Is your story a tear jerker? SHARE IT!! Don't be afraid to share your heartfelt story with the interviewer on why you decided to be a Certified Nursing Assistant. Did you know you always wanted to help people? Did you find yourself being your grandmother's primary caregiver when she was older? Show the interviewer how much you love your job through this answer. Showing your compassion and kindness will win the interviewer over.
"I wanted to do something in my career that is challenging, interesting, and makes a difference in people's lives on a daily basis. As a Certified Nursing Assistant, I deal with many aspects of patient care, and I enjoy the variety in the routine."
Feel free to name drop during this question. Did you boss recognize you for a job well done? Where you punctual, never called out sick and were dependable? Think of the traits that make an ideal employee in the eyes of a boss. Added bonus if your boss will write a letter of recommendation for you.
"My boss would say that I'm dedicated to my job, compassionate with my patients and a great team player."
"My boss would say that I'm the go-to CNA for the facility with a positive attitude."
The interviewer wants to know how flexible your schedule is. If you are able to work night shift...great! If you aren't able to, or at least not on a regular basis, make sure you relay that so you don't misinform the interviewer. This question can be your chance to turn the tables and find out if the position you are interviewing for is strictly night shift or not.
"I'm available to work night shift but will need to give my wife a week notice so we can prepare a child care plan while I'm away from the house."
"I'm not able to work night shift at this moment but available later on in the month."
Can you stay positive when customers or clients nag you about their problems? How do you navigate situations where you have to wait for long periods of time? Patience is certainly a virtue but can be difficult to maintain when it seems situations continue to push your buttons. Give an example that shows you can deal with challenges like these and achieve goals that require a lot of time and patience.
"There are times that patients may test my patience but we always work through it, laugh about it or learn something together."
"Patients can be stubborn at times insisting they can do things on their own. As soon as I greet them with a smile and let them know that I'm there to help they warm up to me and am thankful I'm there."
Of course, you would! You love your job as a Certified Nursing Assistant! Tell the interviewer that you would encourage those that show compassion, have great customer service and enjoy working in a helping environment. Take this opportunity to highlight your favorite thing about the job.
"If someone enjoyed helping others, were kind and compassionate I would encourage them to become a Certified Nursing Assistant. It is a very rewarding job."
This can be a tough question to answer and keep your emotions in check. If you choose to share a story about a time a co-worker confronted you, don't share personal details, don't show your anger and don't use their name. Simply state a situation, how you defused the situation and what you learned from it.
"Last week one of my co-workers misunderstood me and it led to a confrontation. After listening to my coworker's response we both realized that she was stressed out at home and brought her stress to work. She apologized for raising her voice and I apologized for not being clearer. The two of us work even better now."
"If a co-worker and I had a misunderstanding I would be sure to address it as soon as possible and away from the patients."
A lot like trying to narrow down who your favorite music artist is...this question can be difficult to answer. Think back to the whole reason you decided to become a Certified Nursing Assistant. Did someone close to you encourage you? Did you play nurse while a child with your baby dolls? Let your sincerity and honestly answer this question. It takes a special kind of person to want to help others....show them that is you. Here's a sample answer: "One summer I witnessed a vehicle accident with an elderly couple. I surprised myself how calm and comforting I was during the situation. The patient I comforted while we were waiting for the emergency crew kept stating how grateful he was to just have me there with him. I knew after that moment that I wanted to go to school to become a Certified Nursing Assistant."
"One summer I witnessed a vehicle accident with an elderly couple. I surprised myself how calm and comforting I was during the situation. The patient I comforted while we were waiting for the emergency crew kept stating how grateful he was to just have me there with him. I knew after that moment that I wanted to go to school to become a Certified Nursing Assistant."
"I've always enjoyed helping people. From babysitting my cousins to volunteering at a local retirement facility, I knew I wanted to become a CNA."
We all experience stress on a daily basis...but how you relay this to the interviewer will say a lot about you. Steer clear away from the time that you lost your cool and raised your voice- we all have days like that but now is not the time to bring it up. Tell the interviewer how you manage your work stress and don't take it home with you, as well as not bringing your home stress to work. Here's a sample answer: "Every morning we have a morning huddle for turnover. We discuss procedures left to be coded, who is out sick and what everyone is working on. Our morning huddles help alleviate work stress by distributing the work evenly as best we can. It gives everyone a chance to hear what needs to be accomplished and work together."
"Every morning we have a morning huddle for turnover. We discuss procedures left to be coded, who is out sick and what everyone is working on. Our morning huddles help alleviate work stress by distributing the work evenly as best we can. It gives everyone a chance to hear what needs to be accomplished and work together."
"Yoga helps me manage my work stress. I volunteer in town leading a yoga group for expectant mothers, I love it!"
The best thing that you can do when asked about your salary expectations is to be open and honest about what you are currently earning, and where you want to be in the future.
"Currently, I am earning a base salary of $48K. I'd like to earn a bit above that in my next position."
"Currently I'm making $35k and on occasion night differential. What is this position starting at?"
With any job interview, it is crucial to understand the organization you are applying to. We recommend visiting the facility website to learn key information such as core hours, awards received, upcoming events, special focuses for that year. As a bonus, be sure to mention any positive interactions you have had with staff as well as what they have told you about the facility.
"I've read that your facility has won multiple awards over the past 10 years. I'm looking forward to the chance to contribute to next years awards."
"I've heard a lot about this facility from one of your Nurses Mrs. Smith. She is my mentor and friend and knew I would be a good fit here to care for your unique patient population."
We all have bad days, and that's ok. But it's not ok to take it out on our patients with poor bed-side manners. Take a few minutes to pull your co-worker aside to make sure everything is ok. Maybe you can help? Maybe they just need to take a break for 15 minutes with some fresh air and a soda. Tell the interviewer how you've handled a situation lately when this has happened. Show the interviewer how you are a team player and step in when someone isn't treating a patient nicely.
"If the employee was a fellow CNA I would approach them directly. If the employee was my senior I would talk to my supervisor about it."
Don't be too quick to jump up and down at the weekend shift if you know you aren't available to work it. Being too eager might put you in a hard place if you have a second job, need to find childcare or are attending classes to finish your degree. If the interviewer mentions that you are interviewing for a shift you were unaware of, politely let them know what shift you were hoping for.
"I am comfortable working a night or weekend shift but will just need weeks notice to arrange child care."
"Currently I'm only able to work a shift during the week but I'd be happy to adjust my schedule later this month."
Ok, we aren't suppose to have favorites but we do. You don't necessarily have to tell about a particular patient by name if you don't want to but be sure to highlight their qualities that made you fall in love with them. Were they always happy to see you? Regularly thanked you? Was is simply the fact that they weren't rude to you? Whatever quality your favorite patient has been, be sure to keep you answer positive.
"One of my favorite patients was named Rose. Rose was always so happy to see me and tell me about her day. I always made a point to spend a few extra minutes with her each time I would go to her room. She was always so appreciative and said such kind words that it made my job so easy. I loved coming to work every day to see Rose."
"My favorite type of patient is one that is compliant and easy-going."
Tread lightly with this answer, you don't want the interviewer to get the idea that you hate your job. Do we all have rough days? Of course, and the cranky man that seems to take his anger out on you doesn't put you in the best of moods. When you answer this question, go ahead and tell them what type of patient gets under your skin but make sure you follow it with how you try to make light of the situation. How you try to make the patient smile and laugh a little.
"My least favorite type of patient is the one that is always negative and grumpy. There is an elderly gentleman that is quite grumpy each morning I start my shift. I always politely greet him, ask how his evening was and make a point to say something upbeat and kind. One of these days I'll get through to him and he'll realize I'm a not so bad."
"My least favorite type of patient is one that is non-compliant with their healthcare."
This is a tough topic to discuss with patients. It can be uncomfortable and embarrassing for the patient. Do you use humor to bring the situation up to your patient? Subtle hints? However you bring this topic up to your unpleasant smelling patient share it with the interviewer. Be sure to not use names or any embarrassing details. Here's a sample answer: "One of my sweet elderly patients, unfortunately, didn't wear deodorant and really needed to. After sitting with her awhile and talking about some of her likes and dislikes she told me about her favorite perfume. I decided to surprise her with a small present later that week. I wrapped up a bottle of her favorite perfume as well as deodorant. My subtle and nonconfrontational approach worked. She was very thankful."
"One of my sweet elderly patients, unfortunately, didn't wear deodorant and really needed to. After sitting with her awhile and talking about some of her likes and dislikes she told me about her favorite perfume. I decided to surprise her with a small present later that week. I wrapped up a bottle of her favorite perfume as well as deodorant. My subtle and nonconfrontational approach worked. She was very thankful."
"I haven't had to address that type of concern yet. If I needed to I would conduct myself professionally and politely."
You sing, dance, tell stories and you laugh. You do whatever you need to do to make your patients happy and healthy. Sometimes it's hard to get your patients on their feet and motivated to get up and move. Tell the interviewer how you get your patients motivated to go on walks. Tell the interviewer how you pass the time and make it exciting for the two of you.
"I love listening to the resident's stories and they love telling them! I may hear the same story 20 times but to see the passion and excitement while they tell their story makes my day."
Here is where your compassion kicks in. Of course you won't dismiss the patients call light, even though it's the 12th time he's pushed it. Let the interviewer know that you are going to make a point to take a few extra minutes with the patient to talk to him instead of checking briefly and walking away. Maybe the patient is just lonely and wants someone to talk to. Your paperwork can wait, spend some time to hear his story.
"I would never dismiss a patients request for help. I would take a few minutes each time to greet the patient, ask if they needed anything and help put their mind at ease."
Because of your attention to detail and your organizational skills, the administrative portion of being a Certified Nursing Assistant comes second nature to you. Are you the go-to person that always has their paperwork completed and are helping your co-workers complete theirs? Let the interviewer know that you've never had discrepancies with your reports, records, and logs. Feel free to name drop your last supervisor so they can confirm that your administrative skills were on point.
"As a shift supervisor, I'm the one that maintains all of the reports and record logs. My attention to detail is required in order to correctly complete each item. I enjoy the administrative portion of my job just as much as I enjoy caring for patients."
"As a CNA, when I'm not caring for patients I'm working on various administrative duties. I rely on my great attention to detail to write up complete and accurate notes and reports to pass along to my co-workers."
You'll need to show the interviewer that you are familiar with your patients physiological issues, including common disorders and diseases. When you record vital signs including respiration, body temperature, pulse and blood pressure are you able to do it without making the patient uncomfortable? How is your knowledge of infectious diseases and methodologies utilized for infection control? Be sure to brush up on these technical skills before your interview. It's not all about caring for the patients but knowing about their ailments as well.
"I've been taking classes at our community college to become a phlebotomist. My technique and skill have been complimented by my instructor. I look forward to adding it to my tool-box once I graduate."
Having a tough time narrowing it down to just one skill? Think of how your co-workers would describe you. Would your co-worker say that you provide empathic and compassionate care? Are you the most organized Certified Nursing Assistant with incredible time management strategies and attention to detail regarding the patients' mental and physical health? Whichever skill you choose to highlight be confident and let the interviewer know that you are excited to bring you skill to the team.
"One of my best skills as a CNA is my ability to listen. When working with my patients, there are times they just want to tell me a story. I can tell that taking a few minutes out of my day to sit and listen to them means a lot to them."
We all know that a negative attitude can rub off on others. The same can be said about a positive attitude. Not only will it show others around you that you see the good in things but others will want to spend time with you. Your resume shows the interviewer that you are good at your job, now you need to let the interviewer know that you are pleasant to work with.
"I am a positive person and do my best to bring the best out in others around me. If the employees are in a good mood it will make the job easier as well as the patients happier."
"Displaying a negative attitude at work only implies to patients and staff that you don't like your job. I always have a positive attitude not only because I love my job but that I hope it will rub off on others."
As a Certified Nursing Assistant, you find simple ways to bring joy into the lives of those around you. A cute joke, a silly face or goofy footwork in the hallway will get you and your patients laughing. Explain to the interviewer that you feel a sense of humor is important because it allows you to show your creativity while still helping the patients.
"I keep a red clown nose in my pocket while I'm at work. When a patient isn't expecting it I put it on and go about my day as if I didn't know it was there. The patients and I always have a good laugh over it."
"The current facility that I work at, there are terminally ill patients to care for. Sometimes their spirits get a bit low so I enjoy bringing joy to them. We play music, instruments, dance and sing to lift their spirits. Of course, it can be quite comical because I can't do any of these but I sure try and give everyone a good laugh in the meantime."
Because you couldn't possibly help all the patients on your own you consider yourself to be a valuable member of a team. Tell the interviewer what your role is on the team you are on now. How do you all support one another to get the job done? How do you support and empower your fellow teammates? How do you overcome your teammate's different personalities?
"I'm currently a part of a four-person team. We are constantly helping one another and lifting each other up. We've created a rotating schedule so one of us isn't bogged down with constant paperwork or tending to the same patients each day. We all have different personalities but it hasn't seemed to be an issue. We are all there to provide the best care possible to our patients. I enjoy coming to work every day to work with my amazing teammates."
"Team-work is very important in the nursing field. Team lifts and team care are only a few things we accomplish as a team throughout the day. I have a great working relationship with my team and it shows through our care and compassion towards our patients."
Break out the kleenex...this could be a tear jerker. Try to keep this answer short and sweet. A lot of times when we are asked such a personal question we have a habit of going off on a tangent and being a bit long winded. Tell your interviewer about a particular situation where your care and compassion saved the day or at least made your patient smile.
"It was after the holidays and I was visiting with one of my patients. She shared with me that she wished she could still write letters to her grandchildren but her penmanship wasn't the best. The next day I spent my lunch break with my patient writing her words down on some pretty stationary I picked up the night before. She thanked me for my thoughtfulness and said she felt like she was able to re-connect with her grandchildren again."
"With a simple smile and words of compassion and encouragement."
Your patience is one of your best traits as a Certified Nursing Assistant. Tell the interviewer about a time that the patience displayed was recognized by leadership, co-workers or even another patient. Be sure to tell the interviewer that you strive to show that same sort of patience everyday you work with your patients.
"I offered to help one of my patients get dressed. He was quite adamant that he could dress himself and do it safely. I let him know that I was available if he needed me but he insisted he didn't. I knew I could've dressed him quicker on my own but also knew that he wanted to do it on his own. I respected his request, stayed in his room just in case he needed me and helped him to his chair once he was ready. We had a nice chat after that about what he wanted to do later that day."
"Assisting my patients with the restroom requires patience at times. Showing my compassion, understanding and patience is something that I display each time I care for my patients."
The interviewer is asking this question to see if you will be ready to move into a leadership position now or if you will need a few more years under your belt. Tell the interviewer what type of supervisor you are and how many people you've supervised in the past.
"I've been in a supervisory role for the past 5 years. I've been the one to write schedules, mentor junior CNA's as well as review their work each day. I've enjoyed the position and look forward to the same opportunity with your hospital."
"I haven't had the opportunity to supervise other CNA's in my career but I feel with my 6 years of experience I'm ready to do so."
Being a Certified Nursing Assistant is not for the faint of heart. A typical day consists of answering patient calls, helping patients change into clothes, collecting urine and stool samples, or changing linens and adult diapers. Working along side Registered Nurses, Certified Nursing Assistants also assist with distributing medication, performing patient assessments, obtaining vital signs, organizing medical equipment, administering sponge baths, and more. You are able to tend to all your patients needs because of your patience and compassion. Knowing that you are helping the patient makes all the tedious tasks worth it.
Associate of Science in Nursing, Trade school or technical college training is recommended to be a Certified Nursing Assistant. In some instances, Nursing Assistants are able to begin work without any formal education.
To prepare for your interview you'll need to have your list of references in your back pocket. Your references will tell the interviewer about your passion for taking care of patients, your patience and your physical and emotional strength. Be sure to have brief, appropriate stories ready for your interview. Your interviewer will want to hear how you handle patient situations and your ability to work with others.