MockQuestions

Addiction Nurse Mock Interview

To help you prepare for your Addiction Nurse interview, here are 30 interview questions and answer examples.

Addiction Nurse was written by and updated on January 8th, 2019. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 30

Many times, when people hear the word 'addiction' they think of the abuse of prescription drugs. What are some other addictions you have worked with?

How to Answer

When addictions are mentioned, many people automatically think of the misuse of prescription drugs. In America today, the opioid epidemic is one of the greatest risks for drug abuse related deaths. However, there are many different addictions that addiction nurses help patients deal with. The interviewer wants to know that you are prepared to work with a variety of people who suffer from addiction. If you have a personal story, this is a good time to share it. Remember, do not use any information in your reference that may cause you to compromise patient confidentiality.

Written by Darby Faubion on January 8th, 2019

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List of 30 Addiction Nurse Interview Questions & Answers

  • 1.

    Many times, when people hear the word 'addiction' they think of the abuse of prescription drugs. What are some other addictions you have worked with?

      How to Answer

      When addictions are mentioned, many people automatically think of the misuse of prescription drugs. In America today, the opioid epidemic is one of the greatest risks for drug abuse related deaths. However, there are many different addictions that addiction nurses help patients deal with. The interviewer wants to know that you are prepared to work with a variety of people who suffer from addiction. If you have a personal story, this is a good time to share it. Remember, do not use any information in your reference that may cause you to compromise patient confidentiality.

      Written by Darby Faubion on January 8th, 2019

      1st Answer Example

      "I have worked with people who have battled several different addictions. One common addiction that many people are not familiar with is food addiction. Unfortunately, it is almost as difficult to overcome that addiction is it is to overcome substances such as meth. Additionally, many people who are overcoming substance addictions often develop food addiction as a way of coping with their craving for drugs."

      Written by Darby Faubion on January 8th, 2019

      Entry Level

      "I have actually spent some time working with clients with gambling addictions. It is really quite devastating to see the effect that lack of control over this addiction can bring to the lives of those who are addicted. I once had a client who lost his family's home because he used the deed for the home to fund his gambling addiction and he lost it all. When he finally hit rock bottom, he checked himself into rehab so that he could be separated from any triggers and start to learn some coping mechanisms."

      Written by Darby Faubion on January 8th, 2019

      Experienced

      "In my career, I have had an opportunity to work with people who are fighting several addiction disorders. One of the most common addictions in society today is that of methamphetamine. Meth is highly addictive and one of the most difficult addictions to overcome. With continued use, a meth addict can appear to be many years older than he/she really is because of the physical effects that are a result of the addiction. Their hair thins and they lose weight. Teeth rot resulting in what is referred to as 'meth mouth.' Also, because meth often causes hallucinations where the user thinks that there are bugs in their skin, they often have sores on their body from picking at the skin to get rid of the bugs. This is referred to as 'meth mites.' A common saying among addiction counselors and providers is 'Meth is death.' This is because many people who become addicted to this dangerous drug often feel they cannot live without it. Their use goes from smoking to shooting up and many of them die."

      Written by Darby Faubion on January 8th, 2019

      Community Answer

      "I have work with people struggling with several different addictions; alcoholism, heroin, stimulates, and benzodiazepines. Addiction is a chronic relapsing disease of the brain. Generally, people do not understand addiction is not due to lack of "will power," there are other factors that predispose some to dependence."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Wonderful answer! You show a great understanding and compassion for those who struggle with addiction.

  • 2.

    What advice would you give to a nurse looking to enter your field of nursing?

      How to Answer

      When you are asked to share advice, remember to always be positive. Anyone can find a negative about something, and true enough, there are some days that are more difficult than others. The interviewer wants to know that you are confident about your decision, confident enough that you can share this with others.

      Written by Darby Faubion on January 8th, 2019

      1st Answer Example

      "I would tell someone considering this profession that there is so much more to this job than I ever could have imagined. I would say, the only limit to your potential in nursing is what you believe you can or cannot do. Never sell yourself or your capabilities of bringing value to other's lives short."

      Written by Darby Faubion on January 8th, 2019

      Entry Level

      "If I were to talk to someone considering the field of nursing, I would encourage them to have confidence in themselves and to go after their dreams passionately."

      Written by Darby Faubion on January 8th, 2019

      Experienced

      "If I were asked to give someone advice regarding the nursing field, I would tell them that knowledge and skills can be learned and developed. Passion, on the other hand, comes from within. I would encourage them to work hard and care just as hard."

      Written by Darby Faubion on January 8th, 2019

  • 3.

    How do you approach dealing with an angry patient, and why?

      How to Answer

      Knowing how you will handle a difficult situation will tell the interviewer if you have the the right attitude for this job. Being a physician means you have to deal with people from very different backgrounds and with varying personalities. Give the interviewer an example of how you would handle an angry patient.

      Written by Darby Faubion on January 8th, 2019

      1st Answer Example

      "I believe acting calmly and speaking rationally is a great way to calm someone who is angry and I try to be the voice of reason without making someone feel that I am belittling them."

      Written by Darby Faubion on January 8th, 2019

      Entry Level

      "I think it is important to try and find out what has made the patient mad. If it is something such as not being called as quickly as he had expected, a simple explanation regarding what caused the delay may help calm him."

      Written by Darby Faubion on January 8th, 2019

      Experienced

      "There are a couple of different approaches and safety is, of course, the most important thing to consider. A patient who is angry could become combative which could result in injury to him, to me, or to both of us. I feel the best approach is to ask what has made the patient upset and try to resolve the underlying cause, if at all possible."

      Written by Darby Faubion on January 8th, 2019

      Community Answer

      "I feel the best approach is to ask what has made the client upset. Listen without interruption. Apologize and resolve the underlying cause, if possible."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      This is a great approach and one that would most likely prevent further escalation. Good answer!

  • 4.

    Have you ever discovered patients acting in a behavior that is against facility regulations, and if so, how did you/would you handle that?

      How to Answer

      Any time there are patients in a community-like setting, such as an addiction recovery center, the chances of some of those patients 'pushing the limit' increases. The interviewer wants to know that you are capable of identifying inappropriate behavior and that you will handle the situation professionally. If you have an example of a time this happened, this is a good time to share that experience. Remember, though, do not use names or infer anything that could compromise the confidentiality of the actual event.

      Written by Darby Faubion on January 8th, 2019

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  • 5.

    How important is it for an addiction nurse to be a patient person?

      How to Answer

      Interaction with staff and patients requires good communication skills. Part of practicing good communication is the ability to be patient with others. Working as an addiction nurse can be a very satisfying job, but it requires a lot of work and patience. The interviewer wants to know that you are comfortable with your ability to be patient and offer guidance/support when needed.

      Written by Darby Faubion on January 8th, 2019

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  • 6.

    Do you anticipate any significant changes in your life within the next 2-3 years that May prevent you from continuing employment here if you are offered a position here?

      How to Answer

      Knowing what goals you have and any changes you anticipate in your life will give the interviewer an opportunity to evaluate two things: 1. what positions are available that won't disrupt your plans and, 2. are you interested in having a long-term relationship within the company? Either way, being upfront and honest is always appreciated.

      Written by Darby Faubion on January 8th, 2019

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  • 7.

    What are some characteristics that you think an addiction nurse should have, and why?

      How to Answer

      Working as an addiction nurse can be very stressful at times. Having the kind of personality that is reflective of good character, despite the challenges of your job, is essential. The interviewer wants to know what you value in a person's character. This is important because, most likely, the characteristics you value in others are often the ones you will display yourself.

      Written by Darby Faubion on January 8th, 2019

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  • 8.

    What is one of your weaknesses and what do you do to help address/resolve it?

      How to Answer

      This is probably one of the most dreaded questions in a job interview. Answering this question requires self evaluation and honesty. Remember, whatever weakness you decide to share, make sure it is not a key characteristic needed to perform your job as a medical office manager.

      Written by Darby Faubion on January 8th, 2019

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  • 9.

    Tell me about a time you had to deal with significant changes in your workplace. How did you manage those changes?

      How to Answer

      In any healthcare setting, change is inevitable. Technology, processes, leadership, laws and organizations change on a regular basis and with change at a high level comes changes in work processes. For this question, it is important to stress how you are open to change when it makes the end results better for, not only the patient, but for those who work with you. As a medical office manager, you should be able to recognize changes that are needed and be prepared to address them with employees and provide any training necessary. Talk about a specific change you had to endure in the workplace and express how you embraced the change.

      Written by Darby Faubion on January 8th, 2019

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  • 10.

    Have you ever been the intake nurse for addiction patients, and what is something common that you find among patients entering treatment?

      How to Answer

      Addiction nurses have many roles. The first step into a treatment facility is the intake interview. During this time, clients may or may not be open. While there are routine questions that have to be asked of all clients, an intake nurse will learn what cues to follow from a patient that will lead to other questions that can establish a history. It is important to get as accurate a history as possible in order for a treatment plan to be implemented properly.

      Written by Darby Faubion on January 8th, 2019

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  • 11.

    If you begin to feel overwhelmed with a situation at work, how do you handle it?

      How to Answer

      Being an addiction nurse requires a great deal of time and attention to detail. It also requires a lot of patience. The interviewer understands the stresses that are often related to being an addiction nurse. He wants to know that you can identify personal stressors and that you are capable of addressing them before the anxiety of a situation gets out of hand.

      Written by Darby Faubion on January 8th, 2019

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  • 12.

    Tell me about a time you may have had a disagreement with a team member and how you handled it.

      How to Answer

      In any work environment, there can be times that you may have a complicated encounter with someone. The interviewer does not expect you to say that you have/never will have a disagreement. Rather, he is looking for signs that you will be able to address adversity professionally and keep it from hindering your work relationships or the quality of care that you provide to your patients. No matter how difficult a story may may, finish it with something positive that you gleaned from the experience.

      Written by Darby Faubion on January 8th, 2019

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  • 13.

    If a patient were to exhibit feelings of affection or infatuation with you, how would you address the situation?

      How to Answer

      People who battle addiction often replace one addiction with another as they are trying to recover. This is usually not intentionally, but just part of the personality of an addict. Many times patients who are beginning to recover from an addiction such as drugs or alcohol tend to divert their attention to those who are providing care to them. Addiction nurses and counselors are often the object of the addict's attention because of the amount of time that they have to spend with them. The interviewer wants to know that you are capable of identifying this behavior when it begins to happen and that you can address it professionally.

      Written by Darby Faubion on January 8th, 2019

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  • 14.

    One common recommendation for people in addiction recovery is to avoid an intimate relationship with someone else in recovery. How would you explain the importance of this to a patient?

      How to Answer

      Many healthcare providers say that the choice of addiction patients to establish new relationships with other addicts is, in a way, a 'comfort zone' for them. While some people feel that establishing a support system with people who have had the same experiences can be beneficial, research indicates that this could lead to an increased chance of relapse because those, especially in early recovery, are still learning coping mechanisms to help prevent relapse. The interviewer wants to know that you are able to understand and be able to educate patients on how to associate with people who will be a strength to them during this critical time in their lives and on ways to make healthy decisions regarding their support system and relationships so that the patient can increase his chances of staying clean and sober.

      Written by Darby Faubion on January 8th, 2019

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  • 15.

    What would your response be if your 15 yr old patient asked you to withhold the results of a positive drug screen from her parents?

      How to Answer

      Recent polls of adolescent patients (under the age of 18) have shown a tendency to not seek medical care or treatment if that care cannot be independent of a parent or guardian. Among those patients polled, many of them stated that there were certain topics that they do not want their parents to know about (sexual activity, presence or treatment of STDs, and alcohol or drug abuse). Many said that they would prefer to have no treatment at all if notification of their parents was required. As an addiction nurse, some of your patients will be younger than the legal age of consent for treatment. Knowing the law and how it affects what information you can or cannot provide is crucial. The interviewer wants to know that you are not only familiar with the law, but that you are able to explain legal issues to your patient so that she understands.

      Written by Darby Faubion on January 8th, 2019

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  • 16.

    What made you choose a career as an Addiction Nurse?

      How to Answer

      In almost all interviews, the employer will ask why you chose this specific career. Everybody has his own story to tell, and the interviewer wants to hear yours. If you had some experience that led you to this career choice, this is a good time to share that. Remember, though, this is an interview, not a conference where you are a guest speaker. Tell your 'why' and tell it with passion, but be conscientious of the time that you are being given.

      Written by Darby Faubion on January 8th, 2019

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  • 17.

    If you had a client who told you he was only in drug rehab because he was ordered to by a judge and that he had no intention of quitting drugs, how would you handle the situation?

      How to Answer

      Unfortunately, there are a number of people who are addicted to illegal substances who only attend rehab because it is court-ordered, rather than choosing to do so on their own. This is not to say that when someone is ordered to rehab, rather than choosing it for themselves, that it will not be effective. However, with those cases, many addiction nurses are faced with the task of not only battling the addiction, but the addict's opposition to treatment. The interviewer wants to know that you are able to address a situation like this professionally.

      Written by Darby Faubion on January 8th, 2019

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  • 18.

    If you felt threatened by a patient, what would your response be?

      How to Answer

      All areas of nursing involve difficult patients but those working within the addiction recovery discipline are more exposed to this than others. Difficult patients require specific handling and this question aims to establish whether you're a suitable candidate for this demanding work. Talk your way through how you would handle a potentially threatening situation so that the interviewer can see that you are able to think quickly in a possibly tense situation.

      Written by Darby Faubion on January 8th, 2019

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  • 19.

    If you suspected that one of your co-workers was abusing drugs, how would you handle the situation?

      How to Answer

      Working with patients who are recovering from addiction is a very stressful job. Statistics show that there has been an increase of healthcare providers who rely on drugs or illegal substances. Unfortunately this trend creates more stress on the healthcare providers who do not abuse drugs. The interviewer wants to know that you are capable of identifying signs of drug abuse and that you will make professional decisions to ensure the safety of your patients and the healthcare team.

      Written by Darby Faubion on January 8th, 2019

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  • 20.

    If, during shift change, the nurse you are replacing told you to expect the narcotics count to be off because it was off when she began her shift, how would you handle the situation?

      How to Answer

      State and federal guidelines mandate accurate record keeping of medications. No matter where you work as a nurse, part of the daily routine includes narcotics counts at the beginning and ending of each shift. The interviewer wants to know that you understand the importance of accurate record keeping and that you will handle any discrepancies within the legal guidelines.

      Written by Darby Faubion on January 8th, 2019

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  • 21.

    What are some aspects of being an addiction nurse that make the career different from other nursing careers?

      How to Answer

      This question really gives the interviewer a chance to see what your personal thoughts are regarding being an addiction nurse. There is really no right or wrong answer to this question. This is another opportunity for you to show what you thought was special about this specialty that led you to choose it as a career.

      Written by Darby Faubion on January 8th, 2019

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  • 22.

    Being an addiction care nurse can be very stressful. What are some ways you manage stress on the job?

      How to Answer

      Providing care for patients with addiction disorders is inherently stressful. Each shift presents what could be a very trying situation. A hiring official needs to know that you can handle stress. Moreover, how you handle it, speaks volume. In an addiction nurse interview, be prepared to provide examples of how stress impacts you.

      Written by Darby Faubion on January 8th, 2019

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  • 23.

    Give me an example of a workplace challenge you encountered, and how did you handle it?

      How to Answer

      As an addiction nurse, you may face various workplace challenges. Internal struggles or co-workers struggles. Tell the interviewer about a situation you faced and how you handled it. Burnout, people problems and not being challenged may be a few issues you could bring up.

      Written by Darby Faubion on January 8th, 2019

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  • 24.

    Is there a type of patient or specific diagnosis that you find it more difficult to work with?

      How to Answer

      Behavioral issues and dual diagnosis, like a bipolar alcoholic, can make treatment extremely difficult. What can make treatment even more difficult are those who don't cooperate or follow through with the plan of care. Tell the interviewer about a particular situation or patient. Be sure to respect patient confidentiality when sharing any examples.

      Written by Darby Faubion on January 8th, 2019

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  • 25.

    If you were to teach new nurses regarding signs to observe for that may indicate drug abuse, what would you tell them?

      How to Answer

      Anyone who has worked with substance abuse for any length of time will likely tell you that addicts learn to hide or mask signs of substance use. Being able to learn skills that will help detect the use of illegal substances, or relapse, in a client is a vital skill of addiction nurses. The interviewer wants to know that you are familiar with the most common signs and are able to tell someone new in this field what to look for.

      Written by Darby Faubion on January 8th, 2019

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  • 26.

    What are some major factors that may cause a patient to relapse, and how do you approach preparing clients to cope with or avoid these risk factors?

      How to Answer

      Being able to identify risk factors associated with addiction is a crucial skill for anyone working with patients battling addiction. Further, teaching coping mechanisms to at-risk clients is one of the major goals in the plan of care. The interviewer wants to know that you are able to identify risk factors and that you can demonstrate proper education to assist with prevention of relapse.

      Written by Darby Faubion on January 8th, 2019

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  • 27.

    What is something that is rewarding to you about being an addiction nurse?

      How to Answer

      Working a field where addictions is the focus can often have days that feel very difficult, even heartbreaking. However, there are times that something happens that can give you a feeling of assurance that all that you do is not in vain. Sharing how you feel about your job and something that makes you happy or makes you feel rewarded shows the interviewer that, despite the difficulties the job brings, you can still find the positive in what you do.

      Written by Darby Faubion on January 8th, 2019

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  • 28.

    What would you do if a patient complained to you about a coworker's conduct toward him/her?

      How to Answer

      This question aims to test your knowledge of internal procedures used within healthcare establishments. While the exact protocol for this may be specific to the place you're applying, there are general rules that should be followed by all healthcare providers, no matter which facility you work in. It is important to explain that all complaints must be handled seriously and be directed to the appropriate member of staff so that appropriate action can be taken. Emphasise that patient concerns should never be ignored.

      Written by Darby Faubion on January 8th, 2019

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  • 29.

    Have you or a loved one ever been directly affected by an addiction?

      How to Answer

      Many times an interviewer will ask a question related to your career choice like this. Having been affected by an addiction is not a disqualifier for employment, so don't be alarmed if you have a personal history of addiction. The rationale behind this kind of question is to see how well you relate to someone who is suffering from a condition for which you are providing treatment. If you've never been affected, that's fine. You have the qualifications to help those who are, or you wouldn't be in this interview. If you have, however, this would be a good opportunity for you to share your thoughts and to display an attitude of true empathy for those who are struggling. Either way, just be honest and show a true desire to help others.

      Written by Darby Faubion on January 8th, 2019

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  • 30.

    Has there ever been a time when you felt threatened by a patient? If so, how did you handle the situation?

      How to Answer

      Healthcare providers work with risks daily. Whether it's the risk of being exposed to an illness, possible injury from lifting heavy patients or equipment, or the risk of being hurt by a patient who is angry or aggressive. For nurses and other healthcare providers who work with patients who suffer from addictions, this risk is increased, especially during the detox period when patients are agitated and feel more 'on edge.' The interviewer wants to know that you are capable of handling a stressful, potentially threatening situation. Remember to exhibit signs of professionalism, even in the most tense situation.

      Written by Darby Faubion on January 8th, 2019

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