Thursday, April 18, 2024

Nursing Job Interview Questions With Answers

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Sample Questions On Adaptability

Nursing Interview Questions and Answers
What do you do when you dont know an answer to a patients question or how to address a situation?

No nurse knows it all. Dont be afraid to describe a time when you didnt know the answer or what to do. Explain step-by-step the action you took to find the answer or address the situation.

Sample answer:

When I start my shift, I go over patients diagnoses and medications. If Im unfamiliar with anything, I do quick research and learn what I need to know. It could be about signs and symptoms, prognosis, side effects of medications, adverse reactions, contraindications, etc. If I am still unsure, I ask a more experienced nurse or a provider. If I have questions about medication, sometimes I call the pharmacist and get clarification. And if I dont understand something, I dont try to guess. Ill contact my nursing supervisor or ask someone with experience. I dont let my lack of knowledge affect patient care.

How do you handle changes to your assignment, the unit, schedule, etc.?

We all know nursing is forever changing, and we need to be flexible. Use this question as an opportunity to explain how you adapt to change.

Sample answer:

When my facility switched to electronic medical records, I learned the system easily and quickly. But I noticed some of the older nurses had issues adapting and struggled with the new system. I volunteered to help and was placed on a team to support the nurses transition from paper charting to the new system.

Sample answer:

Most Common Nursing Interview Questions That You Will Most Likely Be Asked

Although we have supplied answers to these typical nursing interview questions, they are really just guides. You should adapt the answers to your particular situation and the type of nursing job that you are applying for. You can find more comprehensive guide for the most common nursing interview questions from this extremely well reviewed guide Cracking the Nursing Interviewby Jim Keogh here, which I can recommend.

You may also find the following video helpful in preparing for the big day-

How Would You Handle A Difficult Patient

As a nurse, its important to have compassion and patience. Your patients are often facing difficult situations that can sometimes affect their attitudes. When you encounter a difficult patient, take steps to reassure them. Make sure you administer any medication properly according to schedule and provide extra resources that might help make the patient more comfortable. When asked this question, consider giving an example of a time when you encountered a difficult patient and helped to improve the patient’s outcome.

Example:While working overnight as a pediatric nurse, I had a 15-year-old patient under my care who we were treating for infection. The patient called me into the room several times within an hour with various concerns. Even though I was falling behind in my scheduled care of other patients, I sat down with him to ask how he was feeling. It turned out that he was worried about his situation and not used to being away from home. I spent a few minutes asking about his pets at home and brought him an extra snack. After that, he went to sleep and no longer called repeatedly during the remainder of his treatment. I learned to look beyond patients’ attitudes for underlying concerns.

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How To Answer: Weaknesses

Similarly, it can be difficult to answer this question without coming across as unsure or insecure. Avoid generic or cliche answers, such as being a perfectionist or working too hard. Instead, be open and acknowledge where you have some room to grow. You can also discuss how youre working to improve upon your weaknesses or how they wont hold you back from performing well in this role.

Sample Answer: I dont love doing paperwork, and I tend to procrastinate on writing patient notes or filling out forms. I do my best to keep up with paperwork throughout my shift so I dont impede anyone elses workflow, but sometimes things still slip through the cracks. Thats why I always take time at the end of my shift to make sure I havent forgotten anything.

Sample Nurse Interview Questions: Teamwork

37 Inspirational Nurse Practitioner Interview Questions and Answers ...

Interviewers are wanting to envision how you will fit in with their team and how you work well with various personalities. We suggest telling a story about a time you dealt with a co-worker who had a conflicting personality, a disagreement within your healthcare team, or a challenging patient case involving your team. Always remember to talk about what you learned from the situation and if anything positive came from it.

1. Describe a situation when you had to work closely with a difficult coworker. How did you handle the situation? Were you able to build a relationship with this person?

Sample answer:

Never talk badly about anyone during an interview. Explain the situation and why the individual was difficult. Share how you handled the situation. Try to turn anything negative into a positive. What did you learn from the situation? What might you do differently now? What was the silver lining? Were you able to talk through your differences? Did you become friends?

Working closely with difficult coworkers can be challenging but it is important to remember the patient, their care, and family is the most important. Putting aside differences is essential for all nurses because not everyone is the same. Sometimes this means not discussing specific topics such as religion or politics at work. With that being said, not everyone will become friends in the workplace but working together is key for the successful care of the patients.

Sample answer:

Sample answer:

Sample answer:

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What Would You Do To A Student Who Refuses To Take Medication

The interview manager wants to know what approach you would take when a student neglects medication. State the steps you would take in such a case.

Sample Answer

I would call the student and seek to first understand the reason for not taking medication. If there is a real underlying problem, I would address it or direct the student accordingly. Then, I would make the student understand the reason for taking medication and why it is necessary for his/her health, well-being, and academic performance. With that understanding, I would encourage the student to take medication and do follow up.

Do You Have Any Career Goals

What the interviewer wants to know: If you have a definite career plan and if the employer can rely on you for possible promotions.

What you should do: Talk about your plans to excel.

Additional tip: Show also how your employers can benefit from your personal career goals.

Example:Five years from now, I aim to complete a post-graduate degree in Oncology Nursing. If ever I will be hired for the job, I will spend the next two years mastering all the skills of being an Onco nurse. I will get additional certifications and possibly pursue a Masters degree in a university to further my knowledge and skills on the job.

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Why Are You Leaving Your Current Position

This question is a potential land-mine. Do NOT use it as an opportunity to badmouth your current or former position. Future employers dont need to know you hate where you worked or that your old boss was a tyrant. Rather, focus on the positive aspects and how youre leveraging those in your new job.


While my last job was an opportunity for me to learn and grow at a comfortable pace in a smaller clinical environment, Im looking for new challenges and opportunities to continue to expand my knowledge in a larger, hospital-based environment. I am eager to try new things and learn skill-sets that come from working in a faster-paced environment like this one here.

How Do You Explain Medications Treatments Or Health Conditions To Patients Without Using Too Much Medical Jargon

Top 10 Nursing Interview Questions and Answers I Indeed Career Tips

The interview team wants to know how much you practice therapeutic communication here.

It will be helpful if you demonstrate the consciousness that your patients have different educational backgrounds.

Describe a situation where you explained medical jargon to a patient in a laymans language.

Example Answer: Patients have a different understanding of health terminologies.

While serving as a home healthcare nurse, many patients werent aware of the meanings of some health terms.

I used words they understood.

For instance, instead of saying edema, Id use swelling, and instead of saying hypertension, Id say high blood pressure.

I ensured they understood me by asking them to interpret what I had just told them in their words.

I would not proceed until I was sure it had made sense to them.

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How Do You Like Working With A Team

Nurses dont work in silos. A lot of their work depends on other people. Cooperation and flexibility are important traits to facilitate a healthy team.

Sample answer:

I thrive while working as a part of a team because of my ability to adapt. I find that working on a team allows for the best outcomes for patients. Everyone has a different way of looking at a problem and multiple perspectives can bring about creative solutions to issues. Also, working on a team motivates me because I enjoy celebrating the successes of others. Last, I feel confident in my abilities to work alone as well.

Score! You explained how valuable working on a team is to you. Also, you showed that you can work alone. You killed two birds with one stone. Excellent.

Why Are You The Best Candidate For This Position

When an interviewer asks you this question, they are giving you an opportunity to convince them that you’re the right person for the job. Explain your skills, experience and other qualifications that make you stand out.

Example:”I’ve been a registered nurse for six years, and I love every minute of it. To me, nursing isn’t just a job. It’s my passion. I love caring for people, and I have strong communication and interpersonal skills.I stay current on all the recent innovations and techniques in my field. I enjoy overcoming the challenges of this job and take every opportunity to grow and make a difference in the lives of others.”

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Common Nursing Interview Questions And Best Answers

If you’ve landed an interview for a nursing or medical position, it’s a good idea to review typical interview questions and answers. That way, you’ll walk into the interview feeling prepared and confident.

In addition to practicing responses, get tips on how else to prepare for your nursing interview, as well as how to impress interviewers.

Watch Now: How to Answer 5 Common Nursing Interview Questions

Describe A Time That You Recognised Symptoms And Identified A Patient’s Condition

Top 10 nursing interview questions and answers

This question will help you understand if the job candidate has strong attention-to-detail skills and knowledge of common reactions. What to look for in an answer:

  • Attention-to-detail
  • Experience and knowledge


“I had a patient many years ago that had suffered a stroke. I helped to care for them in their recovery process by working with a team of healthcare professionals. Over the course of four weeks, I saw a decline in the patient’s cognitive ability. I brought this up with their family doctor who diagnosed them with Alzheimer’s. We could then put them in touch with the proper care professionals.”

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What Are The Qualities That A School Nurse Need To Be Successful

The interviewer asks this question to assess your familiarity with the qualities of a good school nurse. Mention at least two qualities that school nurses need to be successful.

Sample Answer

The role of a nurse has its pressures and demands. But people who choose to become school nurses find it incredibly rewarding. To be successful, one needs to be caring, empathetic, adaptable, and hard working. A school nurse needs to be emotionally stable, a quick thinker particularly when emergency cases arise, a great communicator, have physical endurance, be a problem solver, have a sense of hope, and good record keeper.

Question #: Where Do You See Yourself In Five Years

Some common registered nurse interview questions may not seem directly related to the nursing field, but make no mistakethis one still is. Healthcare employers want to determine whether you’re here for the long run or just trying to fill an employment gap. Explain how you want to thrive in this position by talking about:

  • How do you see your career evolving?
  • What can you do to reach your goals?

How You Could Answer

“Hands down, I’m looking to become one of the most productive nurses on your team. I want to be indispensable. And eventually, I’d love to raise my status to a nursing team leader and even help with training. But before that, my plan is to obtain my Master of Science in Nursing so that I can become an advanced practice registered nurse. My dream is to be able to go deeper with patients by evaluating their test results, helping doctors with diagnoses, and referring them to specialists.”

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Q: Why Are You Leaving Your Current Nursing Position

A: Im looking for new challenges. I think its essential that I broaden my nursing experience and set new goals for myself otherwise I will remain stagnant. I hope to learn new skills, see how other units operate and really improve myself as a nurse.

I think its important to keep moving ahead and getting better whatever career you are in. But particularly in nursing which is changing rapidly with new nursing and healthcare technology. I see this job as being able to further develop my potential as a nurse and a person.

What Do You Do If You Dont Have An Answer To A Patients Inquiry

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No matter the number of certifications you earn, you cant know everything in nursing.

Dont be shy to tell the interviewer when you dont know what to do or have no answer to a patients question.

Highlight the steps you took to find an answer to the question.

The interviewer is interested in how you addressed the situation.

Your response should showcase that youre research- and result-oriented.

Make it

: I go over patients medications and diagnoses whenever I resume my shift.

If anything sounds unfamiliar, I do quick research to learn about it.

It could be on prognosis, signs and symptoms, or medication side effects.

If Im still unsure, I speak with a provider or a superior.

Sometimes, I ring the pharmacist if I have questions about some medications.

I dont make guesses or assume if I dont know anything.

Ill ask a more experienced person or inform my nursing supervisor.

I dont allow my lack of understanding of a concept to affect the quality of patient treatment.

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How Would You Define A Leader

This is an important question because all nurses are leaders. Even if they arent formally leading their peers, they are advocating for their patients and looking for ways to improve the practice, she said. I want to know how a nurse thinks about leadership.

The worst answers to this nurse interview question, in Bryants opinion, would be those that show an attitude that the manager should be fixing all their problems.

What Are Your Career Goals

For many nurses, working in med-surg is a starting pointand that is fine. But I want to know where it is that they want to go. Is there another specialty they are hoping to move to? Are they interested in getting certified, or being involved with the unit or joining professional organizations? Bryant explained.

You dont have to have your entire nursing career goals planned out, but a little thought and self-reflection can help you be ready for these types of nursing interview questions and answers.

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Q2: What Is Your Worst Trait

You have two options:

  • Pick a positive that could have negative impacts, and emphasize the positives. If youre hard-charging and sometimes miss details, you can focus on your single-minded determination. Or, if you are very blunt, you can show how your honesty benefited one of your previous employers.
  • You can choose an aspect of your personality, and see how it rings true with the interviewer. Some firms dont mind as much if youre a bit cantankerous, or if you may have some negative traits. They may focus simply on the fact that youve chosen to be honest.
  • To figure out ways to turn a negative into a positive, use your past superiors for help. At review meetings, they may have brought up a negative trait of yours, and talked about how it was still useful. Or, you can even think about conversations with friends and family where its become the subject of a joke. Use these, and see what positive aspects of them have come up, similar to what was mentioned above.

    If you dont have any negative traits, please dont tell an interviewer that. Again, look at what friends and family joke about, or what previous co-workers have said. And if you are still having trouble, come up with something. Even if youre perfect, no hiring manager wants to hear that you are.

    Where Do You See Yourself In Five Years

    Nurses Job Interview Questions and Answers

    Employers often ask questions about your long-term goals, for a few reasons. First, they want to see if you sound motivated/energetic in general about your work, your career, and your life.

    Theyd rather hire someone who sounds positive and enthusiastic about their career.

    The second reason they ask: They want to make sure their job fits your general goals and career direction. The last thing they want to do is hire and train someone whos going to quit after six months because the job isnt satisfying them.

    So you need to demonstrate two things:

    A) Youve thought about where you want to be in a few years

    B) Their job fits your goals and helps you get where you want to be

    If you do that, theyll be a lot more comfortable offering you the job. For more help and example answers for this question, read this article.

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