With over 50 years of experience in the pharmaceutical and healthcare retail space, CVS is a storied brand. And with over $250 billion in annual revenues, CVS checks in at #5 on the Fortune 100 list. This makes the firm a hotspot for job seekers interested in strategy, analytics, and healthcare roles. A well-known brand and dominant player in the space, CVS is a great launching pad for a variety of careers. CVS interview questions are mostly behavioral, but will be sure to test your knowledge and passion for the healthcare industry. Enjoy our insights into the CVS interview prep process!
CVS History & Culture
The company was originally founded as the “Consumer Value Store” in 1963. Since then, it has grown to become the largest chain of pharmacies in the United States. No matter what part of the country you’re in, chances are you’re within driving distance of a CVS.
At first, many CVS locations didn’t actually have a pharmacy. The early stores focused more on affordable general merchandise – beauty items, toiletries, and such. It was in 1981 that pharmacies became core to the business, and the company hit $1 billion in sales. Since the 1980s, CVS has opted for an inorganic growth strategy. The company acquired Peoples Drug in 1990, Revco in 1997, Arbor Drugs in 1998, Stadtlander Pharmacy in 2000 and Eckerd Drug in 2004. This heavy investment in M&A helped CVS build out its massive footprint. The company continues to make regular acquisitions today.
In recent years, CVS has been focused on its online business: CVS.com. As digital disruption hits the healthcare and prescription industry, CVS is working to offer electronic prescriptions wherever possible. As a large public company, CVS has certainly faced its share of controversies, but the company maintains a strong culture of corporate citizenship that emphasizes giving back to all stakeholders.
Life at CVS
Working for CVS corporate can be both rewarding and intense. CVS looks for management-level talent across a number of functions including analytics, digital, finance, merchandising, pharmacy operations, and store operations.
Given the breadth and scale of the business, success at CVS requires an ability to “wear a lot of hats.” CVS expects managers to have a solid understanding of the different business areas and how they integrate. Most corporate roles don’t require travel, but since CVS provides essential services, you can expect long hours during peak periods.
CVS promotes a tight-knit culture of togetherness and consistency that emanates from HQ out to all the retail locations.
CVS Interview Tips
The best CVS interview tip is to really think about the customer point of view as you prepare. Like any major consumer-facing business, CVS wants to differentiate itself by providing an excellent customer experience – whether those customers are large drug manufacturers, retail partners, or the end consumer.
CVS video interviews or in-person interviews usually last between 20 and 30 minutes. And for roles beyond entry level, you can expect to face a panel of interviewers in at least one of the rounds. Similar to any behavioral interview, it’s difficult to prepare for exact, specific questions – but doing your homework never hurts. Make sure to read up on CVS’s company history and any pertinent trends affecting the pharmacy industry. Lastly, aim to have at least 2 or 3 good questions for the interviewers that show you’ve been thinking about the business.
CVS Behavioral Interview Questions
CVS interview prep isn’t rocket science. Staying relaxed is most important. With that said, here are some typical interview questions you might face:
- Tell me about yourself.
This one is a common interview icebreaker. With CVS, make sure to gear your story towards highlights that will be relevant for CVS (client facing stories, analytics experience, etc.)
- What do you know about CVS?
This is one you can knock out of the park with the right preparation! And don’t feel the need to rattle off every factoid – just show that you’ve put some time into your research.
- What does excellent customer service mean to you?
Be genuine with this answer. It will definitely vary depending on who you are and how you see yourself professionally.
- Tell me about a time you provided excellent customer service.
Coming from the previous question, it’s always a good idea to have a couple anecdotes to back yourself up.
- How would your former manager and co-workers describe you?
Be honest with this answer, but don’t be afraid to talk up your own strengths a little bit! CVS wants to know what kind of teammate you’d be.
- How do you handle conflict with co-workers and/or managers?
This is another good question to use an anecdote for. Conflict management is important in any manager-level role.
- Do you prefer individual or group work?
As we mentioned, work at CVS involves a lot of cross-functional communication. With this answer, try to emphasize that you can do both.
- Where do you see yourself long term?
No one will ever expect you to have a crystal ball. But CVS wants to know how you think about your own career, so that they can put you in a position to succeed.
- Why CVS?
Just like in an interview with any consulting firm, this one is almost guaranteed to come up. Make sure you tailor your answer to CVS’ specific industry or business.
CVS is a great company and leader in the booming healthcare sector. The company seeks out “best athlete” type talent that can thrive in roles involving a lot of cross-functional communication. And you can expect CVS interview questions to reflect that. We trust our CVS interview tips will help prepare you to crush your interview!
Start your preparation with research on the company itself. Then take the time to ensure that your own experiences align well with CVS. For help on this front, be sure to check out our thoughts on the STAR method or our expert coaching services.
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