One of the most stressful parts of getting a nursing position is that of the interview. It can be difficult to know what to expect and it is very easy to freeze up when faced with an unexpected question. Before you go to your first interview, consider these common nursing interview questions along with appropriate answers:
Why do you want to work here? What interests you about this position?
The best way to prepare for this question is to learn as much as you can about the facility at which you are applying as well as the particular nursing position. Match your qualifications to those required by the job so you can provide concrete reasons for being the best candidate for the job.
What are your strengths and weaknesses as a nurse?
Be ready to detail at least three or four of your strengths that are necessary for the position in question and be ready to back up your answer with specific examples. It is also important to be truthful about your areas of weakness, though you should limit yourself to no more than two that are not serious and that are easily overcome. Detail the steps you are taking to correct your weaknesses and state the level of progress you have made thus far.
What do you think are the most vital qualities for this position?
Prepare an answer that will be specific to the specific nursing position. Think carefully about what is most needed in that particular job.
What are your future career goals?
This question is often used to gauge your commitment to the profession. Be ready to detail one or two reasonable, reachable goals. Explain how the job for which you are applying fits into your long-term plan.
Why did you choose your area of specialty?
The key to this question is to be very specific. Discuss what influenced your decision, how you researched different options, and what aspects of your personality make you best suited to your specialty area.
What do you feel are nursing’s biggest challenges?
One of the biggest challenges is the shortage of qualified nurses. Be ready to discuss why you think there is a shortage as well as possible solutions to the problems.
How do you deal with pressure?
Many nursing professions include a great deal of pressure and, as a result, face a large rate of burnout. Be prepared to give an example of a very stressful situation you have faced and how you handled it.
How do you keep yourself current in nursing?
This is often used as a way to measure your commitment as a nurse. Be prepared to discuss conferences you have attended, subscriptions you have to professional journals, and memberships in relevant groups and forums.
Describe your ideal boss.
This question explores who you are as a person and as an employee. Whether you enjoy working for a boss that is fair, a good mentor, hands-off, supportive, creative, or other qualities, be honest and true. By explaining the qualities you prefer and why they work well for you, you will reveal a great deal about yourself.
Why should we hire you? Why are you the best candidate for the job?
This question typically comes at the end of the interview. At this point, you probably know a great deal about any challenges faced by the organization. Detail what you can do to meet all challenges and to be a part of the solution to any problems. This is the time to show what you have and what you can do.