Appendix C Potential Questions Asked of You During Residency Interviews

in Get the Residency
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Personality related

  • What qualities do you possess that would make you a good resident?
  • What qualities would you like to improve on as a resident?
  • What are your short-term (e.g., 2–5 years) and long-term goals (e.g., 10 years)?
  • What three words would your best friend use to describe you?
  • Do you prefer to work individually or as part of a group?
  • Describe a difficult situation you encountered and how you handled it.
  • If you had to critique your own performance, where could you improve?
  • What do you think is your greatest strength?
  • Tell me about a time you failed and what you learned from it.
  • Tell me about a time that, despite your efforts, did not have a favorable outcome and what you learned from it.
  • Tell me a good joke.
  • • If you could only save three possessions from a house fire, what would they be?
  • Describe a situation in your professional career where you felt stressed or encountered conflict. How did you handle the situation?
  • What do you like to do for fun?
  • How do you manage or relieve stress?
  • Why are you the best candidate for this program?
  • What motivates you?
  • Who inspires you?
  • How would you adjust to the weather (cold or warm)?

Professionally related

  • Why did you choose a career as a pharmacist?
  • Why do you want to do a residency?
  • Why are you interested in our program? versus Why did you choose to apply to this program?
  • Where do you see yourself after completing the residency?
  • What areas of pharmacy most interest you?
  • Are you considering a postgraduate year-2 (PGY-2) residency or fellowship? If so, in what specialty?
  • Teach me something in 2 minutes.
  • Describe how pharmacy practice is changing and what you see as being relevant for the future.
  • What do you see as the largest challenge for the pharmacy profession right now?
  • What is the single most important facet of interpersonal communication?
  • Tell me something that is current in pharmacy.
  • At what time would you expect to start and end your day as a resident?
  • Describe your experiences as a member of an interprofessional team.
  • What can you offer our program that other applicants cannot?
  • Would you consider yourself to be innovative? Why or why not?
  • Are you an introvert or an extrovert and how does that impact your approach to direct patient care?
  • How do you envision the role of the pharmacist in the patient-centered medical home?
  • How has technology and automation impacted the profession?
  • Given (example scenario), how would you approach the situation?
  • • Describe your time- and project-management skills.
  • Describe a leadership role that you held. What impact did you have on the organization that you led?
  • How do you define Medication Therapy Management?
  • Define and describe the Pharmacists’ Patient Care Process.
  • What is your definition of transition of care? Describe the role of the pharmacist in transition of care.


  • What is your definition of a clinical pharmacist?
  • What was your favorite advanced pharmacy practice experience (APPE) and why?
  • How could you have improved your least favorite APPE?
  • Describe your favorite or most memorable patient.
  • Describe your most memorable experiences from APPEs.
  • If I were to ask preceptor X to describe you, what words would he or she use?
  • Who was your favorite preceptor and why?
  • Describe or discuss the most interesting medical journal article you have recently read.
  • Why are critical thinking skills an important quality in a clinician?
  • Describe a conflict with a preceptor or another member of the healthcare team (e.g., attending physician, intern resident, nurse) and how you approached and resolved the conflict.
  • Describe the most significant contribution you made to a patient’s care this past year.

Source: Some questions are from Mancuso C, Paloucek F. Understanding and preparing for pharmacy practice residency interviews. Am J Health-Syst Pharm. 2004;61(16):1686-1689. ©2004, ASHP. All rights reserved. Adapted with permission.

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