Nursing Interview Questions and Answers : Prepare for your nursing job interview with this collection of common nursing interview questions. Know what an interviewer is looking for, and plan your effective interview preparation with expert tips and guidance
During your nursing interview, expect to be asked questions about patient care, your nursing skills and experience, crisis management, and more. The interviewer’s goal is often to see your level of compassion, how you function in high-stress situations, and what key skills you have that will make you a successful patient care team member, such as adaptability, integrity , flexibility and accountability.
Proactive, thoughtful interview preparation is the key to showing why you are the best candidate for the job. This guide gets you started with a list of common interview questions for nurses, along with the types of answers the interviewer is looking for from you.
Common Nursing Interview Questions and How to Answer Them
Whether you are an experienced nurse or just starting your career, here is a guide with sample nursing interview questions and answers to help you prepare for your next job interview.
If you are a nurse preparing to interview for a new nursing job in 2023, you will want to be prepared for the most common interview questions. In this blog post, we are breaking down the most common nursing interview questions and how to answer them.
Common Topics for Nursing Interview Questions
Since nurses care for patients, provide continuity of care, and interact with various members of a patient’s interdisciplinary team, a lot of nursing interview questions revolve around:
- Patient Care
- team work
Use the Method to Answer Nursing Interview Questions
- Work. What tasks were you responsible for in the position? State your contribution clearly and concisely.
- Situation. Think of a similar situation that had a successful outcome.
- action. What action did you take? It’s time to highlight your best qualities and brag a little on yourself.
- Result. What was your result? How specifically did you contribute to the result? What did you learn or learned from the experience?
What Are Some Nursing Interview Questions I May Receive?
1. Tell me about yourself.
To answer this question succinctly, focus on something about yourself that relates to the nursing role you’re interviewing for.
Remember that this is not an invitation to talk about your personal life or other unrelated experiences. If the role is part of a complex care team that requires integrated care with other professionals, describe an experience when your collaborative efforts helped positively impact patient care in a team setting. Some nursing qualifications that you might want to touch on in your answer include:
- Communicate effectively with patients and families
- Advocate for patients and families
- Collaborate with other members of the health care team
- Provide culturally competent care
- promoting health and wellness
- provide evidence-based care
- Assess patient needs and plan care accordingly
- Provide emotional support to patients and families
- Teach patients and families about health conditions
You can highlight any technical skills needed in the nursing job role you are applying for and explain how you have built them through your career to date.
2. What do you like most about the nursing profession?
The interviewer wants to know about your passion for nursing, so let it shine. Focus on what makes your work worthwhile, such as patient relationships or growth opportunities. You might want to talk about why you chose a career in nursing as well. It is an essential part of your career narrative. People connect with information best when it is part of a story. Tell the story of your career so that the rest of the interview can be framed in that.
3. How well do you work with other staff, nurses and doctors?
When you answer this question, you need to understand what the interviewer wants you to ask. Emphasize your interpersonal skills, such as teamwork, patience and active listening, in answering the question.
For example, whenever I give patients a new treatment or medication, I am a I make sure to consult a senior nurse or doctor. Often, doctors know the medical history of their patients in detail, so I find it best to consult them rather than focus on patient demands.”
4. What is your most important achievement as a nurse?
The question really is, “How do you define your achievement?” Talk about any nursing-related work you’ve done that has made a difference or positive impact in someone’s life. Link your answer back to the competencies required in the job role.
5. How do you handle a difficult patient?
If you receive this question, consider giving an example of a time when you faced a difficult patient and helped improve the patient’s outcome.
Example: “I spent a year in a geriatric care facility and had to work with Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. Some of them may be considered difficult patients because they will actively try to harm themselves. It takes a lot of patience to help such patients. Often they just want to be treated like adults and have some autonomy, but, it’s important to make sure they eat, sleep, and take their medicines properly. As a nurse, I had to make them comfortable with my presence before I could take care of them.”
6. What makes a big difference?
Share your thoughts about what it takes to make a difference in a nurse’s day-to-day duties, striving for effective teamwork, and why it makes a “great difference.” Give examples from your past innings which were challenging, rewarding and learning experiences.
Some of the competencies you want to highlight in your answer include:
- Work well with others when under pressure
- Communicate effectively to improve care
- Stay Organized When Managing Heavy Levels of Care
- Providing safe care in challenging situations
- keep calm under pressure
- troubleshoot problems
7. How would your patients, colleagues and doctors describe you?
The purpose of this question is to understand who you are and how you work. When answering this question, think about what makes you a good nurse. Focus on your nursing skills, such as being able to multitask, be adaptable, and have strong communication skills. Make sure you stay positive.
8. What does compassion and caring mean to you?
Nursing is a job that above all requires compassion and caring. Make sure you demonstrate empathy in your answer and discuss how being kind to others makes things easier for everyone involved.
9. How do you handle a disagreement with a doctor?
When you answer this question, emphasize your interpersonal skills such as active listening, teamwork and your ability to follow the chain of command when necessary. In your response, mention that you first worked directly with the doctor to resolve the discrepancy.
Example: “Doctors can handle a lot more patients than nurses. Sometimes for Doctors it becomes difficult for them to keep track of medical records and patient history accurately. When there is a discrepancy between the doctor’s instructions and the patient’s medical record, I discuss it in detail with the doctor to resolve it before taking any further action. When we can’t resolve it, we mutually decide to refer it to a supervisor.”
10. How do you manage to work in a high pressure environment?
A great way to answer this question might be: “I’m very well organized, which helps me prioritize my workload and manage my time efficiently.
You can also identify that the job can be challenging at times and describe how you maintain your health and well-being by getting enough rest and exercise and making time for hobbies and socializing.
11. How do you deal with workplace stress?
To describe the techniques you have developed for stress relief. You can discuss hobbies, support groups, exercise regimens, and other ways to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
I make sure I take out enough time on weekends for recreational activities at home or with friends. When work gets intense during peak hours, I do simple breathing exercises to calm myself down.
12. Tell me about a time when you had to handle a difficult patient.
You might mention a case where you resolved conflicting priorities with the patient or their family, or you needed to seek additional time with an anxious or worried patient. Your answer should show that you empathize with patients and can think on your feet.
Talk about your active listening skills, ability to probe with questions, ability to reassure patients, and even use your sense of humor when appropriate.
13. How do you deal with a situation where your replacement doesn’t arrive on time?
When a replacement doesn’t arrive on time, some solutions you can offer for this situation include contacting your replacement while you’re down for a few minutes after your shift or completing responsibilities before your coworker arrives. Find someone else to do.
Additional Nursing Interview Questions
Interviewers may also ask the following questions during the interview:
Common interview questions
To get to know you better, interviewers can ask these questions:
- How would your coworkers describe you?
- What is your biggest strength and weakness?
- Describe a time when you served as a leader in a group.
- What are your career goals in the next few years?
- Why are you leaving your previous position?
- tell more about you.
Interview questions about nursing experience
Interviewers may ask the following questions to evaluate your personal experiences in nursing:
- Why do you want to become a nurse?
- What do you think is the most rewarding aspect of this field of work?
- What do you think is the most difficult aspect of this field of work?
- What special skills have you mastered as a nurse?
- What experience do you have in this specialty?
- What do you do when you are in a situation you are unfamiliar with?
Interview questions relating to the organisation and the position
Interviewers may ask you the following questions to understand whether you are suitable for the job:
- What work would you like to do for our organization?
- How will you uphold the mission and values of this organization?
- What makes you a good candidate for this position?
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How Do I Prepare For A Nursing Interview?
Once you have prepared answers to a few interview questions, follow these tips for further preparation to speak with the hiring manager:
- Familiarize yourself with the job role and description.
- Research the company or organization that is hiring.
- Create an effective resume and make multiple copies.
- Do mock interviews to develop your confidence.
- Arrive early for the interview.
- Take time to relax before the interview begins.
- dress appropriately.