gain more experience. Later, I also want to open a Pharmacy shop near my house as there are not many. This would help the people of the locality to get medicines easily as and when required.
17. Briefly describe a situation in which you effectively communicated with a patient about their medication?
Once I volunteered at a hospital facility and I was responsible to help patients understand their medications which the doctors prescribed. There was a patient who received a new diagnosis and as the patient was young, he was very scared. He wanted to know how the medications could affect him and so I answered all his questions one by one.
Then, with the help of diagrams, I made him understand the process in a simple way which motivated him to take his medications. This incident was the first one I encountered and hence is quite special to me. I will always remember it.
18. Why did you choose this specialty?
Having discussed my childhood experience with our local Pharmacist who used to help my family with their prescriptions. I have always had special places for Pharmacy and I always wanted to pursue a career in the same.
The medical field has always interested me and being a Pharmacist I can help people. The feeling of being able to help the patients is a different and incomparable one. The patients and my family always keep me motivated and inspire me to work harder.
19. Some of your preceptors will not have a Pharma Degree, do you have any issues in taking directions from someone with a lesser degree?
No, I do not think that respect lies in the degrees of an individual. I believe, no matter in which profession we are, equal respect should be given to everybody concerned. I would not mind receiving orders from someone with a lesser degree until I am being told to do the right thing. I would carry on the tasks with utmost sincerity.
20. What do you expect out of your team/co-workers?
I expect my team or co-workers to be patient and compassionate. Our profession typically deals with the lives of people which require good well thought decisions. I am an easy-going person and want my team to be honest about their responsibilities and actions. I always support hard work and sincerity at work and I truly believe that one day it makes a difference. I only accept these simple things from my co-workers.
21. How do you deal with stress?
Being in the medicine department, I know it is one of the biggest issues people are facing today. Stress and anxiety have become a part of people’s lives, especially the young generation. Taking pills and other medication only helps in certain cases and for a small amount of time. Right guidance is required in these cases.
Personally, when I am stressed out I like to take small 15-20 minute breaks or go out for a walk. This helps me recollect and calm my mind to further continue with my work. Moreover, I have a fixed schedule of sleep and exercise that helps me to keep a good balance between work and health.
I would suggest everybody take good care of themselves and not let their work overshadow their health as it is the most important thing.