How To Answer The Most Common Nursing Interview Questions - page 2

by TheCommuter Asst. Admin

422,399 Views | 49 Comments

To be perfectly blunt, interviews can be rather nerve-wracking because a lot is at stake. After all, you really want to be considered for this available position, and you only have one chance to make a good first impression on... Read More


  1. 3
    Quote from CrazierThanYou
    I can NEVER think of anything to say when it comes to naming my weaknesses. It's not that I think I don't have any, I definitely do, but everything I think of I'm afraid to say because I'm afraid they won't hire me based on that! I HATE, HATE, HATE that question! Anyone have any suggestions?
    If the interviewer happens to ask about your weaknesses, discuss a relatively minor flaw that pertains to how you work. Also stress that you are taking steps to get past the weakness. For instance, I usually say: "I can be task-oriented at times. I am so focused on completing my tasks on time and keeping my patients comfortable that I sometimes do not see the big picture, but I am definitely working on this."

    Quote from CrazierThanYou
    Also, what exactly should we know about the facility? I mean, I can get on their website and see how many beds they have, etc. What do I need to talk about in an interview? This baffles me.
    1. Know how many beds the facility has.
    2. Know when the facility or health system was founded, if possible.
    3. If the place is named after someone, know that person's history.
    4. Know how many years the hospital has been in town, if possible.
    5. Know the company's mission statement, purpose, and goals.
    6. Know as much as possible about the place.

    Most websites of hospitals, home health companies, hospices, and other entities have 'About Us' sections that you can click to read more about their mission, goals, history, and so forth.
    Imagine.Peace, theleaf, and JulieL like this.
  2. 0
    Quote from K+MgSO4
    This may be an international difference
    Perhaps. I am the author of the article. My focus was to discuss common nursing interview questions that one may encounter in at healthcare facilities in the United States. I see that you are likely in Australia.
  3. 1
    I've thought about the "What are your weaknesses" question a lot.

    My weakness is I can't stand people who don't vaccinate their children, with their ignorance they are literally hurting society (herd immunity) and therefore hurting me or my future children.

    But I realize that is their freedom, and just because I don't respect you or your decisions doesn't mean I won't treat you with respect. I'll give you (and your children) the same care that I would give any other patient. But I won't be happy about it. :/

    I'll have to figure out a way to portray that in an interview. I think it is a valid answer though, at some point we'll all have to treat child molesters, murderers, drug users, or simply just rude people - our level of care cannot change when if we don't like someone. Luckily we don't have to be their friend we just have to help them get well.
    JulieL likes this.
  4. 1
    Quote from CrazierThanYou
    I can NEVER think of anything to say when it comes to naming my weaknesses. It's not that I think I don't have any, I definitely do, but everything I think of I'm afraid to say because I'm afraid they won't hire me based on that! I HATE, HATE, HATE that question! Anyone have any suggestions?
    I care about each patient as a person, which is a valuable trait in nursing; however, it is important not to be consumed by it. I am working on learning to maintain a healthy work-life balance because "taking them home with me" doesn't help anyone. That is an honest statement from me, and my hope is that it reflects positively because empathy/caring is a positive trait in general, but it's important not to let it interfere with your clinical judgement or your own sanity. If there is something about you that is good as a person but can become a weakness as a professional, I think that's a good place to start.*

    *I'm relatively inexperienced so if the pros have a different opinion I'd love to hear it!
    theleaf likes this.
  5. 1
    Quote from CrazierThanYou
    I can NEVER think of anything to say when it comes to naming my weaknesses. It's not that I think I don't have any, I definitely do, but everything I think of I'm afraid to say because I'm afraid they won't hire me based on that! I HATE, HATE, HATE that question! Anyone have any suggestions? Also, what exactly should we know about the facility? I mean, I can get on their website and see how many beds they have, etc. What do I need to talk about in an interview? This
    baffles me.
    WHATEVER you do, don't say something like "I'm a workaholic." or "I'm too much of a perfectionist."

    We do "team interviews" where I work, and I've sat in on a few where the interviewee said something like this. I always want to roll up a magazine and bop them on the head.
    i<3u likes this.
  6. 0
    My company utilizes Targeted Selection and so you won't be asked any of the traditional or "easy" interview questions during your interview. The goal is to determine "best fit" through past performance.
  7. 0
    this is very helpful, definately looking at this before my next interview
  8. 1
    Quote from NayRN
    My interviews have been nothing like this. I was prepared for these questions. I'd done my research. I'd had deep thoughts on the mission, vision, and values of the company. The questions I was asked include:
    1. Identify a time when you were distressed by your ability to provide care for a patient within the constraints of the health care system and maintained a relationship with the patient afterwards. What happened? What is the patient doing now?
    This one threw me. I told of a time when I had a patient who was uninsured and not a citizen, and they were given emergency care and were stabilized in the hospital, but the docs were unwilling to provide the $25,000 surgery to fix their broken bone. I discharged them that way. I understood the business logistics of the situation, but as a nurse, it stunk to watch that patient walking out of the hospital still broken. No I did not maintain a relationship with the patient because I draw professional boundaries in my care and do not become personally involved with patients as a general rule.

    2. Identify a time when you had a problem with a coworker. What happened, and how did it turn out.
    I told about a time when I was a new nurse, and the charge nurse took my statement of "I have no idea if I can take a new patient right now, we need to ask my preceptor" wrong-I think she thought I was challenging her authority, or maybe my tone was just wrong. Anyway, after she walked off in a huff, I chased her down the hallway and apologized for my statement coming out wrong. 3 years later, she was one of the nurses who gave me a personal reference for this new job. Happy ending.

    3. Tell of a time you failed at something. What was it, and how did it turn out.
    I discussed a med error I had made. It was minor, and resulted in no harm, but an error all the same. I considered it a failure of many things including a stressful work environment and simple human nature. I related how it made me much more vigilant when checking medications, and how I consider it a success if I don't make the same or similar error again. I discussed how I have a hard time with the definition of failure because in my eyes the only "failure" is giving up. As long as something is learned from a mistake, it can never be considered a complete failure.

    There were several more questions, very open ended, but tailored to very specific circumstances. I felt good about it afterwards. I paid a lot of attention to my appearance and body language. It was a difficult interview, and I didn't get the job. The interviewer told me she would let me know either way by the end of the week. This was several weeks ago, and I never heard anything. I'm not sure what to think. Anyone else had an interview like this?
    I have had many similar questions. I would never admit to med error though, this could be the single reason you didn't get the job. I know, we are supposed to report, and management is supposed to give us an award for feeling safe and being honest. I'm not saying don't report med errors, but it is not something I would bring up in an interview.
    CrazyGoonRN likes this.
  9. 2
    Quote from deni_an
    I've thought about the "What are your weaknesses" question a lot.

    My weakness is I can't stand people who don't vaccinate their children, with their ignorance they are literally hurting society (herd immunity) and therefore hurting me or my future children.

    But I realize that is their freedom, and just because I don't respect you or your decisions doesn't mean I won't treat you with respect. I'll give you (and your children) the same care that I would give any other patient. But I won't be happy about it. :/

    I'll have to figure out a way to portray that in an interview. I think it is a valid answer though, at some point we'll all have to treat child molesters, murderers, drug users, or simply just rude people - our level of care cannot change when if we don't like someone. Luckily we don't have to be their friend we just have to help them get well.
    I would say you are passionate about being an advocate for immunization. "Can't stand" a paying customer is not a strong quality to show in an interview.
    theleaf and sublimeaurora like this.
  10. 0
    Good post!


Top