Are you stressed out about your upcoming job interview? Don’t be! Here are 62 of the most commonly asked nursing interview questions.
Even once you became an RN and have obtained ACLS, PALS, and/or BLS certification, you will still need to formally land a job before you can begin practicing. Job interviews from nurses aren’t usually too challenging, but you don’t want to get caught off guard. Reviewing common interview questions for nurses can help you prepare for the big day, and also help put your mind at ease.
Preparation breeds confidence, and confidence breeds success. This true during job interviews for nurses, as well as many other encounters you will have over the course of your life. You may have the most impressive resume and recommendations, but the interview will ultimately be what helps you get the nursing job of your dreams.
There are many ways to prepare for a nursing interview, but perhaps the most effective is simply to practice answering common nursing interview questions. Once you have a good idea of what kind of questions are likely to be asked, you can spend more time deciding on the best possible answer and practicing the manner in which you will deliver it.
To help get you started, here are 62 of the most commonly asked questions during a nursing job interview. See the link at the bottom of the page for a more in-depth analysis of each particular question and how to answer them.
1. Why did you become a nurse?
2. Tell me about a recent success you helped achieve.
3. What is the key to providing the extraordinary patient or customer service?
4. How do you feel when you need to learn a new process or system for something that you already know how to do?
5. Do your co-workers come to you, instead of others, when they need help?
6. If you are having a problem with a new product or system, what do you do?
7. When you are done with your work and have extra time, what do you do?
8. How would others describe your daily attitude at work?
9. Describe a work environment that brings out the best in you.
10. When people around you are panicked or frantic, how do you react?
11. Do you think it’s important to take time away from work to learn about co-workers’ personal interests outside of work?
12. In reviewing the details of a case or project, do you see patterns others miss?
13. Why do your co-workers respect you?
14. If you could select anyone as a professional mentor, who would you select? Why did you select this person?
15. Do you have a gift for anticipating safety hazards?
16. Do you feel a need to get things organized before you begin your work? Why?
17. How detail-oriented are you in your daily work?
18. What are your biggest strengths?
19. Are you a leader or a follower?
20. How do you organize yourself?
21. What area of your skills/professional development do you want to improve at this time?
22. What are your hobbies?
23. If we were to hire you, how much time would you need before starting?
24. How do you resolve stress?
25. Are you good at predicting what will happen next? If yes, Why?
26. Describe to me your experience in nursing school.
27. Describe your ideal boss.
28. Are you involved in any nursing associations?
29. What is your biggest accomplishment?
30. How flexible are you with scheduling and what is your preference for shifts?
31. Tell me about a time you persisted when the odds were against you?
32. Describe a time in your career when you were asked to take on increased levels of responsibility. Why were you asked instead of someone else?
33. Describe how you feel when you notice an error on an important record or patient chart. What do you do?
34. To be fair, is it important to treat everyone the same? E.g. all patients, co-workers, and customers. Why or why not?
35. What do you always consider in making an important decision?
36. When faced with a number of competing priorities do you tend to feel overwhelmed?
37. How do you feel when someone interrupts your work because they need your help?
38. When there is division or disagreement in a group, how do you keep people from taking sides?
39. Tell me about yourself.
40. Why this department? Why this hospital?
41. Why this hospital and not a bigger hospital?
42. How do you define success?
43. How do you feel when you are accountable for resolving a major issue or problem?
44. How do you feel when you let someone down at work for reasons beyond your control? What do you do in response?
45. You don’t have a lot of experience, what makes you think you can do the job?
46. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
47. Describe a situation where you made a mistake. What was the mistake and how did you rectify?
48. How do you deal with a difficult co-worker, client, or family member of a client?
49. Sometimes we run into a person who makes unreasonable demands of us. Tell me about a time when this happened to you.
50. How do you handle criticism?
51. What makes a good nurse?
52. Tell me about a project you've done regarding quality/ or something you think needs quality improvement, what is it/how will you improve it?
53. Would you be comfortable with taking care of patients with elective termination?
54. You have 5 minutes to teach us something. It can be about anything, as long as it’s unrelated to nursing.
55. What’s a contrarian opinion you hold?
56. We have 5 candidates other than yourself, why should we hire you?
57. What’s your biggest weakness?
58. What do you think will be your #1 biggest challenge if you get this job?
59. Tell me about a time you’ve failed at something.
60. What was the most traumatic patient you had that left a mark?
61. Tell me about a time you didn't like the way something was being done, what did you do?
62. Have you had ever not followed company policy? Give an example.
While it is unlikely that you will be required to answer each of these questions during your nursing interview, at least a few of these common interview questions are likely to be brought up. As a nurse, you know just how important being prepared and studying can be. If you are still unsure whether you are ready for the big day, give this list of nursing job interview questions another read--after all, practice makes perfect.