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Entry-Level Nursing Interview

12 Questions and Answers Written by Kelly Burlison

Updated on June 24th, 2019 | Kelly Burlison, MPH, is an experienced professional
with over ten years of experience interviewing in the health care field.
Question 1 of 12
What inspired you to pursue a career in the nursing field?
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How to Answer
Nursing is not a profession that is meant for everyone and the interviewer is asking this question to learn more about the candidate's motivation behind pursuing a career in nursing. A career in nursing can be both physically and emotionally challenging and it takes a person with with compassion and a willingness to care for others in their most vulnerable states to be successful. To effectively answer this question, the candidate should answer honestly, but focus on their passion for people and caring for others. A more successful answer would include a specific personal experience the candidate had in their lifetime that inspired them to pursue nursing as a career.

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Question 2 of 12
What was the most challenging part of your nursing education?
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How to Answer
Nursing school, at any level, is a very challenging endeavor. Students often struggle with various parts of their nursing education in itself, such as learning to create care plans, but also may struggle with the workload itself. The interviewer is asking this question to determine if the candidate can identify their greatest challenge while pursuing their nursing education. When answering this question, the candidate should be honest about their struggles while pursuing their education and identify what challenged them the most. A successful answer to this question would not only include a summary of what challenged the candidate but also specific details of how they overcame the challenge.

Question 3 of 12
What was your favorite clinical rotation during nursing school?
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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 give students the ability to apply the concepts they have learned in the classroom and allow students to get an idea of what specialty areas of nursing they may want to pursue after graduation. The interviewer is asking this question to identify which specialty areas of nursing the candidate may prefer. To effectively answer this question, the candidate should identify which clinical rotation was their favorite and why.

Question 4 of 12
Aside from your clinical rotations, tell me about your experience caring for patients.
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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, but can be experience as a nursing assistant, care partner, paramedic/EMT, hospital volunteer, or other position that provides direct patient care. Having this additional patient care experience gives entry-level nursing candidates a competitive edge over candidates without such experience. The interviewer is asking this question to determine if the candidate has additional patient care experience and to what extent, if they do. When answering this question, the candidate should be honest about their experiences providing patient care, as their skills doing so will be reflected in their job performance once hired.

Question 5 of 12
Where do you see yourself in your nursing career in ten years?
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How to Answer
This question is essential for the interviewer, as they are asking it to determine the career path the candidate intends to pursue within the nursing profession. If the candidate eventually wants to pursue a career as a nurse anesthetist, then the interviewer may not want to hire them for a position at a family medicine clinic. The interviewer is asking this question to ensure the opportunities they have available at their organization matches the career goals of the candidate. To effectively answer this question, the candidate should be honest about how they would like to see their nursing career unfold, and not merely tailor their answer based on what they think the interviewer may want to hear.

Questions 6 through 12
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Author of Entry-Level Nursing Answers and Questions

Kelly Burlison
Kelly Burlison, MPH, is an experienced professional with over ten years of experience interviewing in the health care field, half of which are focused on an IT subindustry of health care. As an administrator in a managed care organization, Kelly has successfully interviewed and hired many clinical and support staff positions. Through her IT experience in the health care field, which includes roles in telemedicine, registry operations, quality measurement, and business process management, Kelly has been involved in the interview process for many different positions, from entry-level to executive.
First written on: 06/04/2019
Last modified on: 06/24/2019

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