20 Northwestern Medicine Interview Questions and Answers

Prepare for the types of questions you are likely to be asked when interviewing for a position at Northwestern Medicine.

If you’re interviewing for a job at Northwestern Medicine, you can expect to be asked questions about your experience, your skills, and your goals. You may also be asked questions about your knowledge of the company and its mission. To help you prepare, we’ve compiled a list of sample questions and answers specific to Northwestern Medicine.

Northwestern Medicine Interview Process

The interview process at Northwestern Medicine can vary depending on the position you are applying for. However, most positions will require at least one phone screen and one in-person interview. For some positions, you may also be asked to do a shadowing shift. Overall, the interview process is fairly standard, but it is important to be prepared for all types of questions.

1. Tell me about a time when you had to deal with an angry patient.

This question is a great way to assess your communication skills and how you handle conflict. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention the steps you took to resolve the situation or what you learned from the experience.

Example: “I once had a patient who was upset because they were not able to see their primary care physician for an extended period of time. I explained that our hospital was short-staffed at the moment and we would do everything in our power to get them into their doctor’s office as soon as possible. The patient seemed satisfied with my answer and thanked me for being so honest with them.”

2. What is your experience working in the healthcare field?

This question is a great way for the interviewer to learn more about your background and experience. It’s important to be honest when answering this question, as it can help them determine if you are qualified for the position.

Example: “I have worked in the healthcare field since I graduated from nursing school. My first job was at a small hospital where I learned how to work with patients of all ages. After working there for five years, I moved to a larger hospital where I gained valuable experience working with other nurses and doctors. I am excited to continue my career here at Northwestern Memorial Hospital.”

3. How do you stay current on new medical procedures and protocols?

This question can help the interviewer understand your commitment to learning and growing as a medical professional. It is important to show that you are willing to learn new things, even if it means going outside of your comfort zone.

Example: “I am always looking for ways to improve my skills as a nurse. I have taken several online courses on different procedures and treatments. I also subscribe to several nursing journals so I can read about the latest research in the field.”

4. Do you have any experience using Electronic Health Records (EHR)?

EHR is a computer system that allows healthcare professionals to record patient information electronically. This question helps the interviewer determine if you have experience using EHR and how well you can use it. If you do not have any experience with EHR, consider asking your previous employer about their EHR system or researching what type of EHR Northwestern Memorial uses.

Example: “I have used EHR in my previous position as a nurse at St. Mary’s Hospital. I found it helpful to be able to access patient records quickly and efficiently. However, I also understand that there are some challenges associated with EHR systems. For example, sometimes they don’t allow for easy communication between medical staff. To overcome this challenge, I would make sure to communicate clearly with other medical staff when entering data into the system.”

5. Why did you choose nursing as your profession?

This question is a great way to show your passion for nursing and the impact you hope to have on patients. When answering this question, it can be helpful to talk about a specific moment or experience that made you want to pursue a career in nursing.

Example: “I chose nursing as my profession because of an experience I had with one of my teachers when I was in high school. My teacher was very sick and missed several days of class. She called me into her office and told me she would not be able to make it back to class but wanted to know if there was anything she could do for me before she left. It was then that I knew I wanted to become a nurse so I could help others like she helped me.”

6. Are you comfortable dealing with blood, urine, vomit, etc.?

This question is a way for the interviewer to assess your comfort level with working in an emergency room. You should answer honestly, but you can also use this opportunity to show that you are willing to learn new skills and develop as a nurse.

Example: “I am comfortable dealing with blood, urine and vomit because I have worked in the ER for five years. However, I would like to continue learning how to better handle these situations so I can provide my patients with the best care possible.”

7. Describe a time where you worked under pressure or a difficult situation.

This question is a great way to see how you handle pressure and stress. It’s important that you show the interviewer that you can stay calm under pressure, think clearly and work well with others.

Example: “I was working in an emergency room when we had a patient who needed immediate care. The patient was experiencing severe chest pains and I knew it was urgent that they were seen right away. Unfortunately, there were no available beds for them at our hospital, so I called another nearby hospital to see if they could take the patient. They agreed, but unfortunately, their ambulance broke down on the way to our hospital. We ended up having to transport the patient ourselves, which took longer than expected. However, we got the patient to the other hospital safely and they received the medical attention they needed.”

8. We often work with patients who have mental health issues. Have you ever worked with this kind of population before?

This question is a great way to see if you are prepared for the unique challenges that come with working in an academic medical center. Academic medical centers often have patients who suffer from mental health issues, and it’s important that your previous experience can help you work through these situations.

Example: “I worked at a community hospital where we had many psychiatric patients. I was able to learn how to communicate effectively with them and make sure they were comfortable during their stay. I also learned how to handle some of the more challenging patients by using my communication skills and empathy to diffuse tense situations.”

9. What are some of your strengths and weaknesses?

This question is a common one in interviews, and it’s important to be honest. When answering this question, think about what your strengths are and how they can help you succeed in the role. You should also mention any weaknesses that you have worked on improving.

Example: “I am very organized and detail-oriented, which helps me stay focused on my work. I am also highly motivated and driven by challenges. However, I do sometimes get overwhelmed when there are too many tasks to complete at once. To overcome this weakness, I make sure to prioritize my tasks so I can focus on completing them one at a time.”

10. In your opinion, what would be the best way to provide excellent customer service?

Customer service is an important part of the healthcare industry. Interviewers may ask this question to see if you have experience providing excellent customer service and how you would do it. In your answer, explain what makes good customer service and give examples from your previous work or personal experiences.

Example: “I believe that providing excellent customer service starts with having a positive attitude. When I am in front of patients, I always try to be upbeat and friendly. I also make sure to listen carefully to their concerns and address them as quickly as possible. Another way I provide excellent customer service is by being honest about my answers. If I don’t know something, I will tell the patient honestly and find out the information for them. Finally, I think it is important to treat everyone equally. No matter who they are, I treat every person with respect and kindness.

11. How would you describe your communication style?

This question is an opportunity to show the interviewer how you can effectively communicate with your team and other healthcare professionals. When answering this question, it’s important to be honest about your communication style while also highlighting your ability to work well with others.

Example: “I would describe my communication style as direct but empathetic. I believe that effective communication requires a balance of listening to others and sharing information. In my previous role, I was responsible for communicating patient test results to their families. While delivering these news, I always made sure to speak directly to the family member and maintain eye contact. I also tried to use language that they could understand so they knew what to expect from our care.”

12. Can you tell us how you communicate effectively with both patients and coworkers?

This question is an opportunity to show your communication skills and how you can work with others. When answering this question, it’s important to highlight your ability to listen and communicate clearly.

Example: “I believe that effective communication is the key to building a strong relationship with patients and coworkers. I always make sure to listen carefully to what my patients have to say so I can understand their concerns and needs. In addition, I am open to feedback from my colleagues and use it as an opportunity to learn more about my performance.”

13. Have you ever dealt with a challenging coworker? If so, how did you handle it?

This question can help the interviewer assess your interpersonal skills and ability to work with others. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention a specific example of how you handled the situation and what steps you took to resolve it or improve the relationship.

Example: “At my previous job, I had a coworker who was very critical of other people’s work. This made it difficult for some employees to feel comfortable asking questions or offering suggestions. One day, I overheard him criticizing one of our nurses in front of several coworkers. I approached him later that day and asked if we could talk privately. He agreed, so I explained that his behavior was making some employees uncomfortable. He apologized and promised to be more respectful in the future.”

14. Describe a time that you made a mistake at work. How did you handle it?

This question is a great way to show your ability to learn from mistakes and grow as an employee. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention how you learned from the mistake and what steps you took to ensure that you don’t make the same mistake again.

Example: “When I first started my current role, I was working on a project with another coworker. We were both responsible for different parts of the project, but we would often check in with each other about our progress. One day, I asked my coworker if they had completed their portion of the project yet, and they said yes. However, when I reviewed their work later, I noticed that there were several errors.

I immediately contacted them and let them know that I needed them to fix the errors before submitting the assignment. They apologized and told me that they would get right on it. After reviewing their work again, I realized that they had made the same error twice. I explained to them that they needed to redo the entire assignment, which caused us to miss our deadline. My coworker understood, and we worked together to complete the assignment by the next due date. Since then, I have always checked all of my work thoroughly before submitting it.”

15. What interests you most about Northwestern Medicine?

This question is a great way to show your enthusiasm for the position and the hospital. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention something specific about Northwestern Medicine that you are excited about.

Example: “I am most interested in working with patients who have rare diseases or conditions. I love learning more about these illnesses and how we can help our patients overcome them. At my last job, I worked with a patient who had an extremely rare disease. We were able to work together as a team to find a treatment plan that helped her manage her symptoms. It was so rewarding to see her get better and return home after being hospitalized for several weeks.”

16. Describe a time where you received constructive feedback from someone. How did you use it to improve yourself?

This question is a great way to show your ability to receive feedback and use it to improve yourself. When answering this question, think of a time when you received constructive criticism from someone and how you used that information to make improvements in your work or personal life.

Example: “When I was working as an ER nurse, my supervisor gave me some constructive feedback on how I could improve my communication with patients. At first, I was defensive about the feedback because I felt like I was already doing a good job at communicating with patients. However, after discussing the feedback with my supervisor, I realized they were right. I started using more hand gestures and facial expressions while talking to patients so they knew I was listening to them. This change helped me become a better communicator and improved patient satisfaction.”

17. How has technology impacted patient care?

Technology is a major part of the healthcare industry, and Northwestern Memorial wants to know how you will use it to improve patient care. Use your answer to highlight your knowledge of current technology in the medical field and how you would apply it to this position.

Example: “Technology has made it easier for patients to access their health records online and communicate with doctors through email or video calls. However, I believe that technology should be used as an aid rather than a replacement for human interaction. For example, I have seen many instances where patients are unable to understand what they read on their electronic health record. In these cases, I prefer to meet them face-to-face so I can explain things more clearly.”

18. How would you respond if a co-worker asked you to break protocol?

This question is an opportunity to show your ability to work as part of a team and how you would respond in a challenging situation.

Example: “I have had this experience before, where I was working with a physician who asked me to break protocol for a patient. In my previous position, I worked with a pediatrician who often treated patients without their parents present. One day, he came into the office asking if I could watch over a child while he went to the restroom. I told him that it was against hospital policy, but he insisted that he needed to use the restroom and that there was no one else available to take care of the child. He said that if I didn’t help him, he would be forced to leave early and not get paid for his time.

In this situation, I knew that I should report what happened to our compliance officer, but I also wanted to support my co-worker. I decided to call the compliance officer myself and tell them about the situation. They understood why I made the decision and thanked me for reporting it. The next day, they brought in another nurse to cover the rest of the shift so that I could go home at my scheduled time.”

19. What do you think is the biggest challenge facing nurses today?

This question is an opportunity to show your critical thinking skills and ability to solve problems. When answering this question, it can be helpful to think about the challenges you have faced in your nursing career.

Example: “The biggest challenge facing nurses today is burnout. Burnout is a serious problem that affects many nurses across the country. I believe one of the best ways to combat burnout is by creating a culture of support within our hospitals. If we can create a safe space where nurses feel comfortable talking about their struggles, then we can help them find solutions before they become too overwhelmed to continue working.”

20. How would you ensure all equipment was properly sanitized after every use?

This question is a great way to assess your attention to detail and ability to follow protocols. When answering this question, it can be helpful to provide an example of how you would complete the task.

Example: “I have worked in several hospitals where we had to sanitize all equipment after every use. I find that using bleach wipes are the most effective way to do so. First, I make sure to wash my hands thoroughly before starting. Then, I wipe down any surfaces that may have come into contact with blood or bodily fluids. Finally, I allow the surface to air dry for at least five minutes before putting it back into service.”


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