Interview

21 Nursing Interview Questions and Answers

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

Nurses are the backbone of the healthcare industry. They work in a variety of settings, from hospitals to home health care, and are responsible for providing direct patient care. Nurses also play a vital role in educating patients and their families about their health conditions and treatment plan.

If you’re a nurse looking for a new job, you’ll likely need to go through a job interview. To help you prepare, we’ve compiled a list of common nursing job interview questions and answers.

What made you want to be a nurse?

This question is a great way for the interviewer to learn more about you as a person and your motivations for becoming a nurse. They are looking for a genuine answer that shows your passion for the field. When answering this question, it can be helpful to mention a specific moment or experience that made you want to pursue nursing.

Example: “Ever since I was a child, I wanted to become a nurse. My mother was a nurse, and I always looked up to her. She would take me to work with her sometimes, and I would spend my time in the hospital’s nursery, helping the nurses care for the newborns. I knew from that moment that I wanted to be a nurse, and I am so excited to have this opportunity.”

What do you like best about working with this facility?

This question helps the interviewer get to know you as a person and your personality. It also helps them understand what you like about working for their facility, which can help them decide if you’re a good fit for their team. When answering this question, try to be honest and highlight something specific about the facility that you enjoy.

Example: “I love working with children, and I love the way this facility cares for children. I love the way they treat the kids as individuals and how they provide a fun, safe and engaging environment for them. I feel like this facility is a great place to work because of the way they care for the kids and their families.”

How do you deal with stressful situations?

Nursing is a stressful job, and employers want to make sure you can handle the pressure. They might ask this question to see how you handle stress and whether you have any strategies for coping. When you answer, try to show that you can stay calm under pressure and that you know how to manage stress.

Example: “I have a few strategies for dealing with stressful situations. First, I try to take a break when I start to feel overwhelmed. I find that taking a few minutes to breathe and collect my thoughts can help me calm down. I also try to remember that everyone makes mistakes, and I am no exception. When I make a mistake, I try to learn from it and move on. Finally, I try to remember that I am doing the best job I can.”

Do you consider yourself more of an introvert or extrovert?

This question is often asked to determine how you interact with others. As a nurse, you will often need to communicate with patients and their families. Interviewers want to know that you can do so effectively and with empathy. When answering this question, consider how you would interact with a patient and their family. Try to think of a specific situation where you were able to communicate effectively.

Example: “I consider myself an introvert, but I have learned to overcome my shyness when it comes to patient care. I find that I am more effective when I can communicate with patients and their families. I find that I am able to build rapport with patients and their families by asking them questions about themselves. This helps me get to know them better and helps them feel more comfortable.”

Who has influenced your career the most?

This question is a great way for the interviewer to learn more about your values and how you were influenced growing up. It’s important to choose someone who is a positive role model and someone who has helped you develop your skills as a nurse.

Example: “My grandmother was the first person to tell me I should be a nurse. She was a nurse herself, and she always told me stories about her work. She inspired me to pursue a career in healthcare and to be the best nurse I could be. She passed away when I was in high school, but she is still the person who has influenced me the most.”

What are some common misconceptions people have about nursing?

This question is an opportunity to show your interviewer that you understand the challenges of nursing and how to overcome them. It also shows that you are aware of the public’s perception of nursing and how you can help to change it.

Example: “The biggest misconception is that nursing is a simple job. While it may be easy to administer medication or change a bandage, there is a lot of critical thinking and problem-solving involved in nursing. We need to make sure that patients are getting the right medication at the right time and in the right dosage. We also need to make sure that patients are following their treatment plans and understand how to care for themselves after they leave the hospital.

Another misconception is that nurses are only responsible for patients’ health. While we do have a lot of responsibility for our patients’ health, we also have a lot of responsibility for their well-being. We need to make sure that patients feel safe and comfortable, and we need to be available to answer any questions they may have.”

What is something you’ve learned recently that has helped improve your work?

This question can give you the opportunity to show the interviewer that you’re eager to learn new things and improve your nursing skills. Think about what you’ve learned recently in nursing school or from a colleague that has helped you become a better nurse.

Example: “I’ve recently learned about the importance of patient-centered care. I’ve always been a compassionate nurse, but I didn’t realize how much my patients appreciate when I take the time to listen to them and treat them with respect. I’ve started making sure to introduce myself to my patients and their families, and I make sure to ask them questions about their lives outside of the hospital. I’ve found that this small change in my work has made a big difference in my patients’ experiences, and it’s helped me feel more fulfilled in my job.”

What procedures do you follow when administering medication?

Nurses are responsible for administering medications to patients. They must follow specific procedures for each type of medication to ensure the safety of their patients. When answering this question, you should provide a clear answer that includes the steps you take when administering medication.

Example: “I always make sure to read the patient’s chart before administering any medication. I also make sure to check the patient’s name and dosage before administering the medication. I verify that I have the right medication and that it is in its original packaging. I also make sure that I have the right equipment to administer the medication, such as a syringe or cup. Finally, I make sure that I have the right amount of medication before administering it to the patient.”

Describe a typical day at your current job.

This question is an opportunity to show the interviewer that you have a good understanding of the responsibilities of a nurse. Be sure to include your daily schedule, the tasks you perform and the patients you care for. You can also include any skills or qualities you use in your work.

Example: “My typical day starts at 7 a.m. with a team meeting where we discuss the patients we will be caring for that day. I then meet with my patients to perform my morning assessments and check their vital signs. I spend the rest of the morning administering medications and performing other tasks that are required of me.

I then spend the afternoon performing my assessments again, monitoring my patients and administering additional medications as needed. I also spend a lot of time speaking with patients and their families to answer questions and offer reassurance.”

How many years of clinical practice do you have?

Nursing is a career that requires experience. Employers ask this question to see how much experience you have. If you have a lot of experience, they might be more likely to hire you. If you are a new nurse, you can answer this question by explaining how you plan to learn quickly.

Example: “I have been a nurse for five years. I am excited to work in this hospital because I have heard that it is a great place to advance my career. I plan to continue learning and growing as a nurse. I am always looking for new ways to improve my skills and provide better care for my patients.”

What education or training programs have you completed?

This question is an opportunity to highlight your commitment to professional development. Nursing is a constantly evolving field, and employers want to know that you’re eager to keep up with the latest developments. If you have completed any educational programs, list them and briefly describe what you learned. If you haven’t completed any programs, you can discuss any professional development courses you’ve taken.

Example: “I have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from the University of Washington. In my undergraduate program, I learned about the latest developments in the field, such as how to administer medication and how to communicate with patients and their families. I also took a course on the latest developments in pediatric nursing, which has been very helpful in my current job.”

What previous position did you find to be the most challenging? Why?

This question can help the interviewer gain insight into your problem-solving skills and how you overcome challenges. It can also show them how you handle stress. When answering this question, it can be beneficial to mention a challenging situation and how you overcame it. This can show the interviewer that you are a strong problem solver.

Example: “My previous position was in a large hospital. I found it to be the most challenging because of the amount of patients I had to care for. There were many patients who required my attention and it was hard to give each one the care they needed. I learned that it is important to prioritize patients and focus on those who need immediate attention. I also learned that it is okay to ask for help when needed.”

Tell me about a time you disagreed with a coworker. How did you handle the situation?

This question is a way for an interviewer to assess your ability to work in a team and resolve conflicts. You can answer this question by providing a specific example of a time you disagreed with a coworker and how you resolved the conflict.

Example: “I once had a disagreement with a coworker over a patient’s treatment plan. I knew the patient’s medical history better than my coworker, so I asked my coworker to trust my judgment and let me handle the situation. I explained my reasoning and my coworker agreed. I followed through with my plan, and the patient recovered well.”

Tell me about a time you were assigned a task you had never done before. How did you approach it?

Employers ask this question to see how you handle new challenges. They want to know that you can learn new skills and apply them to your work. In your answer, explain how you researched the task and applied your new knowledge to your work.

Example: “When I first started working as a nurse, I was assigned to work in the emergency room. I had never worked in this department before, so I was a little nervous about the task. However, I researched the department and learned about the different procedures I would need to perform. I also talked to other nurses who worked in the emergency room to learn more about their experiences.”

What skills make you stand out from other nurses?

This question can help the interviewer get to know you better and see how your skills and abilities can benefit the hospital. Answer this question by describing a skill you have that you feel makes you a great nurse. You can also include a brief explanation of how this skill helps you in your job.

Example: “I feel that my communication skills make me stand out from other nurses. I always take the time to make sure my patients understand what is happening to them and what they need to do to get better. I also always make sure my instructions are clear and easy for my patients to follow. This helps me build a trusting relationship with my patients and makes them more likely to follow my instructions, which can help them recover more quickly.”

What is your least favorite part of being a nurse?

This question is designed to learn about your personality and how you feel about your job. Interviewers ask this question to see if you are honest and if you would fit in with the rest of the team. When answering this question, be honest and try to focus on a part of nursing that you enjoy more.

Example: “My least favorite part of being a nurse is the paperwork. I enjoy interacting with patients and learning about their lives, so I find it hard to focus on the paperwork sometimes. However, I know that the paperwork is important, so I try to make sure I get it done as quickly as possible. I am always looking for ways to streamline the paperwork process.”

How do you communicate with patients who are going through difficult times?

As a nurse, you may need to communicate with patients who are going through challenging times. An interviewer may ask this question to learn more about your communication skills and how you support patients and their families. When answering this question, it can be helpful to provide an example of a time you helped a patient and their family through a difficult time.

Example: “I have worked with patients who are going through many different types of difficult situations. I try to use my communication skills to help them feel more comfortable and supported. For example, I once worked with a patient who was going through a divorce. I helped the patient’s family understand what they could do to help the patient. I also helped the patient and their family create a plan for how they could communicate with each other when they were feeling stressed or overwhelmed.”

How do you approach situations where the family members of a patient become upset or frustrated?

Family members can be an important support system for patients, and they may have questions or concerns about their loved one’s treatment. Interviewers want to make sure you have the interpersonal skills to communicate with these individuals and help them feel comfortable and confident in the care their loved one is receiving.

Example: “I understand that family members may have questions or concerns about their loved one’s care, and I always make sure to take the time to listen to their concerns and provide them with as much information as possible. I also encourage them to ask questions and provide them with my contact information so they can reach out to me if they have any additional concerns.

I try to be empathetic and compassionate when speaking with family members, as I know how stressful it can be when a loved one is hospitalized. I try to make sure they feel comfortable asking me questions and know that I am there to help them feel more confident in their loved one’s care.”

How do you comfort coworkers experiencing loss or grief?

The interviewer may ask this question to assess your interpersonal skills and ability to support others. Use your answer to highlight your ability to empathize with others and provide emotional support during challenging times.

Example: “When a coworker experienced the loss of a loved one, I made sure to check in with them throughout the day. I also offered to help with any tasks they may have found challenging during that time. I also encouraged them to take time off if they needed it. For coworkers experiencing grief, I try to be as empathetic as possible, and I try to offer support in any way I can.”

How do you handle cases that are outside your level of expertise?

This question can allow you to show your ability to ask for help when you need it, which can be a valuable skill in nursing. When answering this question, it can be helpful to talk about a time you asked for help and how it helped you provide better care for your patients.

Example: “When I first started as a nurse, I was working with a patient who was experiencing a lot of pain. I asked my senior nurse for help, and she taught me how to use the patient’s pain scale to determine the best course of action. I was able to use this information to help treat the patient’s pain and provide them with the best care possible.”

When a patient doesn’t respond as expected to treatment, how do you react?

When a patient doesn’t respond as expected to treatment, it’s important to remain calm and assess the situation. Interviewers ask this question to see how you react to challenging situations and how you can use your critical thinking skills to solve them. In your answer, describe how you would assess the situation and what steps you would take to resolve it.

Example: “When a patient doesn’t respond as expected to treatment, I would first assess the situation. I would talk to my colleagues and the patient’s family to see if they noticed any changes in the patient’s condition. If I notice any changes, I would immediately alert my colleagues and start treatment. If I don’t notice any changes, I would continue with the treatment plan and reassess the patient’s condition after a set amount of time.”

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