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Questions & Answers for Nursing Interviews

written by: J.B.•edited by: Elizabeth Wistrom•updated: 3/16/2011

From basic questions to in-depth questions this article provides explanation of the best interview answers for nurses, to help you score the job! Read these important interview questions and answers nursing candidates need to know.

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    Preparing for Your Nursing Interview

    A job interview for nurses is one of the most valuable and important part of the hiring process. Therefore nurses need to prepare properly to ace the upcoming interview. At the beginning of the job hiring process you submitted a professional resume. A nurse’s resume is vital and important. The interviewer will ask you questions based on your work experience and skills you listed on your resume. Therefore take the time to carefully review your resume before the interview. Be familiar with the tasks and responsibilities, skills and knowledge that you have gained in previous jobs. In your upcoming interview prepare to be asked questions such as:

    • This nursing career requires experience and training in...... Explain to me how your experience and training will provide a stable background to fulfill this requirement.
    • Your resume expresses that you have strong knowledge of...... Explain more about your past experience in this area.
    • What is your experience with …... Explain how you went about performing this task?

    When you are answering these nursing questions remember to highlight your skills, special achievements, and your special abilities. Use this as a prime opportunity to show your commitment to the nursing field. Always speak positively about past experiences and most importantly your previous employers. Keep all your answers relevant to the nursing field, and this specific job opportunity. When preparing these interview answers for nurses, you will be able to show your perspective employer that you are set apart as an excellent candidate for this nursing job.

    This article will view many vital interview questions and answers nursing candidates need to know. Review these sample questions and answers many days before and hours leading up to the interview.

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    Where did you receive your nursing training and any special qualifications or certifications do you have?

    Where did you receive your nursing training and any special qualifications or certifications do you have?

    When a nursing career is entered your training, schooling, and qualifications are everything. Medicine and doctors are important to life and any problem or mistake can have severe consequences.

    Use this time to explain to your employer why you have chosen this specific area of practice. Briefly discuss where you attended school, and what preparations you made in order to better prepare for your nursing career. Did you take any special weekend or night courses where a certificate was granted? Be proud of your achievements and be prepared to discuss your theoretical training as well as your practical training. If any certificates were awarded bring them along with you, an employer may like to keep a copy in their folders as well.

    Example interview answers for nurses:

    I spent four years at the University of ------. Along with my nursing degree I spent my spare time taking courses to better my career. Two courses I enjoyed were: "Baby and Me Intensive Care," and "Kangaroo Kare." I have here both my completion certificates. I have always planned to specialize in neonatal care, and spent much time volunteering at my local children’s hospital. During my free courses I specialized in social studies, and children care.

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    Why do you believe you are the best suited person for this nursing job?

    Why do you believe you are the best suited person for this nursing job?

    This is not a trick question. This question gives you the opportunity to share your talents, experiences, and qualifications with your future employer. Make sure to reference briefly your professional past when answering this question. This will allow the employer to learn more about you as a person and as a professional. Explain how you’re training and past experience has helped qualify you for this specific job. When reviewing your resume ahead of time pay close attention to the key job requirements and relevant skills and abilities you may have gained over your past jobs. Be prepared to provide specific examples of these skills you have portrayed when answering this form of question.

    Example interview answers for nurses:

    Because of my past experience and dedication to the pediatric and newborn care I know that I am properly qualified for this job. I have worked in many specialty centers, such as the Children’s Caner Association Clinic. I have spent my life, learning and exploring all nursing has to offer and I positive this is where I am supposed to be. My excellent communication skills will allow me to talk medically with parents as well as socially with the children-patients.

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    What do you consider your strengths and weaknesses as a nursing professional?

    What do you consider your strengths and weaknesses as a nursing professional?

    Think carefully about your answer to this question well in advance. A good plan is to have two or three key strengths that you plan to provide. Make sure that these strengths relate closely to the position that you are applying for. When providing your strengths, provide a concrete example as well.

    Share in your interview one or two weaknesses. Be honest with your future employer; show that you have the maturity and insight needed to recognize your weaknesses and areas needing improvement. When sharing a weakness also discuss how you are making positive steps toward improvement.

    Example interview answers for nurses:

    As I mentioned earlier, my communication skills greatly benefit me in my everyday career. I enjoy speaking with parents and patients whenever possible. I believe that a close friendly relationship is very important with the parents as well as patients as they are struggling with their children’s health. My organizational skills are very important to me and my fellow co-workers. Remaining organized and scheduled allows for a smoother day.

    My greatest weakness is finding it challenging on occasion to separate my feelings from my career. Seeing such young patients loose their fight in life is heartbreaking. I am working on separating my feelings to be strong for the patient’s family.

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    These interview answers for nurses are a guideline to help you score your dream job! Do not schedule an interview until you have reviewed the information provided in this article!
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    Interview Questions and Answers Nursing Candidates Need to Know - Continued

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    What do you consider the most important qualities for this nursing job?

    What do you consider the most important qualities for this nursing job?

    When answering this question stick to relevant qualities needed for this specific nursing job. For example, if you are an ER Nurse you may be required to have qualities such as:

    • Adaptability
    • Resilience
    • Critical Thinking
    • Organization
    • Planning
    • Emotional Stability
    • High Stress Tolerance

    Example interview answers for nurses:

    Adaptability is very important in any medical field. Patient’s condition can change by the second. As nurses we need to prepare ourselves to deal with any situation that comes our way.

    Critical thinking is very important. Being able to quickly and accurately make decisions and find solutions are very critical and sometimes time is not on your side.

    Emotional Stability is a tough quality that nurses need to strive to achieve. Patient’s loss of will to live is very emotional. Remembering to be strong for the patient’s family is very important.

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    Why did you choose your specialty area of nursing?

    Why did you choose your specialty area of nursing?

    No matter which field you have chosen to enter as a nurse your goal in every interview is to answer questions very specifically to the job you are applying for at the time. In this question be very specific about your overall choice to the future employer. Answer pointers such as:

    · What influenced your choice?

    · How did you explore your options?

    · Have you tried other job positions?

    Highlight in your answer your strengths and how they are best utilized in this specific area in which you are currently applying.

    Example interview answers for nurses:

    Growing up I always loved children, and I knew from a young age I wanted a career involving children, but I wanted to be challenged. I wanted to use my knowledge and skills in a high stress environment. I enjoy a challenge. I had many day care manager jobs and they always failed to challenge me. Nursing in the neonatal and pediatric units provided a secure career, where I could continue to learn and grow.

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    What are your likes and dislikes about the job?

    What are your likes and dislikes about the job?

    Every job and career will have positives and negatives; you can not escape this fact. Remember and be careful that you do not mention anything that will put the current job in a bad light. There will always be some obvious problems in every job, and you are okay to mention them.

    Example interview answers for nurses:

    I have a big heart, and seeing my patients struggle, sometimes for their life, is a challenging task. I enjoy protecting my patients, and making them feel safe and protected. Children especially act as if they are fearful but have very strong emotions. I am working on separating my deep emotions from my career. Patient’s struggling is a large downfall for me.

    Aside from the emotional side of my career I enjoy the everyday new challenges. Everyday bring a different scenario and every patient is at a new point in their medical healing. I enjoy using my knowledge and experience to solve problems and help in every way that I can.

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    Succeeding in your Interview

    Nursing interviews are very serious and very important. Planning ahead and preparing your answers in rough draft will always benefit your confidence. This interview explored some of the top and basic interview questions and answers nursing job candidates can expect. These interviews answers for nurses are just a guideline and remember to customize them to your specific job outline.

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    Question Help References:

Careers in Nursing

Are you considering a career in nursing, or are you already a nurse looking to explore new opportunities? Check out the tips in this career spotlight series.
  1. Questions & Answers for Nursing Interviews
  2. Best Nursing Travel Jobs
  3. Tips for Considering a Nursing Career Change
  4. Sample Nursing Career Goals: A Closer Look at the APN Designation
  5. Resources for Nursing Professional Development: Events, Certifications and Publications