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Frequently Asked Questions at Nursing Job Interviews & the Best Answers

Whether you are just finishing up your high school diploma before embarking upon further education in the field of nursing, or else are currently working as a professional in another industry and are keen to move to a more fulfilling career pathway, then you have come to the right place.

Here, for your information and to fully prepare you for the interview stage of your first nursing job application, are some of the most frequently asked questions at nursing job interviews and the best answers you could give.


Do You Have Any Professional Leadership Experience?


One of the first questions you may well be asked in your interview for your first nursing job is whether you have any experience working in a more leadership-style role.

This by no means must be a role which was the entirety of your job role, but more of a situation which required you to step up to the proverbial plate and take charge. One example if you are already a qualified nurse instead would be any time you were the temporary charge nurse of a ward and had to respond to various staffing issues.


Talk About a Time When You Handled Pressure Well?


Whether or not you are already working in the field of healthcare and medicine, you will already be fully versed with the knowledge that nurses are often under an intense load of pressure, which can often spill into their personal life and start to affect their overall levels of emotional health and wellbeing if they are not careful.

It is, therefore, highly likely that during your interview, at some point you will be asked how you handle pressure and be asked to give examples.


What Formal Education Do You Have?


Part and parcel of being offered a job as a professional nurse is that you will have already undertaken an undergraduate, bachelor’s degree in nursing or nursing science, or at the very least be shortly looking to enroll on an accelerated program. It would also be highly valuable to spend time looking into what do bsn nurses do and their daily roles and responsibilities, which include, amongst a plethora of other duties, the following:

  • The provision of medication to individual patients and the provision of care before, during and after operations, surgeries, and other medical procedures
  • Identifying, sometimes in a high-pressure situation, different requirements for patient care
  • The assurance that both fellow nurses and other medical professionals, as well as the patients themselves, are constantly and consistently adhering to infection control protocols and policies, administration procedures, and substance control regulations
  • The provision of both physical and psychological support to family members and of the patient
  • Working alongside other medical professionals, such as other nurses, doctors, surgeons, and social workers to work out the best treatment plan for a patient


What Kind of Skills & Attributes Do You Have Which Will Make You a Good Nurse?


Another incredibly likely question which you will be asked in your interview to become a nurse is to discuss your strengths and indeed weaknesses, about your knowledge base and skillsets, as well as personality attributes which will help you to be the best nurse you can be.

Examples of such attributes, characteristics and skillsets which are appropriate for becoming a professional working nurse include:

  • Physical stamina
  • Physical strength and endurance
  • Fast and efficient critical thinking skills
  • Excellent decision-making skills
  • Open-mindedness
  • Natural empathy and kindness
  • Extreme diligence
  • A willingness to work unsociable and long hours
  • Good written communication skills
  • Good verbal skills
  • A team-player mentality
  • Natural skills in leadership and thinking in an innovative way


How Do You Handle Conflict Within a Team?


If you are someone who has been a team leader or else has had people working underneath you in some capacity at work, then it is likely that you will be asked how you handle conflict within your team and indeed how you would handle an under-performing co-worker.

When asked such a question, it is incredibly important to remember to never speak badly about an individual colleague, even if they behaved extremely unprofessionally, as this will only reflect badly on you.


What Are Your Personal Ideas Surrounding Family Education?


One large part of a nurse’s daily duties and responsibilities center around the effective yet efficient communication of information surrounding the treatment plan of the patient, the step-by-step plan as to how to move forward and sometimes, the communication of distressing and even life-destroying information to relatives.

Therefore, it is likely, that at some point, one of the interviewers will bring up the subject of how effective and subtle you think you are at conveying difficult information to both the patients themselves and their close family members.

In addition, you are also likely to be asked how likely and proficient you are at explaining medical situations and treatment plans without the use of over-complicated medical jargon and instead of using plain and simple language.


Top Questions to Ask Your Potential Employer


You may well have already heard before that one of the best things you can do in an interview situation, regardless of the type of job you are applying for, is to ask your interviewer or indeed interviewers, questions which are on your mind too.

Such questions should be entirely personal and ideally relate to things which are on your mind should you be offered the job. Sample questions which would both put you in a proverbial good light during the interview as well as give you extra information include, but are certainly in no way limited to, the following:

  • What is the nursing culture like in this hospital?
  • What is the management style overall in the ward?
  • What is the training regime like for newly hired nurses?
  • Will you be assigned a nursing mentor if you get the job?
  • Is working on-call working shift patterns part of the role?
  • Who will be my direct line manager?
  • How long is the training period at this hospital?


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