Interview

22 CNA Interview Questions and Answers

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

Certified nurse aides, or CNAs, provide basic care to patients in hospitals, nursing homes, and other long-term care facilities. They may also help patients with activities of daily living, such as bathing, dressing, and grooming. CNAs must have a strong work ethic, as they often work long hours, and be compassionate and patient, as they often work with patients who are elderly, disabled, or ill.

If you’re looking for a CNA job, you’ll likely need to go through a job interview. One of the best ways to prepare for a CNA job interview is to know the questions that are likely to be asked and how to answer them. In this guide, we’ll provide you with a list of common CNA interview questions and answers to help you get started.

What are some reasons you want to be a CNA?

This question can give the interviewer insight into your passion for the career. When answering this question, it can be helpful to include personal experiences that have led you to your career choice.

Example: “I have always had a passion for helping others. I remember when I was in high school, I volunteered at a nursing home where I would help residents with their meals. I loved seeing the smiles on their faces when I would sing to them or tell them jokes. I also have a passion for science, and I find it fascinating that I can use my knowledge of biology and chemistry to help patients. I also love working with people, and I find it rewarding to be able to help someone who is in need.”

Do you have plans to go to nursing school in the future?

Interviewers ask this question to see if you have a plan for your future. They want to know that you are committed to the job and have plans to continue your education. If you do have plans to go to nursing school, be sure to mention that you are willing to work as a CNA while you study. If you do not have plans to go to nursing school, be honest and mention that you are happy being a CNA.

Example: “I do not have plans to go to nursing school in the future. I am happy working as a CNA and feel that I am learning a lot about the medical field. I would like to continue working as a CNA for at least a few years before I make any decisions about my future.”

How do you keep up with current healthcare news and developments?

This question can help the interviewer evaluate your interest in the field and your ability to learn new information. Show your interviewer that you are passionate about the healthcare field and that you are willing to learn more about it.

Example: “I am a member of several online communities where healthcare professionals and patients discuss the latest news and developments. I also subscribe to several newsletters that provide updates on the latest research. I find that keeping up with current events helps me understand my patients better and provides me with new ideas for patient care. I am always eager to learn more about the latest medical breakthroughs.”

Where do you see yourself in five years? Ten years?

Interviewers may ask this question to get a sense of your career goals. If you’re applying for a position as a CNA, it’s likely you want to continue in this field for at least a few years. However, if you’re just starting out, you may not have a clear idea of what your career goals are. In this case, it’s important to be honest about your goals and aspirations.

Example: “I would love to be a nurse in five years. I’m currently taking classes to get my RN, and I hope to have my bachelor’s degree by the time I’m done with my CNA training. I’m also hoping to stay in this field for many years to come. I love helping others and making a difference in their lives.”

Why did you choose to work for our company?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your background and why you chose to apply for a position with their company. This question is an opportunity for you to show your enthusiasm for the position and the company. When you answer, it’s important to highlight how your background and skills align with the job description. You can also use this question as an opportunity to ask about the company’s mission and values.

Example: “I chose to apply for this position because I was drawn to the mission of your company. I am passionate about helping others, and I believe I would be a great fit for this role because of my compassion, empathy and dedication to my work. I also love working with people, so I feel like I would be a great fit for this role. I am excited to learn more about your company and how I can help you achieve your goals.”

What other jobs have you had in the healthcare industry?

This question can help the interviewer learn more about your background and experience. It can also help them determine if you are a good fit for the position. If you have experience in other healthcare jobs, consider sharing what you learned from those positions and how it can help you succeed in this role.

Example: “I’ve worked as a home health aide for the past five years. I enjoy working with patients one-on-one to help them meet their goals. I also worked as a medical assistant at a doctor’s office for two years. I learned a lot about how to communicate with patients and how to work with different types of personalities. I can use these skills to help me succeed in this role.”

What would you do if you saw a fellow nurse or doctor making a mistake?

This question can help the interviewer determine how you handle conflict and whether you’re willing to speak up when you see a mistake. When answering, it can be helpful to mention that you would speak up and offer your help or advice to help solve the problem.

Example: “If I saw a fellow nurse or doctor making a mistake, I would first ask if they needed help or if they needed me to get someone else. If they said they needed help, I would offer my assistance and if they said they didn’t need help, I would ask if there was anything I could do to help them. If they said yes, I would do whatever they asked and if they said no, I would continue to watch to make sure they didn’t need any help.”

How would you ensure communication between doctors, nurses and patients is clear and consistent?

Clear and consistent communication is essential for the success of a healthcare facility. The interviewer will want to know that you understand the importance of this and have experience with it.

Example: “I have worked in a hospital setting for several years, so I know how important it is to ensure that everyone is on the same page. I always make sure to ask questions if I don’t understand something, and I take notes on the patient’s chart so I can refer back to them later. I also make sure to ask the patient if they have any questions or concerns so I can relay them to the appropriate person.”

Did you participate in any clinical experiences while attending school?

Interviewers may ask this question to learn more about your background and experience. They may also use your answer to determine if you are qualified for the position. If you have clinical experience, you can include it in your answer. If you don’t, you can explain what you did in place of clinicals.

Example: “I have participated in several clinical experiences throughout my education. I worked as a nursing assistant at a local hospital for two years. I also volunteered at a nursing home for one year and worked as a receptionist at a doctor’s office for one year.”

What would you do if you felt overworked or underappreciated?

This question is designed to assess your problem-solving skills and ability to work in a team. It also allows the interviewer to understand your personality and how you would interact with your colleagues. Your answer should show that you can work in a team and that you are willing to help your colleagues when needed.

Example: “If I felt overworked or underappreciated, I would first try to speak with my supervisor and explain the situation. If this did not solve the issue, I would speak with my colleagues and try to find a way to help each other. For example, if one of my colleagues was underappreciated, I would offer to help them with their tasks or help them find a new job if they wanted to leave.”

Do you have experience working with patients?

Interviewers may ask this question to determine your experience level and how you feel about working with patients. If you have experience working with patients, consider sharing a story about a time you helped a patient. If you don’t have experience working with patients, you can talk about a time you helped someone else.

Example: “I worked as a receptionist at a doctor’s office for two years. One of my responsibilities was answering the phones, but I also helped patients find their way around the office and assisted them with scheduling appointments. I enjoyed helping patients and found that I am good at communicating with people. I also enjoy being able to help people and can empathize with them when they are experiencing difficult situations.”

How would you communicate complex medical information to patients who aren’t familiar with terminology?

Interviewers for CNA positions may ask this question to assess your communication skills and your ability to educate patients about their treatment plans. When answering this question, consider how you’ve done this in the past and how you could do it more effectively.

Example: “When I worked as a medical assistant, I assisted a physician who specialized in treating patients with diabetes. Many of the patients I interacted with weren’t familiar with the terms we used to describe their treatment plans, so I would explain the terms in simple language and use analogies to help them understand. I found that using analogies helped patients remember the terms and concepts better than simply saying them.”

What was your favorite course so far and why?

Interviewers may ask this question to learn more about your interests and passions. They may also use this question to determine if you have a background in healthcare. If you have a background in healthcare, they may ask this question to see if you enjoyed working with patients.

Example: “My favorite course so far has been the human anatomy course. I find it fascinating to learn about how the human body works and how different systems interact with each other. I also enjoy learning about the different conditions that can affect the human body and how to treat them. I think it’s important to understand how the body works so that I can provide the best care for my patients.”

What skills do you think make a great caregiver?

This question can help the interviewer get to know you as a person and see if you have the skills necessary to be a great caregiver. This is an excellent opportunity to show your passion for helping others and your interpersonal skills. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention a specific skill that you have and how you use it in your work.

Example: “I think one of the most important skills for a caregiver is empathy. When working with patients, I try to put myself in their shoes and imagine what it would be like to be in their situation. I also think it’s important to have a good sense of humor, as I find laughter can help patients feel better. I also think it’s important to be comfortable with change, as patients can sometimes be unpredictable.”

Describe a time when you helped a patient who was upset.

As a CNA, you may encounter patients who are upset or angry. Employers ask this question to make sure you have the skills and experience to handle these situations. In your answer, explain how you helped the patient calm down and regain their emotional stability.

Example: “Once, I was working with an elderly patient who was in a lot of pain. He was very upset and wanted to leave the hospital. I talked to him and explained that he was in the best place for his care. I also told him that I would stay by his side until he felt better. After a few minutes of talking, he calmed down and was ready to start his treatment.”

Tell me about a time you made a mistake at work. How did you fix it?

This question is a good way to see how you respond to challenges. It can also show how you learn from your mistakes. When answering this question, be sure to include what you learned from the mistake and how you fixed it.

Example: “When I first started working as a CNA, I was helping a patient get ready for bed. I was moving a patient from the bed to a wheelchair, and I accidentally dropped them. They fell to the floor and hit their head. I immediately apologized and helped them back into bed. I learned that I should always be more careful when moving patients. I also learned that I should always ask for help when needed.”

How would you handle a situation where you don’t know how to perform a task?

This question can help the interviewer assess your problem-solving skills and ability to learn new things. Your answer should show that you are willing to ask for help, take initiative and learn new skills.

Example: “If I don’t know how to perform a certain task, I would first ask the patient or their family members if they know how to do it. If they don’t know either, I would ask my colleagues for help. If no one knows how to do it, I would do some research online or ask the charge nurse for help. I would make sure to document what I learned so that I can help others in the future.”

What would you do if a coworker didn’t follow proper safety procedures?

The interviewer is likely to ask you a question like this to assess your communication skills. In your answer, demonstrate your ability to speak up for yourself and others and your commitment to safety.

Example: “If a coworker didn’t follow proper safety procedures, I would first speak with them privately and make sure they understood the importance of following the rules. If they didn’t comply, I would report them to my supervisor. I believe it’s important to maintain a safe work environment for everyone.”

Would you ever refuse to carry out a doctor’s orders?

This question is designed to assess your ability to work independently and make decisions. In your answer, you should explain why you would refuse a doctor’s orders and how you would handle the situation. It is important to show that you can think independently and use your critical thinking skills.

Example: “I would never refuse to carry out a doctor’s orders. However, if I felt that the doctor’s orders were not in the best interest of the patient, I would discuss my concerns with them. I would explain why I thought their orders were not safe and ask them to reconsider their instructions. If they still insisted on their orders, I would follow them but document my concerns in the patient’s file.”

How would you calm down a nervous or anxious patient?

Working with patients who are anxious or nervous can be challenging. Employers may ask this question to assess your interpersonal skills and ability to comfort a patient. In your answer, try to demonstrate your compassion and empathy by sharing a specific example of how you helped a nervous patient feel more comfortable.

Example: “I once worked with a patient who was very nervous about his procedure. I tried to make him feel as comfortable as possible by talking to him and reassuring him that everything would be okay. I also tried to distract him by asking him about his favorite sports team. He was able to laugh and forget about his procedure for a moment, which helped him feel calmer.”

What would you do if a family member wasn’t happy with the care you provided a patient?

This question is a way for the interviewer to assess your interpersonal skills and ability to resolve conflict. Your answer should show that you can listen to family members and understand their concerns. You should also show that you can use problem-solving skills to find a solution that satisfies everyone.

Example: “I would first listen to my family member’s concerns and ask questions to understand their point of view. I would then explain to them what I did to care for their loved one and offer to provide more information about the procedures we follow. I would also speak with my supervisor about the situation and ask for advice on how to resolve it.”

How would you reassure a patient who is worried about upcoming surgery?

This question is an opportunity to show your interpersonal skills. The interviewer wants to know how you can help patients feel comfortable and safe. Use your answer to highlight your communication skills and ability to empathize with patients.

Example: “When a patient is nervous about a surgery, I usually start by asking them about their concerns. I try to reassure them by explaining the surgery in terms they can understand. I also try to make sure they know I am available for any questions or concerns they may have. I find that patients feel more comfortable when they know they have a familiar face with them during their surgery.”

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