MockQuestions

Entry-Level Nursing Interview Questions

To help you prepare for your Entry-Level Nursing interview, here are 35 interview questions and answer examples.

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

Question 1 of 35

Do you have any questions for our team?

How to Answer

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.

Written by Dianne Barnard on February 15th, 2021

Next Question

35 Entry-Level Nursing Interview Questions & Answers

  • Ask The Interviewer

    1. Do you have any questions for our team?

      How to Answer

      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.

      Written by Dianne Barnard on February 15th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "I was wondering about the nurse-patient ratio on the medical-surgical unit and the staff turnover rate. Can you tell me anything about the day-to-day operation of the unit that could help me make my best decision? What are the chances that I am pulled to another floor, and will I be cross-trained?"

      Written by Dianne Barnard on February 15th, 2021

      2nd Answer Example

      "Thank you for the opportunity to interview today! I have two questions. Is it possible for me to arrange a time to shadow a nurse on this unit for at least four hours, so I can have an idea of what a typical shift looks like? How long does it typically take a new grad nurse to feel fully up to speed on your unit?"

      Written by Kate Buckley on December 21st, 2022

  • Behavioral

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

      How to Answer

      The definition of integrity is having the qualities of honesty, fairness, and high moral principles. Nurses have been voted in the Gallop Poll as the most honest and ethical profession for 18 years in a row, and there is good reason for that. Nurses follow a code of ethics and demonstrate high levels of integrity by being authentic, consistent advocates for their patients and working well within the confines of their state's Nurse Practice Act. Integrity is about doing the right thing, at the right time, for the right individual with the right motives. Answer this question carefully and authentically, if asked.

      Written by Dianne Barnard on February 15th, 2021

      1st Answer Example

      "I believe that when I preserve my integrity, then decisions because easier. Integrity defines my character, and when I say what I mean and mean what I say and do the right thing for myself and my nursing license, everybody wins. I want people to identify me as someone who can be counted on to do the right thing and not just the easy thing. I believe that sometimes the right thing is ultimately the easiest in the end, even when it doesn't seem like that from the beginning. When you are responsible for a patient's life or health in some way, there is no other option for me."

      Written by Dianne Barnard on February 15th, 2021

      2nd Answer Example

      "Integrity means always being honest and straightforward. Patients and their families must believe that when we say something, it's the truth."

      Written by Kate Buckley on December 21st, 2022

  • Behavioral

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

      How to Answer

      Physicians have very stressful jobs and are under significant pressure daily. This sometimes causes them to be short with their support staff, and some develop the reputation of being difficult to work with. At times, situations between nurses and physicians can become very heated, and disagreements can arise. However, it is up to the nurse to facilitate a positive working environment with the physicians around them, despite any past conflicts. The interviewer asks this question to determine how the candidate will react to physicians known to be demanding and difficult, as it will determine how successful they will be in their nursing career. To effectively answer this question, indicate you would not take the physician's behavior personally and would continue to build positive, professional relationships with them, even if there have been uncomfortable situations with particular physicians in the past. Try to include an example from your career or clinical experience where you dealt with a difficult physician, superior, or colleague but maintained a positive, professional relationship with them.

      Written by Kelly Burlison on July 16th, 2019

      1st Answer Example

      "Even though I was just a nursing assistant, I dealt with many difficult physicians while I worked at the nursing home in college. One physician, in particular, was extremely difficult and seemed to have a problem with anything and everything anyone did for a patient, including the nursing assistants. There were days when this doctor would come and yell at me for patients being in the incorrect position or not being changed, even though they had just been changed. It was frustrating, but I had to take it all in stride, reminding myself that the physician only had the patients' best interests in mind and that he had a lot of pressure on him and was probably dealing with it to the best of his ability. If I had the pressure of a physician on me, I don't know how I would react, so I try my best to keep it all in perspective."

      Written by Kelly Burlison on July 16th, 2019

      2nd Answer Example

      "Sometimes it will feel intimidating to call physicians, especially after hours. I think the most important thing to do when interacting with doctors, whether in person or on the phone, is to be prepared and be clear about what I'm looking for from the interaction. When I was in one of my extended clinicals, my nurse preceptor had me practice calling one of our patient's doctors. We discussed ahead of time how I would identify myself, identify the patient, explain the situation, and ask for an order to increase the dose of the patient's beta blocker. I was nervous during that interaction, but it was professional and buoyed my confidence. I believe that if I can be calm and concise and remember that the communication is about my patient's needs, I will be able to work well with the physicians on my shift."

      Written by Kate Buckley on December 21st, 2022

  • Career Goals

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

      How to Answer

      This question is essential for the interviewer, as they are asking it to determine the career path you intend to pursue within the nursing profession. If you eventually want to pursue a career as a nurse anesthetist, they may not want to hire you for a position at a family medicine clinic. The interviewer is asking this question to ensure the opportunities available at their organization match your career goals. To effectively answer this question, you should be honest about how you would like to see your nursing career unfold and not merely tailor your answer to what you think the interviewer wants to hear.

      Written by Kelly Burlison on July 16th, 2019

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I see myself having gained experience as a nurse. I hope to be a very confident and competent nurse continuing my education through certifications and growing in my role. One day I hope to move into a manager or leadership role on the unit."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Marcie Wilmot

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Marcie Wilmot Reviewed the Above Answer

      It's great that you mention continuing your education through certifications and gaining more real-life experience. Nice job! You might also consider talking about specific nursing specializations or populations that interest you and that you might want to pursue down the road like pediatric, neurology, cardiology, maternal, or neonatal intensive care nursing.

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  • Career Goals

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

      How to Answer

      Healthcare is ever-evolving and expanding, and that should be your career plan as well. Be prepared with an answer that demonstrates your commitment to learning. Discuss your plan to take advantage of the tuition reimbursement program or your goals to obtain your BSN or MSN. When researching the organization's leadership structure, take note of any opportunities to become involved with in-house nursing groups and make mention of those groups during the interview. Interviewers love candidates who want to do and be better. It's good for the organization and advances nursing as a whole.

      Written by Dianne Barnard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Communication

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

      How to Answer

      Poor communication is one of the leading reasons for medical malpractice. Good nursing care depends on effective communication that is prompt, direct, and respectful. Communication can be verbal and non-verbal such as body language, facial expressions, gesturing, and even the distance between you and your patients. If the distance between you and your patient is too close or too far, communication can break down. A patient may miss the message if you are talking across the room or become frightened or intimidated if you have breached their personal space. The best answer is authentic and introspective, which leads to an action plan for improvement. Remember, your answers are a real-time demonstration of your communication skills.

      Written by Dianne Barnard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Compatibility

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

      How to Answer

      Nursing interviewers want to hire people who do their homework. This question is an opportunity to showcase that you've done yours. It is also an opportunity to express yourself vibrantly and show off your communication skills. Nurses work in all kinds of environments. Most entry-level positions likely will be more medical-surgical, as this is where most new nurses gain their basic nursing skills.

      There are many options within medical-surgical 'bedside' nursing, and new nurses sometimes get hired in the ICU, telemetry, or psychiatric. Your answer may vary, depending on the job for which you are applying, but in general, know the organization's philosophies. Know the culture and mission of the company and know your worth. You are interviewing this company as much as they are interviewing you and the benefits are mutually inclusive. You are hoping to gain a job that you love, and they are hopeful to gain an essential, quality employee with longevity. If you are a relaxed, laid-back person who likes to sit and braid their patient's hair, then a fast-paced ICU may not be the optimal choice for you. After you have done your homework on the culture and mission of the healthcare organization and matched it to your own philosophical and life goals, craft your best answer to reflect on why you are the best choice.

      Written by Dianne Barnard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Compatibility

    8. Do you have any hobbies or interests?

      How to Answer

      Nurses have lives outside of the job! Work-life balance is critical, and so are your answers to these types of questions. Provide answers that demonstrate commitment, flexibility, service, or soft skills you would like to illustrate. For example, being on a softball team may suggest you are a team player, and being a coach suggests leadership skills. Taking improv comedy classes may reflect your ability to step out of your comfort zone and take critique. Being a beekeeper showcases your verve. In any case, this is an important question, so be prepared with your best answer. Interviewers are not impressed with individuals who live for the job. This is your opportunity to showcase your uniqueness and also illustrate other skills.

      Our answer example illustrates more than just a hobby. It shows sustained interest in a hobby, giving back and contributing to the community, and a commitment to learning.

      Written by Dianne Barnard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Compatibility

    9. Which nursing theorist do you align most with?

      How to Answer

      It is not a bad idea to be prepared to discuss your favorite nursing theorist during your interview. Whether it's Nightingale, Peplau, Orem, Watson, or anyone in between, know which theory you most align with and be prepared to support it. Take the time to review the organization's mission statement and determine if its mission aligns with the values and concepts of your nursing practice.

      Written by Dianne Barnard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Compatibility

    10. 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.

      How to Answer

      The nursing profession can be exhausting due to the long hours nurses are expected to work. Many times, to staff inpatient care facilities, nurses are scheduled for 12-hour shifts, and due to the nature of the job, they often cannot leave at the end of their shift, so they stay longer and accrue overtime. The long hours required from nurses can be a difficult adjustment for new nurses, especially if they are unprepared for such. The interviewer asks this question to understand if you are prepared for the long shifts you will face as a nurse. To effectively answer this question, discuss why you feel prepared for the long shifts using examples from your life to explain how you have endured long days. A successful answer would include specific examples of your professional career when you have successfully worked long shifts.

      Written by Kelly Burlison on July 16th, 2019

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  • Competency

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

      How to Answer

      Entry-level nurses typically have minimal experience working clinically and using their newly licensed skills. These nurses' experience is usually limited to the time they spend in their clinical rotations. While clinical rotation experience is limited, nurses can practice their clinical skills during this time and finish these rotations with a few strong clinical skills. The interviewer asks this question to determine how comfortable the candidate is with their clinical skills and how advanced their strongest clinical skill is. To successfully answer this question, you should be honest about your skills, even if they are not very advanced. When explaining why the particular skill is your strongest, you should describe your experience in conducting the skill and how you have been successful.

      Written by Kelly Burlison on July 16th, 2019

      User-Submitted Answer

      "It would be setting up an IV because I had a lot of practice under the supervision of my preceptor during a hematology placement. I learned to focus on carefully and accurately preparing medication according to the medical order, label the IV bag, and prime the IV line to remove air or bubbles. It is important with IV antibiotics because I do not want to waste any of the medication through priming."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Chad Wilson

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Chad Wilson Reviewed the Above Answer

      Good answer! You have clearly identified setting up an intravenous drip feed as your strongest clinical skill, and describing your experience in conducting the skill.

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  • Diligence

    12. 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.

      How to Answer

      Cross-training nursing staff members is common within hospitals and multi-specialty clinics. Cross-training allows nurses to learn and practice their skills in different areas; however, the experience can sometimes be stressful, especially for entry-level nurses. The interviewer asks this question to determine how the candidate will respond in situations where they may be required to cross-train. For organizations in which cross-training is essential to maintain operations, it is especially important for the interviewer to feel the candidate will be willing to do so. To effectively answer this question, indicate that you would be willing to cross-train in other departments and describe the methods you use to learn and retain new skills. A more successful answer to this question would include an example of when you were previously cross-trained in your career and how you successfully managed to learn and retain two different professional skill sets.

      Written by Kelly Burlison on July 16th, 2019

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  • Direct

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

      How to Answer

      A solid answer to this question will reflect your philosophy of nursing and commitment to quality of care. Even if the hospital's pay and benefits package is the best, compensation should not be mentioned in your top three considerations. The interviewer already knows where the organization ranks in terms of salary and benefits. They are looking for more thoughtful answers that reflect your character. Read through the hospital's mission statement and the types of care offered, and craft your response to complement those features.

      Written by Dianne Barnard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Direct

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

      How to Answer

      Interviewers love candidates who belong to nursing organizations such as the ANA because professional development is an important phase of lifelong learning. Healthcare changes almost daily, so nurses that keep up-to-date on all things nursing have a competitive edge over those who do not. Nursing organizations empower nurses to stay at the leading edge of their profession.

      Written by Dianne Barnard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Discovery

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

      How to Answer

      Hospital or health organization interviewers identify and encourage specific nursing qualities in candidates for hire. Many strong attributes contribute to great candidates, and any combination could be a great answer. However, the best response would be one that mirrors the organization's mission statement. To optimize the interview outcome, the interviewee should review and reflect on the organizational mission statement, and mirror those values in their answer. Possible attributes are caring, attention to detail, stamina, problem-solving skills, communication skills, willingness to learn, critical thinking skills, time management, empathy, leadership skills, and even a sense of humor. The potential hire may answer differently if applying to a fast-paced ER position as opposed to the geriatric unit.

      Written by Dianne Barnard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Discovery

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

      How to Answer

      Before your interview, take some time to research the organization. Find the mission statement and be prepared to provide answers that align with that statement. There are many places online to review potential employers and the associated work environment. Highlight your academic prowess, soft-skill attributes, customer relations experience at Victoria's Secret, or volunteer experience at the animal shelter. Take the time to organize your strengths and life experiences into an elevator pitch that showcases why you are the best match for this position.

      Written by Dianne Barnard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Discovery

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

      How to Answer

      This is a great question and deserves a great answer! The best response is always the truth, but if your truth is that you are going to marry Danny next month and start a family, this might not be the best answer. Always remember that it takes a lot of time, money, and energy for an organization to invest in and onboard a new employee. Even the best organization with the best employee support would be reluctant to hire someone who may exit within the year. Keeping that in mind, provide an authentic answer that is true for you and demonstrates your investment in the organization's potential investment in you.

      Written by Dianne Barnard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Discovery

    18. Describe one of your weaknesses.

      How to Answer

      This is a tough one and needs to be carefully prepared for. You want an authentic answer that reflects something you've identified as a weakness but with a paired possibility of improvement. Interviewers want self-reflective candidates who will take ownership and responsibility for their work. This is not the time to admit that you are very sloppy and can never find your car keys! Your answer should mirror something the interviewer will resonate with as a possible strength.

      Written by Dianne Barnard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Discovery

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

      How to Answer

      Nursing is not meant for everyone, and the interviewer is asking this question to learn more about your motivation behind pursuing a career in nursing. A career in nursing can be both physically and emotionally challenging; it takes a person with compassion and a willingness to care for others in their most vulnerable states. To effectively answer this question, respond honestly, but focus on your passion for people and caring for others. A more successful answer would include a specific personal experience that inspired you to pursue nursing as a career.

      Written by Kelly Burlison on July 16th, 2019

      User-Submitted Answer

      "All of my life I thought I wanted to deliver babies; I used to wake up early before school when I was 7 or 8 years old to watch birth day or birth story because I was just fascinated by birth and newborns and all of it. When I started working on the postpartum unit I realized I really enjoyed everything about that population. Then during my maternity rotation, I saw that labor and delivery is a lot of waiting around. Although I loved watching the births, I found myself more interested in the baby more so than the mom. That hospital had a level 2 NICU and although it was a very small unit and I did not get to see a lot of critical babies, being in the environment and getting to see what working in a NICU is like, made me realize that that is want I want to do. I want to work in a job where I feel I am truly needed and making an impact. These babies depend on you for everything and I would be blessed to be able to make such a difference in their lives and care. I always knew I wanted to be in healthcare because I thrive on caring for others. When my uncle was in the hospital after a bicycle accident, I really saw how the nurses treated him and my family and I knew I wanted to be that for other families."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Marcie Wilmot

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Marcie Wilmot Reviewed the Above Answer

      This is such a wonderful and genuine answer. Without a doubt, it will touch any interviewer's heart! It sounds like your personality is perfectly suited to being a NICU nurse and that it is truly a calling for you. The rest of us are lucky to have people like you in this world! :) Excellent answer!

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  • Discovery

    20. Describe one of your strengths.

      How to Answer

      You could name any academic, organizational, professional, or relational strength that highlights who you are and what you're good at and is directly related to the nursing profession. All interview questions should be answered in a way that optimizes your chance to secure the position, so choose a strength that mirrors the values in the organization's mission statement or the work environment. While it may be true that you are efficient and organized and write amazing poetry, focusing on the former is a better match for an interview as an emergency room nurse.

      Written by Dianne Barnard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Discovery

    21. Who influenced you the most in your life?

      How to Answer

      To answer this question, you could name anyone who played an impactful role in your life--your father, grandmother, coach, teacher, etc. Be prepared to describe an individual, their impact on you, and the outlook on life you gleaned from the mentorship or interaction with this individual. The important thing is to pair authentic growth and connection with someone who led you to a nursing career or changed your perspective in some way.

      Written by Dianne Barnard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Discovery

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

      How to Answer

      Your diploma and GPA and the reputation of the school only tell the interview part of your broader story. Organizations are looking for their employees to have soft skills and people skills, as well. Nursing has been described as both an art and science, and interviewers are searching for a candidate that combines hard and soft skills. Soft skills refer to how a person works and interacts with others. They include interpersonal skills, communication skills, listening skills, time management, empathy, teamwork, adaptability, networking, and problem-solving skills. Nearly every job in healthcare involves some customer interaction, so relational, problem-solving, and creative thinking skills are highly desirable traits.

      Soft skills are often transferable skills that allow the employee to adapt to new work situations and environments quickly.

      Written by Dianne Barnard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Discovery

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

      How to Answer

      Many nursing jobs require evening and weekend shifts, especially in inpatient facilities, rehabilitation facilities, emergency departments, and urgent care facilities. Because of this, nurses are not guaranteed a typical nine-to-five schedule. For new nurses, non-traditional work schedules can be a difficult adjustment, especially if they consistently work evening shifts. When answering this question, be honest about your feelings and concerns about working non-traditional shifts. Express your willingness to work evenings and weekends during your nursing career.

      Written by Kelly Burlison on July 16th, 2019

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  • Discovery

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

      How to Answer

      The interviewer asks this question to determine if the candidate is aware of nursing burnout and if they are already preparing themselves for the prevention of such. Burnout is a significant concern in the nursing industry, as nurses often become burned out from the stress, emotional toll, and long hours. To effectively answer this question, you should express that you are aware of nursing burnout and provide examples of ways you are preparing yourself to mitigate burnout. Try to include an example from your career/schooling where you avoided getting burned out in a job or project using specific techniques.

      Written by Kelly Burlison on July 16th, 2019

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  • Discovery

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

      How to Answer

      While nurses must have strong clinical skills, they must also be strong in other non-clinical areas. Strong abilities in areas such as time management, data analytics, adaptability, ethics, and communication will complement a nurse's clinical skills and make them more successful. The interviewer asks this question to learn more about the candidate's strengths related to non-clinical skills. To successfully answer this question, be honest about your skills and avoid simply telling the interviewer what you think they want to hear. After identifying your strongest non-clinical skill, explain why you feel you are strongest in the skill using real-life examples that demonstrate your strength.

      Written by Kelly Burlison on July 16th, 2019

      User-Submitted Answer

      "My strongest non-clinical skill would definitely be my adaptability. While I was working as a ward clerk and personal care assistant, it helped me to adjust to an acute care setting quickly, because the working environment would change every shift. For example, during the placement, I was proactive in sourcing the equipment and materials required for a procedure from a different ward, whereas it may not even occur to a person who was less adaptable to do that."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Chad Wilson

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Chad Wilson Reviewed the Above Answer

      This is a good start! The ability to adjust to new conditions is an important and valuable skill to possess in the healthcare field. In the "Revised Answer" section, I have included a suggested way to slightly restate this response, in order to improve clarity.

      "My strongest non-clinical skill would definitely be my adaptability. While I was working as a ward clerk and personal care assistant, it helped me to adjust to an acute care setting quickly, because the working environment would change every shift. For example, during the placement, I was proactive in sourcing the equipment and materials required for a procedure from a different ward, whereas it may not even occur to a person who was less adaptable to do that."

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  • Education

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

      How to Answer

      Nursing education programs include clinical rotations, better known as clinicals, which are supervised clinical sessions where students gain real-world nursing experience in rotating specialty areas. Clinicals allow students to apply the concepts they have learned in the classroom and get an idea of what specialty areas of nursing they may want to pursue after graduation. The interviewer asks this question to identify which specialty areas of nursing you may prefer. To effectively answer this question, discuss which clinical rotation was your favorite and explain why.

      Written by Kelly Burlison on July 16th, 2019

      User-Submitted Answer

      "My favorite clinical rotation was definitely my OB rotation. During this rotation, I was on an LDRP unit which also had a level 2 NICU. It was during this rotation that I really solidified that I was more interested in the neonate than the mother. I found I enjoy critically thinking and working in a fast-paced setting with high acuity patients."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Marcie Wilmot

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Marcie Wilmot Reviewed the Above Answer

      Good answer! It reiterates that your real interest lies in the NICU and neonatal. You might want to adjust your comment regarding mothers so it doesn't emphasize so much that you're not really interested in the mothers' care (which might come across as a bit negative and uncaring). See below for another way you could say this.

      "My favorite clinical rotation during nursing school was definitely my OB rotation. During this rotation, I was on an LDRP unit that also had a level 2 NICU. It was during this time that I discovered and really solidified my interest in neonatal. I just love caring for and helping newborn babies thrive; this is truly my passion. I also found that I enjoy critically thinking and working in a fast-paced setting with high acuity patients."

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  • Education

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

      How to Answer

      Nursing school at any level is a very challenging endeavor. Students often struggle with various parts of their nursing education, such as learning to create care plans, but they may also struggle with the workload itself. The interviewer asks this question to determine if you can identify your greatest challenge while pursuing your nursing education. When answering this question, you should be honest about your struggles while pursuing your education and specify what challenged you the most. A successful answer to this question would include a summary of what challenged you and specific details regarding how you overcame the challenge.

      Written by Kelly Burlison on July 16th, 2019

      User-Submitted Answer

      "The most challenging part of my nursing education was learning how to study and do well on nursing exams. It was really an eye-opening experience because the nursing tests are not what I was used to at all. It took me a couple of semesters to really figure out my studying techniques and how to properly study and be able to achieve the best grade possible."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Marcie Wilmot

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Marcie Wilmot Reviewed the Above Answer

      Great answer! It's good that you discuss how over time you adapted and learned how to study more effectively so you could do well on the exams. This will show the interviewer that you are adaptable, persistent, and resilient. Nice! You might consider offering a brief explanation too of how the nursing exams differed from other exams you'd taken in your life (I'm curious myself!)

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  • Experience

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

      How to Answer

      While required clinical rotations that are a part of nursing education programs ensure entry-level nurses have hands-on practical experience, employers like to see additional patient care experience on a candidate's resume. This experience does not have to be nursing experience, especially for entry-level nursing; you can mention your experience as a nursing assistant, care partner, paramedic/EMT, hospital volunteer, or other position that provides direct patient care. This patient care experience gives entry-level nursing candidates a competitive edge over candidates without such experience. The interviewer asks this question to determine if you have additional patient care experience and to what extent. When answering this question, you should be honest about your experiences providing patient care, as your experience will be reflected in your job performance once hired.

      Written by Kelly Burlison on July 16th, 2019

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I became a CNA before I started nursing school. I worked in an assisted living facility before getting a per diem position on a postpartum unit. I learned many valuable skills and gained experience through my time at both positions. Time management, prioritization, and critical thinking were all skills I gained experience of."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Marcie Wilmot

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Marcie Wilmot Reviewed the Above Answer

      Excellent answer. It's great that you have a lot of prior experience caring for patients; the interviewer will appreciate this. Consider adding some more details to your answer about those experiences. For example, what did you enjoy most about the assisted living and postpartum positions? Perhaps include a brief example of a specific patient you cared for who impacted you as this will make your answer even more memorable to the interviewer.

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  • Operational

    29. How do you maintain confidentiality in the workplace?

      How to Answer

      Confidentiality and privacy in health care protect patients and maintain trust between patients, staff, and doctors. It is a way of reducing liability and promoting the quality of care. Everyone learns about HIPAA in nursing school, so reciting a cerebral definition is not necessarily what the interviewer wants here. The interviewer wants to hear your deep understanding of how HIPAA is violated in the workplace by not being mindful and intentional in your practice.

      Written by Dianne Barnard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Organizational

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

      How to Answer

      Prospective employers seek employees who can manage themselves with oversight. Being able to prioritize and organize your day to maximize results are powerful attributes. Nursing is part art and science, and no two days are alike. Employees seek individuals with organizational aptitude and creative problem-solving, so your answer here should demonstrate your organization and flexibility.

      Written by Dianne Barnard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Situational

    31. 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.

      How to Answer

      An entry-level nurse may have a scope of work that is quite vast, especially if they are a Registered Nurse, but they may not feel comfortable performing all the clinical procedures and tasks within the scope of their license. This is not uncommon, and it is not an indication that the nurse is not skilled but simply a testament to their inexperience. The interviewer asks this question to determine how the candidate will respond in such situations, to ensure they will not put the patient at risk due to their inexperience. To effectively answer this question, you should indicate you would ask for assistance if you are unsure how to proceed with the clinical task or procedure, especially if it could potentially harm the patient. A more successful answer to this question would include a specific example from your career or clinical rotations where you asked for assistance with a task because you were unsure how to proceed.

      Written by Kelly Burlison on July 16th, 2019

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  • Situational

    32. 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.

      How to Answer

      On nursing teams, it is not uncommon for entry-level nurses to feel unwelcome and to feel the more senior nurses are not helpful to them. This is something administrators are well aware of; unfortunately, it is a complicated situation. Entry-level nurses must be aware of the dynamics they may face with more senior nurses. The interviewer asks this question to get an idea of how aware the candidate is of such dynamics and how they will respond. To effectively answer this question, you should indicate that you are aware of these dynamics. Rather than telling the interviewer you would attempt to change the dynamic, you should say you would not get caught up in interpersonal conflicts and instead wait until you are welcomed by the other members of the team. A more successful answer to this question would include a specific example of how you handled a similar situation in your career where you were not initially welcomed.

      Written by Kelly Burlison on July 16th, 2019

      User-Submitted Answer

      "I will try not to take it personally because you never know what someone else is going through or dealing with. I will communicate with the nurse about why they may feel a certain way and try to figure out a way we can work together better as a team in order to provide the most quality patient care possible."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Marcie Wilmot

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Marcie Wilmot Reviewed the Above Answer

      It's great that you begin your answer by saying that you'll strive not to take it personally. Being able to work with difficult colleagues is something that you'll inevitably need to do as a nurse, and the interviewer will be happy to hear that you have thick skin and can let things roll off your back. However, it sounds like you'll also look to confront the situation so that it doesn't fester or get worse. Nice! You might also emphasize that when you discuss the issue with them you'll focus on being a good listener and understanding their perspective but that you'll also be assertive and set boundaries if necessary.

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  • Situational

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

      How to Answer

      This question allows an opportunity to showcase your calm demeanor. Nurses are front-line workers and witnesses to some of the most distressing and vulnerable times in people's lives. Patients are often in pain, frightened, alone, and overwhelmed. Nurses deal with vulnerable people daily, so they must know how to handle the situation and optimize it. You also have the opportunity to share an example of a time you successfully found common ground with a patient.

      Written by Dianne Barnard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Situational

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

      How to Answer

      Nurses deal with all kinds of people from different backgrounds and with those from different cultures. Some cultures allow a family member to speak and dictate all medical care, which may seem unethical to an American nurse. Certain cultures may exhibit eye contact differently or follow different kinds of diets the nurse might find unusual or even resist or refuse care. Healthcare places a great emphasis on employees knowing and practicing cultural diversity for good reason. You should think your answer through to this question, as the interviewer is seeking a candidate who is aware of potential biases and shows an openness to embracing new cultures.

      Written by Dianne Barnard on February 15th, 2021

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  • Stress

    35. 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.

      How to Answer

      Many entry-level nurses find it challenging to adjust to the unpredictability, stress, and fast pace under which they are working. The stress of nursing can take its toll, and each entry-level nurse must be prepared for the change of pace they will soon face. The interviewer asks this question to determine if the candidate has experience in such an environment. To effectively answer this question, describe previous environments or situations that have been challenging, stressful, and fast-paced and explain how those situations prepared you for nursing. You should choose examples rooted in work experience, but if you don't have previous work experience, another example will be acceptable.

      Written by Kelly Burlison on July 16th, 2019

      User-Submitted Answer

      "Previously I had worked in a lab environment while having to carry out routine tasks like running quality control for the reagents for the tests. I also had to run blood gases for their results, prioritize samples from ED/ICU and pediatric. In placement, I have assisted my preceptor in a very stressful situation where she was the only chemo-trained nurse on the ward. I was checking a patient's vitals every half an hour while they were on chemo, answering requests, administering meds, and assisting another patient with a high risk of delirium. I felt motivated by that experience and I am prepared to work in a challenging environment."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Chad Wilson

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Chad Wilson Reviewed the Above Answer

      Good! It sounds like your experience working in a busy lab environment, combined with your clinical experience, has prepared you for a career in nursing. Including an assurance at the end of your response that the experience you cited has prepared you to work in a challenging environment is a nice touch!

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