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Perspective: Actually cried during an interview?!

by krad13 krad13 (New) New

I had an interview yesterday with a hospital for their new grad program and their first question was: How did you get into nursing/ Why do you want to be a nurse?

I immediately went to my mother who got diagnosed with cancer my freshman year of college and throughout that process, I saw and felt how the nurses took care of her and that made me want to help people for the rest of my life.. As i was saying this, I actually teared up. She is my motivation and is the reason why being a nurse is my passion which i told them! I hope they didn't take this as a sign of weakness or that I am unprofessional? I get so emotional talking about it!!!

Has this ever happened to anyone/What are your thoughts if this happened to you when you are interviewing a potential new grad?

Any nurse managers input?

Edited by krad13

I don't have any input sorry! I am just a new grad and I know I'm probably going to tear up on my 1st interview, I know it. Almost exact same reasons for becoming a nurse and it just makes me emotional. So I hear ya for sure. Looking forward to reading some responses from nurses who have already been thru it.

Ugh this was my fifth interview and I try to be as real and honest as possible but it definitely never gets easier to explain why I went into this!

I think its going to depend on each person interviewing you and their perspective of "crying". I think it shows your true passion for nursing but I don't think I am too far off the mark that some could think it means your emotionally unstable (which I do not think at all btw). I can get choked up at times when talking about why I became a nurse because it means that much to me. But if your worried it's costing you jobs, trying saying it in a way that conveys your passion but holds back the full blown emotions. I think writing down a mock answer to that with the same words every time could help you some. Good luck!

It could indicate a sensitivity that could be crushed during your first introduction to today's challenging work environment.

OTOH if you also showed real grit then I think you demonstrated fearlessness in exposing a genuine side of yourself.


Thank you, thats definitely a good idea to prepare for it so I don't let my emotions get the best of me! I should define "crying" because I definitely didn't start balling my eyes out but my eyes did get watery and it was obvious! But thank you for your input, I just hope they see it (all 6 of them) as true passion!

NICUismylife, ADN, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU, RNC.

I think getting teary-eyed is acceptable. It shows your passion. Crying uncontrollably with snot everywhere would be a different story. From what you've described, it's probably fine.


Specializes in Psych,LTC,. Has 20 years experience.

Teared up is probably OK. this is a pretty standard question in a nurse interview. Might want to spend a little time thinking about how to best answer it. maybe 'This is an emotional topic for me, and I will share the story with you if you want"

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU. Has 27 years experience.

Moved to First Job Hunt Assistance

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 44 years experience.

I agree with some of the previous posters who said essentially that it depends on the details. A little teary-eyed episode that you recovered from quickly is probably OK, particularly if you stayed calm and collected throughout the episode. But more than that makes you look unstable and driven by emotions in ways that might raise doubts in the hiring manager.

Definitely practice discussing this topic.


Specializes in Cardiac (adult), CC, Peds, MH/Substance. Has 8 years experience.

It depends on those evaluating you. It also depends on how emotional you became. Some may view unbridled emotion as indicative of future emotional response to situations where you'll need to have your professionalism surpass your emotions. However, I can't say I know a whole lot of people who would judge you negatively for becoming a bit teary eyed talking about it, as long as you kept it more or less to a controlled mix of passion/happiness/sadness simultaneously in a way that showed your passion and dedication. I do know a lot of people who would judge you negatively if you were completely unable to control yourself, since you have a very brief time to make decisions as a manager. It's one of those things where, "If they got to know me, they'd know I can... " control myself, am professional, and so on. However, some managers will simply chalk it up to, "too risky," and move onto the next applicant.

My advice would be to be honest, be sincere, but keep it under control. By under control, I don't mean you shouldn't show any emotion. They don't want to hire the Terminator, either (unless it's for utilization review - just kidding). A lot of hiring managers ask that question, because most of them really do want to get to know you and to like you (particularly if they are considering hiring you - all things equal, managers hire people they like; all things UNEQUAL, managers still hire people they like). An emotional connection with the profession will help a lot of people like you. However, if you can't keep it to a mild teary eyed expression of passion, it will set off "Danger, Will Robinson!" in the self-preservation center of many managers (who are also human), and their self-preservation instincts may outweigh any emotional connection with you they may have otherwise collected.

Good luck!