Acing Nursing Interview Questions

  1. Interview advice
    Research before your interview - boston college

    Types of interviews:

    questions interviewers ask - boston college
    interview tips - typical questions interviewers ask and a few good responses
    difficult interview questions + a few answers

    You are interviewing the hospital/facility too:

    Questions to ask the employer

    • what unique challenges has this unit faced over the last year? (i.e. successes, failures, etc.)
    • what sets this organization apart from it's competitors?
    • how long is the orientation phase and what can i expect?
    • will i work with one preceptor throughout or will i have several different preceptors?
    • how does the administration view nursing in terms of importance to the hospital?
    • how much independence do nurses have in being creative problem-solvers?
    • if i were to get a job offer from another hospital, why would i want to work for this one?
    • what is the criterion you will use to select the person you are looking for?
    • what kind of support can i expect from the nursing educators and preceptors?
    • how does the hospital handle new grads that might be slow in becoming oriented to their new jobs?
    • how long have you been the manager of this unit and what is your nursing background?
    • how many nurses have quit and how many hired for this unit in the past 6 months? how long have some of the nurses been working on this unit?
    • who will be precepting me? can you tell me something about them? will i always have the same preceptor or will there be more than one?
    • have you ever had a new grad who didn't seem to work out? how was it handled?
    • if for any reason it seems that orientation is just not going well for me what will happen and who should i talk to about it?

    Questions for Management Positions
    • if i called a member of your current staff and asked them to tell me about you, what would they say?
    • what actions would you take if you came on board?
    • how do you lead?
    • what's your secret to getting subordinates to follow you?
    • how do you motivate employees?
    • how do you reward employees?
    • describe your management philosophy and management style.
    • some managers supervise their employees closely, while others use a loose rein. how do you manage?
    • how have you improved as a manager over the years?
    • how many people have you fired? how do you go about it?
    • how would you deal with an employee who broke a policy (ie: late for work)?
    • how would you deal with an employee who was not open and honest in communication?
    • it is very hard to attract (critical care, er, or, ob etc.) nurses to this area. what are some strategies you
    • might use to have enough qualified nurses to be sure patients get quality care in the facility?
    • what single professional event made you most proud to be a manager/leader?
    • what event made you least proud to be a leader?
    • in prior positions did you have budgeting responsibilities? if so, what was the size of your operating budget?
    • do you know how to figure fte's?
    • what is your definition of empowerment?
    • what is your definition of quality assurance (qa), and who should be responsible, for qa?
    • tell me about a time when your manager made a decision you disagreed with. what actions did you take and why?
    • tell me about a time when you had to handle a disruptive employee. what did you do? what were the results?
    • tell me about a time when you had to deal with an irate physician, patient, employee etc. how did you handle it
    • and what was the result?
    • how have you managed to foster a successful team in your past positions?
    • what methods have you found successful in determining the priorities when you start in a new facility?
    • what methods do you use to foster open communication with staff and management?
    • tell me about a work incident when you were totally honest, despite a potential risk or downside for the honesty.
    • how did you handle a recent situation where the direction from above was unclear and circumstances were changing?
    • describe how you motivated a group of people to do something they did not want to do.
    • who is your most effective subordinate and your least effective subordinate?
    • what are the strengths and weaknesses of each? what have you done to develop each of these subordinates?
    • tell me about some of the people who have become successful as a result of your management. what was your role in their development?
    • what are the major training and development needs of the people in your department? how did you identify them? what are you doing about them?
    • are there any techniques you have found useful in identifying particular subordinates' needs and potentials? tell me how they worked with a particular person.
    • what do you do differently than other managers? why? examples?
    • what is the farthest you've had to bend your standards in order to succeed?
    • what job duties would you like to avoid if at all possible?
    • describe a time in which you weighed the pros and cons of a situation and decided not to take action, even
    • though you were under pressure to do so.
    • all of us have been in situations where we assigned work to other people and they didn't do what we intended. can you tell me about some of those? what were the circumstances and how did you handle it?
    • have you ever had problems in getting your subordinates to accept your ideas or department goals? what approach did you use? how effective was it?
    • have you ever needed cooperation from groups that did not report to you? what did you do to gain cooperation? what were the satisfactions and disappointments?
    • is there a trait or characteristic about you that you find is frequently misunderstood, that surprises you when you find out that people think that about you?
    • what 3 things do you hope to accomplish in your first year?
    • what do you expect of those who report to you? if candidate responds with a one word answer (for example saying, "support" you can probe further by asking the candidate to describe three behaviors that she/he would view as being supportive.
    • if you had an unfavorable plan (i.e., budget) to implement, what would you do to get the managers' buy in and support?
    • with the current nursing shortage, what are two solutions you would like to see put in place?
    • what kind of support do you offer managers, directors and front-line staff, knowing the stress of the nursing shortage and the increasing acuity of our patients?
    • tell us about a high level innovative idea/change that you implemented. was it or was it not successful?

    Last edit by NRSKarenRN on Jul 28, '13
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