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Nurse Job Interview Questions

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You’ve completed your training as a nurse and here is your big day – your nurse job interview is finally here.  Before you walk into that interview room, take a moment to prepare yourself the questions you will be asked.  Prepare your job interview answers ahead of time to ensure you are caught tongue tied in your nursing interview.

Use a simple tool I call the four C’s of nursing job interviews.  Focus on job interview questions that assess the following core traits as a nurse:

  • compassion
  • communication
  • care
  • calmness

Compassion

Great nurses have bedside manner.  Hospital employers who understand this look for nursing professionals who are good with people, empathetic and kind.  The saying goes it is easier to train a nurse on dept procedures or how to take a patient’s blood pressure and much much harder to teach them compassion – either you got it or you don’t.  So prepare for questions about how you show compassion in your work as a nurse.  Have specific examples to demonstrate your ability to empathize with your patients.

Care

Look for questions that will ask you to explain how you ensure patient care.  Again, specific examples from prior nursing experience will be helpful.  Also, letters of recommendation from past hospital employers and even from patients will go a long way to proving that you are the kind of nurse who believes in providing the highest quality in patient care.

Communication

Nurses often have to communicate under difficult situations.  Whether it’s delivering bad news to the patient, dealing with an uncooperative patient, or communicating with other staff in an emergency, nurses must communicate under stress.   Be prepared to be asked questions about your communication skills and style.

Calmness

As mentioned above, nursing is the kind of job where one often communicates in a stressful situation.   As such the ability to remain calm in times of stress is a key trait.   You must be able to show an employer that you are the kind of nurse who thrives under pressure.  The best way to do this is to think about the times in your life where you worked in hectic work environments.  Recall how you handled them as a way to prepare your job interview answers.

Common Nursing Interview Questions

Part of your position is separating as a resource to help coordinate and ensure fiscal accountability of all clinical and health related experience centers to ensure operational efficiencies. How would you improve the efficiency related to this?

Tell me about the most difficult patient you have had to deal with in nursing. What made this patient so difficult? What techniques did you learn with this patient to apply to the next?

What type of suggestions do you have for implementating strategies to improve customer service and reduce operating costs?

If you were hired, you will be conducting new onhire screenings and annual employee health screenings to include health history, we anticipate some resistance to this new initiative. Layout the steps you would take to ensure cooperation.

We would like you to look after conducting new employee orientation on infection control/employee health. What is your experience on this topic?

If you are the successful candidate, you will be completing initial mental health evaluations. What do you like and not like about MH evals?

Part of your position is ensuring telehealth nurses have all proper licensure for cases assigned to them. What is your plan for doing this?

In this role, we will count on you to provide direction to staff on all activities including clinical and technical issues. Describe your background in this kind of work.

In this job, you will train staff on tb screening according to the tb control plan and/or at least annually conducting followup skin testing for all employee tb exposures. What are best practices in this area?

An example of a task is preparing and supports the patient and family regarding changes in the patient?s health status indicating impending death. What training have you taken to help you with these types of duties?

You will have to be directing the development and implementation and monitoring of ethical standards. What is your first step?

We want to improve incident reporting, safety and risk management. What is your experience in this area?
Your responsibility will be to ensure fiscal accountability of all clinical and health related experience centers to ensure operational efficiencies. How much experience do you have in this work?
One of the things you would have to look after is maintaining initial and ongoing assessment of patients care needs. We have had some troubles ensuring the information is passed onto the next shift. How could we improve this?

Describe the best hospice interdisciplinary plan of care you have worked with. What made this plan so great?

We will ned you to plan and implement other vaccine programs such as tetanus and mmr. Have you done this before?
We receive many patients who require initial assessment of employee injuries and possible referrals with workers compensation physicians. How have you prepared yourself for this?

Part of your position is referring employees with identifiable limitations and/or health risks to appropriate resources. Are you comfortable doing this?
If you are the successful candidate, you will be planning, implementing an annual flu vaccine program. Where do many people fall short with this kind of task? Why? How would you do it differently?

In this role, we will count on you when looking after call center metrics and customer goals in order to meet and/or exceed expectation of patients and customer. Give me an example of when you have done this successfully?
Suppose you see a nurse supervisor not wash their hands after the bathroom. What would you do?

In this team, you are expected to be promoting health and safety to all employees, promoting a safe work environment. Tell me your plan for doing this.

We would like to develop an employee health program which includes disease detection, prevention, and conducting employee health screenings. There is some pushback from some nurses. How would you recommend we handle this?

We are creating a new team and you will be assisting with the selection of all clinical staff. What are the top skills you look for?
One of the things you would have to look after is assisting patients in active and passive range of motion, transferring, walking, and turning. How would you reduce the cost associated with this work?
An example of a task is preparing and supports the patient and family regarding changes in the patient?s health status indicating impending death. What training have you taken to help you with these types of duties?