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, vice president of pharmacy professional services at CVS Caremark. Also, 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. Broadly, pharmacists begin their career dispensing drugs and advice, but can move into supervisory or administrative positions covering multiple pharmacy locations or larger geographic regions. Also, jobs in mail-order or Internet pharmacies or wholesalers are expanding as well. 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)
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.
Real Reviews From Pharmacists
+ "Predictable days, regular schedule, good pay." - Walgreens Pharmacist (Fresno, CA)
+ "Learn varied skills, time passes quickly since you are so busy that you don't notice the time passing by." - Omnicare Pharmacist (Whippany, NJ)
- "The pharmacies are more like prescription factories. It is very difficult to fill more than 600 scripts per day while the amount of help is always being reduced and new tasks are always being added." - CVS Caremark Pharmacist (Location Unknown)
- "Cost cutting taking away from quality of care. Don't care how busy the Pharmacy is, it's all about the bottom line." - Safeway Pharmacist Manager (Location Unknown)
Review information and interview questions supplied by Glassdoor.