Interviewing for a Pharmacist job with Walgreens, you can expect to deal with behavioral and situational questions. District manager (who typically leads the interview) will inquire about various situations from your past, or about hypothetical situations that can happen in a pharmacy.

Talking about what you did in each given situation, or what you would do, helps them to understand your attitude to work, to customers, to your colleagues, and to life in general. Let’s have a look at 11 questions you may face in your interview with Walgreens. I will try to explain how you should answer each one, what you should focus on.


Tell me about your last failure

Be honest. Do not blame others for your mistakes. Talking about the failure, emphasize the lessons you learned while failing, and how they helped you to become a better pharmacist, colleague, human being.

You should demonstrate positive attitude to failures. If this is your first job application, talk about a time when you failed to pass an exam at school, or about some failure from your personal life. The attitude you show matters for the interviewers, not the particular situation you narrate.


What was the most difficult decision you had to make in work?

You can focus on two different types of decisions. One is when you had to make a tough decision emotionally–for example dismissing or reporting a colleague you liked, your friend who committed a serious breach of rules in work. You faced an ethical dilemma at this point, but eventually did the right thing, reporting them, because you followed the rules.

Another idea is referring to a decision that had something to do with your professional competences. For example you had to choose one of two procedures in work, or had to decide about something without having all important information. The key is to show that you still made a decision, even though things weren’t clear, or you struggled to decide for some other reason.


Tell me about a time when you dealt with differences within your team and how you overcame it.

Any situation you narrate, you should ensure the interviewers that you respect opinions of other people. You know that you can be wrong, and that each person has some pluses and minuses–including you.

You try to focus on the positive things (you can check 7 sample answers to “What does diversity mean to you?” question for some inspiration), trying to build bridges instead of fences. And when someone has another opinion, or even say to you something you don’t like to hear, you won’t take it personally. It’s their opinion, you respect it, though it differs from your opinion. End of the story.

Describe a time you had to deal with a difficult customer?

Talk about a situation in a calm voice. Explain exactly why the customer was difficult, what the problem was, and what action you took while trying to deliver a good customer service.

Ensure the district managers that you won’t argue with the customers. You may refuse their request–if unreasonable, but you won’t raise your voice or react in an inappropriate way to any negativity from their side.

If this is your first job application, you can say them what you would do when dealing with a difficult (angry, irate, hostile, simple intellectually, complaining, etc) customer. Once again, your attitude matters more than the particular situation you narrate.


Tell me about a time when you had to prioritize things.

Walgreens pharmacy can sometimes be a pretty busy place. You do not want to let the customers waiting for ages. If you worked as a pharmacist before (or in any retail store), you can say how you prioritized your duties during the peak times, or how you divided the work with your colleagues in order to work in a most effective way. You can check sample  answers to “How do you prioritize your work?” interview question for some inspiration.

The key is to show them that you can prioritize your work, and do not need constant supervision, basically someone who’d tell you what you should do in each situation.


How did you handle customer complaint?

Try to talk about a particular situation. Tell them when it happened and describe it in detail, to give your story more credibility in the eyes of the interviewers.

Explain how you carefully listened to the customers, not interrupting them, trying to understand the core of their problem. Once you understood it, you addressed the situation in a most appropriate manner.

In an ideal case you should narrate a situation that had a happy ending–that means one when you eventually solved the complaint of a customer, and they left the store happy…


Explain the strategies you use to manage your time effectively and give an example of using it in the workplace.

You can talk about making daily schedule, or writing to do lists. Basically at the beginning of each day (or at the end of it) you make your plan for the day, writing a list of tasks and assigning priority to each one. Following your plan and working with to do lists, you minimize the time spent with unproductive tasks at work.

Another idea is saying that you try to minimize all distractions. No phone, no social networks, no useless gossiping. You focus on your job and customers, and in this way you maximize the amount of work you manage to do on any given day.

How do you plan to build relationship with other pharmacy staff members?

Try to focus on your role in the process–not on what they should do, that they should welcome you with open hands and a bucket of flowers. It would be nice, of course, but it’s not how it works. You cannot change other people, only yourself.

Say that you plan to take the initiative, and introduce yourself to your new colleagues. What’s more, you will try to be attentive to their needs, looking for things the two of you have in common, and basically do everything to build a good relationship with them.


Give an example when you help your colleague in need. What was the outcome?

Here you can talk about a variety of situations, and the key is to present selfless attitude to your colleagues. Maybe your colleague did not feel well and you took their shift, even though you already made some arrangements, and had to cancel them.

Or they struggled with something from their personal life, experiencing difficult period. Their struggled with focus in work, and because of that did not achieve as good results as their managers expected. Instead of observing the situation, you took an active role, and helped them with their workload. Or you even talked to the manager, advocating for your colleague.

One way or another, you did your best to help…


What is an example of a time you had to adapt quickly to a change?

Things happen, life changes. The recent pandemic is a prime example, and you can even use it in your interview answer. Perhaps it had a great impact on your routines in work, or you even lost your job because of the struggles of the global economy.

Nobody likes unexpected changes, but you should demonstrate with your answer that you adapted–because you had to, without too much of resistance. You are aware of the fact that the only stable thing in human life is change, and try to accept things as they come–especially when you cannot change them.

Of course you can talk also about some other changes. You had a new boss, and they had a totally different style of leadership, and you had to adapt quickly. Or shift patterns changed in your work, or perhaps you even lost someone you loved and had to learn to live without them.


Give an example of anticipating your patient’s or client’s needs.

You can say that you have great memory when it comes to customers. Benefiting from your skill, you knew the stuff different people bought in the store where you worked before. You anticipated their orders before they even had a chance to pronounce them, which helped you to be more efficient in your work.

Alternatively you can refer to your empathy and great observation skills. Seeing the patient in a pharmacy, the way they walk, gesticulate, movements they struggle with, helps you to anticipate their needs, and hand them a helping hand before have to ask for it…


Conclusion, next steps

Interview for a job of a Pharmacist with Walgreens belongs to difficult interviews. District managers will ask you many behavioral questions, and you will have to react quickly, demonstrating right attitude to your work and to other people.

What’s more, Walgreens is a popular place of work, and you will typically compete with more people for the job, which makes your situation even more difficult.

Try to prepare for the behavioral questions, and do not forget to check also the following articles:

Matthew Chulaw
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