The nursing job interview will be different from any other interview you’ve been on. They will ask you so many questions and drain you but you will get through it.
Here are some simple tips:
- Try not to be cliché by answering questions saying, “I became a nurse to help people” rather try to say the same thing through an anecdote. Perhaps a family member or friend was ill and you saw the impact the nurse had, or you shadowed a nurse once… etc.
- You will get many scenario-type questions like “tell me about a time you…”. For these try to have a multitude of stories from clinical/ work experience lined up. This is why I’m trying to give you example questions!
- Always be honest, do not fabricate stories to make yourself seem like a hero they know you are a new grad and are learning. However, in your stories try to highlight times where you prioritized patient needs, time management, advocating for a patient, and getting along with others as these are huge topics in nursing.
Here are some of the questions that I was asked during my interviews. I interviewed for two positions: Adult Medical Surgical & a Pediatric Hospital Position. I received offers at both because I did research about the types of questions that would be asked and was not thrown off at any question.
- Why did you choose nursing?
- Why this specialty? (Pediatrics, OB/GYN, Med-Surg, etc.)
- Why do you want to work at this facility?
- What are your future goals? Aka where do you see yourself in 3-5 years, etc.
(It’s okay to say pediatrics even if you are applying for a Med-Surg floor. Just don’t make it seem like you plan to leave as soon as you can.)
- What are your strengths as a nurse?
- What are your weaknesses as a nurse?
- How would a clinical instructor describe you?
- When was the last time you had a disagreement with someone and how did you handle it?
- Tell me about a time when you were different from someone you had to work with and how to did you handle it?
- Tell me about a time when you taught someone something. How did they accept the teaching? How did you know they understood your teaching method?
- What diversity do you bring to this unit? (including: education, extracurricular activities, 2nd languages, etc.)
- Tell me about a time you made a process better.
- Tell me about a time you had difficulty communicating with someone and what you did about it.
- How would you advocate for a patient in pain and the physician is refusing to order a pain medication?
*** Disclaimer: I did not come up with these questions; I was asked all of these during interviews.
Ty, the overachieving nurse