Interview

25 New Grad Nurse Interview Questions and Answers

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

Nursing is a profession that is always in high demand due to the constant need for nurses in hospitals, clinics, and other medical facilities. If you are a recent nursing graduate, you may be wondering what to expect during your job interview. One of the most important things you can do to prepare for your interview is to review the most common nursing interview questions and answers.

In this guide, you will find questions that are commonly asked in nursing job interviews. You will also find tips for answering these questions. By preparing for your interview, you can increase your chances of getting the job you want.

Common New Grad Nurse Interview Questions

What do you hope to accomplish within the first 90 days of working here?

This question is a great way to see how ambitious you are and what your goals are for the future. When answering this question, it can be helpful to think about what you hope to learn or accomplish in that time frame. It can also be beneficial to mention any specific goals you have for yourself as well as the hospital.

Example: “I would love to get to know my patients better within the first 90 days of working here. I’m hoping to develop strong relationships with them so they feel comfortable talking to me about their concerns. I also want to become familiar with all of the equipment we use on our floor so I can help other nurses if they need assistance.”

Why are you the best candidate for this position?

Employers ask this question to learn more about your confidence and self-awareness. They want to know that you are qualified for the job, but they also want to see how you can improve yourself as a nurse. When answering this question, make sure you highlight your skills and abilities while also mentioning any areas where you would like to grow.

Example: “I am the best candidate for this position because I have all of the necessary qualifications and experience. However, I also understand that there is always room for improvement. Throughout my education, I learned many valuable nursing techniques, but I still feel like I could use some additional training in certain areas. For example, I would love to learn more about treating patients with dementia.”

What are your favorite aspects of being a nurse?

This question is an opportunity to show the interviewer your passion for nursing. When answering this question, it can be helpful to include a specific example of how you enjoy helping others and making a difference in their lives.

Example: “My favorite part about being a nurse is getting to meet new people every day. I love learning about my patients’ backgrounds and hearing their life stories. It’s inspiring to see how far some of them have come and how much they’ve overcome. Another thing I really enjoy is working with other nurses. Nursing is such a collaborative profession, so I’m always excited to work with other professionals who are passionate about providing excellent care.”

What made you decide to become a nurse?

This question can help the interviewer get to know you better and understand why you are passionate about nursing. It also helps them learn more about your background, such as what influenced you to become a nurse. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention something that inspired you to pursue nursing or an influential person in your life who encouraged you to enter the medical field.

Example: “Ever since I was young, I have always been interested in helping others. My mother is a pediatrician, so she would bring me along with her to work when I was younger. She would let me observe some of her procedures, which made me realize how much I wanted to do the same thing one day. I decided to major in biology in college because I knew it would prepare me for my future career.”

How does this role align with your career goals?

Employers ask this question to see if you are a good fit for the role and whether or not you have realistic expectations. When answering, be honest about your career goals and how this position can help you achieve them. If you’re unsure of what your career goals are, think about why you decided to become a nurse in the first place.

Example: “I’ve always wanted to work as an emergency room nurse because I love helping people in their time of need. This role is a great opportunity for me to get experience working in the ER while also learning more about other areas of nursing. I’m excited to learn from my experienced colleagues and develop my skills so that one day I can work as a pediatric nurse.”

What do you find most challenging about being a nurse?

This question can help interviewers understand what you find challenging and how you approach those challenges. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention a specific situation where you overcame the challenge or how you plan to overcome it in your future role.

Example: “The most challenging part of being a nurse is when I have to tell patients they need to take care of themselves at home differently than before their hospital stay. It’s hard to see them upset about having to do more work after just getting out of the hospital, but I always try to make sure they know that we’re doing everything we can to keep them healthy.”

Tell me about your work ethic.

Employers ask this question to learn more about your work ethic and how you approach your job. They want to know that you are a hard worker who is willing to do whatever it takes to get the job done. When answering, think of an example from your past where you worked extra hours or did something above and beyond what was required of you.

Example: “I have always been someone with a strong work ethic. In my last position as a registered nurse’s aide, I would often stay late after my shift ended to help out my coworkers. This helped me develop my skills as a nurse while also helping my coworkers when they needed assistance.”

Do you feel prepared for the physical demands of the job?

Nursing is a physically demanding job. Employers ask this question to make sure you are prepared for the physical demands of the role. Before your interview, read through the job description and highlight any physical requirements. Think about how your body can meet those requirements. If there are no physical requirements listed in the job description, think about what you would expect from the position.

Example: “I am definitely prepared for the physical demands of the job. I have been working out three times a week since high school. My gym routine includes weight training, cardio and stretching exercises. I also take yoga classes twice a week. These activities help me stay healthy and energized throughout my workday.”

What would you do if you saw another nurse making a mistake?

This question can help interviewers understand how you handle conflict and your ability to work with others. When answering, it can be helpful to mention a specific situation in which you helped another nurse or colleague improve their practice.

Example: “When I was working as an ER nurse, one of my colleagues accidentally gave the wrong dosage of medication to a patient. Luckily, they realized this right away and were able to reverse the mistake before any serious harm occurred. However, I still had to report the incident to our supervisor so that we could ensure all proper protocols were followed. My colleague apologized to the patient and took additional training on administering medications to avoid similar mistakes in the future.”

How do you handle changes to the typical routine at work?

When working as a nurse, you may need to adapt quickly to changes in your routine. Employers ask this question to make sure that you can handle unexpected situations and still perform your job well. In your answer, explain how you stay organized and focused on the task at hand.

Example: “I am an extremely organized person, so I find it easy to adapt to changes in my workday. However, I also know that sometimes there is nothing we can do about these things. When something happens that disrupts our day, I try to focus on what I can control and take care of my patients as best as possible.”

What would you do if you were assigned to care for a patient you don’t like?

This question is designed to test your interpersonal skills and ability to work with a variety of patients. It also shows the interviewer how you handle conflict. Your answer should show that you can remain professional while still caring for the patient’s needs.

Example: “I would try my best to care for this patient, but if I felt like it was too much for me, I would speak to my manager about reassigning the patient to another nurse. If they were in need of immediate care, I would do everything in my power to provide them with excellent service.”

How do you manage your time when caring for more than one patient at a time?

As a nurse, you may have to care for more than one patient at a time. Employers ask this question to make sure that you can multitask and prioritize your patients’ needs effectively. In your answer, explain how you plan your day so that you are able to give each patient the attention they need while also ensuring that all of their needs are met.

Example: “I find that I am most effective when I focus on one patient at a time. This allows me to get to know them better and learn about their specific needs. However, if there is an emergency with another patient, I am able to quickly switch gears and provide the same level of care as before.”

Tell me about a time when you stepped up to fill a leadership role at work.

As a nurse, you may be asked to lead your team or other members of the hospital staff. Employers ask this question to see if you have experience with leadership and management. In your answer, explain what made you step up as a leader. Explain how you were able to successfully complete the task at hand.

Example: “In my last position, I was working alongside another nurse who had just started. She was having trouble getting used to our computer system, so she asked me for help. While it wasn’t part of my job description to train her, I felt like it would benefit both of us in the long run. So, I spent an hour after work showing her how to use the system. By doing that, I helped her get more comfortable on the job while also helping myself learn the system better.”

Have you ever had to deal with an angry or upset patient? How did you handle it?

Nurses often have to deal with challenging patients. Employers ask this question to make sure you can handle these situations effectively. In your answer, share a specific example of when you had to calm an upset patient. Explain what steps you took to help them feel more comfortable and cared for.

Example: “I once had a patient who was in pain and frustrated because they couldn’t get their medicine on time. I spoke with the doctor about it, and he gave me permission to administer the medicine early. The patient was so relieved that they were able to relax and rest. They thanked me for my help and apologized for being rude earlier.”

What steps do you take to ensure accuracy when recording patient information?

Accuracy is an important quality for a nurse to have. It’s vital that you record information accurately and consistently, so the interviewer will want to know how you ensure accuracy in your work.

Example: “I always double-check my work before I leave a patient’s room or area. This helps me avoid any mistakes when recording information about their condition, medications they’re taking and other details. I also make sure to write clearly and use consistent abbreviations and terminology. In addition, I ask patients if there are any questions they have regarding their treatment plan or care.”

What techniques do you use to make a patient feel comfortable?

Interviewers may ask this question to learn more about your interpersonal skills. They want to know how you can help patients feel calm and relaxed during their hospital stay. When answering, think of a specific example from your past experience that shows your ability to make others comfortable.

Example: “When I first meet a patient, I try to put them at ease by introducing myself and asking them questions about themselves. This helps me get to know the patient better and makes them feel more comfortable with me as their nurse. If they are nervous or anxious, I also offer them something to drink or eat to take their mind off of things.”

Tell me about a time when you went above and beyond to provide exceptional care.

This question is a great way to show your interviewer that you are passionate about nursing and want to provide the best care possible for patients. When answering this question, it can be helpful to describe a specific situation where you went above and beyond to help a patient or family member.

Example: “When I was working as an ER nurse, there was one night when we had several patients who were all in critical condition. One of our patients was a young girl who had been in a car accident with her parents. Her parents were also in bad shape, so I stayed by her side until she was stable enough to go into surgery. She ended up making a full recovery, and I know my extra attention helped make that happen.”

How do you communicate effectively with patients and other team members?

Communication is an important skill for any nurse to have. Employers ask this question to make sure you know how to communicate with others in a way that helps everyone achieve their goals. Use your answer to show the interviewer that you can listen, speak and write clearly. Explain that you value feedback from others and use it to improve your communication skills.

Example: “I am always willing to take time to talk with patients about their concerns or questions. I find that listening carefully to what they say makes them feel more comfortable. When speaking with other team members, I try to be clear and concise when giving instructions or answering questions. If someone has feedback for me, I try to listen and respond thoughtfully so we can work together to improve our communication.”

What precautions do you take to prevent disease transmission?

Nurses are responsible for maintaining the safety of their patients and staff. Employers ask this question to make sure you have experience with infection control procedures. In your answer, explain how you use universal precautions in your work. Share a specific example of when you used these techniques to prevent disease transmission.

Example: “I always wear gloves when I’m caring for my patients. This is one of the most important ways to protect them from getting sick. I also wash my hands before entering the room and after leaving it. When I enter the room, I put on a new pair of gloves. After touching anything that could be contaminated, I remove those gloves and dispose of them. Then, I put on a new pair.”

How would you respond if a supervisor asked you to do something you felt was unsafe?

Nurses are often in positions of authority, so employers ask this question to make sure you know how to handle a situation where your supervisor asks you to do something that could put the patient’s health at risk. In your answer, explain what steps you would take to ensure the safety of the patient while also maintaining a positive relationship with your supervisor.

Example: “If my supervisor asked me to do something I felt was unsafe for the patient, I would first try to calmly and respectfully explain why I feel it is unsafe. If they still insisted on doing it, I would document the incident in case there were any repercussions later. I would then perform the task as safely as possible.”

What is the most valuable thing you have learned as a nurse so far?

This question is an opportunity to show your interviewer that you are eager to learn and grow as a nurse. It also shows them what skills you have developed in nursing school. When answering this question, think about the most important thing you learned during your education.

Example: “The most valuable thing I’ve learned so far is how to communicate with patients and their families. In my first clinical rotation, I was working with a patient who had dementia. He didn’t speak English, and his family members were all speaking different languages. I learned how to use hand gestures and pictures to help him understand what I needed from him. This skill has helped me work with many diverse populations of patients since then.”

How would you handle a situation where your backup couldn’t come to work and you are short-staffed?

This question can give the interviewer insight into how you handle stressful situations and your ability to work with others. Your answer should show that you are willing to take on extra responsibilities when needed, but also that you value teamwork and collaboration.

Example: “If my backup was unable to come in for a shift, I would first try to find another nurse who could cover the shift. If no one else was available, I would assess what tasks I could do without help and delegate the rest to other members of the team. For example, if there were too few nurses to care for all patients, I would focus on administering medications and vital signs while delegating other tasks like changing linens or answering call lights to other staff.”

What should be the relationship between nurses and doctors?

This question is a good way to assess your ability to work with others. It also shows the interviewer how you view authority and hierarchy in the workplace. Your answer should show that you respect doctors’ expertise while still being able to offer valuable input.

Example: “I believe nurses and doctors should have a collaborative relationship, where we each bring our own unique skills to the table. I think it’s important for both parties to understand their strengths and weaknesses so they can support one another. For example, if a doctor has an idea about a patient’s treatment plan but doesn’t know how to implement it, I would be happy to help them figure out how to do so.”

What would you do if you felt overwhelmed caring for multiple patients at once?

Nurses often have to care for multiple patients at once, so employers ask this question to make sure you can handle the demands of the job. When answering this question, it’s important to show that you are capable of multitasking and prioritizing your tasks. You should also mention how you would seek help from other nurses or healthcare professionals if needed.

Example: “If I felt overwhelmed caring for multiple patients at once, I would first try to prioritize my tasks by assessing each patient’s needs. If one patient required more immediate attention than another, I would focus on them before moving onto the others. If there was a task that could be delayed until later, I would do so in order to give myself time to attend to the most urgent matters.

I would also call upon other nurses or healthcare professionals for assistance if needed. In my previous role as a nurse, I worked with a team of other nurses who were all willing to pitch in when we had too many patients to care for.”

How would you manage a situation where you disagreed with your doctor?

Nurses often have to work with doctors, and sometimes they disagree about a patient’s treatment. An interviewer may ask you this question to understand how you would handle such a situation professionally. In your answer, try to show that you can collaborate with others while also maintaining your own opinions.

Example: “I think it is important to maintain a good relationship with my doctor because I rely on their expertise. However, if I disagreed with them about a patient’s care, I would first discuss the issue with them in private. If we still disagreed, I would bring another nurse or medical professional into our conversation so we could all come up with a solution together. Ultimately, I want to do what is best for the patient.”

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