Performance-based interview questions

Nurses Job Hunt


  • by ixchel
    Specializes in critical care.

I have an interview this week for my first job in nursing and I'd love to hear what types of performance-based interview questions you've gotten or you've asked in the past. I'm trying to think through these types of questions so I'm not left stumbling on my words way too much when the big day gets here. ☺️

Specializes in Critical Care, Education.

Since you are a new grad, chances are they will not be asking you any questions that are focused on your ability to manage clinical situations because you simply haven't done this before. The questions will be designed to obtain information about your ability/skills that are relevant to the job, like communication, conflict management, critical thinking, work ethic, integrity, etc.

Basically, the interviewer(s) will be asking you to "tell a story" about something you have actually experienced. The question usually begins with a phrase like "Tell me about a time when you ______ (had to deal with a conflict, encountered an unexpected assessment finding when you were providing patient care, etc.)"

They do NOT want you to tell them what you think, how you imagine you would react or how you feel about things . . . they want you to tell them about an actual experience. Listen carefully to the question. If you need it clarified, ask for more details "do you mean a conflict with anybody?" After you tell the 'story', you will probably be asked additional probing questions related to that experience - like "Did you receive any feedback about how you handled that situation? What did they say? If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently?"

If you're nervous - it's OK. In fact, you can just say "I'm pretty nervous" to the interviewer(s). If you need more time to think about a response just say "Can I have a minute to think about that?" There are no right or wrong answers. Be truthful & don't try to bluff or inflate your expertise or experience. You'll be fine.


4,547 Posts

Specializes in critical care.

Thank you so much for your response. I thought I responded to this thread, but I don't see it here. :(

So my interview was okay today. I got a bit hopeful after reading your post thinking you were probably right. UGH! I wish you were. But the questions weren't hard. I had a few scenarios given, and I was asked how I would handle them. Honestly, I have no idea how I did. I hate that feeling. I went in there feeling pretty awesome about my chances since I'd networked very well for this job, but now I'm feeling like it's a level playing field and it can really go in any direction. So I'm crossing everything and waiting the dreaded 7-10 days it might take to hear back. Going to dig out my thank you notes in the meantime.

Thank you! ☺️

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