Common Nursing Interview Questions and Tips

Nursing Interview Tips | Example Questions & Tips |

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Interviewing for a nursing position is an opportunity for you to represent your experience in a way that benefits the employer. With some preparation, you can be ready to meet with an employer and answer interview questions with ease. The tips in this article will help you learn how to prepare for your interview and also decide what to wear.

What are nursing interview questions?

Interviewers ask nursing interview questions to see if your responses qualify you for the open position. Your answers to these questions help the employer understand your education and specific clinical experience you’ve gained throughout your career. You’re more likely to receive additional questions about your educational background if you’ve recently graduated from medical school. The interviewer can gauge the strengths and weaknesses you have to find out if you can improve in this role. They’ll compare your strengths and weaknesses to other applicants and determine if your skills match the qualifications posted in the job description.

Why do employers ask nursing interview questions?

Employers ask you nursing interview questions to identify your proficiency level and qualifications for the specific role. The way you answer these questions indicates the skill set you have and your ability to perform the required tasks.

For example, if you’re interviewing for a nursing role at a pediatrician’s office, you’ll want to emphasize your pediatric experience and explain how your efforts improved the quality of patient care. You may go into detail about the relationships you’ve built, and provide examples of any obstacles you overcame to complete your work. You can focus on the actions you took to provide treatment to patients and how you made your patients feel confident in the actions you advised them to take.

Nursing interview questions to prepare for before an interview

Review these potential nursing questions with examples of answers to help guide your interview preparation:

What is most rewarding about your experience in nursing?

An interviewer can ask this question out of curiosity and seek what motivations you have for choosing this profession as your career. Use a personal story to connect with the interviewer to showcase a defining moment for your career.

Example: ‘My desire for working with others motivated me to pursue nursing as a career. I volunteered at a children’s cancer center growing up, and I bonded with a six-year-old boy named Caleb over our interests in sports and board games, and we played some of his favorite games when he received treatments. His family thanked me for the support I provided, which they said gave them a sense of comfort and hope. This experience helped me understand my interest in the healthcare industry where I enjoy establishing meaningful connections with the people I work with.’

What is your approach to working with a patient who’s dissatisfied with the care you’re providing them?

The employer wants to understand your behavior and your ability to solve problems. Be sure to discuss a scenario that started with conflict and ended with a resolution.

Example: ‘My approach is to emphasize listening. During my experience working with an elderly patient, the patient spoke with the leading doctor about their dissatisfaction with the care they received from me. The patient felt that I wasn’t providing an adequate treatment plan for his illness. After taking the time to reflect on what the patient told me, I realized that I had told the patient I couldn’t proceed with treatment until it’s approved by the doctor. I spoke with the doctor, who was able to let the patient about I was following protocol and that we would have a plan in place shortly.’

Can you describe the relationship you’ve had with doctors and nurses in previous roles?

The interviewer wants to understand your communication and interpersonal skills. Reflect on your relationships with employees you’ve worked with and outline the impact it’s had on patients.

Example: ‘I think my relationships with past doctors and nurses display the flexibility I have to work with them and patients. Therefore, my success is based on the cohesive effort exhibited by each staff member. I had a patient whose treatment required me to coordinate with two nurses on administering their medications to alleviate their heart symptoms. We elaborated on each other’s responses to questions they had about the side effects they may face. The work we performed lead to an increase in the patient’s morale when rendering a treatment that led to their full recovery.’

What is the most difficult part of working as a nurse?

The interviewer expects you to be honest when expressing your challenges about nursing. Describe how the steps you are taking to overcome any challenges you face so that you can demonstrate both that you are honest and that you have a plan in place.

Example: ‘The most difficult part about working as a nurse is not having full control over a patient’s health at all times. Your job is to serve the needs of each patient you work with, but if an unexpected event occurs, you can only rely on your experience and training at the moment. However, I think the potential to alter the impact of patients’ lives makes this career fulfilling and worth experiencing the uncertainty that comes with it. Also, communicating with coworkers can align everyone’s focus on the care of the patients.’

Tips on what to wear to a nursing interview

Consider these tips to help you dress professionally for a nursing interview:

Understand the difference between business professional and business casual attire

Identify the attire you’re supposed to wear when the employer contacts you about coming in for an interview. Generally, they’ll communicate with you in writing, so you can ask their preference for attire. Business professional is usually the most appropriate attire for an interview as it shows your willingness to take this role seriously. Stick with conservative colors for suits and socks that you decide to wear. An interviewer may request that you dress in business casual attire, which involves wearing a button-down shirt and khaki pants. Make sure you iron your clothing to give a professional look to your appearance.

Wear shoes that match the rest of your outfit

Ensure your shoes match the outfit and the belt you selected for the interview. Dark-colored shoes and matching socks suffice in addition to flats or low-heeled shoes.

Properly groom before you leave for the interview

An interviewer may evaluate the way you’ve groomed, which can display the way you prepare yourself before working directly with a patient. You should get a haircut, trim your nails and shave your facial hair to look presentable to the employer.

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