Many pharmacies have scaled back the number of people they expect to hire over the next few years. In fact, some pharmacies are scaling back their current workforce. So, the competition for open Pharmacy Assistant positions is fierce. If and when you land an interview, it’s important to take time to prepare for it.
So, here are some tips to interviewing well.
Do Your Homework
Once you have landed an interview, your first task is to do your homework on the Pharmacy. Make sure that you are not only familiar with the job description but also the staff, services offered and customers served. Many local pharmacies will include a lot of information on their website.
If possible, find out whom you will be interviewing with. Also, see if you can get a job description and identify areas of emphasis that this position requires. No two Pharmacy Assistant job descriptions are the same because each pharmacy has slightly different requirements. Are there attributes and behaviors that are emphasized in this specific job description? If so, be prepared to display and discuss these during the interview.
Practice your interview
Many job interviews ask similar questions. It’s good to practice answering standard interview questions. (Search the web for standard interview questions and you will find many to help you practice.)
Spend some time practicing a “STAR” answer. This is an acronym to help you answer questions about how you handle situations or tasks. It stands for Situation or Task, Action and Result. Think of times that you were given a task or were placed in a situation that required you to display a skill or characteristic. Prepare discussing the situation/task, your actions and the final result.
Also, review your resume and anticipate difficult questions about lack of experience in a field, job-hopping habits, low GPA, etc. Practice answering these questions.
Find a friend or family member to recreate the interview.
Create some interview questions of your own
Most interviewers will close by asking whether you have any questions. It’s good to ask one or two relevant questions. If the pharmacist is interviewing you, perhaps ask about their background. You might also ask whether this is a new position or whether someone has recently left or been promoted. Do not ask about pay and benefits in this interview. However, be prepared to answer a question about your pay expectations, if it hasn’t already been outlined in the job description or interview.
Make Final Preparations
Choose your interview clothes ahead of time and make sure that they are clean and well pressed. Also, if you aren’t familiar with the location of the interview, take a drive to make sure you know where you are going and how long it takes to get there.
Always bring extra copies of your resume, plus a pad to take notes.
Collect business cards from everyone that you interview with and follow up with a “thank you” note or email after your interview. Within the note, restate your desire to work at this pharmacy.