Interview questions

  1. 29
    For those of you about to go thru the nursing interview process. Here is the list of questions and suggestions I have accumulated. I hope this helps everyone.
    Merry Christmas everyone and HAPPY NEW YEAR!! [

    The first part is from a nursing instructor at a college so, YOU KNOW IT's good stuff!

    Dress as if you were going to a business interview. This would include:

    Solid color, conservative suit (black, blue)
    Coordinated blouse
    Moderate shoes
    Limited jewelry (pearls are a nice touch)
    Neat, professional hairstyle
    Tan or light hosiery
    Sparse make-up & perfume

    Try to relax and be yourself. Project a positive, self-confident, sincere, congruent attitude (not cocky or arrogant--this will turn off the interviewer fast). Lean forward slightly in the chair, smile, make eye contact, don't cross arms or legs. Appear at ease and enthusiastic. Speak in complete sentences with correct grammar and intelligent vocabulary.

    Questions to anticipate:
    Why do you want to be a nurse? (Another variation would be--Why have you chosen nursing as a career?)

    How are your finances? Will your employer support your scheduling needs during nursing school? (We at this point interject our limitations--no working past 11 PM on clinical nights, no working more than 20 hours /week with a full time school

    Is your family supportive of your schooling?

    Do you have adequate transportation for clinicals? (Some of our clinical sites may be 2 hrs away from students' residences.)

    We interject our requirements for CPR certification, immunizations, a complete medical examination, by a certain date. Have as many of these done prior to the interview as possible! It really helps!

    What are your strengths and weaknesses? (Never give much information about weaknesses--this is just supplying reasons for you NOT be chosen).
    Study habits.
    Past school and work history.

    It is even possible they may throw a case scenario at you to test your critical thinking skills: You are the nursing student on a clinical unit and the patient (on the 4th floor of the hospital) asks you "Would I die if I jump from this window?" What would you do? Or, you are the nurse and you are reporting an important change in patient condition to a doctor and the doctor yells at you and calls you stupid, what would you do?
    Why have you chosen this particular nursing school?

    Why do you want to be a nurse?(be creative on this one...they have heard "to help people" a million and one times )

    What do you think a nurse's responsibility is in todays society?

    What kind of experiences have you had with nurses in your past?

    What qualities do you possess that will make you a good nurse?

    What area would you like to work in once you finish school, and why?

    In regards to nursing, where do you see yourself in 5 years?

    Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

    How well do you get along with others?

    Are you a leader or a follower?

    Are you comfortable taking a leadership role?

    Are you willing to be a represenative for a small group of ppl or the whole nursing program?

    Do YOU have any questions?(I figured out they like the ppl who ask alot of questions
    ]
    • was also asked about how did I deal with a situation when a person who did not know me decided that he/she didn't like me? Interpersonal relations
      I was asked what would I do if I noticed a classmate cheating
      I was asked for my definition of plagiarism

      I was asked if I was familiar with the APA style of writing and citing papers.

      The most rewarding thing in your life thus far?

      The most challenging thing in your life so far?

      The type of educator/supervisor you like the most?

      Scenario: Your supervisor comes to you and your small team of co-workers and tells you that a new change in policy is effective immediate. You do not think the change can be implemented due to logistics. What do you do?

      Your short-term (3-5 years) goal in nursing?

      Your long term (5+ years) goal in nursing?

      As far as tips:
    • Be honest.
    • Do not give vague or general answers - they are looking for specific examples in your life.
    • Review your application and essay - assume that the interviewer is not familiar with it.
    • Be familiar with current trends in nursing - helps to demonstrate why you want to become a nurse and how you feel you can make a contribution in the profession.

    • Don't be afraid to show emotion. I cried twice during my interview in relating some life examples.

    • Practice with a partner. Anticipate these questions and think up the most positive attributes about yourself.
    Last edit by Esme12 on Aug 13, '12
    lyns, sweetf, ManekiNekoRN, and 26 others like this.
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  4. 0
    Male Dress:

    I didn't feel an authoritative getup would be appropriate, so I wore a blue blazer, light slate blue shirt (non-button-down), khaki pleated dockers, brown wing-tip suede shoes, and a rep tie (cinnamon with white and blue stripes). I'm over 50 and have a crew cut, so I wanted to soften the edges. If you're right out of high school, you might want to wear a more authoritative look. The above (I imagine every male on the planet owns a blue blazer and gray or khaki pants, or a dark blue suit) with the only changes being a white shirt and black shoes will add years to your image. I wouldn't wear a pinstripe suit or anything that makes me look like a businessman, lawyer, or accountant. Not that I own anything trendy, but dress like you would for your mom. Be neat. Be early.
  5. 0
    Great post... While I didn't have to interview for my school, I know many people do and I think this is full of great pointers!

    I think another good sticky to put together would be "Things to look for in a nursing school" (seems there are posts pretty often about "what kind of questions to ask the school" such as pass rates, clinical ratios, etc)
  6. 0
    Great post!
  7. 4
    Quote from maggie in nc
    for those of you about to go thru the nursing interview process. here is the list of questions and suggestions i have accumulated. i hope this helps everyone.

    merry christmas everyone and happy new year!!

    the first part is from a nursing instructor at a college so, you know it's good stuff!

    dress as if you were going to a business interview. this would include:

    solid color, conservative suit (black, blue)
    coordinated blouse
    moderate shoes
    limited jewelry (pearls are a nice touch)
    neat, professional hairstyle
    tan or light hosiery
    sparse make-up & perfume

    try to relax and be yourself. project a positive, self-confident, sincere, congruent attitude (not cocky or arrogant--this will turn off the interviewer fast). lean forward slightly in the chair, smile, make eye contact, don't cross arms or legs. appear at ease and enthusiastic. speak in complete sentences with correct grammar and intelligent vocabulary.

    questions to anticipate:
    why do you want to be a nurse? (another variation would be--why have you chosen nursing as a career?)

    how are your finances? will your employer support your scheduling needs during nursing school? (we at this point interject our limitations--no working past 11 pm on clinical nights, no working more than 20 hours /week with a full time schedule.)

    is your family supportive of your schooling?

    do you have adequate transportation for clinicals? (some of our clinical sites may be 2 hrs away from students' residences.)

    we interject our requirements for cpr certification, immunizations, a complete medical examination, by a certain date. have as many of these done prior to the interview as possible! it really helps!

    what are your strengths and weaknesses? (never give much information about weaknesses--this is just supplying reasons for you not be chosen).

    study habits.

    past school and work history.
    it is even possible they may throw a case scenario at you to test your critical thinking skills: you are the nursing student on a clinical unit and the patient (on the 4th floor of the hospital) asks you "would i die if i jump from this window?" what would you do? or, you are the nurse and you are reporting an important change in patient condition to a doctor and the doctor yells at you and calls you stupid, what would you do?



    why have you chosen this particular nursing school?

    why do you want to be a nurse?(be creative on this one...they have heard "to help people" a million and one times )

    what do you think a nurse's responsibility is in todays society?

    what kind of experiences have you had with nurses in your past?

    what qualities do you possess that will make you a good nurse?

    what area would you like to work in once you finish school, and why?

    in regards to nursing, where do you see yourself in 5 years?

    where do you see yourself in 10 years?

    how well do you get along with others?

    are you a leader or a follower?

    are you comfortable taking a leadership role?

    are you willing to be a represenative for a small group of ppl or the whole nursing program?

    do you have any questions?(i figured out they like the ppl who ask alot of questions)




    • was also asked about how did i deal with a situation when a person who did not know me decided that he/she didn't like me? interpersonal relations.

      i was asked what would i do if i noticed a classmate cheating.

      i was asked for my definition of plagiarism.

      i was asked if i was familiar with the apa style of writing and citing papers.

      the most rewarding thing in your life thus far?

      the most challenging thing in your life so far?

      the type of educator/supervisor you like the most?

      scenario: your supervisor comes to you and your small team of co-workers and tells you that a new change in policy is effective immediate. you do not think the change can be implemented due to logistics. what do you do?

      your short-term (3-5 years) goal in nursing?

      your long term (5+ years) goal in nursing?

      as far as tips:
    • be honest.
    • do not give vague or general answers - they are looking for specific examples in your life.
    • review your application and essay - assume that the interviewer is not familiar with it.
    • be familiar with current trends in nursing - helps to demonstrate why you want to become a nurse and how you feel you can make a contribution in the profession.


    • don't be afraid to show emotion. i cried twice during my interview in relating some life examples.


    • practice with a partner. anticipate these questions and think up the most positive attributes about yourself.

    i recently went for an interview for a nurse extern position in the nicu, here are the few that i remember, i was completely unprepared as i had studied and practiced answers to the questions posted above.....what do you think of these??

    what is your definition of success and how do you know if you have acheived it?

    what can _______ hospital do to motivate you?

    what do you expect from _________ hospital to let you know you have done a good job?

    what will your coworkers say about you in 3 months?
    lyns, 2126, longbow.shelly, and 1 other like this.
  8. 0
    Thank you so much for the tips!! I am scheduled for an interview at a hospital that I want to work at when I graduate in May and I have been so nervous because I really didn't know what to expect. I think that they will probably have the same type questions as these. I didn't have a formal interview before I started nursing school so this will help me very much. Thanks again, cp.
    Last edit by cparrish on Jan 1, '05 : Reason: My interview is for a job upon graduation instead of nursing school.
  9. 1
    the hardest question for me, which was not listed, when i was interviewed for nursing school was
    what is the worst situation as a nurse that you think you would have to dael with?

    Could you handle that kind of situation?
    lyns likes this.
  10. 0
    I've been lurking while I muddle through my prereq's but have an interview for a Community College program on Thursday. I wanted to say thank you so much for posting this!!! While it may not be one of the "big" BSN programs in Portland, it's still nerve rattling to me-seeing this has helped calm my nerves a bit.

    Corrie
  11. 0
    My key question was " You get a direct admit with chest pains and a surgical Pt what do you do?"

    Ask for help - Assess the chest pains first then take the surgcial Pt report. Remeber UNSTABLE Pt go to ICU for most part.
  12. 29
    Well since we are posting questions -I have posted these before - I think they pertain more for interviewing for a nursing position - not a place in nursing school. However who knows? They are from the book "Interview Power" by Tom Washington - I recommend it.
    The idea is to cut and paste these questions into Word - write out small outline type answers so when you practice you aren't reciting an answer, but answering from your outline. The second section are the tough ones - the behavior based questions - they require a story or example to answer. Same idea - write outlines and practice.
    Good luck!

    QUESTIONS

    1. Tell me about yourself.
    2. What is your greatest strength?
    3. What can you offer us that no one else can?
    4. What are your three most important career accomplishments?
    5. How would you describe yourself?
    6. Why should I hire you?
    7. Describe the biggest crisis in your life (career).
    8. What is unique about you?
    9. How would your supervisor describe you?
    10. Rate yourself on a scale of 1-10.
    11. Tell me a story.
    12. How have you benefited from disappointment?
    13. What is your greatest weakness?
    14. Have you ever been fired or asked to resign?
    15. Why have you changed jobs so frequently?
    16. Why have you been out of work so long? What have you been doing?
    17. What is the biggest mistake you ever made?
    18. What are your career goals?
    19. What do you want to do in life?
    20. How long have you been out of work?
    21. What personal, non-job related gals have you set for yourself?
    22. Are you willing to relocate?
    23. Are you willing to travel overnight?
    24. How do you feel about overtime?
    25. What have you learned from your past mistakes? What are some of them?
    26. What do you think determines a personís progress with a goof company?
    27. Who has exercised the greatest influence on you? How?
    28. What public figure do you admire most and why?
    29. What are your primary activities outside of work?
    30. Would you have any concern if we did a full background check on you? What would we find?
    31. What qualities do you most admire in people?
    32. What have you done to increase your personal development?
    33. What type of books and magazines do you read?
    34. What was the last book you read (movie you saw) and how did it affect you?
    35. How do you feel about your career progress?
    36. Can you work well under stress?
    37. Do you prefer to work as an individually or as a part of a team?
    38. Are you a team player?
    39. Tell me about the last incident that made you angry. How did you handle it?
    40. What are the things that motivate you?
    41. How do you handle people that you really donít get along with?
    42. What have you done that shows initiative?
    43. What personal qualities are important for success in this field?
    44. Sell me this pen.
    45. Are you willing to take calculated risks?
    46. Describe your perfect job?
    47. What is most important to you in a job?
    48. Why do you want to change careers?
    49. Why do you want to get into this field?
    50. Why did you leave your last job?
    51. How long will it take before you make a positive contribution to our organization?
    52. What do you like least about this position? Most?
    53. Tell me about your duties at your present job?
    54. What is the most important aspect of your job?
    55. Describe a time when you were criticized for your job.
    56. What is the most difficult situation you have ever faced?
    57. What frustrates you about your job?
    58. What jobs have you enjoyed most? Least? Why?
    59. What duties have you enjoyed most? Least? Why?
    60. What is the worst thing your have ever heard about this organization?
    61. What position do you expect to hold in five years? (similar to, Where do you expect to be in 5 years?)
    62. Why would you like to work for us?
    63. What is opinion of your present (or past) employer?
    64. How long would you stay if we offered you this position?
    65. What do you know about our company?
    66. Why do you want to leave your present employer?
    67. Starting with your first job out of college, tell me why you left each organization.
    68. What kinds of recommendations will you get from previous employers?
    69. Describe your relationship with your last three supervisors.
    70. What are your supervisorís strengths and weaknesses?
    71. What kind of supervisors do you like most? Least? Why?
    72. How has your supervisor helped you grow?
    73. What did your supervisor rate you highest on during your last review? Lowest?
    74. What kind of supervisor gets the best results out of you?
    75. What is your boss like?
    76. What actions would you take if you came on board?
    77. Can you supervise people?
    78. Describe your management philosophy and management style.
    79. How many people have you hired? How do you go about it? How successful have the people been?
    80. How many people have you fired?
    81. How would your subordinates describe you as a supervisor?
    82. Some managers watch their employees closely while others use a loose rein. How do you manage?
    83. How have you improved as a supervisor over the years?
    84. Why did you pick your major?
    85. What kind of grades did you have?
    86. What course did you like the most? Least? Why?
    87. How has your schooling prepared you for this job?
    88. Do you feel you did the best work at school that you were capable of doing?
    89. How did your summer jobs benefit you?

    SOME BEHAVIOR BASED QUESTIONS

    Tell me about a time when you:

    1. Achieved a great deal in a short amount of time.
    2. Were disappointed in your performance.
    3. Made a major sacrifice to achieve a work goal.
    4. Were unwilling or unable to make the necessary sacrifice to achieve a goal.
    5. Worked effectively under a great deal of pressure.
    6. Didnít handle a stressful situation very well.
    7. Really got angry over a situation at work.
    8. Felt under a great deal of pressure from an internal or external customer.
    9. Were really bothered by the actions of a coworker.
    10. Were especially creative in solving a problem.
    11. Were not as creative as usual.
    12. Organized and planned an event that was successful.
    13. Planned and coordinated a project that was very successful.
    14. Were unable to complete a project on schedule despite your best efforts.
    15. Really had to remain flexible.
    16. Had to deal with a personality conflict with a boss or coworker.
    17. Were unable to sell your idea to a key person.
    18. Felt really good about a decision you made and the process you went through.
    19. Were very effective in your problem-solving ability.
    20. Used facts and reason to persuade someone to accept your recommendation.
    21. Utilized your leadership ability to gain support for what initially had been strong opposition.
    22. Were able to build team spirit during a time of low morale.
    23. Were able to gain commitment from others to really work as a team.
    24. Used your political savvy to push through a program you believed in.
    25. Were particularly perceptive regarding a personís or groupís feelings and needs.
    26. Were able to predict someoneís behavior or response based on your assessment of him or her.
    27. Were particularly supportive and reassuring to a person who needed a friend.
    28. Built rapport quickly with someone under difficult conditions.
    29. Wrote a report which was well received by others.
    30. Were particularly effective at prioritizing tasks and completing a project on schedule.
    31. Identified potential problems and resolved the situation before the problems became serious.
    32. Were highly motivated and your example inspired others.
    33. Found it necessary to tactfully but forcefully say things others did not want to hear.
    34. Were particularly effective in a talk you gave or a seminar you taught.
    35. Had to make an important decision quickly even though you did not have all the information you wanted.
    36. Had to make a decision you knew would be unpopular.
    Were in a situation when events and circumstances changed rapidly.
    jennytmuw, not.done.yet, usRNs, and 26 others like this.


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