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10 Nursing Interview Questions and Answers

Updated on April 24, 2015

Interviews are perhaps one most nerve-wracking experiences you encounter when applying for a new job. Dressing up, walking through some very unfamiliar doors, sitting in front of one or even a panel of interviewers not knowing what questions are about to be thrown your way; It’s enough to make anyone’s palms sweat!

Be Prepared

When you’re going on an interview for your dream job, such as becoming a nurse, it’s not exactly like you’re interviewing for your first job and McDonald's. You should really be prepared for some of the questions that might be thrown your way.

While it’s tough to know exactly what questions will be asked unless you know someone within the particular practice, there tends to be questions that are typical of an interview for the position. Here are a few nursing interview questions you should be prepared for!


Nursing Interview Questions

1. Why are you seeking a job in nursing?

The last thing that an interviewer wants to hear is that you are in it for the money! While we all know we’re working to make money, avoid such answers.

Sample answer: I enjoy a good challenge and in the nursing field, there’s plenty to challenge me while providing opportunity for both personal and career growth.

2. What is your idea of multitasking?

In a nursing career, having the ability to multitask is an absolute must!

Sample answer: I feel multitasking is very important in the field. You must be able to take notes while listening to the patient and coming up with ideas to help. You must be able to handle a load of patients at once while keeping organized.

3. How do you manage stress on the job?

Nursing can be a very demanding and stressful career between the patients and staff.

Sample answer: While we all get stressed at times, the way I get through it is to just remain focused on what matters most: The patients.

4. What motivates you?

The interviewer here is basically asking if you motivate yourself or if it takes outside forces to get you in gear.

Sample answer: The desire to stay busy and do the best possible job that I can; it’s not only my motivation, but one of the reasons I find the career rewarding.

5. Where do you see yourself in five years?

Most places are looking for commitment from their potential new hires. All answers should point to being there.

Sample answer: I see myself as a well-established nurse with (employer), continuing to learn the ins and outs of everything there is to know about nursing.

6. The doctor was rude to you, how do you react?

Doctors are under a lot of stress like everyone else and it might not come out in the best manner.

Sample answer: I would want to know, first, if there was something that I did wrong in caring for my patient, but if it were to happen repeatedly, I would consult with my supervisor.

7. How do you handle a patient who just complains about everything?

Being a nurse, you will certainly have this kind of patient from time to time, and it’s important to know the appropriate ways to handle it.

Sample answer: First and foremost, make sure their complaints are not serious, address the ones that need to be addressed while assuring them that everything possible is being done in their best interest.

8. What do you find most rewarding about nursing?

There’s lots of ups and downs in nursing, and the interviewer wants to know what you enjoy most about it all.

Sample answer: The most rewarding thing for me is seeing a patient who came in really sick, and leaving my care either completely cured, or with a more positive outlook on their condition if it can only be treated or managed.

9. What do you find most challenging about nursing?

The interviewer doesn’t want to hear that nothing about nursing is challenging, because that is a lie. Instead, give an answer that reflects a positive message about a challenge.

Sample answer: Although I view challenges as opportunities to grow, I’d say the most difficult part, for me, is not thinking about my job and patients when I’m at home.

10. Do you prefer to work solo or with a team?

You will encounter both scenarios working in the nursing field, so it’s important to be okay with both!

Sample answer: It depends on the working environment. Working one-on-one with patients at their homes is nice, but as a nurse in a busy facility, I find teamwork and communication extremely important and preferred.


Have Confidence

As stated earlier, it is impossible to know exactly what nursing interview questions you will be asked. If you are really anxious about it and need to know what will be asked, try consulting with some connections you have at the place you are interviewing with.

The insiders would know most about what it takes to get, well, inside! Other than that, have the kind of confidence in yourself that a nurse needs to have in order to be successful, and you should do just fine during the interview!

Interview Tip: "What is your biggest weakness?"

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