Appendix C Potential Questions Asked of You During Residency Interviews

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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.