A job interview can be one of the most intimidating hurdles as you seek a new position as a nursing professional. But taking the time to prepare for interviews can help calm your nerves and enable you to stand out as a strong candidate. Here are some common nursing interview questions and answers that can empower you to feel relaxed and ready to make a great first impression.
“Tell Me About Yourself.”
Of all the nursing interview questions and answers to prepare for, this is one of the most basic. When you answer it, focus on professional details, as interviewers are most interested in your educational background, professional experience, and career goals. Although you should limit personal information, make sure your personality shines through as you interact with interviewers. After all, it’s important to get a sense of whether you will mesh with an organization’s culture and workplace dynamics.
“Why Do You Want to Work Here?”
This question provides a chance to show an employer that you have done your research. Stay positive and provide specific details on what appeals to you about the organization. It is also a good idea to demonstrate how the position will help you achieve your career goals. Moreover, nursing interview questions and answers that relate to organizations let you explain how your specialization supports workplace goals.
“How Did You Learn About Us?”
Make it clear that pursuing a position was not a random choice. To demonstrate that you’re a good fit for a position, discuss how you found out about the opportunity and mention referrals by name. In other words, tell the story of your job search and how it led you to the organization.
“What Do You Feel You Contribute to Your Patients’ Care?”
Now, it’s time to discuss your strategies for patient care and advocacy. Because interacting with patients is a significant part of nursing, employers are looking for individuals with an excellent bedside manner. Be sure to provide examples from your work or student history. For instance, you can share how you listen to patients and provide comfort as part of their medical care.
“What Would Your Current Supervisor Say About You?”
Interviewers ask this question to learn about your work ethic and interpersonal skills. Highlight the positive feedback you have received through performance evaluations and one-on-one meetings with supervisors. Be sure all details are accurate, as hiring managers may confirm them by contacting your previous employer.
“Discuss Your Biggest Strengths and Weaknesses.”
Answer this question by offering honest, positive details about where you excel and areas to improve. Focus on strengths that would be an asset in the workplace and discuss a weakness that interviewers will view positively. You can also share the steps you have taken to overcome challenges.
“What Are Your Salary Requirements?”
Research typical pay for positions so that you ask for a realistic salary during an interview. It is also a good idea to keep your experience level in mind. Try to learn the pay grade for a position in advance and stress that your salary request is negotiable. If an employer asks for specifics, provide a ballpark figure.
“What Motivates You to Be a Nurse?”
This question gives you the chance to prove that you are passionate about what you do. Show that you are motivated by ideals and a desire to help others, rather than money. Be specific and talk about past experiences that have inspired you.
“Why Are You Leaving Your Current Nursing Job?”
It is important to be truthful but diplomatic when this question comes up. Do not speak negatively about previous employers because it makes you seem ungrateful. Some examples include wanting to move to another region, learn new skills, or focus on a different clinical area. Talk about the new opportunities that this position will give you without dwelling on negative aspects of your current job.
“What Do You Find Most Challenging and Rewarding About Your Work as a Nurse?”
Your answer should stay positive even when you are discussing the challenging aspects of nursing. Share past experiences that have challenged you, but be prepared to explain how you overcame or dealt with these situations. This question also gives you a chance to promote your passion for nursing, be it patient interactions, helping someone recover from an ailment, or another rewarding aspect of nursing.
“Give an Example of a Major Nursing Care Problem and How You Addressed It.”
Try to keep any anecdotes relevant to the workplace and avoid discussing personal details. Define the problem in a straightforward way, identify potential solutions, and explain why the path you took was a success. You should also highlight the personal or professional skills that helped you handle the situation effectively.
“Where Do You See Yourself as a Nurse in Five Years?”
You want your future employer to know that you are motivated and career-focused, so now is the time to share your commitment to nursing. Discuss new skills you want to acquire and goals for the position you are pursuing.
“How Has Your Nursing Training and Experience Prepared You for This Position?”
When the interviewer asks this question, they are looking to see whether you are qualified for the open position. Talk about relevant experience you acquired through clinicals and previous jobs, along with your past research projects. If you do not have much on-the-job experience, review coursework that prepares you for the role — and express your interest in expanding your experience to a new nursing area.
“Why Should We Hire You?”
This question allows you to sell yourself as the best person for the position. Emphasize your skills and positive attributes while providing specific details about what you bring to the organization. Keep the job description in mind as you reference responsibilities that you are ready and excited to take on.
“Do You Have Any Questions for Us?”
Have a couple of questions in mind for this situation. Although this question usually comes at the end of an interview, a meaningful response shows employers that you are interested and engaged. For example, you could ask about the organization’s culture, work environment, or professional development opportunities.
Continue Your Education as a Nursing Professional
The nursing interview questions and answers presented here can help you impress employers. Another way to stand out for nursing positions is to continue your education in this field. Concordia University, St. Paul offers an online RN to BSN program that enables working nurses to advance their careers and increase their earning potential. Build on your previous experience as you explore applicable theory and evidence-based practice to become a leader in nursing.