What to expect in your nursing interview?


Three people in an interview It’s difficult to get  a job of a nurse nowadays. Especially in an interview. In a cold modern-world society , more and more people seek jobs with meaningful purpose, such as nursing. Therefor, you will be tested with a long list of personal and behavioral questions in your interview. Please do not forget that every detail matters. To know brilliant answers to their questions is not enough. You must show motivation, enthusiasm for the job, dedication and interest for their facility. Success or failure in an interview depend on many factors. The most successful applicants can combine great answers to interview questions with right attitudes and opinions they present. We hope to help you to become one of such candidates… Welcome!

List of typical questions for nursing interviews

  1. Why did you decide for a career in nursing? (Why not doctor, why not CNA?)
  2. Why do you want to work here and not somewhere else? (At another clinic, hospital, nursing home…)
  3. What did you like the most and what did you hate the most about your studies? (What subjects you struggled with, etc.)
  4. Do you have any nursing experience? (Have you worked as a nurse before, or is it your first job?)
  5. What do you consider to be your biggest strengths and weaknesses?
  6. What was the most difficult situation you encountered during your nursing practice?
  7. Where do you see yourself in five years from now? (How long do you plan to stay here at this position?)
  8. Job of a nurse is difficult and repetitive. How would you find motivation to do it well, day after day for a long time?
  9. How would you describe an ideal boss? (Or an ideal colleague, ideal nurse, etc.)
  10. Are there any group of patients you would find it difficult to care for? (Is there anyone you would refuse to provide care?)
  11. How would you deal with an angry patient who did not want to co-operate and listen to you?
  12. Do you think that nurses should have friendly relationship with patients? What is your opinion on it?
  13. When do you plan to take your NCLEX? Or have you already taken it?
  14. Have you worked with an electronic medication administration record? Bar coding? (Other technical questions may apply)
  15. H

    Success in an interview

    ow do you imagine a typical working day of a nurse at our facility?

  16. Imagine one of the patients you cared for and liked died. How would you cope with that?
  17. Are you willing to work night shifts? What about Sundays?
  18. What are your salary expectations?
  19. Why should we hire you and not one of the other applicants?
  20. Do you have any questions?

As you can see, it goes mostly about personal and behavioral questions. Recruiters know very well that everyone with a license is ready to do a job of a nurse… Therefore, they will focus mostly on your personality, motivation, attitudes to work.  After all, it is exactly that what distinguishes a good nurse from an average one.

Non verbal communication and tricks

It would be a bad mistake to focus only on your answers. You know, words carry just twenty percent of the message. Your body talks too… There are some basic rules you should stick to, and speaking from my interviewing experience, many job candidates neglect the basics… and fail. To such belong:

  • Keep an eye contact with an interviewer (Looking straight in the eyes not only helps you to maintain focus, but also helps to build relationship with the person leading the interview. People recruit candidates they like to be with, and eye contact definitely helps.)
  • Spare a compliment or two (People in leading positions are typically very proud on their hospital, clinic, nursing home, simply facility they manage, run, work at. To compliment the facility, for example the cleanness, the work of other staff members, or anything else you observe, will definitely win you extra points in the eyes of the recruiters.)
  • Bring everything with you (Luck favors the prepared. If you have any references from previous employers, take it to the interview with you. Also, do not forget on your resume and cover letter. I know, you have sent it to the recruiters before. But still, even if they have it with them, the fact you bring it shows that you are a detail oriented person and does not underestimate anything. Clear message sent…)
  • Show respect and humility (Many people falsely believe that it is confidence that wins the interviews… In fact, recruiters are tired of super-confident job seekers who believe to be the best in the world and act like that in an interview… To admit a weakness or two, to admit you need to learn and practice, to ask for a helpful hand… and simply to show respect to the interviewer (after all he’s the most important person in a room) is a way to sign a coveted job contract)

Handshake at the end of an interviewWhat to say at the end?

All things combined, success in an interview does not depend on you only. Even if you answer all their questions brilliantly and present the right attitudes and personality for nursing job, a better candidate can be there. Or they may make a false judgement, or chose a friend of the doctor (although this happen much less as people think)… Therefore, stay upbeat. Take every job interview as a lesson. Every no you hear moves you closer to the final yes. Keep it on your mind, do your best to prepare well and enjoy your life... the result is not the most important thing.

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