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Dietitian and Nutritionist Interview
Questions

25 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated August 30th, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Question 1 of 25
If a physician requested a patient receive more Vitamin D, what foods would you recommend?
View Answers
How to Answer
As a dietitian or nutritionist, you know your foods rich in vitamin D like the back of your hand. Tell the interviewer how you would educate the patient about the importance of eating foods rich in vitamin D. If mushrooms, fish, and pork doesn't appeal to your patient, stress the importance of taking a daily cod liver oil capsule. Feel free to share a story about a time you needed a patient to take in more vitamin D and what the outcome was.
25 Dietitian and Nutritionist Interview Questions
Win your next job by practicing from our question bank. We have thousands of questions and answers created by interview experts.
  1. If a physician requested a patient receive more Vitamin D, what foods would you recommend?
  2. How do you keep current on the changing science of nutrition?
  3. Have you ever broken a confidentiality agreement?
  4. Would you say you are a better verbal or written communicator?
  5. Have you progressed in your dietician career as you have expected?
  6. When have you had to adapt your workload due to increasing demand from your supervisors?
  7. What questions do you have for me?
  8. Why should we hire you?
  9. Tell me about yourself.
  10. What are your salary expectations?
  11. How do you deal with work stress?
  12. No one can be an expert in everything. What are some of the things that you would like to learn more about?
  13. What do you think are the most important skills or traits for a dietitian or nutritionist to have?
  14. Which parts of your current position bring you the most stress?
  15. When did you realize you wanted to be a Dietitian?
  16. Tell me about your most difficult patient/client.
  17. How would you describe your counseling style?
  18. Have you ever considered continuing your nutrition education in a particular specialty?
  19. What kinds of projects do you most enjoy working on?
  20. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
  21. What area of medical nutrition therapy interests you the most?
  22. Why would you be the best Dietitian for our hospital?
  23. What diet would you recommend to an elderly female, who has just gone through breast cancer treatments?
  24. What was the most recent dietitian study you have read?
  25. How do you continue your education in nutrition, outside of the classroom?
15 Dietitian and Nutritionist Answer Examples
1.
If a physician requested a patient receive more Vitamin D, what foods would you recommend?
As a dietitian or nutritionist, you know your foods rich in vitamin D like the back of your hand. Tell the interviewer how you would educate the patient about the importance of eating foods rich in vitamin D. If mushrooms, fish, and pork doesn't appeal to your patient, stress the importance of taking a daily cod liver oil capsule. Feel free to share a story about a time you needed a patient to take in more vitamin D and what the outcome was.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have a great download available to my clients, for free, focused solely on vitamin D consumption. The recommendations in this download include mushrooms, eggs, cod liver oil, salmon, tuna, and mackerel."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"First and foremost, I would recommend more natural sunlight if possible. Then, when discussing vitamin D rich foods, I would tell the patient to increase their fish intake; particularly salmon, mackerel, and tuna."
2.
How do you keep current on the changing science of nutrition?
It seems like there is always a new magic pill or diet tea on social media that has all the answers. As a dietitian, you are only interested in the facts. Tell the interviewer about an author, credible site or another resource for accurate information that you enjoy following. It's a great idea to ask the interviewer about their favorite resources for up and coming industry news. You never know what you will learn!

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I remain current on the changing science of nutrition by reading multiple blogs, subscribing to a few notable podcasts, and through industry-related google alerts. When I come across a new study or interesting paper, I bring it to my colleagues to gather their thoughts as well."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I have subscriptions to various journals, follow online sites as well as build professional relationships with my co-workers to keep current on the changing science of nutrition."
3.
Have you ever broken a confidentiality agreement?
Companies will have confidentiality agreements for a variety of reasons. These could be to protect their trade secrets or to ensure that you do not bring clients over on the occasion that you leave their company. Talk to the interviewer about your thoughts on confidentiality agreements.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I never have, to my knowledge, broken a confidentiality agreement. Despite my reasons for leaving a position, I would never choose to hurt a previous employer in any way."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"No. I have only once had a confidentiality agreement and had no problem adhering to it."
4.
Would you say you are a better verbal or written communicator?
In which manner do you prefer to communicate - written or verbal? Discuss your preference with the interviewer and support your answer.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I prefer verbal communication because I feel that with written communication, a lot can be misread due to lack of tone, fluctuation, expression and body language. I will always choose a face to face conversation whenever possible."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I like to leverage both methods of communications when dealing with business. Sometimes, situations call for verbal communications and other times, written. As a rule of thumb, I tend to practice verbal communications, with written follow up or vice versa. Utilizing multiple methods creates repetition and therefore, change."
5.
Have you progressed in your dietician career as you have expected?
Career progression can be a touchy subject, especially if you feel that your career hasn't progressed as well as you would have liked. Talk to the interviewer about your career progression and what you would like to see in the future.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"Overall, my career has progressed a touch slower than I would have liked. I have held a couple of positions that didn't offer the growth and learning that I was expecting; however, I have bounced back nicely. I feel that this particular position would take my career exactly where it should be."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Overall, I am satisfied with my career progression. Everyone, including me, hits roadblocks or setbacks, but I have been able to push through them and stay on track."
6.
When have you had to adapt your workload due to increasing demand from your supervisors?
Workloads will increase and decrease as client demands change. How do you adapt to these changes?

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I fully understand that my workload will increase from time to time and I easily accept that. Personally, I prefer it when times are busy, so I definitely do not mind an increase in workload."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"In my current position, my workload changes depending on my current clients and their needs. I can adapt to those needs quickly and effectively. In these instances, I work overtime and am sure to meet my deadlines."
7.
What questions do you have for me?
It's always a great idea to have questions ready for the interviewer. Review the company website and other online resources to ensure the questions you are asking are not mundane, or redundant. The last thing an interviewer wants to hear is a list of questions you could have found the answers to from merely watching a video on their company site!

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I have a couple of questions, thank you for asking! First, I am wondering if you can share with me why this position is open? Second, what timeline do you have in mind for filling this position?"
Rachelle's Answer #2
"Here are some sample questions:

- When would you like to have this position filled?
- How long has this role been vacant?
- Is this a replacement search or a newly created role?
- What is your favorite part about working here?
- What is the company's primary goal for this position in the next 12 months?
- Is there anything from my background and experience that I can clarify for you?
- What do you see as the most significant change in this industry over the past three years?
- Is there any reason why you would not hire me?"
8.
Why should we hire you?
This is where your 30 to 45-second elevator speech comes in! Take your time to tell the interviewer a bit about your work history, educational background, and something unique about yourself. Keep your answer short yet impactful. Wow the interviewer and set yourself apart from the rest of the competition.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"When I read the job posting I noticed that you were looking for someone with experience working with children. As you can see on my resume, I have ten years experience as a dietitian and 3 of those years was spent working specifically with children in a school setting. I have additional training in working with children affected by childhood obesity."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"In addition to meeting the educational requirements for this position, I also have a certificate in human kinetics. I have a unique understanding of how diet and movement work together to create successful plans for my clients."
9.
Tell me about yourself.
When an interviewer asks an open-ended question like this, it can be difficult to know where to begin...and end! This question haunts many individuals who may accidentally go a little too in-depth into their personal lives. It happens. Keep your reply light, and work relevant. Share how you became interested in this career path and what you enjoy about it. This is an excellent opportunity to describe yourself by discussing the strengths and qualities that you bring.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I am a competitive individual who is driven and likes to win. In addition to my successful nutritionist career, I also spend time playing competitive sports. I give back by volunteering at the local animal shelter and working for a variety of annual fundraisers in our community."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I am a very active individual who loves to workout and go to the mountains on the weekend. I feel that my level of activity on my off time greatly improves my work during the week. I have a high amount of energy to offer!"
10.
What are your salary expectations?
Share with the interviewer what you would like to earn. Be sure to keep it realistic. Another great way to share your compensation expectations is by sharing with the interviewer what you are currently earning and where you would like to be in your next position. Do your research on the location and see what the going rate is for your career field.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I researched the area and, based on my years of experience, I think the range of $70k to $75k is reasonable."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"As I am new to my career and this industry, I am happy to negotiate my earnings based on your typical salary for this role."

11.
How do you deal with work stress?
Of course, you have stress. We all do. But how we handle it says a lot about us. Do you find yourself confronting people when you are stressed out? Do you chain smoke out behind the building? If you happen to have, a few bad habits keep those to yourself. What you should portray with this answer is something positive. Do you like to run, do yoga, spend time with your family, read, or listen to music on your off time? Talk to the interviewer about your ability to manage pressure in the workplace.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I handle stress very well, and when you call my references, they will attest to this fact. When I am under pressure on the job, I focus on the task at hand and make sure not to get distracted. Staying on deadline is very helpful, and I will delegate when necessary to alleviate some stress."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I manage my work stress by leading a community yoga group in our local park three times a week. It helps tremendously when it comes to keeping my mind in a positive space."
12.
No one can be an expert in everything. What are some of the things that you would like to learn more about?
This question could be a tricky way to ask what your weaknesses are, within your career field. Try not to answer this too generically but instead choose something particular about your career field that you'd like to learn more about. If there is something, you don't have a lot of experience with that's ok! Let the interviewer know that you are ready to learn.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I've always wanted to learn more about oncology nutrition. I think it is fascinating how the body reacts to different types of cancers, and treatments, and how the right combination of food and exercise can help alleviate pain and help heal the patient alongside medication."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I'd like to learn more about how medications work in our bodies when it comes to treating chronic illness. I'd like to do more research on natural remedies for chronic issues."
13.
What do you think are the most important skills or traits for a dietitian or nutritionist to have?
The interviewer wants to know what you think makes a good dietician or nutritionist. Chances are, the skills or traits that you mention are going to be some of your most influential.

Public speaking, critical thinking, monitoring, time management and instructing abilities are just a few skills a dietitian and nutritionist have to have. Of course, you have all these skills but it's best to narrow it down so you don't spend an hour answering this question.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"I think the most important skill a dietitian or nutritionist must have is active listening skills. As a dietitian, we must give full attention to what other people are saying, take the time to understand the points being made, ask questions as appropriate, and not interrupt at inappropriate times."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I think one of the most important skills for a dietitian to have, is patience. Getting clients to change their eating habits and bad habits doesn't happen overnight, and I need to be able to stay the course with them."
14.
Which parts of your current position bring you the most stress?
As a medical professional you know the importance of taking care of yourself. This includes not over stressing or overworking yourself. When you feel like your job is pulling you in a million directions then you need to step back, re-evaluate and re-attack.

On those challenging days do you take some time to yourself to relax and do yoga? Do you spend extra time with your kids when you get home? However you choose to decompress on those challenging days be sure to let the interviewer know that it happens, you deal with it and you don't let it get you down. Ensure that your answer does not include a factor that would make you appear unfit for the position. (IE: a bus driver should not find driving to be the most stressful part of the job).

Rachelle's Answer #1
"The part of my career that brings me the most stress is when the patient schedule is running behind due to lack of hustle on my teams part. I like to be on time with my schedule to ensure that my clients properly assisted and not left waiting."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"As I am just starting my career as a nutritionist, I believe that this learning curve will bring me some stress, to begin with. Also, coming across new clients with situations that I have not researched fully yet. I look forward to this opportunity to learn and am prepared to put in the extra hours it will take to establish myself here."
15.
When did you realize you wanted to be a Dietitian?
The interviewer wants to see your passion for nutrition shine through in your answer. You can hit a personal note by discussing your health journey if you like. Perhaps you saw your grandmother struggle to keep her diabetes under control. Maybe you were fed up with your child's school lunch program and decided to take action. Whatever made you want to help others, through healthy eating, convey it in a way that will make the interviewer want you on their team.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"My journey into nutrition started with my struggle with weight, and overall health. I was diagnosed with an auto-immune disease and, rather than accept all of the prescription drugs; I decided to take a more holistic approach. My results were incredible, so I started blogging. From there, I began to attend classes to gain my Degree in Nutrition."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"I was diagnosed with childhood diabetes many years ago. I realized I wanted to be a dietician when I had an appointment with a dietician who was so knowledgeable about food and health. The dietician's passion about my illness and path to recovery made me want to help others as well."
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