How to Get a Job as a Pharmacist
The job hunt should start during school, with internships early in the process. “Exposure to patients and patient care during school will make them more successful,” says Papatya Tankut, who began her career as a pharmacist at CVS/pharmacy and is now vice president of pharmacy affairs at CVS Caremark. While technical skills matter, evidence of leadership, communication and conflict resolution can help set applicants apart from the pack. Business acumen also counts, since pharmacies are often part of larger retail operations. Pharmacists usually begin their career dispensing drugs and advice, but can move into supervisory or administrative positions covering multiple pharmacy locations or larger geographic regions. About 40 percent of pharmacists work in pharmacies or drug stories, but jobs with mail-order or Internet pharmacies or wholesalers are expanding. Large pharmacy groups also often maintain administrative, lobbying, marketing or real estate arms staffed with trained pharmacists. “Today the options have broadened so much,” Tankut says.
Interview Questions Submitted by Real Pharmacists
"What would you say was the most difficult situation for you to handle?" - Coram Branch Manager Pharmacist Candidate (Location Unknown)
"Describe a situation where you did not have enough information and you had to make a decision?" - Target Pharmacist Candidate (Location Unknown)
"Give an example of when your colleague was doing something unethical/inappropriate. What did you do?" - Kaiser Permanente Clinical Pharmacist Candidate (Location Unknown)
|Upward Mobility||good Above Average|
|Stress Level||poor Above Average|
|Flexibility||poor Below Average|
What is the Job Like?
Pharmacists generally work 40-hour weeks, but many work nights, weekends, and holidays. The stress level is moderate, but can vary depending on the number (and disposition) of customers. Also, most pharmacists spend majority of their shifts on their feet.
Last updated by Stephanie Steinberg.