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How to Answer the Toughest Nursing Interview Questions

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Summary: Interview questions are very much the same across industries but you can be prepared for your nursing questions by focusing on quality and team work.

Never find yourself speechless during an interview by preparing for the tough questions. Prepare for nursing interviews by evaluating yourself. Create career goals and plan your future as a nurse. Understand how your motivation, goals, and plans will help you answer interview questions with confidence and sincerity.

  1. “Tell me about yourself”- The interviewer is looking to learn about your personality, attitude and approach to nursing. Provide evidence by focusing on your strengths and traits of how you are a good employee. Relate professional experiences, educational achievements, and career goals to nursing.
  2. “Why did you pursue a career in nursing?”- The interviewer wants to know what your motivation is for entering nursing and how dedicated you are. Prove your devotion and commitment through an example of a turning point in your decision to be a nurse. Avoid vague statements.
  3. “Tell me what you know about our institution”- This question is a way for the interviewer to learn if you are interested in the institution itself or just a job. Be sure to prepare for interviews by researching the institution to learn about their goals, statements, and reviews. Relate what you learned about the institution to why you want to work there.
  4. “Why should I hire you?”- The interviewer is evaluating if you will be an asset and how you see yourself. Explain that your characteristics will provide quality contributions and that you can be part of the solution to existing problems. Include examples of how your strengths can benefit the institution.
  5. “Tell us how you work under pressure”- Present a previous experience that proves your strength for working under pressure to the interviewer. Cite any positive attributes so show the interviewer that you are capable for performing everyday nursing duties without concern for the unpredictable nature of the job.
  6. “What are your career goals?”- The interviewer wants to know if you have a career plan that will make you stick around and work towards possible promotions. Bring up your plans to excel in the position and how your personal career goals will benefit the employer.
  7. “Do you have any weaknesses?”- The interview is looking at how you deal with your weaknesses so talk about them in a positive aspect. Now is not the time to be humble. Be honest and realistic with your answer.
  8. “Are you a team player?”- Patient care requires team players so the interviewer is looking to see if you will be that member. Provide examples of working alongside your team in a previous nursing experience. Be enthusiastic about the importance of good team synergy in providing successful patient care.
  9. “Tell us about your salary requirements”- Your answer to this question will tell the interviewer if your expectation fits in the employer’s range. Try to avoid giving specific numbers, if they insist on an exact amount, then provide a board range within the industry standards. Research the salary range for nurses in your area and department before the interview. Reiterate that you are more interested in the position than the salary.
  10. “Do you have any questions for us?”- Show your initiative and interest by asking for more details of the position such as nurse-patient ratios, length of orientation, and any educational opportunities. Try to imagine what questions you would have after getting hired.


How to Answer the Toughest Nursing Interview Questions by
Authored by: Amanda Griffin