Nursing Interview Questions: How to Answer like a Pro

By Daniel Gelinas

To ace an interview is the gateway to your desired job. From nurses looking for a new position within a hospital or nursing school, to those newly graduated nursing students looking for their first posting; one must be accomplished in answering all nursing interview questions.

All job seekers, whether fresh graduates or those candidates up for promotion, must avoid the various pitfalls an interview scenario can present and that can ruin your chances of success. If you are a job seeking nurse, let these nursing interview tips help you triumph in the challenge presented by the employment process.

Prepare for Nursing Interview Questions

To accomplish your goal, never arrive in an interview unprepared. Preparation will always be the key to success in any type of endeavor. When it comes to nursing interviews, there are many things to prepare for.

First, review your resume well, especially in terms of order. Being asked to clarify your training and experience is a common procedure in nursing job interviews. If you have previous work experience, you must know their chronological order and be prepared to answer questions, like “Why did you leave hospital X?” or “How come you only stayed in the hospital for 6 months?”

Next, have a good idea about the job and the company you are applying to. Do a little research and make sure you know all the duties of the position applied for and background information on the company itself. An excellent candidate should be able to relate their skills and achievements to the duties and responsibilities required by the job. Read up about the organization that you wish to join so you are prepared to answer questions, such as “ How did you know about us?”, “ Can you give us your impression about our company?” and “ Of all hospitals/nursing schools, why do you choose to apply with us?”

Finally, familiarize yourself with a list of common and frequently asked questions for nursing jobs. Conceptualize your own answers and practice saying them to sound confident; which will impress your interviewers. You can ask someone to play the part of the recruiter or record your own voice to check for confidence and vocal clarity.

Nursing Interview Questions: The “Big Day”

After making all your preparations for the big moment, it is time to put them all into actual practice. Arrive at the interview early to allow time to compose yourself. Always be neat and presentable, control you fears and be aware what your body language is saying about you.

Here are some helpful tips to ace that nursing job interview:

  • Stay calm. If you project even the slightest sign of panic, you may fail to understand the questions and possibly stutter your answers. Refrain from showing nervousness through hand gestures, or vocal tics; they can be off-putting to your interviewer.

  • Be confident. Be proud of your background and show the recruiter confidence that you can do the job well. But be aware, overconfidence when answering nursing interview questions can give a negative impression.

  • Understand the question. Common questions like “Tell us about yourself” should not be answered with reference to your biography and your likes and dislikes. Rather, you should give them an idea of your educational and occupational background and career aspirations.

  • Ask for clarification. Do not hesitate to ask your interviewer to repeat the nursing interview questions if you do not fully understand them. It is not a loss if you query the interviewer rather than giving her/him a far-fetched answer.

  • Say Thank you. Never end the interview without saying thank you to your interviewer specifically for their time.

There are some people who are gifted with communication skills and confidence and may not feel threatened by nursing interview questions. But the majority of people share feelings of nervousness and anxiety, before and during an interview. Let these nursing interview tips improve you preparation to boost your confidence and so ease your burden and worry. Once you are prepared, just relax and be honest in your answers and you will greatly improve your chances of getting that nursing job.

Back to top

Comment on this article: