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Pharmacy Leaders Podcast: Inspiring Pharmacy Leadership Interviews


Aug 22, 2018

Kelly Haws is the National Business Development Manager at CareerStaff Rx and an expert on finding pharmacy jobs for pharmacists. In this four-part series, we cover:

1. Interview basics 

2. Mock Interview - Answering Questions about Culture

3. Mock Interview - Answering Questions about Work Experience

4. Mock Interview - Answering Questions that are Pharmacy Specific

You can look for jobs or connect with them here:

https://www.careerstaff.com/careerstaffrx/

Full Transcript:

welcome to the pharmacy leaders podcast
with your host Tony Guerra the pharmacy
leaders podcast is a member of the
pharmacy podcast network with interviews
and advice on building your professional
network brand and a purposeful second
income from students residents and
innovative professionals let's go into
part three of our mock interview series
this one is going to be about pharmacist
specific questions we have Kelly Hawes
again from career staff Rx and she'll be
helping us out so welcome Kelly to the
pharmacy leaders podcast thank you
tell us a little bit about what a
pharmacy specific question is it's
generally, we don't hear we didn't
hear clinical questions when I certainly
was starting the number one question I
got that I that was hot-button topic for
him was do you have any problem running
the cash register and he wasn't saying
can you count you know can you do 10 key
what he was saying was are you going to
be someone that won't go to the cash
register and I said and and I already
had that answer prepared I was like well
how could you talk to the patient if
you're not at the cash register and he
just was like yes checkbox you know you
need like this huge check on his sheet
like that was my one question that that
really just if I have trouble with
anything it's that you know the
pharmacist won't go and do what needs to
be done but tell me a little bit about
pharmacist specific questions in terms
of you know your maybe clinical
knowledge or are they looking for how
you'll deal with other health
professionals what is it that they're
really looking for so I've seen it
rise in this even from the four years
that I've been doing it but yes
definitely more clinical questions
especially if they are specializing in
specific medications but they will ask
you questions about how they work you
know just going fully into the
medication itself but it they will also
discuss different situations that come
up and I
have seen this quite often well they'll
give you know real-time scenarios of
issues between patience issues between
the pharmacist and the physicians the
pharmacist and the nursing staff I mean
all those things come up and they want
to make sure that you can call them
solve around these and not get so upset
not you know take things personal and
just solve the problem or the patient
which is the ultimate goal regardless
sure okay
all right well let's get started with
some of these tougher questions what
we're gonna do is we're gonna put you
and I'm gonna promote you to pharmacy
manager right now so you're a pharmacy
manager you are on your day off
even better you are on vacation right
now with your family and you get a call
that one of your pharmacist is refusing
to fill a prescription because of their
cultural beliefs what's your next step
so this is very difficult I sorry - you
want me to answer as the pharmacy
manager or just situation no you're the
interviewee and I am Telling You that
you are you know you've worked with our
company for a couple of years you're now
in the pharmacy manager role that you
said you wanted in the earlier episode
so you know you're on vacation with
your family you get a call on your cell
phone that's only used for emergencies
and then you find out from the store
manager that your pharmacist is refusing
to fill this prescription on their
cultural beliefs and you know the store
manager can't do anything he's not a
pharmacist what do you do as the manager
you know who's part of this company but
is it working that day absolutely so the
first thing I would do was ask to be
transferred to the pharmacist that is
refusing to fill just to make sure I
didn't miss anything being conveyed by
the store manager you may have
misunderstood something so I'd want to
talk to that pharmacist to make sure
it's truly based off religion culture
you know whatever
the situation is I want to make sure I
had all the details from that the next
step is I would ask to be transferred to
the technician and I would have them
call a nearby store to make sure they
have that medication in stock if they
did have it I would call them I would
talk to their staff pharmacist or their
pharmacy manager explain the situation
without getting tuned to much detail
about the other pharmacist believes and
making sure that they were okay to fill
the prescription for that patient and
then once that was all handled I would
talk to the patient about it and let
them know the situation and tell them
that you know we could have that
prescription ready for them at this
different location and they could pick
it up you know at this time and it would
be ready for them that's a it's a very
talked about eggshells
yeah and anyway it was right out of the
gate it was the first one so you know we
you know we'd already been comfortable
with each other we've talked about
culture we've talked about your goals
now let's see what happens when you know
the stuff hits the fan so you know we're
we're that that you're at this part of
the interview I feel like is is is good
news and that you know they've extended
it this long you know to say okay well
this is someone I want let's make sure
because I've only got one hire or two
hires you know that I can do but what's
your thought when you're you're
answering that you answered it
beautifully but but what what's your
process of making sure that there's a
chronology that I as the interviewer can
follow it clearly so you always want to
at least talk to the pharmacist that's
having the issue so for me I wouldn't
want anything lost in translation from
you know a medical professional to the
store manager who knows absolutely
nothing about pharmacy so I would want
to make sure that I'm hearing the right
story from the source I mean that's most
important so that's why I would you know
I'd want to talk to that pharmacist but
I would also want to be respectful of
their beliefs as well and make sure
especially as a pharmacy manager
especially in California these are
things that we always have to be aware
of and we have to respect them so I
would you know talk to them I wouldn't
want them to think that I was upset
because of their choice but I would want
to make sure they understood that you
know because of this you know I have to
do all these other steps now I wouldn't
want to ask them to call and check for
the medication because I don't I
wouldn't want them to feel embarrassed
about their beliefs and kind of put on
the spot or feel like they're being
punished for you know not wanting to
fill this specific medication so I would
have the technician do it because it
just takes a simple call to make sure
they have it in stock there's not a lot
of information that needs to be passed
back and forth there and then I would
take it upon myself to hopefully if
they're available talk to that pharmacy
manager so we could talk about the
situation and you know in private and
have them get it ready for the patient
so there's no other issues lastly I
would talk to the patient because I
would want to make sure that we are all
on the same page that they felt that
they are being taken care of and that in
the end we still you know want their
business you want to fill their
prescription just not physically able to
do it at this location
and you know I think if you're upfront
and very communicative with people
they'll usually understand regardless
what the situation is awesome
okay well this is something that I
personally run into so let's say my my
daughter she can't get her medication
filled without a prior authorization but
you now have a patient who doesn't
understand what the words prior
authorization means they say something
like you can't fill it right now
because they filled it last time so why
can't they fill it now what does prior
authorization mean so as the pharmacist
how do you explain prior authorization
to me so the way I would describe it and
I would I would talk to the patient I
would hopefully not have the tech do it
I would let them know that this
medication is not covered on your
formulary unfortunately um you have had
it approved before but after I talked to
the insurance company they let me know
that
you already had a current prior
authorization that was filled on it and
it's now expired so what we have to do
is get in contact with the doctor and
the doctor needs to justify why you need
to be on this specific medication
because you've already been on it it
shouldn't take you long to get covered
but this is the process that most
insurance companies use when a drug
isn't their preferred drug we don't want
to change the medication because it's
been working for you so it just might
take a couple days to get it authorized
from there I would let the patient know
that we're going to be reaching out to
the doctor and then I would encourage
them to also talk to the doctor so that
we can kind of work as a team to get it
covered and you know I would ask them if
they needed you know a couple days
supply depending on what the medication
was to see if we could hold them over
while we wait for that authorization he
could be ok all right let's go on to one
that you addressed a little bit
before but maybe we didn't address as a
specific question so I'm a patient I
come in and I say I need my narcotic
medication I'm going on vacation
so I'm not going to have any access to
pharmacy the refill time actually falls
on the second day of my two-week
vacation how do you handle this so I
would first ask them where they were
traveling to just because I think that
has a lot to do with you know location
wise if it's out of state we know
there's gonna be hurdles but I would
most likely talk to their doctor about
it you say hey you know let's let's talk
to your physician let's see what we can
do they can write us separate
prescription to be filled you know with
any different state we can try doing
that and then you know there's also the
insurance hurdle that you have to go
through but I would talk to the patient
about all the loopholes that we as a
pharmacy will have to go to to get you
know to get them their prescription just
so we're all on the same page if their
doctor is okay with authorizing the
prescription early you know this is
going to depend on your state laws too
working with but if the doctor
authorizes it if we can get the
insurance to cooperate with us you know
it's and if your corporate pharmacy is
okay with this situation and we you know
would be able to fill it but we would
have to go through so many loopholes and
make sure the patients on the same page
is this awesome okay well you you've
answered it beautifully again it's it's
a tough question it's one that comes
over and over again that we're put in
these situations we don't want to be the
messenger but we're also by bringing in
the physician we're bringing in kind of
a partner in blame I guess you could say
or something like that we're
not making the decision I'm not telling
you know it's you know this group
you know our health your healthcare team
is basically you know making this
decision
okay well let's um let's take some more
general questions like where do you feel
pharmacy is going in the future
well pharmacy is definitely changing
it's very different than you know just
the medicine shop and no one pharmacists
filling a prescription but do you think
with some of the advances of being able
to fill and prescribe birth control to
the patients at the store level or even
on you know the local pharmacies focus
on MTM and really making sure that our
patients are taking their medications
appropriately staying on their therapy I
think we're moving in a direction of
less mistakes being made on the
patient's treatment side and pharmacists
i believe are being recognized more as
you know healthcare facilitators and
part of that healthcare team that the
patient's experience when they you know
are being treated for their illness okay
well go a little bit in depth into what
you were thinking with with that answer
it was really broad and you managed to
narrow it a bit
yeah so I do believe that pharmacy is
changing but there are there are many
advances to it being able to work with
the patient one on one and have it be
built into the goals of a lot of
pharmacies nowadays it's so important
you know were able to catch so many
mistakes so many drug interactions and
really were able to take a look at what
the patient is taking and you know even
how to save them money by getting them
on a generic drug or you know working
with a doctor to change their treatment
so it's more affordable to them with
these collaborations were also able to
control the abuse of a lot of narcotics
as well and I think that in the future
you know you're gonna be consistently
working with your doctor and your
pharmacists to you know maintain your
therapy and you know it's not going to
be completely separate as it was before
okay well let's let's do a little bit
about opening and closing the interview
so the opening is generally pretty easy
you know everything you know we say the
niceties and then we shake hands and we
you know start with the questions but at
the end when they give you a kind of
carte blanche you know is there anything
else that we should know about you
before we end the interview how would
you answer that question I would say you
know thank you so much for giving us
this opportunity to me I really enjoyed
talking to you about this role from the
questions that you've asked me you know
it sounds like you are looking for
somebody with a strong focus and patient
care and I believe that that's something
I'm very passionate about and I'm hoping
to you know work through the next
process of the interviews awesome okay
well I asked you a bunch of questions
here anything else that we need to know
in terms of pharmacy-specific questions
you've mentioned positivity
you've mentioned making sure that you
demonstrate your ability to communicate
with other people your willingness to
communicate with all parties
kind of be a mediator anything else we
need to know about those pharmacists
specific questions yeah just you know
answer as honestly as you can but
definitely try to think big picture when
you're answering them so that you can
show a solution through your answers and
you know the questions that they're
asking at the end when you're kind of
closing that interview know in your head
quickly think about the questions that
you were asked there's gonna be a common
some kind of common ground between those
so you know focus on that and try to you
know close the interview with
reiterating what they've kind of been
asking you if that makes sense so you
know if they are really focused on you
know how are you dealing with these
difficult situations with the pharmacist
and the patients and your answer is that
you know you truly care about the
patient make sure you bring that up at
the end of the interview okay so kind of
a you know we've talked for you know an
hour here in this interview and you
mentioned that you were looking for
somebody that that was customer service
focused that was high energy that likes
working within a team and you know just
as I'd done my my research in the into
the company now that I've spoken to you
I can really see myself being in this
role and I definitely I love that
customer service aspect and then maybe
if there's something I wasn't as good
at you know I would mention that and I
look forward to you know just getting
better at you know blank skill or
whatever it is but it sounds like it
really just comes down to as I've done
I'm sorry these these uh you know four
episodes with you it really comes down
to being honest with yourself and the
person you're speaking to demonstrating
that you are communicative and whether
you are a people person or not
necessarily as much making clear well
that you fit whatever role this is and
then that you really remain positive and
that you always remain solution oriented
that no matter what the problem you're
going to work for a solution and you'll
be a good team member to be part of it
so well Kelly thanks so much for being
on how can people best contact you or
what is the
best way to contact career staff RX you
can go on our website it's WWE career
staff our XCOM and there you'll see all
of the job openings that we have
available as well as ways for pharmacies
to get in touch with us if they're
looking to hire temporary staff as well
but we are located nationally we have
offices in over 17 states so definitely
reach out and we have an awesome
recruitment team that would love to talk
to you
awesome okay well I know that you're
very busy and that you've got a lot
going on but you've always made time for
the applicants you've always made time
for the students so Kelly thanks again
for being on the pharmacy leaders
podcast thank you for having me Tony
have a great rest your day support for
this episode comes from the audiobook
memorizing pharmacology a relaxed
approach with over 9,000 sales in the
United States United Kingdom and
Australia it's the go-to resource to
ease the pharmacology challenge
available on audible iTunes and
amazon.com in print ebook and audiobook
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[Music]