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Pharmacy Technician Interview Questions

A pharmacy technician interview typically includes questions regarding a candidate's education, training, experience, and skills relating to the role. Questions may also address the candidate's knowledge of pharmaceuticals, medical terminology, and equipment. Additionally, interviewers may ask about a candidate's ability to provide customer service, work in a team, and adhere to safety and regulatory standards. Candidates may be asked to demonstrate their understanding of drug interactions, dosage calculations, and medication safety protocols. Overall, a pharmacy technician interview is focused on evaluating an individual's ability to work effectively in a fast-paced, detail-oriented environment while ensuring patient safety and satisfaction.

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Interviewer: Hi, thank you for taking the time to interview for the position of Pharmacy Technician. Can you start by telling me a bit about yourself?

Candidate: Sure, my name is Mark and I have been working as a Pharmacy Technician for the past five years. I hold a certification from the Pharmacy Technician Certification Board and have experience working in both retail and hospital pharmacy settings.

Interviewer: Great, can you tell me about a time when you had to handle a difficult customer or patient?

Candidate: Certainly. One time, a patient came in and was upset because their medication was not ready at the expected time. I apologized for the inconvenience and explained that sometimes there are unforeseen delays in processing orders. I quickly worked to fill the prescription and personally delivered it to the patient to ensure their satisfaction.

Interviewer: Have you ever made a medication error? If so, how did you handle it?

Candidate: I have not made any medication errors, but I always take necessary precautions to prevent them from happening. I follow proper procedures for dispensing and verifying orders, and double check with the pharmacist when needed.

Interviewer: How do you ensure patient confidentiality when handling their prescriptions and medical information?

Candidate: I understand the importance of patient confidentiality and always follow HIPAA regulations. I ensure that all patient information is kept secure and only accessed by authorized personnel.

Interviewer: Can you explain the process of verifying a prescription order?

Candidate: Before dispensing a medication, I verify the prescription order to ensure accuracy and completeness. I check the patient's name, medication name and strength, dosage instructions, and any other pertinent information. I also confirm that the prescriber's information is valid and up-to-date.

Interviewer: How do you handle inventory management and restocking of medications?

Candidate: I am responsible for keeping track of medication inventory levels and ordering more when needed. I always make sure to rotate stock and check expiration dates to prevent waste or expired medications being dispensed.

Interviewer: Can you tell me about a time when you had to work under pressure or in a fast-paced environment?

Candidate: I have experience working in busy retail pharmacy settings where there are often long lines and high demand. During these times, I stay focused, prioritize tasks, and work quickly while maintaining accuracy and quality.

Interviewer: How do you stay up to date on new medications and industry developments?

Candidate: I regularly attend continuing education courses and conferences to stay informed about new medications, updates to regulations, and industry developments. I also make sure to read professional journals and network with colleagues in the industry.

Interviewer: How do you assist patients with insurance and payment options?

Candidate: I am knowledgeable about insurance coverage and payment options for medications. I make sure to explain to patients their options and assist them in finding the most cost-effective solution.

Interviewer: Can you explain how you handle controlled substances and ensure compliance with regulations?

Candidate: I always follow proper procedures when dispensing controlled substances and ensure they are accurately counted and securely stored. I am familiar with DEA regulations and understand the importance of compliance.

Interviewer: How do you handle medication recalls or shortages?

Candidate: If there is a medication recall or shortage, I immediately notify the pharmacist and work with them to ensure affected patients are contacted and alternative options are provided.

Interviewer: Can you tell me about a time when you had to work collaboratively with other healthcare professionals?

Candidate: In my previous role, I worked closely with physicians, nurses, and other healthcare professionals to ensure proper medication management for patients. We collaborated to verify medication orders, discuss medication plans, and provide necessary information to ensure patient safety.

Interviewer: How do you prioritize tasks when there are multiple responsibilities to manage?

Candidate: I prioritize tasks by determining their urgency and importance. I also communicate with my team to ensure that all necessary tasks are being handled and that patient needs are being met.

Interviewer: How do you handle a work environment where there is a high level of stress?

Candidate: I am able to handle stress well and stay focused on the task at hand. I prioritize tasks, take breaks when needed, and remain calm and professional in high-stress situations.

Interviewer: Finally, why do you want to be a Pharmacy Technician and what do you enjoy most about the role?

Candidate: I enjoy being able to play a crucial role in ensuring patient safety and well-being. I find it fulfilling to help patients understand their medications and treatment plans, and to work collaboratively with other healthcare professionals to provide the best possible care.

Scenario Questions

1. Scenario: A patient comes in with a written prescription for a medication that the pharmacy does not have in stock. What steps would you take to ensure the patient receives their medication in a timely manner?

Candidate Answer: I would check with our suppliers to see if they have the medication in stock and can provide it to us quickly. If that is not an option, I would contact other nearby pharmacies to see if they have the medication in stock and can transfer the prescription to them. In either case, I would communicate with the patient to let them know the status of their prescription and when they can expect to receive it.

2. Scenario: A patient presents a prescription for a medication that may have potentially dangerous interactions with another medication the patient is taking. What steps would you take to ensure the patient's safety?

Candidate Answer: My first step would be to consult with the pharmacist on duty to confirm the potential interaction and the best course of action. If necessary, we would contact the prescriber to discuss alternative medications or dosages that would be safer for the patient. Before dispensing the medication, we would also ensure that the patient is aware of the potential interaction and any warning signs to watch out for.

3. Scenario: A patient comes in requesting a medication refill, but the pharmacy's records indicate that the medication was recently discontinued by the prescriber. How would you handle this situation?

Candidate Answer: I would double-check the pharmacy's records to verify that the medication was in fact discontinued, and then I would explain the situation to the patient. If the patient has concerns or questions, I would offer to speak with the prescriber to clarify the situation or discuss alternative treatment options. Our primary concern would be to ensure that the patient is receiving the appropriate treatment.

4. Scenario: A customer presents an insurance card with unclear or incomplete information. What steps would you take to verify the customer's coverage and avoid any billing errors?

Candidate Answer: I would first explain to the customer that we need complete and accurate insurance information to ensure that they receive the appropriate coverage and avoid billing errors. If the customer is unsure about their coverage or has incorrect information, I would suggest that they contact their insurance provider to clarify the situation. If necessary, we can also contact the insurance provider directly to verify coverage before dispensing any medications.

5. Scenario: A customer presents a prescription for a medication that requires special handling or storage, such as refrigeration or protection from light. How would you ensure that the medication is stored properly and remains effective?

Candidate Answer: I would review the prescription label and any additional instructions from the prescriber to ensure that we are storing the medication properly. If the medication requires refrigeration, I would ensure that it is stored in a designated refrigerator in the pharmacy and that the temperature is monitored regularly. If the medication requires protection from light, I would store it in a dark container or wrap it in a protective covering. Our priority is to ensure that the medication remains effective and safe for the patient to use at all times.
Sample numeric data question:
6. What is 25% off of a $50 medication?
Candidate Answer: 25% of $50 is $12.50, so the medication would be discounted to $37.50.
Other specifications:
7. How do you balance the priorities of customer service and adherence to pharmacy policies and regulations?
Candidate Answer: I believe that both customer service and adherence to policies and regulations are important for a successful pharmacy. However, patient safety and well-being should always be the top priority. I would handle each situation on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration the patient's needs and any relevant policies or regulations. If there is a conflict between customer service and adherence to regulations, I would seek guidance from the pharmacist on duty to ensure that we are making the right decision for the patient.