Types of Nursing Interview Questions and How to Respond

By Daniel Gelinas

Healthcare does not only fulfill one of our society's basic needs but it also provides some of its most fulfilling professions. For those who approach it as a career, being a nurse is a stable occupation with an above average income. But prior to starting your career as a nurse, in a hospital or a school, you must first submit yourself to the nursing interview procedure, just like in any other profession.

Your immediate future as a nurse depends on how you answer these nursing interview questions. This article will give you an overview on the type of questions you will be asked during your interview. Whether you are looking for possible nurse manager interview questions or school nurse interview questions, let these guidelines help you in your quest to land your dream job.

Skills and Professional Background Nursing Interview Questions

Employers hire people because of their skills. In fact, it is the main reason why they chose you over other candidates. A job requires specific skills that few people possess; skills learned through years of education and training. To land that nursing job, you must highlight your skills while answering these interview questions. As a nurse with responsibility for the wellbeing of other people under your care, skills are very important.

During the interview the details on your resume will be validated and confirmed. Hence, it is important that you study and are familiar with its contents including the chronology of your work experience. You will also be asked about where you got your nursing training. Highlight any awards won or post-graduate studies and training you may have completed, to give you an edge over the other applicants. Some recruiters may want to hear a summary of your experiences from the time you graduated from nursing school.

Here are some common interview questions to check your skills:

  • What qualities do you have that make you an outstanding nurse?
  • In your resume it says that you were an intern nurse at __________, can you tell us more about your experience?
  • Can you elaborate on the type of training that you have completed from ____________?
  • Why did you specialize in __________? ( In case you have specialization in certain nursing fields like ER and post-surgery)

 Character and Personality Nursing Interview Questions

Displaying the right character is also very important when it comes to having a successful nursing job interview. Interview questions to test your character and personality aren’t as simple as “Are you nice to your colleagues and superiors?” Rather, recruiters will test character through assessing your reaction to certain situations, whether imaginary or taken from past experience.

Specific questions differ from one organization to the other, but all of them are designed to form an understanding of your character based on your answers to the different scenarios that they will throw at you. Their questions are situations while your responses serve as your answers. They will craft questions to check characteristics that are very important to the job, like endurance, dependability, compassion, honesty, leadership, initiative and flexibility.

Here are similar interview questions that they make ask you:

  • Why did you leave your previous nursing job?
  • How do you respond to management decisions?
  • What are your weaknesses as a nurse?
  • What makes you a good nurse?
  • How will you feel when your replacement calls in sick and you have to stay longer for the substitute to arrive?

Under this umbrella are also questions that will check your motivation and aptitude. Common questions are:

Why did you take up nursing? Why do you want to work with us? What do you love about being a nurse? What do you hate about being a nurse?

Mastering nursing interview questions is not hard as long as you are prepared and know what you are doing. There are various nursing interview questions and answers new graduates could face. Anticipate the questions you are likely to be asked. It’s important to practice answering these questions in a calm, honest manner and with confidence. Conduct a mock interview with the help of a friend. Lastly, let these nursing interview tips be the gateway to your dream job as a healthcare provider – a nurse.

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