Latest Nursing Interview Questions and Answers
What do you enjoy the most about nursing?
If you are interviewing for a bedside nursing position, the interviewer most likely wants to hear about your passion for helping patients or your eagerness for lifelong learning. I would not mention anything about entering the nursing profession for the money, flexibility, or benefit package.
Describe your greatest weakness.
Your answer will give the interviewer an idea about your propensity for honest introspection and self-reflection. Some candidates, in an attempt to conjure up brownie points, will say “I work too hard!” However, astute interviewers are able to catch on and might be turned off by people who use this catch-all response.
You will want to describe a weakness or personal fault that could be a potential advantage in the workplace. For example, some candidates would say that they are so detail-oriented that they sometimes miss the big picture. Although occasionally missing the big picture is a personal fault, attention to detail is often seen as a keen advantage in situations when patients’ lives are at stake. In other words, place a positive spin on your greatest weakness.
So, where do you see yourself in five years?
If possible, attempt to connect your long-term career goals with the company. If you are interviewing for a job opening as a medication nurse at a psychiatric facility, you may want to mention that you hope to attain professional certification as a psychiatric nurse in five years. The candidate who is educated at the LPN, diploma, or associates degree level might mention that they will be a BSN degree holder in five years.
What are your feelings on working nights, weekends, or occasional overtime?
In this situation, honesty is the best policy. If you accept a 12-hour night shift position when you are truly a diurnal (daytime) person, your existence might be miserable for months, years, or however long it takes to transfer to day shift. You might also feel bad if you accept a weekend schedule that causes you to miss your children’s Saturday morning sporting events.
Tell us about your leadership/management style.
Honesty is also the best policy when answering this question. It is perfectly acceptable to admit that you feel more comfortable following the lead as you gain more experience. If you are already a seasoned nurse, you can keep it general by saying that your leadership style depends on the situation at hand.
If we hire you, how long would you plan to work here?
Facilities generally shy away from hiring candidates whom they perceive to be job hoppers, so it would be best to indicate that you plan on establishing a long-lasting relationship with the company.
Tell us about a previous mistake and the lessons you learned from it.
We’ve all made mistakes, so be honest. The mistake that you divulge may or may not be related to nursing. For example: “I used to delay charting until the very end of each shift, but realized I wasn’t making the most of my time. I’ve learned to chart during the shift to improve my time management.”
Describe how you maintain competence (stay current) in the nursing profession.
Nursing is not simply a job. It is also a journey filled with lifelong learning. You can discuss the ACLS course you took earlier this year, or the critical care conference you attended recently, or the mental health symposium you visited, or whatever it is you do to maintain or augment your nursing knowledge base.
Why did you leave your last position?
If you are still employed the interviewer may ask, “Why are you considering leaving your current job?” Again, remain positive and discuss how you want to pursue other opportunities that lead to professional growth. If your employment was involuntarily terminated or you were forced to resign, be truthful without heavily dwelling on it. However, you must showcase your ability for honest introspection. “I was let go at the end of my 90 day orientation and now realize I was not a good fit for the ER” is a reply indicative of honest self-reflection.
Describe your former nurse manager or supervisor
I urge you to maintain an upbeat tone, even if you disliked your former manager. You do not want to give the impression that you are a nitpicky complainer. Keep the response positive without engaging in excess flattery. “Carole was a professional who maintained a calm composure, even in stressful situations” will work. If you criticize your former manager, the interviewer might wonder if (or when) you’ll personally attack him or her.
How would a job with our company help you meet your personal goals?
A number of honest responses would be acceptable. “I enjoy demented elderly residents and a position with this company would allow me to come into frequent contact with this patient population” or “I’ve always wanted to work at a level one trauma hospital and this facility fits the bill” are acceptable answers. The interviewer wants to see you are truly interested in the company and not simply planning to hop to the next job.
To date, what has been your greatest achievement?
You can discuss an achievement that is either linked to nursing or totally unrelated to nursing. Many nurses say that attaining their nursing degree has been their greatest achievement. Others state that forming a family has been their greatest achievement because it has given them a greater understanding of the human experience.