After completing the grueling tasks of earning a degree in nursing and passing your boards, your actual nursing interview shouldn’t be nearly as daunting. However, healthcare interview questions in general can be difficult, because they’re a bit different than your average job’s hiring experience. Nursing interviews specifically are even more specialized, so brace yourself for a true test of knowledge.
Keep reading to learn about commonly asked nursing interview questions. These questions will help you prepare for solid answers.
Top Nursing Interview Questions
How would you handle a difficult, complaining patient?
A large part of any position in nursing involves attentive patient care, so you should talk about how you would take initiative with your patient, asking what would make him or her more comfortable. Inform your interviewer that, while it can prove frustrating at times, you offer your patients the best care and advocacy you can. You can also talk about the overall ways in which you would approach the situation calmly and empathetically. Come armed with specific anecdotes from your prior experience with patients.
How have your clinical rotations prepared you for a nursing career?
Try to keep your response brief by summarizing your most valuable experience from your clinical rotations in a few sentences. Emphasize a few major lessons and key skills you gained from your clinical rotations. How have they prepared you for tangible work on the floor?
What is the most difficult obstacle you face in the healthcare field?
Discussing your weaknesses is a common overall interview question. Keep your answer specific to nursing and the healthcare field. Have you ever accidentally jotted down an error on a patient’s chart, or had a dispute with one of the attending doctors or residents? It’s OK to explain these instances, but it’s important to spin them in a positive direction; talk about what you learned from these incidents and how you make it a point not to repeat them.
Do you prefer to work alone or as part of the team?
You can (and should) demonstrate the best of both worlds with this question. Discuss your drive and passion for working with teams. State that nursing and providing healthcare are team efforts, and you enjoy positive, supportive teamwork with other nurses and doctors. To highlight leadership skills, provide an example of how you successfully combined your personal expertise with input from fellow providers to accomplish a goal. Emphasize your passion for teamwork. Then, pepper in a quick note about how you appreciate the autonomy and diligence that working alone provides you.
What do you do in order to keep current with medical findings and practices?
Studying and continuing education is necessary not only for license renewal, but it also helps ensure you are providing the most progressive and quality care possible. Do you read medical journals, study your clinical books, and attend conferences? If so, then you should discuss those activities. If you don’t, you should plan on partaking in productive things like this in the future.
When have you felt most pleased with your work? / What do you find most rewarding about being a nurse?
Even though this question is specifically targeted at you, you don’t want to come off as self-absorbed or boastful. You should talk about how it feels to help patients in need, and how accurately and helpfully providing them with care are consistent accomplishments you feel proud to achieve.
If you enter your interview with enthusiasm, confidence, and a solid knowledge of the nursing field and what you’ve been trained to do, there’s no reason you shouldn’t be able to perform strongly in your interview and hopefully secure the job. What other nursing interview questions have you been asked? Let us know!