30 Pharmacy School Interview Questions

January 30, 2024


Reviewed by:

Akhil Katakam

Third-Year Medical Student, Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University

Reviewed: 5/13/22

Are you preparing for your pharmacy school interview? Check out these sample pharmacy school interview questions and answers to help you get started!

Congratulations, you’re on your way to becoming a pharmacist! Getting ready for your pharmacy school interview can feel like a challenging task, and you may not know how to get started at first, but you’re not alone! That’s why we’ve compiled our list of popular pharmacy school questions. 

Here we’ll explore pharmacy school interview sample questions in different formats, and how to respond. We’ve included several types of questions you may be asked during your interview. If you have any questions or would like to practice with a tutor, feel free to set up a consultation with one of our experts at any time. 

Let’s get started!

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10 Pharmacy School Interview Questions + Answers

Here are ten popular pharmacy school interview questions and how to answer them. Before you start practicing, it’s important to note that interviewers may ask general, behavioral, scenario, and political questions. 

Our list has included examples of each type of pharmacy school interview question to help get you prepared for your interview. Keep in mind that our answers should be used as a guideline for you to form your own answers based on personal experience. 

1. “Tell me about yourself.”

Answering this question is simple; you shouldn’t have to think about it too hard. Be honest and give a brief synopsis of where you’re from, how you’ve gotten to where you are today (applying to pharmacy school), and what you enjoy. You can be lighthearted with your answer or serious; just be true to who you are. 

Your answer should include how you became interested in pharmacy as a career path. Avoid simply talking about your life and unrelated subjects. It’s good to briefly mention where you’re from and what you’re up to currently as you follow it up with your interest in pharmacy school.

Sample answer: “My name is Aisha, and I’m from Dallas, Texas (go cowboys!). I first became interested in pharmacy when I was about 11 years old. My mom was sick and I had to pick her up some medicine, the pharmacist was so kind to me and I loved learning the instructions and helping take care of my mom at home. I’ve been looking forward to going to pharmacy school ever since, so here I am! I hope to one day help families care for each other in the way my local pharmacist helped me.”

Why this answer works: In this sample, the candidate begins by briefly mentioning where she’s from, with a quick reference to something she likes about her hometown. She then tells the story of how she became interested in pharmacy and what led her to this point. 

She keeps it brief and to the point, which is excellent as this is often the first question an interviewer will ask you so it’s important to leave room for more conversation. She concludes by mentioning her long term goals in pharmacy, which is a great way to show commitment and initiative. 

2. “Why do you want to be a pharmacist?”

This question gives you the opportunity to expand on why you’re passionate about pharmacy. It’s a good idea to answer by mentioning a positive impact you hope to make on the field one day, and talk about how attending pharmacy school will assist you in achieving your long-term career goals.

Sample answer: “I’ve had several family members struggle with medication - whether it’s taking it at the right times, knowing the side-effects, or taking the right dosage. I want to educate people on how their prescriptions can help them and change the mysticism around medication, which is why I’ve taken language and communication courses. I believe the relationship a person has with their pharmacist can make a major difference in the successful treatment of ailments, and I’m excited to be the change I want to see in that aspect.”

Why this answer works: The candidate singled out an issue in the field that they have seen and explained the steps they’ve already taken (and intend to take) to improve that issue in the field. You should be specific about why you’re passionate about pharmacy and why you’ll be a good pharmacist.

3. “When did you first decide to pursue pharmacy as a career?”

You should be honest and simply tell your story when answering this question. Whether you’ve wanted to be a pharmacist since you were little or you just became interested last year, your story is what makes your journey unique - so you should tell it like it is. 

Sample answer: “My mother always told me that what’s most important is taking care of each other. I think watching her care for my siblings and apply this rule to her life inspired me to get into healthcare at a young age. I’ve also had a keen love of science from the first class I ever took! When I got to college, I took a few pre med and pre pharm courses, which is where my interest in pharmacy specifically started to grow.”

Why this answer works: The interviewee is to the point, honest, and open about how they became interested in pharmacy. Saying you’ve wanted to be a pharmacist your entire life is vague and won’t seem very truthful, even if it is true. You should be specific about the moments in your life you’ve considered pharmacy as a career, and when your interest began to develop more seriously. 

4. “What will you do if you're not accepted into pharmacy school?”

Be sure to give a thoughtful answer when responding to this question. The interview is genuinely asking about your other interests. It will seem disingenuous to simply state that you only want to do pharmacy and nothing else interests you.  

Sample answer: “My dream is to become a pharmacist, so I would wait and apply again the next chance I got. If for some reason I couldn’t become a pharmacist at all, I’d look for a career option where I could educate people on science. I love working with younger people, so perhaps I’d become a science teacher or a nutritionist.” 

Why this answer works: Firstly, the candidate reinstates their passion for pharmacy by stating they would wait a year and try again. Then they give another option (their fallback option) which still utilizes skills that are important for a pharmacist to have - such as being passionate about education and health. 

5. “What makes a good pharmacist? (What characteristics)”

You should put a lot of thought and research into responding to this particular question. Here the interviewer is basically asking you how you would be as a physician, so it’s important to know what traits are important and be able to explain yourself. 

Sample answer: “I believe a good pharmacist is patient, adaptable, diligent, and passionate. Patient to be able to communicate with many different people and ensure they understand you, adaptable in order to easily adjust to ever-changing situations and practice environments, diligent to ensure they do not make any mistakes, and passionate to put their all into their work every day.”

Why this answer works: The candidate mentions several well-researched characteristics that are important to have as a pharmacist. They then go on to explain why each characteristic is important, which shows attention to detail and passion for the field. It’s always important to understand your answer, and showing your work is great practice. 

6. “What are the advantages and limitations that you see going into pharmacy?”

Again, it’s important to answer this question genuinely. You should also do your research on the profession to know what particular pitfalls you may face in your path to becoming a physician. No job is perfect, but you should be able to explain why despite the cons - you feel that pharmacy is the right path for you. 

Sample answer: “I understand that becoming a pharmacist requires a large time commitment, the field can be competitive, and that I will constantly be in a high-pressure work environment. However, I know my passion for pharmacy will carry me through the limitations it may present. The main advantages for me are being able to help people, work in a clean, independent work environment, and wake up every day to do a job I love doing.” 

Why this answer works: In this answer, the candidate first confronts the potential limitations or “cons” right away. They then counteract those cons with the advantages of the field that they look forward to as a future pharmacist. This is a good way to frame your answer to ensure that you end on a positive note and reinstate your passion for the field. 

7. “How do you handle adversity? Can you give an example?”

This is an adversity question, which is an example of a behavioral question. Adversity questions are common in pharmacy school interviews because your interviewer is trying to gage your conflict resolution skills. Any example you give is alright as long as, in the end, you learned something from the experience.

Sample answer: “When I was working at my first job at McDonald’s, I had a coworker who would always assign me the tasks they were supposed to complete. One day, I confronted him about this and gave him an opportunity to stop avoiding his tasks before going to my boss. To my surprise, he apologized and explained that his family was going through a rough time - and his stress was making it hard to work. I’ll always be grateful that I gave him the chance to explain, because we later became good friends and I gained some perspective. It was also a wake-up call for him, and after taking a couple days off work he came back with a fresh attitude.”

Why this answer works: In this response to this question, the interviewee provides an example of a time they had to confront a coworker. Conflict is basically unavoidable in any work environment, so it’s important to show your interviewer that you can address conflict in a mature, responsible manner - especially in a high pressure environment. 

8. “Imagine you are a pharmacist, you work in a local pharmacy with a number of other pharmacists and pharm techs. You notice that one of the senior pharmacists has consistently been coming in late, often isn’t in uniform and speaks inappropriately when talking to patients. How would you deal with this situation?"

This is an example of a situational interview question, which you may be asked in your interview. To answer this type of question, it’s a good idea to try to recall a time you successfully dealt with a work issue. You can also do research to ensure you know the protocols involved in responding to this type of situation.

Sample answer: “I would first check the protocol to see if the pharmacist has actually broken the rules, and refer to the code of conduct at my pharmacy for advice on how to deal with this situation. I know my top priority is ensuring the health of patients, so if a fellow coworker was ever doing anything to jeopardize their patient’s health, I would report it immediately - even if they had worked there longer than me.”

Why this answer works: This answer highlights the candidate’s allegiance to patient welfare above all. It’s also always a good idea to refer to the protocol of your individual work environment before taking action to make sure you know when it’s time to report a grievance you may have with a coworker.  

9. “Recently, Facebook was under fire for not regulating advertisements and flagging them for misinformation. What is your opinion on regulating ads? Do you believe it violates freedom of speech?”

This question is an example of a question based on current political events. It is very common for interviewers to ask candidates for their perspective on current issues in the field, so it’s important to stay up to date on what’s happening in the news before your interview and think about your position on these issues.

Sample answer: “I understand why some people would believe blocking ads is a violation of free speech, however, I believe that it is important to regulate what content can be displayed to millions of people at once. As a future healthcare provider, I’m specifically concerned about misinformation on medical issues, like the use of pharmaceuticals. If an ad were placed stating misinformation on how a drug affects your body, I would certainly hope it would be flagged to protect the health of the general population.”

Why this answer works: The candidate immediately puts themselves in the position of a healthcare provider, and prioritizes the health of the general population. When answering opinion-based political questions, it’s important to put aside your own personal thoughts on the matter and put the patient first. 

10. “Are there any questions you'd like to ask me?”

When an interviewer opens up the floor for questions, it’s your chance to make a lasting impression. Typically, this question comes at the end of your interview, so you should do plenty of research on the school in order to ask a thoughtful question to your interviewer before saying goodbye. 

Sample answers: Here are some examples of questions you can ask your interviewer:

  • How are you?
  • What do you love most about this school that you think others may not offer?
  • I’ve been really interested in ____ school club, are there other similar opportunities available at the school as well?
  • What's your favorite thing to do in the area?
  • When can I expect to hear back about a decision?

Part of having a memorable interview is asking your interviewer at least one well-thought-out question. Make sure to do research on your school, and avoid asking a question that could be easily answered by a simple google search.

Other Pharmacy School Interview Questions

Here are some more sample pharmacy school interview questions for you to review and practice on your own. Try to implement the strategies we mentioned in the sample answers section to help you form your responses!

General and Behavioral Questions

  1. What character trait do you find the most difficult to deal with in others?
  2. Why did you choose ______ as your major?
  3. What steps do you take to manage your schedule and maintain a school/life balance?
  4. In a team setting, do you prefer being a leader or following orders?
  5. Would you describe yourself as adaptable? What was a time you had to quickly adapt to an unfamiliar situation or setting? 
  6. Have you ever participated in a research project? If so, what was your role?
  7. What is your biggest weakness?
  8. What can you contribute as a student to this school?
  9. If you woke up tomorrow and pharmacy school didn’t exist anymore, what would you do?
  10. How will you positively impact the pharmacy profession?
  11. Have you ever struggled in a class? How did you improve?
  12. In what situations have you previously worked in service of the public?
  13. When faced with conflict, do you prefer to confront or avoid it?
  14. If you're applying from away, why did you choose to apply to a school in this area? 
  15. Have you ever had a negative interaction with a healthcare professional? How did you handle it?

Scenario Questions

1. You are the head of a major pharmaceutical research company that is struggling financially. One day, a large diet supplement company comes forward with all the funding you need in exchange for your support and funding credit. What will you do?

2. Imagine you are a pharmacist and your shift is about to end. You are the only person at the pharmacy, and you are supposed to lock up in five minutes, but you still have many tasks remaining that you were hoping to finish. You also have an important event later tonight, so you can’t stay late. What do you do? 

3. You have been offered two positions as a pharmacist after graduating. One is in a nice, metropolitan area with lots of goods and services nearby. The other is in an underserved community fifty minutes away from downtown. Which job do you take?

4. A patient comes into the pharmacy asking for medication they have been prescribed. You fetch the medication and ring it up, but the patient now says they do not have insurance, and they can not afford the medication. What do you tell the patient? 

5. A patient comes into the pharmacy with a prescription for a highly addictive substance. You notice they are exhibiting signs of addiction and substance abuse. What do you do? 

When practicing for your interview, make sure to practice in front of a mirror and with a partner to help you calm your nerves and get comfortable saying your answers out loud before your big day. You should also practice all types of potential interview questions to ensure you are ready for whatever questions you may be asked.

FAQs: Pharmacy School Interview

Here are our answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about pharmacy school interviews. If you’re nervous for your interview or any part of your pharmacy school application, consider hiring an admissions expert to help you through the process.

1. What Kind of Questions Are Asked in a Pharmacy School Interview?

In a pharmacy school interview you may be asked general questions, scenario questions, school-specific questions, and behavioral questions. You should also stay up to date on the current political climate in case you are asked for your opinion on issues within the field. 

2. How Do I Ace a Pharmacy School Interview?

To ace your pharmacy interview, make sure to properly prepare for your interview by doing the following steps:

  • Practice answering general, behavioral, and scenario questions with a partner and in front of a mirror
  • Do plenty of research on your school and its history
  • Read up on current political issues facing the field 
  • Research issues you may potentially face as a pharmacist in the future and consider how you would handle them

You should begin preparing for your interview as soon as you have been invited to one. Be sure to also send a post interview thank-you note to your interviewer to express gratitude and state your continued interest in the program.  

3. How Long Is a Pharmacy School Interview?

Pharmacy school interviews are typically thirty minutes in length, but can range between 20-40 minutes. 

4. How Do You Answer “Tell Me About Yourself” in a Pharmacy School Interview?

Be honest, be yourself, and be brief. Your answer can include a few personal details (where you’re from, what you studied, etc.) and should include how you’ve come to this point in your life (applying to pharmacy school). Your answer should not be overly long or tell your complete life story.

Final Thoughts

Reviewing pharmacy school sample interview questions is an essential step in preparing for your interview. Be sure to review all types of interview questions and give yourself at least three weeks prior to your interview to begin preparing. 

You should schedule time with a partner to help you answer questions out loud. Practicing with someone else will also help calm your nerves for your big day. If you can’t find a partner, practicing in front of a mirror is also a great way to get more comfortable with your answers. 

Your answers should be well-researched, truthful, and thorough. Remember, your interviewer has seen many candidates, so it’s important to stand out! Asking thoughtful questions and sending a post interview thank-you note can help you make a good first impression.

Good luck in your interview!

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