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Monday, June 24, 2019

45 Top Nursing Interview Questions and Answers {Updated}

Nursing Interview Questions and Answers for experienced PDF, Read commonly asked Nursing Job Interview Questions with Answers PDF for Freshers.


Read Nursing Interview Questions and Answers

What made you choose to nurse as a career?

  • I wanted to do something in my career that is challenging, interesting, and makes a difference in people’s lives on a daily basis.
  • My mother is a nurse, and seeing the satisfaction she feels every day by helping people in her job inspired my own interest in the field.
  • I believe that nursing is one of the most interesting and growing careers available today, and I enjoy the difference I can make in my patient’s hospital experience.

  • How has your training prepared you for a nursing career?

  • I had an internship position at an Oncology Center after graduating last May, which gave me hands-on experience with patients, and I am anxious to pursue my career specializing in cancer treatment.
  • My clinical training in the ER of City Hospital prepared me for the fast-paced care required of an ER Nurse.
  • I had the opportunity to work as a research assistant for Dr. Zane, who was writing about new findings in the treatment of heart disease when I was working at City Hospital. The knowledge I gained during that time prepared me for assisting with cardiac patients in a more effective way.

  • What interests you about working here?

  • Your facility has one of the top-rated Cardiac units in the country, and I am interested in utilizing my experience with Cardiac patients in a hospital engaging in the latest research and techniques.
  • I really enjoy working in Geriatrics, and your facility has a vibrant and innovative reputation for its programs and population.
  • I have worked in very large hospitals, where I gained valuable experience, but I enjoy working in a small hospital, where you can get to know your patients, the doctors, and your colleagues on a more personal level.

  • Do you have any professional affiliations?
    Absolutely, I feel it’s important to stay informed about the nursing profession. I’m a member of the American Nurses Association and the New York State Nurses Association.

    How do you handle stress on the job?

  • By focusing on the most important thing, the care of the patient. I feel I owe it to my patients to stay calm and focused on them.
  • In the ER setting, there are often stressful situations that arise. I just make sure that the stresses of the job don’t interfere with the care of the patient.
  • I am generally an easy going person, and I don’t allow on the job stress to interfere with my work.

  • How would you deal with a doctor who was rude?

  • I would bring the question to my supervisor. If the doctor was displeased with me in some way, I would want to find out so I could take action to rectify the situation.
  • I would ask the doctor if there was something in my care of the patient that she felt needed discussion.
  • If it were a one-time occurrence, I would figure that she was just having a bad day. If it happened repeatedly, I would notify my supervisor.

  • How would you handle a patient who constantly complains about pain?

  • I would confer with the attending doctor to make sure that the patient’s pain was being managed in the most effective way.
  • I would reassure the patient that everything possible was being done to alleviate their discomfort.
  • I would listen sympathetically to their complaint, reassure them that their concerns were being heard and that we were doing everything possible to help them.

  • How would you handle a patient who complains about everything?

  • I would first be sure that the patient had no valid complaints, and then just be patient and reassure them that we were doing our very best for them.
  • I understand that some patients will complain about everything, just because they are unhappy about what brought them to our care. I just reassure them that everything possible is being done to make them comfortable.

  • How would you handle a family who is displeased with your patient’s care?

  • I would listen to their concerns and reassure them that I was doing my very best for their loved one.
  • Sometimes family members are looking for someone or something to blame for what their loved one is going through. I would try to reassure them that the patient was getting the best quality of care available.
  • I would listen to their concerns, and make sure that if any were well founded they were addressed immediately.

  • What do you feel you contribute to your patients?

  • I offer my patients the very best care and advocacy I can.
  • I believe that I offer my patients comfort and confidence that they are being well cared for.
  • I feel that my patients know that I am there to provide comfort and understanding, that I will listen to their concerns, and that I will act as their advocate if necessary.

  • What do you find difficult about being a nurse?

  • Sometimes I find it difficult to leave work at work, as I tend to become very involved with my patients.
  • I think the most difficult part of being a nurse is when I have a patient that is very unhappy, or in a lot of pain, and I can’t comfort them to the degree I’d like.
  • I prefer to look at difficulties as challenges, and I enjoy conquering challenges.

  • What do you find most rewarding about being a nurse?
    • The most rewarding thing for me as a nurse is seeing the joy when a family first holds their baby.
    • Interacting with the patients and their families is what I find most rewarding.
    • I find helping patients through recovery after surgery, which is often one of their greatest challenges, to be most rewarding.

    What would you do if your replacement didn’t arrive?

  • I would wait until she arrived, or until someone else was called in.
  • I would notify the supervisor, and offer to stay until my replacement arrived.
  • Try calling her to see if she were on the way, or if she needed help making arrangements for someone to take her shift.

  • Would you become a doctor if you had the opportunity?

  • No, I enjoy the personal contact with my patients and the comradeship with my colleagues unique to nursing.
  • I chose to become a nurse because I find the field fascinating. I plan on advancing my career as a nurse, not a doctor.
  • Yes, I enjoy the medical field tremendously and plan to continue my education throughout my career.

  • Would you describe yourself as organized?
    – Absolutely. I like to have a checklist and make sure that each item gets the attention it needs.
    – Yes, sometimes a little too much so. I make sure that everything is neat and in order.
    – I am a very organized and thorough person, which I think contributes to my success as a nurse.

    Are you a self-motivator?
    – Absolutely. I can always find something productive that needs doing.
    – I’m very motivated to do a good job at what I take on, and I like to stay busy.
    – I am a self-motivator, and I take great pride in my job as a nurse.

    Do you prefer to work alone, or as part of a team?
    – That depends on the circumstances. I enjoy being part of a treatment and support team, but I also like the autonomy of working alone.
    – I believe that nursing in a hospital is a team effort, and I really enjoy making my contribution to the team.
    – You need a certain amount of independence to work without the daily support of a team. As an in-home nurse, I enjoy the one-on-one with my patients.

    Tell me about yourself:
    Although the interviewer is not wanting to listen to your life story, he/she does want you to describe your personality, educational attainment, career goals, and professional experiences.

    Tell me what you know about our company:
    You should conduct some research and be at least somewhat knowledgeable about the entity that might very well become your future workplace. You will look good to the interviewer if it appears that you have been doing your ‘homework’ on the company.

    So, tell us what you know about _____ nursing:
    Insert any nursing specialty into the blank space provided. You will stand out to the interviewer as a candidate who truly has passion about the specialty if you know more about it than the average person. If your dream is to work as a nurse in a well-baby nursery, you’d better be knowledgeable about the area in which you envision yourself working.

    Tell us what your current/former boss would say about you:
    The interviewer is basically looking for clues that will shed light on your work ethic and interpersonal skills. Direct quotes work well. “Jill always said I was dependable” is a direct quote that says a lot.

    Tell me why you want to work here:
    Your reasons for wanting to work at this place of employment should be positive. Also, make a connection between your career goals and how they can be achieved at this company.

    Describe to us how you perform under pressure:
    The settings in which nurses work can quickly turn into pressure-cooker environments. To be blunt, the interviewer does not want to hire anyone who is so emotionally fragile that they’ll shatter like plate glass when faced with the day-to-day pressures of the job.

    Discuss your biggest strengths and weaknesses:
    The interviewer wants to hear about strengths that would be assets in the workplace. Since we all have weaknesses, the person conducting the interview will know you’re a boldfaced liar if you deny having any.

    Are you a team player?
    Healthcare facilities prefer to hire people who work well with others, have good social skills, get along well with patients and visitors, and can pull together as a team for the sake of patient care.

    Discuss your salary requirements:
    This question is sneaky. Some companies have strict pay grids and other facilities are unionized, so salary typically cannot be negotiated at these places. However, smaller workplaces may offer some wiggle room for negotiating the salary. The important thing is to not price oneself out of the market.

    What motivates you to be a nurse:
    Companies prefer to hire healthcare workers who are motivated by intangible ideas, not concrete realities such as money. Even if cash is your ultimate motivation, do not elaborate on your need for money.

    Describe a difficult situation and how you handled it:
    If you have healthcare experience, they want to know how you have dealt with angry doctors, emotionally upset families, or difficult patients. If you lack healthcare experience, you can discuss a difficult situation that occurred in school or a previous workplace.

    Tell us why we should hire you:
    This is the last time to truly sell yourself to the interviewer. Emphasize your positive attributes, reaffirm that you are a team player, and tell them why you are the best candidate for the position that they need to fill.

    Do you have any questions for us:
    Ask the interviewer something, whether it pertains to nurse/patient ratios, length of orientation, or educational opportunities. You might appear uninterested if you have no questions.

    Tell us about an idea or suggestion that you made. Was it implemented?
    Your answer will give the interviewer an abbreviated idea about your ability to think outside the box. Personally, I have been asked this question at various interviews. The last time I was asked this question, I told the interviewer about my suggestion that day shift nurses update the care plans for patients in odd-numbered rooms while night shift nurses update plans of care for the patients in even-numbered rooms. This suggestion was to help ensure that all care plans be updated consistently at my current place of employment.

    What do you enjoy the most about nursing?
    If you are interviewing for a bedside nursing position, the interviewer most likely wants to hear about your passion for helping patients or your eagerness for lifelong learning. I would not mention anything about entering the nursing profession for the money, flexibility, or benefit package.

    Describe your greatest weakness.
    Your answer will give the interviewer an idea about your propensity for honest introspection and self-reflection. Some candidates, in an attempt to conjure up brownie points, will say “I work too hard!” However, astute interviewers are able to catch on and might be turned off by people who use this catch-all response.
    You will want to describe weakness or personal fault that could be a potential advantage in the workplace. For example, some candidates would say that they are so detail-oriented that they sometimes miss the big picture. Although occasionally missing the big picture is a personal fault, attention to detail is often seen as a keen advantage in situations when patients’ lives are at stake. In other words, place a positive spin on your greatest weakness.

    So, where do you see yourself in five years?
    If possible, attempt to connect your long-term career goals with the company. If you are interviewing for a job opening as a medication nurse at a psychiatric facility, you may want to mention that you hope to attain professional certification as a psychiatric nurse in five years. The candidate who is educated at the LPN, diploma, or associates degree level might mention that they will be a BSN degree holder in five years.

    What are your feelings on working nights, weekends, or occasional overtime?
    In this situation, honesty is the best policy. If you accept a 12-hour night shift position when you are truly a diurnal (daytime) person, your existence might be miserable for months, years, or however long it takes to transfer to the day shift. You might also feel bad if you accept a weekend schedule that causes you to miss your children’s Saturday morning sporting events.

    Tell us about your leadership/management style.
    Honesty is also the best policy when answering this question. It is perfectly acceptable to admit that you feel more comfortable following the lead as you gain more experience. If you are already a seasoned nurse, you can keep it general by saying that your leadership style depends on the situation at hand.

    If we hire you, how long would you plan to work here?
    Facilities generally shy away from hiring candidates whom they perceive to be job hoppers, so it would be best to indicate that you plan on establishing a long-lasting relationship with the company.

    Tell us about a previous mistake and the lessons you learned from it.
    We’ve all made mistakes, so be honest. The mistake that you divulge may or may not be related to nursing. For example: “I used to delay charting until the very end of each shift, but realized I wasn’t making the most of my time. I’ve learned to chart during the shift to improve my time management.”

    Describe how you maintain competence (stay current) in the nursing profession.
    Nursing is not simply a job. It is also a journey filled with lifelong learning. You can discuss the ACLS course you took earlier this year, or the critical care conference you attended recently, or the mental health symposium you visited, or whatever it is you do to maintain or augment your nursing knowledge base.

    Why did you leave your last position?
    If you are still employed the interviewer may ask, “Why are you considering leaving your current job?” Again, remain positive and discuss how you want to pursue other opportunities that lead to professional growth. If your employment was involuntarily terminated or you were forced to resign, be truthful without heavily dwelling on it. However, you must showcase your ability for honest introspection. “I was let go at the end of my 90-day orientation and now realize I was not a good fit for the ER” is a reply indicative of honest self-reflection.

    Describe your former nurse manager or supervisor
    I urge you to maintain an upbeat tone, even if you disliked your former manager. You do not want to give the impression that you are a nitpicky complainer. Keep the response positive without engaging in excess flattery. “Carole was a professional who maintained a calm composure, even in stressful situations” will work. If you criticize your former manager, the interviewer might wonder if (or when) you’ll personally attack him or her.

    How would a job with our company help you meet your personal goals?
    A number of honest responses would be acceptable. “I enjoy demented elderly residents and a position with this company would allow me to come into frequent contact with this patient population” or “I’ve always wanted to work at a level one trauma hospital and this facility fits the bill” are acceptable answers. The interviewer wants to see you are truly interested in the company and not simply planning to hop to the next job.

    To date, what has been your greatest achievement?
    You can discuss an achievement that is either linked to nursing or totally unrelated to nursing. Many nurses say that attaining their nursing degree has been their greatest achievement. Others state that forming a family has been their greatest achievement because it has given them a greater understanding of the human experience.

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