No matter how good a candidate looks on paper, it's essential to properly evaluate each job candidate to ensure they're a good fit for your pharmacy. They need to have the appropriate skills, degrees, and certifications, but they also need certain soft skills. From outstanding customer service to a personality that fits into your organization's culture, choosing the right person can be a difficult task. That's why it's important to be well-prepared to interview your pharmacist candidates.
Key Data to Glean
In most cases, you only have one interview to get an idea of whether or not a candidate will be a good fit for your pharmacy. However, if you look at key data, you can make an educated selection for a new employee. Below are some crucial questions for your pharmacist interview:
Explore employment history: Find out the last places your candidate worked and chronologically go through and find out details about each job. It will give you an idea of whether they are a job-hopper that likely won't be with you for more than a year, or if they have tried multiple career paths.
Discover employer impressions: Ask them how their former bosses would rate them and what they would list as the candidate’s strengths and weaknesses. Look for honesty and a drive for self-improvement. Remember to follow up with former bosses for their impressions of your candidate.
Learn what they're proud of: Ask the candidate what they rate as their biggest accomplishments and find out why those accomplishments are significant to them. It gives you an idea of their value systems, what goals they set, and how they go about achieving them.
Find out how they contribute to teams: Have the candidate describe the team at the last three jobs they had, along with the state of those companies when they left. Find out what role your candidate played in any changes. For instance, if the company went through a large merger, was the candidate part of team-building programs? That can be an indication of how they will work with you in the future.
During the interview, you'll also want to explore the following with the pharmacy candidate:
Assess their problem-solving abilities: Think about problems you have in your pharmacy—such as difficult customers—and ask the candidate how they would deal with them.
Look for an honest self-assessment: Ask: "What are your biggest weaknesses professionally, and what have you done to overcome them?" Job candidates often turn it around and give responses such as, “I work too hard.” But you're looking for a legitimate answer that highlights the candidate's self-awareness and willingness to work on flaws.
Look for a candidate who acknowledges their weakness, but then goes on to explain how they're working on correcting that weakness, e.g., "I have a tendency to rush and forget to double-check my work. I'm working on fixing this bad habit by making a checklist that I make myself go through with every project, to ensure I've checked over everything thoroughly for accuracy."
Discover what makes them defensive: Ask: "What’s the biggest misconception that people have about you, and how do you overcome it?" This will tell you about areas where the candidate is self-conscious or defensive. How they handle people's impressions, gossip, or other issues is an important indicator of how they will fit into the daily routine at your pharmacy.
Improving Your Chances
While hiring is never easy, particularly for a pharmacy position, if you do some preparation and choose interview questions carefully, you can improve your chances of hiring the right person.