You passed the NCLEX. The nursing interview should be a walk in the park. Right? Let us give you some reassurance:
In a nursing interview, you’ll need to prove you’ve got very specific skills. Those may cover patient care, crisis management, patient education, and more.
To probe your nurse superpowers, interviewers will ask nursing behavioral interview questions. These are scenario questions or “situational questions.” See our guide to get ready:
Some nursing interview questions are based on more common job interview questions. Our guide can help you prep for those:
Can’t land an interview in the first place? Your nursing resume might be to blame. Use our guides to fix it:
Want to save time and have your resume ready in 5 minutes? Try our resume builder. It’s fast and easy to use. Plus, you’ll get ready-made content to add with one click. See 20+ resume templates and create your resume here.
[I used] a nice template I found on Zety. My resume is now one page long, not three. With the same stuff.
The Best of All Interview Questions for Nursing
Here’s the most important nursing interview question:
“Do you have questions for me?”
Why’s that critical?
Take time to prep for this queen among nursing interview questions.
Think through the list of questions to ask during a nursing interview below. Based on the job description, pick 2–3 that fit best.
The 25 Most Common Nursing Interview Questions
The nursing interview questions and answers below fix the reason most applicants flunk.
Namely, they don’t have answers ready for common questions.
Good answers are specific and draw on real life examples.
They’re not beauty-pageant speeches about saving the world.
They’re, “One time a patient was lashing out at all the staff. I talked to her and learned she was terrified because she thought she was dying. I took the time to educate her and she was calm and friendly the rest of her stay.”
Great answers to nurse interview questions fit what the job offer is searching for. Does the job want communication skills? Budgeting? The best answers fit the manager’s needs.
So, to answer the most common questions for nursing interviews:
Answer right, and the administrators will ask you a question:
“Why did you want to be a nurse?”
Why did you choose nursing? Administrators love this nursing interview question. They know nursing is hard. Nurses face fear, frustration, and hardship that makes superheroes look like slackers. Will you give up? Answering the “why do you want to be a nurse” question shows the driving force inside.
Why do I want to be a nurse? Nursing is my passion. I love providing comfort and education to those in need, and intervening in difficult situations. Last year I was tasked with handling a tough patient. I did my best to listen and provide comfort. As she was leaving, she said, “I’ll never forget you as long as I live.” It hit me that my life was important to her. That’s what makes nursing so meaningful to me. Every day, in small and large ways, my existence truly matters to those in my care.
Pow. That’s a great answer to motivation-based nurse interview questions. It explains why nursing matters beyond a paycheck. It uses a specific story. It addresses another of the common interview questions for nurses: “Tell me about a time you handled a difficult patient.”
Pro Tip: Many of the nurse practitioner interview questions in this guide also work as CNA interview questions. Just customize your answers to CNA skills and duties.
Let’s magically translate this trickiest of all nursing interview questions. It actually asks, “Why are you perfect for this job?” Please don’t give a generic answer. Do your homework. Find out what the job requires. Then rehearse the best achievements from your resume to tell a story.
I’m just finishing up nursing school. I’ve got a 3.99 GPA and I received an Outstanding Undergraduate Nursing Student Award for leadership and caring. As a precept nurse at Newark General Hospital, I received frequent commendations from the preceptor for efficiency. I also maintained 95% positive evaluations for patient education. I supervised bedsore prevention on my ward, for which my patients were in the top 98%.
Before that I worked as a CNA for two years at Hilldale Nursing Home. My manager there wants to hire me because of my strong work ethic and the way I interact with patients. I’d love to work for her, but I’m very excited about being a nurse here at Clifton Bluffs Hospital. Your commitment to ongoing staff training and patient education fit my skills and drive, and I think I’d really grow in this environment.
See that? It’s a greatest hits of your achievements. Even better, it fits perfectly with the job. This is one of the harder nursing interview questions. But if you prep and rehearse, your chance of getting hired will go through the roof.
Chances are, it’s going to come up in your nursing phone interview as well, so make sure you nail it from the start: The Perfect Answer to the “Tell Me About Yourself” Interview Question