Nursing Interview Questions
- How would you describe your skills as a team player?
- How will you deal with difficult doctors?
- How will you deal with difficult patients and/or their families?
- How will you handle unexpected circumstances, such as being short
staffed and having to perform a treatment you have not done before?
You should also practice answering the tough
nursing interview questions ahead of time.
- If you are a recent nursing graduate, you should be prepared to
explain to your interviewer what qualities you possess that will help
you get up to speed quickly with the demands of your new unit.
- You should be prepared to answer questions regarding any negative
experiences you've had in the work place, what you learned from them,
and how you would use those experiences in a positive way in your new
More Nursing Related Questions:
- What type of nursing experience do you have?
- Where did you get your training and what certifications do you have?
- How long has it been since you worked in (ER, OR, ICU, or particular
- What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
- Why did you choose (ER, OR, ICU, LTC, FNP, or other specialty area of
- Why do you want to work in
our hospital and/or community?
- Tell me about a time in which you had to handle an irate physician,
co-worker, or patient. How did you handle it and what were the results?
- Describe a difficult decision you've made and the process you went
through to reach that decision.
- Why makes you right for this job?
- What nursing organizations do you belong to?
Nursing Behavioral Questions:
sure the instructions you've received from management are a mistake, not
in the company's best interests. What do you do to warn management of
the your concerns, and how do you deal with your instructions, until you
can get them modified?
ANSWER-You contact your immediate manager, and inform that person
of your concerns, with whatever information you have to best support
your case. Otherwise, you're obliged to carry out your instructions, and
should do so.
supervisor has told you to drop everything, and concentrate on something
you don’t think is important, or even necessary. Do you put up with it,
or try to get your more important work done, and deal with this matter
ANSWER-This is an instruction, like it or not. It's best to deal
with the matter immediately, get it finished, and try to minimize
disruption to the more important things. Even in theory, and even if
you're right, you're making a mistake by re-prioritizing management's
getting distracted by extra work and meetings, and it's generating a
backlog of work for you. How do you cope with it?
ANSWER-You may not be able to avoid these things, so it's safest
to establish a separate chain of processes for dealing with your normal
work, where you can make time and space to ensure that work is done. You
can either delegate, or ask to have delegated, some of the work, but it
has to be kept moving. Backlogs are destructive, and should be prevented
at all costs.
get two difficult clients at the same time, both demanding your
attention. What do you do?
ANSWER-You get briefings from both clients. You set times for
dealing with their matters, then you prioritize one or the other. You
make sure that each client is attended to as quickly as possible, and
reschedule other work as required.
database crashes, and you have to work on some sort of improvised system
for receipts, while also collecting the data. What do you do?
ANSWER-You set up a paper receipt system and get your data into a
paper form which can be easily used for data entry when the system comes
back online. You take copies of all paper issued and received. You
create a reference system for each document, preferably numerical,
associating each receipt with its related document.
Own Interview Questions to
Ask Your Interviewer.
Below are some examples of nursing interview questions you should ask a
- What is the nurse-to-patient ratio?
- Is there support staff on the unit to assist nurses?
- In what ways are nurses held accountable for high qualities of
- How much input do nurses have regarding systems, equipment and the
- What professional development opportunities are available to nurses?
Monster.com Nursing Interview
Questions You Can Ask and Not Ask:
*By Jennifer LeClaire, Monster Contributing Writer
If you're a trained nursing professional, you can afford to be a
discriminating job seeker, thanks to the nursing shortage. But you still
need to prepare thoroughly for every job interview.
Part of the process of getting ready for an interview is knowing the
questions you want to ask a potential employer. These questions
should demonstrate your interest in the opportunity while helping you
gauge whether the position is the right match for your skills, goals,
personality and lifestyle.
Your inquiries should cover three main areas: orientation and
training, the working environment, and the employer's management and
Orientation and Training:
is the level and depth of orientation?
more orientation time be granted if I feel I need it?
my orientation take place during the shift I will be working?
there a mentorship program?
are your expectations of new hires during their first six months on the
typical first-year assignments.
qualities do your most successful nurses possess?
is the nurse-to-patient ratio?
long are your shifts -- eight, 10 or 12 hours?
do you go about scheduling? Is self-scheduling an option, or does
someone else dictate the schedule?
long have most nurses been on the unit?
did the last person in this position leave?
long has this position been vacant?
I be on call if I accept this position? If so, what are the
conditions/requirements of on-call duty?
Management and Administration:
would you describe your management style?
do you motivate employees?
do you demonstrate that you value your nursing staff?
much autonomy do you give your nurses to make decisions regarding
often do you conduct performance reviews?
the administration open to suggestions that would improve patient care?
challenges is this facility facing?
have been this unit's most notable successes and failures over the year?
are nurses' biggest challenges at this facility?
makes this facility unique among others in this region?
steps do you take to ensure safe working conditions?
are your plans for future growth?
should I want to work here?
An Offer in Hand
you have the job offer -- and not before -- ask the standard questions
about salary and benefits, such as:
is the salary?
special compensation awarded for overtime? What is the differential for
second-shift, third-shift and weekend work?
is the benefits package?
you offer other incentives, such as paid journal subscriptions or
scholarships for dependents?
you provide financial support for continuing education?
grants available for ongoing education?
there special incentives for bilingual nurses?
there room for advancement? What is the career path?
do you reward employees for exceptional work?
A couple of interview caveats: Never ask about the number of
ethnic employees, and never ask the interviewer any questions that could
be construed as personal.
Think of the interview as a conversation, not an interrogation. While
the meeting is the interviewer's chance to find out about you, it's also
your chance to ask about the issues that can significantly affect your
short- and long-term job satisfaction.
Standard Interview Questions for All Majors:
It is not enough to have solid answers for only the above questions. You
need to be prepared for the full spectrum of questions that may be
presented. For further practice, make sure you go through the required
mock interview (see the Competitive Interview Prep chapter); and for
further review, look at some of the following questions:
me about yourself.
me about your experience.
is your most important accomplishment to date?
would you describe your ideal job?
did you choose this career?
did you decide on this career?
goals do you have in your career?
do you plan to achieve these goals?
do you personally define success?
a situation in which you were successful.
do you think it takes to be successful in this career?
accomplishments have given you the most satisfaction in your life?
you had to live your life over again, what one thing would you change?
you rather work with information or with people?
you a team player?
should I hire you?
you a goal-oriented person?
me about some of your recent goals and what you did to achieve them.
are your short-term goals?
is your long-range objective?
do you see yourself doing five years from now?
do you want to become ten years from now?
you handle conflict well?
you ever had a conflict with a boss or professor? How did you resolve
major problem have you had to deal with recently?
you handle pressure well?
is your greatest strength?
is your greatest weakness?
I were to ask one of your professors (or a boss) to describe you, what
would he or she say?
did you choose to attend your college?
changes would you make at your college?
has your education prepared you for your career?
were your favorite classes? Why?
you enjoy doing independent research?
were your favorite professors? Why?
is your GPA not higher?
you have any plans for further education?
much training do you think you’ll need to become a productive employee?
qualities do you feel a successful manager should have?
do you want to work in the _____ industry?
do you know about our company?
are you interested in our company?
you have any location preferences?
familiar are you with the community that we’re located in?
you willing to relocate? In the future?
you willing to travel? How much?
money important to you?
much money do you need to make to be happy?
kind of salary are you looking for?
Don’t just read these questions—practice and rehearse the answers.
Don’t let the employer interview be the first time you actually
formulate an answer in spoken words. It is not enough to think about
them in your head—practice! Sit down with a friend, a significant other,
or your roommate (an especially effective critic, given the amount of
preparation to date) and go through all of the questions. If you have
not yet completed a mock interview, do it now. Make the most of every
single interview opportunity by being fully prepared!