Pharma interview questions and answers – For Formulation production and R&D jobs:

Pharma interview notes:

We have already provided department wise pharma interview question and answers. Also provided qualifying exam papers for interview. Here we covered some more interview Q&A. these notes are also useful for interview. We are dedicated to provide some more interview questions as shown below in the near future. We also provide departmental wise interview notes continuously. Following Q&A are belongs to pharmaceutics which are useful for the production and R&D jobs.

What is corrosion?

It is a metal deterioration process. Due to chemical or chemical reactions or environmental interactions with surface metal, metal surface is gradually destructed. It is an unwanted process. Corrosion leads to machinery damage, product contamination and replacement of damaged machinery increase economic burden to the plant. Corrosion should be avoided by taking preventive measures.

What is passivation?

It is a procedure which makes the stainless steel more rust resistant by reducing the chemical reactivity of surface. Usually citric acid or nitric acid is used to do this process. It removes the free iron from the stainless steel surface. A protective oxide layer will be formed with inert in nature. This layer will less likely react with chemicals or air in the environment. If more layer is formed It will more resistant to corrosion less reactivity with chemicals.

What is the difference between dry bulb and wet bulb temperatures?

These are the temperatures useful to find the state of humid air.

The dry bulb temperature and wet bulb temperature is known as “air temperature” and “adiabatic saturation temperature” respectively.

Dry bulb temperature measured using a thermometer, bulb of the thermometer will be exposed freely in the air. While measuring the wet bulb temperature, bulb will be wrapped in a wet muslin cloth.

Pharma interview notes

What are azeotropes?

Azeotropes are also known as constant boiling mixtures. It is a mixture of liquids that act as a pure liquid having a constant boiling point. The boiling point may be higher or lower than individual component in the mixture’s boiling point. Azeotropes contains same composition of components in both liquid and vapour phase.

For eg:

water boiling temperature : 100 0C,

Ethanol boiling point : 78.3 0C

When a mixture of liquid composed 95% water and 5% ethanol by volume. This azeotrophic mixture will constantly boil at 78.2 0C. By using boiling method or simple distillation, we can not separate water and ethanol from this azeotrophic mixture.

If the mixture contains two liquids, is known as binary azeotropes. If it contains three liquids, it is known as ternary azeotropes.

Mention a few methods to enhance the solubility of poorly soluble drugs?

Various methods are used to enhance the drug solubility are as follows

– Particle size reduction

– Drug salt formation

– Solid dispersion

– Preparing Nano suspension

– Using surfactants

What is lyophilisation?

It is also known as freeze drying technique. In involves following steps

– Freezing: In this step, sterilised partially stoppered containers (drug+ excipients+ solvent) placed in the  freeze drying chamber.

-Primary drying(Sublimation): To sublimate water, pressure is reduced and heat increased. Ice crystals directly converted to vapour bypassing the liquid state. 95% water removed in this phase.

-Secondary drying (Desorption): Remaining bounded water removed in this phase. Temperature is increased more than the primary drying temperature. Then the vacuum is broken and filled with inert gas and sealed.   

This technique is used to preserve the biodegradable materials.

pharma interview notes which are not covered in the previous posts.
What is annealing?

Annealing is also known as slow freezing. When some compounds (ex. Amorphous compounds like mannitol) will not complete crystals. In this case, annealing is used. After forming the crystals, temperature is cycled. (Like -50 C to -30 C for few hours then back to -50 C). This process helps to form larger crystals.

What is osmosis?

It is a phenomenon. When dilute solution and concentrated solution separated by a semipermeable membrane. The  solvent passes from dilute solution to concentrated solution. This pressure is known as osmotic pressure.

Any fluid is injected into the body should be isotonic in nature. If hypertonic fluid injected into the body, it crenation of blood cells. If hypotonic fluid injected into the body, solvent passes in to blood cells causes haemolysis.

Mention a few solubility terms?

Very soluble- 1 part of solute soluble in less than 1 part of solvent

Freely soluble  -1 part of solute soluble in 1-10 parts of solvent

Soluble – 1 part of solute soluble in 10-30 parts of solvent

Sparingly soluble – 1 part of solute soluble in 30-100 parts of solvent

Slightly soluble – 1 part of solute soluble in 100 -1000 parts of solvent

Very slightly soluble – 1 part of solute soluble in 1000-10000 parts of solvent

Practically insoluble – 1 part of solute soluble in more than 10000 parts of solvent

Related: Clinical trials overview

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Pharma interview questions for formulation production jobs

Pharma interview questions for production jobs discussed in this post. Production department present in formulation plant as well as bulk(api) plant. Formulation production jobs offered for b pharmacy fresher’s. By keeping them in mind this information produced. Here we have not discussed any questions from HR point of view. These are all technical questions for production job aspirants.

Reputed pharma companies conduct a qualifying exam for selecting candidate for the interview. Qualifying exam tests your basic knowledge regarding the pharmacy subjects. It may include questions for any subject. It do not have particular pattern, it’s purely a pharma company choice. These question and answers helpful to you for succeeding the interview. Pharma interview questions for production jobs are given below. Click here to see the pharma interview exam for for freshers before selecting the interview.

Pharma interview questions

1. Define the tablet?

Ans) Tablet is a solid dosage form. It contains the Active pharmaceutical ingredient(API) along with the excipients.

2. Define API?

Ans) API, known as Active pharmaceutical Ingredient. First and important ingredient in any drug formulation. It is a biologically active component responsible for the drug effect.

3. What is excipient and give any two examples with their use?

Ans) Inactive or inert component of the drug formulation, helpful for improving the tablet characteristics.


Diluents, useful for increasing the bulk volume of a tablet. Also used for improving the flow properties while compressing the tablet.

Lubricants, useful for improving the flow properties while compressing the tablet.

4. Give the examples for diluents and lubricants?

Ans) Diluents- Mannitol, sorbitol, starch, lactose, sucrose etc.

Lubricants – Magnesium stearate, calcium stearate, stearic acid etc.

5. Name the tablet preparation methods?

Ans) Wet granulation, Dry granulation, Direct compression.

6. Explain the wet granulation, dry granulation and direct compression?


Wet granulation: It involves mixing, wet sieving, drying, dry screening and compression. API and excipients are mixed well, then binder solution/ granulation fluid added to form a wet mass, wet mass is screening through a suitable sieve, formed granules are dried. Dried granules are again screened through a sieve. It helps to break down the granule agglomerates to produce a compatible size for preparing  the tablet. These same size granules blended and compressed.

Dry granulation: It involves mixing, slugging, screening and compression. API and Excipients are mixed well and particles are aggregated under high pressure for forming slugs. These slugs are screened to form uniform granules for compressing the tablets.

Direct compression: In this method, blend of API and Excipients are directly compressed to form tablets without changing physical nature of material itself.

Also read: Clinical trials overview

7. Name any three tablet processing problems and explain it?

Ans) Mottling, Capping and lamination.

Mottling- unequal colour distribution of a tablet.

Capping- Partial or complete separation of a tablet top or bottom crowns.

Lamination- Separation of tablets into two or more layers.

8. What is the difference between picking and sticking?

Ans) Picking- Because of adhesion to the punch faces, Localised portion missing on the surface of the tablet.

Sticking- Adhesion of tablet localised portion to the punch faces resulting in rough and dull appearance.

9. Define capsule and how many types of capsules are available?

Ans) It is a solid dosage form. It contains API and excipients enclosed in a water soluble shell made up of gelatin.  Two types of capsules are available. Hard gelatin and soft Gelatin capsules.

10 .Explain about hard gelatin capsules?

Ans) It contains two parts called body and cap. Body, a long narrow section. Cap,  a smaller wide portion, it fixes over the body.

11) What is the biggest and smallest capsule size?

Ans) Biggest capsule size -000, Smallest capsule size – 5.

12) Define parenterals?

Ans) Sterile dosage forms administered by injections thorough one more layers of the skin.

13) Explain about Water For Injection(WFI)?

Ans) Purified water without any pyrogen, prepared by distillation or reverse osmosis.

14) What is pyrogen?

Ans) Metabolic products of microorganisms. Produced from living or dead microorganisms.

15) Difference between water for injection(WFI) and sterile water for injection(SWFI)?

Ans) WFI –  Purified water without any pyrogen

SWFI – Purified and sterile water without any pyrogen

16) Difference between ampule and vial?

Ans) Ampule- simple dose unit. Vial- Multiple dose unit.

17) Use of  additives in the parenteral formulations?

Ans) Additives used for increasing the stability of solutions.

18) Explain about different types of additives with examples?

Ans) Anti oxidants – Used for preventing the auto oxidation of medicament/drug in the formulation.

e.g: Ascorbic acid , Butylated Hydroxy Anisole(BHA), Butylated Hydroxy Toulene(BHT)

Synergists: Enhances the activity of anti oxidants.

e.g: Citric acid, Citarconic acid, Phosphoric acid, Tartaric acid etc.

Preservatives- Helps to prevent the microbial growth in the formulation.

e.g: Benzalkonium chloride, phenyl mercuric acetate, Thiomersol.

19) Give the examples of tonicity modifiers?

Ans) Sodium chloride , Dextrose.

20) Which colours used in parenteral formulations?

Ans) Colours will not be used in the parenteral formulations.

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