Entry-Level Nursing Mock Interview

To help you prepare for your Entry-Level Nursing interview, here are 40 interview questions and answer examples.

Entry-Level Nursing was updated by on December 21st, 2022. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 40

Do you have any questions for our team?

Sometimes applicants are so relieved that the interview is concluding that they forego the opportunity to ask questions. Arrive prepared with questions to ask! Asking questions allows you to gain clarity and is an opportunity to shine. Do your homework, and ask meaningful and thoughtful questions that will help the interviewer remember you without challenging the interviewer.

Ask what their favorite thing is about the hospital.
Ask if there are any interesting perks not readily known at the hospital.
Ask about the local area and interests.
Ask about the staff turnover rate.
Ask about in-house nursing leadership programs.

Do not hesitate to ask questions relevant to you wanting to accept the position. As much as nursing is a passionate vocation, it is also a business transaction. You will be trading valuable hours of your life for hours worked for payment, so you want to ensure that your first career inspires you to continue. Ask the hard questions that are important to you.

It is wise to have a mental list of intriguing questions that not only give you an answer but allow the interviewer to think about what they like about working there! Most of the nuts and bolts questions are available online, so take this time to humanize the interaction and build rapport with the organization. The hard questions about insurance and other important considerations can be asked in the second round. Get through the first interview door in a way that authentically represents you and your career needs.

Next Question

40 Entry-Level Nursing Interview Questions & Answers

You've taken the right first step by preparing for your entry-level nursing interview! Investing the time upfront to prepare will help you feel more comfortable by knowing what types of questions to expect and how best to answer them in the interview process.

First, understand that there could be a variety of interview structures to be prepared for. The interview process may look different depending on the setting you're applying to work in. For example, if it's a small private practice, there may only be one, in-person, or virtual interview. If it's for a role within a larger organization, it could vary from one to several one-on-one interviews via phone, in-person, or virtual platforms or you could have a round of panel interviews, with multiple interviewers present at one time. Asking questions upfront about the interview process and gathering as much information about the structure as possible will help you know what to expect and better prepare.

Nurse interviews are typically made up of a variety and mix of questions including discovery or get-to-know-you questions, technical or knowledge-based questions, behavioral questions (these usually start with "tell me about a time when...), compatibility questions, and situational questions, so it's important to practice and be prepared for all types.

For questions that ask you to "tell the interviewer about a time when..." it can be hard to think of examples on the spot. Have a couple of examples rehearsed and prepared using the STAR method, which is a technique that gives an answer by telling a story by explaining the Situation, Task, Action, and Result. This approach helps you stay on track and give a concise and direct answer.

Interviewers often ask questions about why you want to work for their organization and may ask what you know about their mission and values. It's important to do your research beforehand on this information as well as read employee reviews, that way you can demonstrate that you're being intentional when applying for jobs. Being prepared in this way will help you stand out amongst other applicants.

As you answer questions think about qualities, characteristics, and skills that the interviewer will find valuable in the next nurse they hire to their team and weave those into your answers. Let your personality and passion for nursing shine in your responses, be genuine, avoid speaking negatively about past or current coworkers or employers, give a direct and concise answer, try to avoid rambling (which is easy to do when you're nervous!), and just be yourself! The interview process can be stressful, but by asking questions about the interview process early on in the recruitment process, preparing, and practicing, you will give yourself every opportunity to make a positive and lasting first impression on the interviewer!

  • Ask The Interviewer

    1. Do you have any questions for our team?

  • Behavioral

    2. Tell me about a time someone placed unreasonable expectations on you. How did you respond?

  • Behavioral

    3. Tell me about a time you handled a difficult situation with a coworker. What steps did you take to resolve the issue? What was the outcome?

  • Behavioral

    4. What do you think it takes to create a patient-centered team environment?

  • Behavioral

    5. For 18 years in a row, the Gallop poll has rated nurses the highest in honor and ethics. What does integrity mean to you?

  • Behavioral

    6. How do you see yourself interacting with physicians who can sometimes be demanding and difficult to work with?

  • Career Goals

    7. Where do you see yourself in your nursing career in ten years?

  • Career Goals

    8. Where would you like to be in five years professionally?

  • Communication

    9. On a scale of 1-10, please rate your communication effectiveness and explain why.

  • Compatibility

    10. Do you have any hobbies or interests?

  • Compatibility

    11. Which nursing theorist do you align most with?

  • Compatibility

    12. Why do you think you are a great fit for our hospital?

  • Compatibility

    13. Nurses typically work long shifts, often working 12-hour days rather than the traditional 8-hour workday, and oftentimes are required to work overtime. Tell me why you think you are prepared for these long days.

  • Competency

    14. What do you feel is your strongest clinical skill and why?

  • Diligence

    15. Our company sees patients in multiple specialty areas, and many times we ask our nurses to cross-train to different specialties. Tell me how you will respond if you are asked to cross-train.

  • Direct

    16. What nursing organizations do you belong to, and why did you choose them?

  • Direct

    17. Can you tell us your top three considerations when choosing a possible employer?

  • Discovery

    18. Why do you think that you are a great fit for our organization?

  • Discovery

    19. Describe one of your weaknesses.

  • Discovery

    20. In your opinion, what are the three most important qualities a nurse should possess?

  • Discovery

    21. Where would you like to be in five years personally?

  • Discovery

    22. Describe one of your strengths.

  • Discovery

    23. Who influenced you the most in your life?

  • Discovery

    24. What value can you add to our team in terms of personal attributes, education, and skills?

  • Discovery

    25. Most nursing positions are not your typical nine-to-five jobs. Tell me about your willingness to work non-traditional hours.

  • Discovery

    26. Because nursing is a very challenging career, many nurses face burnout. How will you prevent becoming burned out?

  • Discovery

    27. What inspired you to pursue a career in the nursing field?

  • Discovery

    28. Describe your strongest non-clinical skill that will be most beneficial to you in your nursing career.

  • Education

    29. What was the most challenging part of your nursing education?

  • Education

    30. What was your favorite clinical rotation during nursing school?

  • Education

    31. Can you tell me about your academic background and any additional training or certifications?

  • Experience

    32. Tell me about your prior work experience prior to completing nursing school.

  • Experience

    33. Aside from your clinical rotations, tell me about your experience caring for patients.

  • Operational

    34. How do you maintain confidentiality in the workplace?

  • Organizational

    35. What routines or tools do you use to keep yourself accountable at work?

  • Situational

    36. Nurses experience vast diversity when caring for patients. How do you deal with different perspectives and philosophies in the workplace?

  • Situational

    37. As an entry-level nurse, tell me how you will handle situations where more experienced nurses on your team may not be very welcoming or helpful to you.

  • Situational

    38. How would you handle a patient who disagrees with you?

  • Situational

    39. How would you respond if you are asked to perform a clinical procedure or task that is within your scope of work but you feel uncomfortable with.

  • Stress

    40. Nursing can be a high-stress, unpredictable, and fast-paced environment. Tell me about your previous experience working in such an environment and how it has prepared you for a career in nursing.

  • Questions to Ask the Interviewer

    Before your interview, do as much research as possible on the organization, facility, employee and patient reviews, mission, values, etc. Make note of anything that stands out to you and questions you may have as there will likely be a point at the end of the one-on-one or panel interview where the interviewer(s) give you an opportunity to ask questions. Interviewers genuinely want to help clarify anything you may not understand about the program or process, so take this time to ask questions. Actively listen during the interview and ask any follow-up questions you might have based on what the interviewer has said.

    Here is a list of 5 meaningful questions you could consider asking:

    1. How soon could I expect to hear back after this interview and what would the next steps in the process look like?

    2. From reviewing your profile on the company website (or LinkedIn), it looks like you've been with the organization X years. What keeps you with X organization? or What is your favorite part about working at the organization?

    3. Can you tell me more about your management style (If you're interviewing directly with your potential hiring manager)

    4. What does the onboarding, orientation, and training look like for new graduates?

    5. Is there anything we've discussed that you'd like me to provide more information on or elaborate on?

    About the Author

    I began my healthcare career when I was a sophomore in high school and became an STNA (state-tested nursing assistant) at a local long-term care facility. I then went on to work as a nursing assistant at a local hospital and home healthcare agency. During that time, I pursued my Bachelor's in Business Administration: Human Resource Management and transitioned to working for one of the largest long-term care and post-acute rehab companies in the country. I supported the talent acquisition function and in the span of 8 years, I screened and interviewed over 1,500 nurse aides, LPNs, and RNs.

    I hold a very special place in my heart for nurses, as it's often a thankless and tiresome job. Not everyone is cut out to be a nurse and I have great respect and admiration for those that choose this career path. As a content writer and interview coach for MockQuestions, my goal is to help you prepare and succeed in your upcoming interview. This article offers interview tips and advice along with 40 practice interview questions and answer examples to help you better understand what to expect and prepare for interview day! Wishing you the best of luck!

    Learn more about Jaymie Payne