Interview Tips

For those in their final months of their program, the next big thing (aside from the NCLEX) is nailing the job interview. Having three in person interviews and 4 over the phone, I’ve compiled some commonly asked questions for nurses as well as tips that I have found helpful. Especially in this rapidly changing time, we are going to be hurting for nurses. I hope new nurses aren’t afraid to join our workforce and become part of the repeatedly chosen most-trusted profession.

Common Interview Questions

  • Tell me a little bit about yourself? What brought you here?
  • Why did you choose nursing?
  • What would you say is one of your strengths? One of your weaknesses?
    • Often times people choose a weakness that is a strength in disguise. I.e. “I care too much, bringing work home with me” or “I pick up too many shifts and risk burnout”
  • Give me an example where you supervised/delegated someone/something.
  • Why are you leaving your facility? If applicable.
    • Don’t bad mouth your current job. Instead, focus on what attracts you to the new facility/position
    • Talk about wanting a new patient population, outgrowing opportunities for advancement, looking for a new/bigger/smaller facility
  • What would you contribute to the floor/unit/clinic team?
  • Patient experiences:
    • A time you went above and beyond for a patient
    • A time you showed compassion
    • A time a patient was upset and what you did you resolve it
    • A time you made a mistake
    • A time you asked for help
  • Have you ever caused conflict? How did you resolve it?
  • How would your supervisors/professors/clinical instructors describe you?
  • Why do you want to work at our facility/in this specialty?
  • How far along are you in your job search?
  • When can you start?

Good Questions to Ask Them

  • What does the orientation process entail? What support is there for new nurses? (i.e. nurse residency program, preceptors, etc.)
  • How would you describe the floor/unit/clinic dynamics?
  • How are the relationships between nurses and other interdisciplinary team members?
  • What opportunities are there for continuing education? Committee involvement?
  • How long do most people stay on this floor? Turnover rate?
  • Ask them a question that specifically references their mission statement.

More Tips

  • Do your research
    • On the company, job description, patient population, facility, community
  • Always be early and dress professionally (mindful of necklines, skirt lengths, practical shoes, polished hair, etc.)
  • Send a thank you (email or handwritten) after each encounter (i.e.. phone interview, in person interview, HR conversation, etc.)
  • Bring a copy of your resume
  • Phone interviews:
    • Treat them like a real one
    • Get dressed
    • Sit at a table (not in your bed or on the couch)
    • Have your resume/CV pulled up with questions and potential answers ready
    • Have their website/job description pulled up
    • Don’t be afraid of silences, take your time

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