Technical Pharmaceutical Interview Questions/Answers

Providing brief and accurate answers to interview questions is crucial for success in the selection process. While it can be challenging to find answers to certain questions, it is important to familiarize yourself with pharmaceutical interview questions and their corresponding answers, tailored to the position level, before the interview.

Technical Pharmaceutical Interview Questions with Answers

Pharmaceutical Interview Questions and Answers for Freshers

Q. Describe a tablet.
Answer: A tablet is a solid dosage form. It contains active pharmaceutical ingredients with excipients.

Q. Define active pharmaceutical ingredients.
Answer: Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) is the primary and essential ingredient in any drug formulation. It is a biologically active component liable for the drug effect.

Q: What is the excipient and provide two examples with their use?
Answer: An excipient is an inactive or inert component of the drug formulation that helps improve the tablet’s characteristics. Examples include diluents and lubricants. Diluents and lubricants are also used to enhance the flow properties during tablet compression.

Q: Give examples of diluents and lubricants.
Answer: Diluents – Mannitol, sorbitol, starch, lactose, sucrose, etc. Lubricants – Magnesium stearate, calcium stearate, stearic acid, etc.

Q: What is the method used for granule formulation?
Answer: The methods used for granule formulation are wet granulation, dry granulation, and direct compression.

Q: Explain wet granulation, dry granulation, and direct compression methods.
Answer: Wet granulation involves mixing, wet sieving, drying, dry screening, and compression. API and excipients are mixed well. Then, a binder solution/granulation fluid is added to form a wet mass. The wet mass is screened and the granules are dried. These dried granules are screened again to obtain a compatible size for tablet preparation. Finally, the same-sized granules are blended and compressed. Dry granulation involves mixing, slugging, screening, and compression. API and excipients are mixed well, and particles are aggregated under high pressure to form slugs. These slugs are screened to obtain uniform granules for tablet recompression.
Direct compression is a method in which a blend of API and excipients is directly compressed to form tablets without changing the physical nature of the material itself.

Q. Name any three problems that come during compression.
Answer: MottlingCapping, and lamination
Mottling- unequal color distribution of a tablet. 
Capping- Partial or complete separation of a tabletop or bottom crowns. 
Lamination– Separation of tablets into two or more layers.

Q. What is the difference between picking and sticking?
Answer: Picking is due to powder adhesion to the punch faces. The localized portion missing on the surface of the tablet. 
Sticking is the Adhesion of the tablet’s localized portion to the punch faces leading to a rough and dull appearance.

Q. Define capsule and the way many sorts of capsules are available.
Answer: capsules are solid dosage forms. It contains API and excipients enclosed in a water-soluble shell made from gelatin. Capsules are of two types: Hard gelatin and soft Gelatin capsules.

Q. Explain hard gelatin capsules.
Answer: A hard gelatin capsule contains two parts called body and cap: body, a long narrow section. Cap, a smaller comprehensive portion, fixes over the body.

Q. Tell about the defects that come in Capsules:
Answer: Empty capsule, Cracked capsule, Dented, Telescopic, Unlocked capsule, Partially locked, improper polished, Printing defects, Caps depth variation, locking length, and Disintegration time problem.

Q. Define parenteral.
Answer: Sterile dosage forms are administered by injections through one more layer of the skin.

Q. What is pyrogen?
Answer: They are the metabolic products of microorganisms produced from living or dead organisms.

Q. Difference between water for injection (WFI) and sterile water for injection (SWFI)? 
Answer: WFI – Purified water without any pyrogen SWFI – Purified and sterile water with no pyrogen

Q. Difference between an ampule and a Vial?
Answer: Ampule is a straightforward dose unit, and Vial is the multiple-dose unit.

Pharmaceutical Interview Questions for Executives and Higher Levels will be updated shortly:

1. What types of problems have you faced during the production?
2. During the Audit, Which types of observations were found in your Department, and what action you took?
3. You have an urgent batch to dispatch, and at the same time, you face a machine breakdown. Then what will you do?

Q. What Is URS?
Answer: URS stands for User Requirements Specification. It states the requirements of the users for the system and is written before the validation process. The user requirement specification is created by the End Users department, with the involvement of Quality Assurance. Performance Qualification is tested based on the requirements described in URS. Specifications are not intended to be technical documents; they are meant for readers who only need a specification.

Q. What Is 21 CFR Part 11?
Answer: 21 CFR part 11 related to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Guidelines on electronic data records and signatures in the US. These come under Part 11 and are considered trustworthy, reliable, and similar to paper records.

Pharmaceutical Interview Questions Related to Documentations:

Q. What Is A Validation Plan?
Answer: Validation Plans are written before proceeding with the predefined goals and scope of validation projects. Validation Plans must include the validation process data, names, and signatures who are participating in validation projects. Also, have the timeline frame for completing the validation project.

Q. Describe an Iq Document.
Answer: Installation Qualifications documents consist of a range of tested cases to ensure the proper system installation within pharmaceuticals. For this design, specifications are used to install the system properly. Installation Qualifications are performed before completing Operational Qualification and Performance Qualifications.

Q. What Is An Oq Document?
Answer: Operational Qualifications documents consist of a range of tested cases to ensure proper functioning. The operational qualification test requirements are defined in the Functional Requirements—operational qualification is to be done before it comes into use.

Q. What Is A Pq Document?
Answer: Performance Qualifications documents consist of a range of tested cases to ensure that a System performs as per predefined criteria or operational qualifications. Before the system is released, these tests are sometimes conducted with power users.

Q. Describe the Validation Summary Report.
Answer: Validation Summary Reports provide an in-depth view of the entire validation project. When regulatory auditors review validation projects, first, they typically start by reviewing the summary report. The validation summary report should include, A description of the validation project, All tests performed, and test results.

Q. What Is A Change Request?
Answer: Change Control may be a general term describing the method of managing how changes are introduced into a controlled System. Invalidation suggests how changes are made to the validated system. Change Control is required to demonstrate to regulatory authorities that validated systems remain in check after system changes. Change Control systems are a favorite target of regulatory auditors because they vividly demonstrate an organizational capacity to control their systems.

Pharmaceutical Interview Questions related to Stability studies:

Q. Why do we do Stress Testing In Stability Studies?
Answer: Stress testing helps identify the degradation of a particular product or a group of products, which can help determine the path of the degradation and the intrinsic stability of the molecule. The nature of the study depends on which types of products and molecules are involved in testing.

Q. Brief About Ich Stability Guidelines?
Answer: Q1 A- Stability testing of new drug substances & products.

Q. What Are Significant Changes In Stability Testing?
Answer: A 5% change in an essay for the initial value.

Q. Define the Climatic Zones For testing stability & storage conditions for long terms.
Answer: ICH STABILITY ZONES: Type of Climate Zone I: Temperate zone II: Mediterranean/subtropical Zone III: Hot dry zone IV: (a) Hot humid/tropical zone IV (b) ASEAN testing conditions hot/higher humidity, Long term Storage condition Climatic Zone Temperature.

Q. Recommended Bio Burden Limits Of Purified Water & WFI?
Answer: The recommended bioburden limit for the purified water is 100 CFU/mL and 10 CFU/mL for the water for injection (WFI).

Q. What is a dead leg?
Answer: dead leg where liquid can become stagnant in the piping system and not be exchanged during flushing.

Pharmaceutical Interview Questions and answers related to QC will be updated shortly

Essential Questions Related to Packing Departments:

Q. What will you do if the leak test fails during the process?
Answer: Immediately stop the packing process and check for Sealing temperature.
Verify for any possible changes like foil width, knurling, etc.
Check & quarantine the packed quantity of packed goods between the last satisfactory test and test failure.
Inform to Head and IPQA person, the IPQA person Collects random samples & does a retest.
Blisters from the leak test passed containers shall be allowed to go further, and the rest must be de-blistered/ de-foiled accordingly.

Read all Pharmaceutical interview Questions/answers Related to Packing.

Interview Question from the Compression Department:

Q. How Many Tablets Shall Be Taken For Checking Friability?
Answer: For tablets with a unit mass equal to or less than 650 mg, take a sample of whole tablets corresponding to 6.

Q. What is the formula for calculating the loss in weight during the friability test?
Ans: %Weight loss = Initial Weight – Final Weight X 100/ Initial Weight

Q. How do you determine Pass Or Fail Criteria For the Friability Test?
Answer: Generally, the test is run once. The pills fail the test if any cracked, cleaved, or broken tablets are present in the tablet sample after tumbling. If the results are doubtful or weight loss is greater than the targeted value, repeat the test three times and calculate the means. The mean weight loss from the three samples is under limits. Then the result is satisfactory.

Q. What Is The Fall Height Of The Tablets In The Friabilator During Friability Testing?
Answer: 6 inches, friability apparatus fall height is given as per predetermine criteria, and RPM is also set at 25 rounds per minute, so RPM justifies that tablets fall only at the height of 6 inches when we run at 25 RPM. Otherwise, tablets can fall at different angles so that the result can be different.

Q. Why Do We Check Hardness During Inprocess Checks?
Answer: at the start of the batch, we need pressure adjustments on the tableting machine. Hardness can affect the disintegration time. If a tablet is too hard, it may not disintegrate in the crucial period. And if the tablet is too soft, it will not withstand handling and subsequent processing, such as problems during coating, packaging, and transportation.

Q. Which Influence Tablet Hardness?
Answer: a compression force or Binder quantity (More binder, more hardness) and Moisture content in granules.

Q. Position Of Oblong Tablets To Be Placed In Hardness Tester To Determine The Hardness? Lengthwise / Widthwise?
Answer: The position of oblong tablets should be lengthwise because the probability of breakage is more in a prolonged position than widthwise.

Q. Which Type Of Tablets Are Exempted From Disintegration Testing?
Answer: Chewable Tablets for, e.g., vitamines tablets

Q. Which Capsule Is Bigger – Size ‘0’ Or Size 1’?
Answer: ‘0’ size

Q. What Is the Mesh Aperture Of Dt Apparatus?
Answer: 1.8 -2.2mm (#10)

Q. What Is The Pass/fail Criteria For the Disintegration Test?
Answer: If one or two tablets/capsules fail to disintegrate completely, repeat the test on another 12 additional dosage units. If not fewer than 16 out of 18 tablets/capsules tested, the requirement is to be met are disintegrated completely.

Q. Name of Method used For Checking “uniformity Of Dosage Unit”?
Answer: Content uniformity

Q. Recommended Frequency of movement of Basket-rack Assembly In A DT Apparatus?
Answer: 28 – 32 cycles per minute.

Q. How many Tablets/capsules are allowed to deviate When Performing The ‘uniformity Of Weight’ Of The Dosage Unit?
Answer: Not more than two of the individual weights can deviate from the average weight by more than the percentage given in the pharmacopeia. None can differ more than twice that percentage—weight Variation limits for Tablets.

Q. Why is Positive pressure recommended in the corridor area in pharmaceuticals?
Answer: Positive pressure is recommended in the corridor compared to the process area to minimize or prevent cross-contamination of the products. Meanwhile, a slightly negative pressure is kept in the process area.

Q. What is the possible reason for sticking tablets in the compression machine?
Answer: sticking may be due to less dry granules. Too little or improper lubrication can also lead to sticking. Sticking can occur because of the additional high amount of binder and hygroscopic.

Q. What Are In Process Checks?
Answer: In-process checks are performed during an activity to monitor and, if necessary, adjust the process to ensure that the product conforms to its specifications.

Q. What Is The Difference Between Disintegration And Dissolution?
Answer: Disintegration is a process in which an oral dosage form falls apart into smaller aggregates. (Disintegration time is the ‘break up’ time of a tablet/caplets). Dissolution is a process by which a solid substance enters the solvent to yield a solution. It is controlled by the affinity between the solid substance and the solver.

Important Pharmaceutical interview Questions related to equipment validation/calibration:

Q. We do the calibration of instruments or equipment at regular intervals. Why?
Answer: Sometimes, it might be to “Drift” in instruments, so To ensure the proper functioning of equipment, we do the calibration. So it is recommended to calibrate and recalibrate the measuring devices and appliances on predetermined time intervals to gain confidence in the accuracy of the data.

Q. We do check three batches in Validation. Why not one or three?
Answer: Three batches are enough to identify trend analysis and provide adequate evaluation and reproducibility data. The first batch quality is assumed to be accidental (co-incidental), the Second batch quality is assumed as regular (accidental), and the Third batch quality shows Validation (confirmation).

Q. Explain About the Revalidation Criteria Of the AHU System.
Answer: according to regulatory standards, AHU shall be revalidated from time to time. AHU shall also be revalidated in the following cases: When the basic design of AHU is changed, When cleanroom volume is altered, When new equipment is installed When construction is carried out, that calls for revalidation.

Q. What Needs To Be Checked During Ahu Validation?
Answer: During AHU validation, the following tests shall be carried out: Filter efficiency test, Air velocity & a number of air changes, Airflow pattern (visualization), Differential pressure, temperature, RH, Static condition, qualification of area, and Non-viable count.

Q. What Is The Difference Between Calibration And Validation?
Answer: Calibration demonstrates that a particular instrument or device produces results within specified limits by comparisons with those produced by a reference or traceable standard over an appropriate range of measurements. In contrast, Validation is a documented program that provides a high degree of assurance that a specific.

Note: Visit regularly for more Pharmaceutical interview Questions with answers to be uploaded soon.

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