After you have completed your studies and after acquiring a license you must be looking for a job now. If this stands true, then you have come to the right place. Facing an interview can be difficult for most people. If you are trying to have an idea about the common nursing interview questions that will be asked during an interview, then consider your worries are over. We have prepared some common nursing interview questions and answers for you so that you can be confident when you go for your interview round. Getting shortlisted is the dream for most aspiring nurses in the industry and if you are one among them then read further.
The interview for nursing positions is very intense. One should be prepared beforehand for the interview. You should be prepared to answer all types of questions and face the panel of interviewers. You can perform really well during an interview if only you plan and prepare for the interview. Go through some common questions that can be asked during the interview. You will have to be confident and honest while answering the questions asked by the interviewer.
You can be prepared for your interview by going through the questions listed below –
Q1. Tell us something about yourself?
How should you answer the question: Make sure that the answer you give is concise, crisp and to the point. See to it that you have prepared at least five positive qualities about yourself. This is one of the most asked questions, but most people mumble when this question is asked. If you don’t prepare and rehearse your answer beforehand you will be in trouble. Quote what your superiors or professors tell about you like ‘my former boss, Mr. David, says I am one of their best employees. He says I am reliable and hardworking’. These types of quotes are impressive so, be sure to add these to your answer.
Focus on your skills and qualities that you possess to answer this question and you will be good to go.
Q2. Why did you choose ‘nursing’as your career?
How should you answer the question: To answer this interview question you should look for motivation and values that have driven you to take up nursing as a career. See to it that you answer this question wisely. Do not talk about the monetary benefits that drive you to become a nurse. Even if money is an aspect that made you take up nursing, don’t mention it. A good way to answer this question is, ‘I always loved to help people, I feel good when I help people. I help people who are in need and this gives me the utmost satisfaction.’
This is the right way of answering this question. Prepare a similar answer and rehearse it thoroughly. You don’t have to copy this answer, make your own answer to this question and you will be good to go, see to it that you tell your own story, your motivating factor and you will do just fine.
Q3. How do you tackle stressful situations?
How should you answer the question: Make sure that the answer to this question is positive, see to it that you stay calm while answering this question and you answer with confidence. Don’t talk about instances when you got irritated during a stressful situation. Talk about the times where you managed the situation well. Provide all the facts that you can. You can answer by saying ‘my superiors in my previous workplace, or college have told me that I manage stressful situations quite well. I stay calm during such situations and see to it the end goal is met. I am a good communicator and I communicate in a calm manner when faced with a stressful situation.
Q4. What if your shift ends at 4:00 pm, but your replacement doesn’t arrive until 4:20 pm then, what do you do?
How should you answer the question: This situation is quite common, we all have faced this situation in some way or the other. Remember that you can’t talk negatively during the interview, try to stay positive throughout the interview. Give positive answers and make sure that you answer thoughtfully. Answer this nursing job interview question this way – ‘people are late sometimes, but as a care provider my job doesn’t end with my shift, I stay and continue to care for my patients until the replacement arrives.’ Tell them that you would inform your superior that your replacement nurse hasn’t arrived yet and that you will continue to care for the patients until the replacement nurse has arrived.
Q5. Why do you want to be a nurse in our hospital?
How should you answer the question: In order to answer this question, you will have to do some research about the hospital. Understand the mission and vision of the hospital and then think about your answer. Emphasize your strengths that will be useful for the hospital. Make your answer suitable to the conditions in the hospital. Say for example you can answer by saying ‘I have always wanted to work in the pediatric department and your hospital’s pediatric department is one of the best in the state.’ Your answer can vary depending on the hospital you are being interviewed for. Understand the culture of the hospital and carve your answer accordingly.
Q6. Tell us about the time at work when you made an error that was critical?
How should you answer the question:This question is quite tricky, you must be thinking that when in an interview you should only provide positive answers but what if the question wants you to talk about the negatives, here the question is asking about the mistake that you made during work and you cannot run away from the question. Answer this question by saying that you made a mistake and you learned from it. Talk about the mistake in detail and then add to it that you will not do the same mistake again as you have learned from it and you moved forward. Do not blame others for your mistake, own it and speak confidently. You don’t have to mention a ‘Critical’ mistake you can speak of a minute mistake as well but be sure to talk about the positive consequences as well.
Q7. What are your qualities that make you successful?
How should you answer the question: If you feel that this question is difficult to answer, then simply think about the compliments you get from your superiors or co-workers. You sure must have got some compliments from others during work, quote those and speak about it. You can answer by saying ‘I am good at communicating with the patients, I have got many compliments from my co-workers on how well I communicate with the patients. This ability helps me to deal with the stressful situations and thus helps me to be a successful nurse.’
Q8. Do you have any question for us?
How should you answer the question: If you have questions for the interviewer ask them, but be sure to not talk about the money or about anything that will make you sound like you haven’t done your research properly. You can ask about the timings of the job and talk about anything that you feel like you should know. If you don’t have any question, then say that you don’t have any question for the interviewers. However, it will be wise if you do ask a question or two about the hospital.
Q9. What do your co-workers tell about you?
How should you answer the question: To answer this question, make sure that you are positive. Talk about the compliments you get from your employers and from your co-workers. Tell them how your co-workers feel about you. For example, ‘My co-workers tell me that I am very hardworking and that I communicate well with the patients.’ Give more such instances and you will be good to go.
Q10. What are your hobbies and interests?
How should you answer the question: Talk about your hobbies and interests that you were associated with while you were in school and college. If you were good at sports, then talk about it in details, if you were into poetry, writing or painting talk about it too. Back up your answer by showing the certificates that you have received (if you have any). If you are good at sports, it means that you are a team player. If you are good at writing poetry, or if you are into painting it mostly means that you have a creative streak. So, don’t worry and simply talk about the activities that you engage in as hobbies.
Q11. Tell us something about your family?
How should you answer the question: This question is asked in order to know the number of dependents you have. This question might seem to be a little too simple but it is an important question. Just be honest and tell them about the number of family members you have. Give them some details about the work each of your family members does also mention their educational qualifications. This question will help the interviewers understand your family background and will help them decide if you can relocate to another place if needed. It also helps the interviewers understand the remuneration that you are looking forward to.
Q12. What are your greatest nursing strengths and weaknesses?
How should you answer the question: This question is asked to understand the strengths you have that will match the strengths that the interviewers are looking for. Also when you mention your weaknesses it talks about your honesty. The employer wants to know if you are working on your weaknesses. When you talk about your weaknesses make sure to tell them how you are trying to work on it too. See to it that the answer you provide is positive. Talk about your strengths and weaknesses at a stretch. Prepare at least three strengths and three weaknesses.
Q13. Talk about the conflicts you had at work and also tell us how you resolved those conflict?
How should you answer the question: Talk about the times you had conflicts with your superiors (Registered Nurse), your co-workers or with the patient. Talk about the situation in length and then talk about how you resolved the conflict. The employer wants to know if you have conflict resolution skills or not and if you can work as a part of a team. So think about the answer well before answering. You can easily slide down the path of talking negatively, but you must avoid it and try to stay positive throughout the interview. Make sure that you have at least three examples of the conflicts ready. Also, don’t forget to mention what you learned from the experience.
Q14. As a student, how were you?
How should you answer the question: Be honest while answering this question, because you will have to provide them with the mark sheets and the mark sheets will give away the truth. Talk about the subjects that you loved during your school days. Tell them about the subjects you found difficult and tell them the reasons too.
Q15. Why are you looking for a new job/ job?
How should you answer the question: This is yet another common yet difficult interview question for nurse asked during interviews. If you are a fresher you don’t have to ponder over the question a lot, just tell them that you are looking forward to work in the field you have always been interested in. However, if you are experienced and have worked previously in other hospitals then, you will have to be a little more cautious while answering this question. Don’t just say that you are looking for better prospects, instead talk about the skills that will help you provide the employer with profits in the industry.
Q16. Please describe your previous job/ current job?
How should you answer the question: Stick to the facts, while you answer this question. Talk about your day to day work and how you handle the projects. Do not complain about your workplace. Talk about the values you provided your previous employers with. Do not boast about the work you do. Just stick to the facts and you will do just fine.
Q17. How is your relationship with your superiors?
How should you answer the question: In order to answer this question, you will have to try to be as positive as possible. Do not begin to talk negatively about your seniors instead, talk about the good times and tell them how you bonded well with the seniors.
Q18.Can we refer to your previous employer or current employer?
How should you answer the question: Do not hesitate to answer this question, agree to it instantly. If you hesitate then the interviewer will think that you have something to hide, they will think that you have a bad reputation in the previous workplace. So, don’t let them think this and see to it that you agree to the question immediately. If you are currently working, then tell them that refer to the hospital once you get the job.
Q19. If you are criticized, how do you respond to the criticism?
How should you answer the question: It is clear that we all hate criticism of all kinds, however, you cannot say this to your interviewer. You will have to be positive while answering this question. Be honest and tell them that although criticism hurts, it helps in making us better eventually. Tell them how you analyze the reason behind the criticism and how you try to work on it. Admit that you are not perfect and tell the interviewer that criticism helps you learn and be a better person.
Q20. How do you see yourself?
How should you answer the question: The best way to answer this question again is, to be honest. Asses yourself and talk about yourself in length. Do not be overconfident as it will break the deal. Be confident and talk about your skills, relationships with the people at work and performance.
Q21. What motivates you to go on?
How should you answer the question: We all know that money is one of the greatest motivators, we all want to be rich and that is the reason why we do a job. However, you are not supposed to say this, instead, talk about your dreams, talk about a role model who inspired you to take up nursing as a career. Your role model can be anybody, it can be one of your family members, your colleague or boss or it can be a famous personality.
Q22. What do you expect from this job?
How should you answer the question: While answering this question, you will have to be realistic. Don’t talk about high expectations instead be reasonable. Research about the company and then set your expectations. Talk about the career growth that you expect after joining this hospital.
Q23. Can you work under pressure?
How should you answer the question: This is a clinical question that is asked a lot during nursing interviews. You will have to be positive while answering such questions, tell them that you can work under pressure and that you know that the job will require you to work under pressure. If you are a fresher then, work pressure will help you grow in your career. Professionals don’t fear pressure and they know how to deal with it. So, make sure that your answer to this question is positive in all ways possible.
Q24. Can you work during the weekends or late nights?
How should you answer the question: Answer this question with a ‘Yes’ if you have no problems working overtime. All hospitals provide you with extra wage when you do over time. If you have some family obligations that stops you from doing over time, then tell the interviewer about it. Mostly if you put in more efforts then you earn points for promotion. So, take up the opportunities with a smile.
Q25. What is your salary expectation?
How should you answer the question: Avoid stating that you expect a salary as per the industry standard. Such an open-ended statement will only mean that you are not confident enough. Give them a figure that is realistic and as per your experience. Research a little and get to know what your peers earn. This will give you an idea about the amount you should be expecting.
So, these are some of the common questions asked during interviews. Prepare the answers to these questions beforehand and you will be able to gain success soon. Don’t forget to rehearse the answers before you go for the interview.