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Most Asked Nursing Interview Questions

Following is the list of most frequently asked Nursing Interview questions and their best possible answers.

1) Why did you decide on a career as a nurse? / Why did you want to be a nurse? / Why did you choose nursing as a career?

This is undoubtedly the first nursing interview question. The interviewers or the hospital recruiting staff knows nursing is hard. Nurses have to face fear, frustration, and hardship in their careers. Their tasks are very challenging. That's why this question is asked. The interview panel wants to know if you are ready to face these challenges and hardships in this career.

A Sample Answer:

I want to be a nurse because nursing is my passion. I come from a reputed family of nurses. Both my grandmother and my mother are nurses. I have grown up in that environment and seen how much they love what they do every day. Their work is very inspiring and motivating and I'm very proud to continue the tradition of nursing in my family.

2) How was your experience as a nurse in your previous hospital?

The interviewing panel asks this question to check how much you love your job. They want to hear about your experiences to make their mind about you're your selection. So, you have to answer this question very carefully.

A Sample Answer:

Last year while working as a nurse, I was asked to handle a tough patient. I did my best to listen and provide comfort. As she was leaving, she said, "I'll never forget you as long as I live." It hit me that my life was important to her. That's what makes nursing so meaningful to me.

3) Why do you want to work here?

The interviewer asks this question to check your priority. So, please don't say that I am applying here for the money. We all know that salary is a big part of why you're applying, but do say it clearly. You can talk about your career goals and your vision for your future.

A Sample Answer:

I am eager to learn the new and emerging technology involved in ongoing patient care, especially in the field of pediatrics. This is one of the top five hospitals in country for the past several years running in new innovations. So, I am excited to be a part of that and learning from your experts.

4) What do you find the most satisfying thing about this job? / What do you find the most significant reward for this job?

Many rewards come with a good job, such as a paycheck, job satisfaction, recognition in the society and the retirement benefits, etc. But, in nursing, the most satisfactory thing is the feelings that we can serve the patients who are suffering from pain and make them feel better.

A Sample Answer:

Since my childhood, I feel that I am a very kind hearted person. I love helping people, and when those people are children, there's no better feeling in the world. In my previous job, a little boy came to the hospital having a long-term issue resulting in the loss of one of his legs. I stayed with him all the time during surgery, and when he was fitted with his prosthetic, I was there to cheer him on. It was not an easy time for that little boy or for his family. His parents told me how grateful the whole family was for all my help and support. I think, this is the biggest reward I have found in my career.

5) How do you practice self-care?

As we know that nursing is a very challenging career physically and emotionally. So, interviewers need to see how you balance your work and life or how you handle your emotions while working as a nurse. There is no right or wrong answer to this question. You have to explain how you have learned to cope with the stresses and exhaustion of the job.

A Sample Answer:

The job of a nurse is very challenging. Along with the emotional pressure there may be some other issues such as job timing, night shift etc. So, we have to be fit and fine for this job to be available all the time. That's why I exercise and meditate daily. Along with this I have some stress-busting hobbies such as gardening and cooking. These all help me a lot.

6) What is your most incredible skill as a nurse?

The interview panel asks this question to see what makes you unique from all the other applicants. So, this is your opportunity to showcase your talent.

A Sample Answer:

I think my most significant ability is to listen to what a patient tells me. From a patient perspective, it is very frustrating that no one hears you. I have spent five years in the medical field working directly with patients and find that active listening can go in helping make someone comfortable. As a result, I was appointed as a trainer for a patient advocacy program to teach other nurses.

7) How do you deal with someone who is not satisfied with your patient care?

This is an excellent example of a behavioral question. The interviewer asks this question to check your patience level. You can discuss how you handle a situation in the past, so they can get a feel for how you would behave in a similar situation in the future.

A Sample Answer:

Everybody wants praise for their work. It is obviously not a good feeling when someone is not happy even you have done your best. I try to do everything I can for a patient, but sometimes even that isn't good enough and someone finds issue with my care. I had faced such situation in my previous job when a patient complained to my supervisor about me, telling them I was denying them specific care for an issue. The first thing I have done in that situation is to step back and really assess what is going on. Are they upset because of something I am doing or not doing? Is it something I can correct or should correct? I spoke with my supervisor and told her that I was following strict doctor's orders. We told everything to the attending physician about the situation and he agreed to come with me to speak to the patient. The conclusion we got that the patient had misunderstood something the doctor had told her, leading her to assume I was neglecting a step in her care process. Once the confusion was cleared up, we were able to work with the patient to come up with a satisfactory solution.

8) What are your strengths and weaknesses as a nurse?

The interviewer asks this question to see if you are the best candidate for this vacancy. While answering this question, you should focus on your strengths that fit the job offer. Then you should explain your real achievements that prove them. While discussing weaknesses, you should tell such types of mistakes that are manageable.

A Sample Answer:

My biggest strengths are my compassion and my ability to solve complex problems. In my previous job, an older man came to the hospital that had night terrors. He would wake up screaming every few hours. I took some time to talk to him. I quickly found that just ten minutes of conversation took away his fear. After that, I have spent the next five nights with him. His night terrors left and the other patients on the ward could sleep peacefully again. My biggest weakness is that I forget to eat my meals when I get involved with the patients.

9) How do you handle the stress of the job?

As we all know that, nursing is a stressful job. By asking this question, the interviewer wants to know how you handle that stress and whether you can work well under pressure.

A Sample Answer:

I try to do my job in a well planed manner. It is the best way to handle the stress. I make list and priority what I have to do throughout my day. I find that tasks which might seem overwhelming all at once are much more manageable. This makes me able to stay calm and remain focused on my duty. Along with this, I do morning yoga and meditation to keep myself fit and healthy.

10) Why are you the best candidate for this nursing job?

The interviewer asks this question to check how well you know the job. To answer this question, you must be aware of the hospital where you are going for the interview. Beyond just reading the job description, you should talk to other nurses who already work there.

A Sample Answer:

I got to know that your biggest concern right now is compassionate budgeting. In my previous job, I lead a team that was asked to fix our budgeting problems. We cut inventory costs by 10% while actually increasing patient satisfaction. As a nurse, my main motto is the patient care, so maintaining standards while cutting costs was a huge win.

11) How would you handle a disagreement with a doctor?

The interviewer asks this question to check your interpersonal skills such as active listening, teamwork, flexibility to solve problems, and the ability to follow the chain of command when necessary. In your answer, you can say that-

A Sample Answer:

I will first work directly with the doctor to resolve the misunderstanding. If it doesn't resolve the issue, I would speak to my supervisor for assistance.

12) Are you comfortable working with other doctors and nurses?

A nurse has to interact with a wide variety of individuals in the medical field, such as doctors, technicians, other nurses, and the friends and families of the patients. So, the first and best possible answer for this question would be yes.

A Sample Answer:

I believe in cooperation and service sector and hospitality industry, it is much required. I can work well under every possible conditions and circumstance, and I take pride in my flexibility. I love working in a team because I often find that different points of view can help me find the best solution to a problem that I might not think of independently. I also enjoy self-motivating and am equally comfortable working alone.

13) Do you have any professional affiliations?

The interviewer asks this question to check how you seek opportunities to advance your skills. This question is an excellent opportunity to highlight the points of your resume that lists extra certifications you have gained.

A Sample Answer:

Yes, sir. I am a member of the Indian Medical Association (IMA), the state medical councils, and the Medical Council of India. I have completed a class in the last month through the American Association of Diabetes Educators, which makes me able to improve the care I provided to patients struggling with their dietary requirements.

14) What do you find the most challenging part about your job or being a nurse?

This is a tricky question. The interviewer or hiring manager wants to know your weaknesses, so don't tell him how much you hate the early morning shifts because you are not a morning person. The interview panel is there to find a person to fill a job position; they are not there to help you anyways. So, it would be best if you diplomatically answered this question.

A Sample Answer:

The most challenging thing I have faced in my nursing career is feeling helpless. I have to provide as much care and comfort as possible, but sometimes, you can't do more. Seeing someone in pain or feeling miserable and knowing there's nothing you can do to help is the most challenging thing I have to deal with. As a nurse, you have to care about people and help them genuinely, but when I can't, I feel uneasy.

15) How do you respond when your friends ask for your diagnosis outside of the clinical setting?

As a medical professional, you may find many friends who seek your advice on what to do about their medical concerns. As nurses, it is always better to refer people to medical professionals who can provide a thorough exam, diagnosis, and treatment. While answering this question, you can discuss how you tell your friends how important it is to seek medical advice from specialist doctors who have accurate information from tests.

A Sample Answer:

I have faced these types of situation many times. I have a family friend who would ask me about symptoms he was having and what I thought he should do. I told him clearly that I could not give him a diagnosis outside of the clinic where I worked. He finally made an appointment to see the doctor there. It is always the best practice to treat patients in a holistic, professional manner so we have all the right information to do what is best for them.

16) Why are you leaving the job from your current hospital?

This is probably the most challenging question you can face in the nursing interview. Please don't see it as an opportunity to badmouth your current or former employer. It would be best if you only focused on the positive aspects and leveraging those in your new job.

A Sample Answer:

In my previous job, I got a great opportunity to learn and grow at a comfortable pace in a medium size hospital. Now, I am looking for new challenges and opportunities to continue to expand my knowledge in a larger hospital and research center. I am appetent to try new challenges and learn new skill-sets that come from working in a big hospital and faster paced environment like this.

17) How can you explain medical terms and complications to the patients who are not well aware of the medical field without using a lot of medical jargon? Can you give an example?

It is crucial to explain medical information to patients to understand things well. But sometimes, it seems incomprehensible to some patients. The nurse has to effectively translate information from the doctor to a patient in a simple way to ensure that the patient understands.

A Sample Answer:

I have faced various patients with different educational backgrounds and ages, so I have to break medical jargon down into understandable ways. For example, in my previous hospital, a doctor ordered radiology for one of my patient. I made sure that I have to explain to the patient that he was getting an X-ray. I also repeated to ensure that the patient understood the thing correctly.

18) How do you handle the questions asked from the patient's family and friends?

The family and friends of the patient often ask a lot of questions. Sometimes it is not easy to answer all their questions due to lack of time. But, for a nurse, it is essential to answer all the questions of the patient's friends and family and take care of the patient as well.

A Sample Answer:

Whenever the friends and family of a patient asks questions to me, I try to answer them with empathy. As a nurse, I have to give them the best information that I can. I try to answer them in a kind ways as imagining myself in their position. When I find that I cannot answer all of their questions, so I try to set boundaries and proscribe them in a polite way.

19) What do you think about the effective patient and family education?

It is crucial to explain the medical issues and treatment to every patient. We have to work with a variety of patients to provide quality patient and family education.

A Sample Answer:

An effective patient education is needed to satisfy the patients and their family. Every patient has their own learning style. So, we have to understand their learning style and adapt accordingly. For example, some patients want to read the complete medical instructions, detailed information. On the other hand, some just want the necessary information. So, we have to figure out what each patient needs. It is very important to include the family in the treatment process because they are the main caretakers for the patient in future. So, it is our duty to explain them all the process and tell them how they can help the patient.

20) Have you faced a situation where you were under a lot of pressure? How did you deal with it? What methods worked well for you?

We all know that nursing is a job full of stress. The hiring manager wants to find a nurse who can handle the stress healthily and practically by asking this question.

A Sample Answer:

In my previous job, I have worked as an ICU nurse. I have experienced a lot of pressure every day in that job. Sometimes, I had to cover more patients than usual in the absense of other staff nurse. To manage my increased workload, I had decided to create a list and priority of care. By organizing and paying attention to detail, I was able to manage the things successfully. I also practice yoga so that I don't feel any stress.

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