Nursing Interview Questions and Answers

Whether you’re applying for a vacancy for CNA, LPN or RN Questions that come up during nursing interviews tend to resemble those found in interviews for other industries. After all, all interviews are used to find out who you are as an individual and whether that individual is suited to the position in question. In general, your chances of success are best if you portray yourself as a positive individual who is motivated enough to seek out self-improvement, but also friendly enough to work well with others in a group. Here are some of the most common nursing interview questions and tips for coming up with the right answers.

1. Why do you want to be a nurse?

Most people are going to answer something along the lines of “Because I like nursing.” This is fine but a bit boring. You should use anecdotes and stories about your personal experience to liven up your response so that you seem more like a person than a nursing automaton regurgitating memorized information.

2. What makes you prepared to be a nurse?

You could launch into a spiel about your education and your nursing experience, but that can seem unfocused. Instead, you should use your experiences to highlight personal strong points that will make you better suited to handling the duties and responsibilities expected of the nursing position in question. For example, if the position requires extensive patient-centered care, you might want to discuss how your experiences taught you to easily communicate medical information to people unfamiliar with the jargon.

3. Why are you leaving your current position?

Never mention the bad points that may have caused you to seek out something better. Instead, mention the things that you have learned and maintain a positive, forward-looking perspective. Point out that you are searching for new challenges and experiences that will help you grow as an individual.

4. Where do you see yourself in the future?

Flippant and humorous answers should be avoided. Since the intention is to seem like a motivated individual capable of making serious commitments, you should discuss your goals for your career in the nursing profession. Depending on the time frame mentioned in the question, you might want to adjust your response for more realistic outcomes.

5. What are your weaknesses?

You should never attempt to make a virtue a vice. For example, claiming that your biggest weakness is working too hard is both clichéd and too self-aggrandizing. Answer the question honestly but also bring up anecdotes of how you are working to correct the issue. This demonstrates that you are capable of honest self-assessment but also not content to let problems lie.

6. Why are you a good hire?

Take the time to mention the qualifications and experience that have gotten you the chance to impress. However, also take the time to mention qualities that make you stand out because your competitors probably have similar qualifications and experience.

7. What is your single biggest failure?

This is one of those occasions when it might be better to avoid the absolute truth. Take one of your bad experiences, mention how you have learned from the experience, and how those lessons help make you a better nurse. Unless you are prepared to discuss how your biggest failure has made you a better person, don’t bring it up.

8. What motivates you?

You should not pass up this chance to play up your positive attributes in preference for a standard response. Illustrate the things that motivate you by bringing up an example from your actual experience. Use the example to highlight your positive attributes without deviating from answering the actual question.

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Dress code and Other Helpful Tips

1. In general, nursing interviewees are expected to dress in a formal manner rather than donning either scrubs or casual clothing. For men, this means dressing up in a suit, a shirt, a tie, dress pants, and dress shoes. Similarly, women should also dress up in a suit, a blouse, plus either a pair of pants matching the suit or a skirt of the appropriate length. As a general guideline, interviewees should sit down in front of a mirror to make sure that their dress radiates cool, calm professionalism.

Clothing should be clean, uncreased, and fitted to the individual. Similarly, hair should be neat, makeup should be conservative, and accessories should be subdued. Although there is some room in the dress code for personal tastes and preferences, the overall intent is to create the impression of a serious, responsible professional. Avoid elements that detract from this impression.

2. Before the interview, take time to read up on the institution. Find out about its practices and policies, follow its activities in the news, and build some sense of its general disposition. Going in ignorant and uninformed is one of the most devastating mistakes that nursing interviewees can make because it demonstrates both carelessness and disregard for the institution conducting the interview.

3. Researching the location in person is important in building a good impression. Once you know the time and location of the nursing interview travel there to find the exact location and gauge the time needed for travel. You need to reach the interview location about 15 minutes before the interview starts, which you are not going to be able to do if you get lost on the way.

While on the premises of the institution, you should also take the time to gauge the attire of the people around you to see if you can pick up some general impressions about both the institution’s rules and internal culture. Use those impressions to guide you in making your choice of clothing leading up the interview, though you should still default to more conservative colors and styles.

4. Practice is indispensable to a good performance. Interviewees should use their research to anticipate the questions that are going to be asked and spend time devising answers to those same questions. Once their preparation is complete, interviewees should participate in scenarios where a partner takes on the role of the interviewer. Their partners should feel encouraged to throw in unexpected questions to simulate unexpected elements in real interviews.

5. Confidence is one of the most important elements in making a good impression on the interviewers. You should stride in smiling, maintain eye contact, and introduce yourself to the interviewers with a firm but not crushing handshake.

Remember that remaining positive and upbeat throughout the interview is better than lapsing into sullen pessimism. At the end of the interview, shake the hands of the interviewers a second time and then thank them properly for their consideration. Make sure to follow up on the interview afterwards using either a note or an email.

Of course, it is also important to remember that there is such a thing as going too far. Excessive confidence is arrogance, which can often serve to irritate interviewers. Similarly, too much false optimism can also create a disturbing and almost plastic impression, which also turns away interviewers. Bear in mind that both of these qualities must be natural to have the best effect.

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2 Responses to Nursing Interview Questions and Answers

  1. Cordelier October 6, 2014 at 2:00 pm #

    This is awesome!!! Simply amazing!!! Very helpful. Thanks for taking the time to publish such a free useful information.

  2. Mumuni June 2, 2015 at 10:36 am #

    This is very good I mean Best of the Best. This site is really helping us.Than you very much.

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