17 Chemotherapy Nurse Interview Questions and Answers

Learn what skills and qualities interviewers are looking for from a chemotherapy nurse, what questions you can expect, and how you should go about answering them.

Chemotherapy nurses are responsible for administering chemotherapy to cancer patients. They work with oncologists to develop treatment plans and monitor patients’ progress. They also educate patients and their families about chemotherapy and its side effects.

If you’re looking for a chemotherapy nurse job, you’ll likely need to go through a job interview. To help you prepare for the interview, we’ve gathered some common chemotherapy nurse interview questions and answers.

Are you comfortable working with patients who are in pain or experiencing other symptoms as a result of their disease or treatment?

Interviewers may ask this question to assess your compassion and empathy skills. They want to know that you can provide compassionate care while also maintaining a professional demeanor. In your answer, try to emphasize how much you enjoy helping patients feel better or manage their symptoms.

Example: “I have worked with many patients who are in pain or experiencing other symptoms as a result of their disease or treatment. I find it very rewarding to help them feel more comfortable or reduce their symptoms. For example, when working with a patient who was nauseous from chemotherapy, I helped them create an anti-nausea plan so they could avoid getting sick during the day. This allowed them to get out of bed and take part in activities like going for a walk outside.”

What are some of the most important qualities for a successful chemotherapy nurse?

This question can help the interviewer determine if you have the skills and abilities necessary to succeed in this role. When answering, it can be helpful to mention a few of these qualities and explain why they are important.

Example: “I believe that empathy is one of the most important qualities for a successful chemotherapy nurse. This job requires us to work with patients who may be experiencing challenging side effects from their treatment or dealing with other health issues. Having an empathetic attitude can allow me to better understand what my patients are going through and provide them with more compassionate care. Another quality I think is important is patience. Patients often ask many questions about their treatment, and I find that having patience can help me answer their questions thoroughly without getting frustrated.”

How would you comfort a patient who is feeling anxious or afraid about starting their chemotherapy treatment?

This question can give the interviewer insight into how you interact with patients and their families. It also shows them your interpersonal skills, empathy and compassion. When answering this question, it can be helpful to describe a specific situation in which you helped a patient feel more comfortable or confident about starting treatment.

Example: “When I first met my current patient, she was very anxious about starting her chemotherapy treatments. She had many questions about what to expect during each stage of treatment and expressed concerns about some of the side effects she’d heard about from other patients. I spent time listening to her concerns and answered all of her questions as thoroughly as possible. I also referred her to our hospital’s patient support group for people undergoing chemotherapy so that she could meet others who were going through similar experiences.”

What is your process for documenting a patient’s medical history and treatment progress?

The interviewer may ask you this question to understand how you organize and manage patient information. Your answer should include a specific example of how you document medical history and treatment progress, as well as the benefits of your process for patients and other healthcare professionals.

Example: “I use an electronic health record system that allows me to enter all pertinent information about my patients’ medical histories, including their current medications, allergies, lab results and vital signs. I also take notes during each chemotherapy session so I can keep track of any changes in the patient’s condition or reactions to treatment. These notes are especially helpful when I am working with multiple patients at once because they allow me to quickly reference important details without having to interrupt the nurses administering treatment.”

Provide an example of a time when you had to provide emotional support to a patient or their family members.

Emotional support is an important part of the job, and interviewers want to know how you would handle this situation. Use your answer to highlight your interpersonal skills and ability to comfort patients or their loved ones.

Example: “When I first started working as a chemotherapy nurse, I had a patient who was very nervous about starting treatment. She told me that she was scared because her husband was also undergoing treatment for cancer at another facility. I asked if it would be okay if I called his doctor to see if we could get him transferred so they could both receive care at our hospital. The doctors were able to make arrangements, and the woman’s husband was able to start treatment right away. Seeing that made her feel much better, and she thanked me for my help.”

If a patient has difficulty understanding your instructions, how would you communicate with them?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you interact with patients and their families. It can also show them your communication skills, which are an important part of being a nurse. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention that you would use simple language and provide visual aids if needed.

Example: “I have worked with many patients who had limited English proficiency or hearing loss. I always try to speak clearly and slowly when explaining instructions. If they still seem confused, I will write down my instructions for them and provide pictures or diagrams as well. I find that these methods often help patients understand what I am saying.”

What would you do if a patient’s family members were interfering with their care?

This question can help interviewers understand how you handle challenging situations. In your answer, explain what steps you would take to resolve the situation and ensure that the patient’s care is not compromised.

Example: “I have had this experience before at my previous job. The family members were very concerned about their loved one’s treatment plan and wanted to make changes. I explained to them that it was important for me to follow the doctor’s orders exactly as they are written. If there is a change in the patient’s condition or if the medication isn’t working, then we can discuss other options. However, I told them that changing the treatment plan without consulting the doctor first could be dangerous. They understood and agreed to wait until the next appointment to talk with the doctor about any concerns.”

How well do you perform under pressure?

This question is an opportunity to show your interviewer that you can handle stressful situations and still perform well. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention a time when you had to work under pressure and how you managed the situation successfully.

Example: “I have experience working in a high-pressure environment as a chemotherapy nurse. I find that my ability to remain calm helps me stay focused on my tasks and provides reassurance for patients who may be nervous about their treatment. In my last position, there was a patient who was very anxious before her chemotherapy session. I talked with her to learn more about what she was feeling and helped her understand the process better. She felt much calmer after our conversation and even asked if we could talk again before her next session.”

Do you have experience administering injections?

This question can help the interviewer determine your comfort level with administering injections. If you have experience, describe how comfortable you are and what types of injections you’ve administered in the past. If you don’t have experience, you can explain that you’re willing to learn or discuss a different way you could administer an injection if needed.

Example: “I haven’t had much experience administering injections, but I’m very comfortable learning new skills. In my previous role as a chemotherapy nurse, I was responsible for administering IVs, which is similar to administering injections. I would be happy to shadow another nurse who has more experience administering injections so I can learn from them.”

When is it appropriate to call a patient’s doctor?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you handle challenging situations and whether you have a good relationship with your patients’ doctors. In your answer, explain that you only call the doctor when it is absolutely necessary to ensure the patient receives the best care possible.

Example: “I always try to solve any issues I encounter on my own before calling the doctor. However, if I am unsure of what course of treatment to take or if there are any serious complications, I will immediately call the doctor for advice. It is important to me that all of my patients receive the best care possible, so I want to make sure they get the right treatment at the right time.”

We want our nurses to be able to work long hours when necessary. Are you comfortable staying late or coming in early to help with patient care?

This question helps the interviewer determine if you are willing to work long hours when necessary. It also shows them that you understand how important it is for patients to receive care at all times of the day and night. Your answer should show your willingness to stay late or come in early as needed, but you can also mention that you will always be on time for scheduled shifts.

Example: “I am happy to work any shift that is required of me. I know that sometimes we have to stay late or come in early to help our patients. However, I pride myself on being a reliable nurse who is always on time for my scheduled shifts.”

Describe your process for preparing a chemotherapy treatment.

This question is a great way to assess your knowledge of the process for administering chemotherapy. It also allows you to demonstrate your ability to work as part of a team and communicate with other medical professionals.

Example: “I always start by reviewing my patient’s chart, including their current medications, allergies and any recent lab results. I then check in with the physician to make sure there are no changes to the treatment plan or dosage amounts. Next, I prepare all of the necessary equipment and drugs needed for the treatment. Finally, I administer the treatment according to the doctor’s orders.”

What makes you a good fit for this chemotherapy nurse position?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your qualifications and how you feel about the job. Before your interview, make a list of reasons why you are qualified for this position. Focus on skills that relate to the job description and emphasize any experience or education that relates to the role.

Example: “I am passionate about helping others, which is why I became a nurse in the first place. In my previous positions, I have developed strong communication skills and an ability to work well with patients and other medical professionals. My compassion for others makes me a great fit for this chemotherapy nurse position.”

Which types of cancer do you have the most experience treating?

This question can help the interviewer determine your level of experience with a specific type of cancer. It can also show them how much you enjoy working with that particular type of cancer and whether or not you have any reservations about treating it. When answering this question, try to focus on the positive aspects of the types of cancer you’ve treated in the past.

Example: “I have extensive experience treating breast cancer patients. I find that many women are nervous when they first come in for treatment, but once we start talking about their treatment plan, they feel more at ease. Breast cancer is treatable, and I love being able to provide support and guidance during such an important time.”

What do you think is the most rewarding part of being a chemotherapy nurse?

This question can help the interviewer get to know you as a person and how you view your job. It also helps them understand what motivates you in your work. Your answer should reflect your personal values and goals, but it can also give insight into what kind of patient care you would provide if hired.

Example: “I think the most rewarding part of being a chemotherapy nurse is seeing patients overcome their illness. I love helping people feel better and knowing that my care has helped someone live longer or more comfortably with their disease. Seeing the positive results of our treatments makes me feel like we’re doing something important.”

How often do you perform physical assessments on your patients?

This question can help the interviewer determine how comfortable you are with physical assessments and whether you have experience performing them. You can answer this question by explaining your comfort level with physical assessments, describing a time when you performed one on a patient or discussing what you would do if you were uncomfortable performing them.

Example: “I perform physical assessments on my patients at least once per shift to ensure they’re in good health. I find that it’s important for me to perform these assessments because it allows me to notice any changes in their condition more quickly than if I only monitored their vitals. If I was uncomfortable performing physical assessments, I would ask my team members who are more experienced to perform them.”

There is a shortage of nurses in the industry right now. Why do you want to work as a nurse at our facility?

This question is a great way for the interviewer to learn more about your motivations and goals. It’s important that you are passionate about working as a nurse, especially in an industry where there is a shortage of qualified candidates. When answering this question, make sure to highlight why you’re excited to work at their facility specifically.

Example: “I want to work as a nurse because I love helping people. In my last role, I worked with patients who were going through chemotherapy treatments. I was able to help them feel better by providing emotional support and administering medications. I’m excited to continue doing this kind of work here because I know how much it can improve someone’s quality of life.”


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