Scenario Interview Questions

Nurses Job Hunt


So I just had my first job interview last week for a residency program and I didn't get the job. :( I was preparing for behavioral questions, since a hiring manager from another local hospital told my class that new grad program usually ask just behavioral questions since they can teach us the skills, but attitudes can be hard to change. So I was so prepared to be asked for behavioral questions but instead I was bombarded with scenario questions!! Here are the questions they asked me. What should have I said in the following scenarios? They're the only ones I can remember. I still cannot recover from my failed attempt to become a working hospital nurse.

1. You were walking on the hallway and you find a patient whose 4 side rails are up and he is trying to get out. What do you do? *I said approach the patient first, make sure he is safe, lower the bed to the lowest position, 2 side rails should be up, talk to the nurse taking care of him ask why 4 siderails were up, and report the issue to the manager if it wasn't resolved? Ugh I really did bad one this one.

2. You have a patient 5 hours post op surgery and complained that he couldn't pee? What should you do? **I did bad on this one too I suddenly went all the way to sepsis stuff!! :(

3. You have a patient with clear lung sounds 4 hours ago and then suddenly has crackles 4 hours after. What to do? I did bad on this one I assumed right away that patient is having fluid overload! :(

4. You forget to give insulin 4 hours ago. What to do? I said check pt right away, check blood sugar, call the doctor, administer insulin using sliding scale, and assess again for sugar level and signs of hypo or hyperglycemia

5. You got interrupted in your very busy schedule. How do you prioritize? I said I make sure all my patients are safe first, done all the things needed to be done, before handling the interruption?

Any opinion? So that I will be more prepared for the next interview if I ever get one again. Thank you!


147 Posts

I think your answers are pretty good!!! Good luck !!!


28 Posts

i had a similar question to number 3 i fumbled on it as well.they want to hear you say you would contact the MD if your heard crackels because my pt in question was ok and then passed out and i was doing assessing pt, checking monitors , i called other nurse( at the time of interviewi was working at a summer camp at the time and all we had was nurses in the health center) and and interviewer told me " i would of called the MD" and i didnt get the job:( but there are always bumps on the road to success:D

Specializes in CEN.

Some of your answers sounded pretty good. As for question 2 I would have checked for a bulging bladder for urinary retention. He would probably need a catheter although you would need an MD order for that. So I would say assess him and then call for a Doc. Tell him what was going on using SBAR. S-post op (which could explain urinary retention), B-pt history, A-what you saw, heard, assessed, vitals, R-what you want the Doc to do.

I could be wrong about this but this is my take on the question


89 Posts

Just keep trying. You can also research these questions now and formula answer to keep in your question bank. You might hear them again or can use it to answer other questions.

psu_213, BSN, RN

3,878 Posts

Specializes in Emergency, Telemetry, Transplant.

Remember KISS (Keep It Simple Silly--yes, yes, I know, usually the 2nd S stands for something else ;)). I think you gave good answers, but a few other things to consider:

#1, yes make the patient safe and then talk to the assigned nurse. I might stay away from saying you would then go to the manager--that could give the manager the wrong idea about you. Instead say that you would speak with the charge after speaking with the assigned nurse if nothing was done about the 4 side rails.

#2, is the pt. making urine and just can't get it out or is he not even making urine? Your course of action depends on which one is happening Palpate the lower abd, do a bladder scan (if the unit has one). If urine is there, you could run the water for them as they attempt to go (make sure the sink drains will before you leave the water turned on--learned that one the hard way!)--this shows you are willing to make an attempt on your own before you run to calling the doc. If that does not work, call the doc to get an order for a straight cath, if your don't already have said order. If no urine, what are the VS (what would indicate dehydration). Remember KISS, think simple first. Sure, sepsis can be a concern if there is no urine in there, but they just may need a bit a fluid. Again, call the doctor.

#3, first assess, where are the crackles? In the bases? Just in the left upper lobe? How is their respiratory status? Do they appear SOB? Do they have fluids running? Do they have a fever and/or does the pt. subjectively feel feverish? After assessing and making sure they are not decompensating before your eyes, call the doctor and push for chest X-ray, possible a BNP. If they are terrible dyspneic/decompensating, then you would consider calling a rapid response team (or whatever it is called in that facility).

#4, I like your answer...the only thing I would add, is to say that you would write yourself up for a med error--it shows that you are willing to admit and be honest about your mistakes. Otherwise, you are right on!

#5, this is a kinda vague, silly question. What are you doing when you are interrupted? Good idea to always think safety first.

+ Add a Comment

By using the site, you agree with our Policies. X