Many interviewers will start off with this question, which could throw you off a bit. You've done all of this research on the company but have you prepared to talk about yourself?
The interviewer is looking for relevant information about your capabilities as a nurse practitioner. Respond by mentioning your education, how many years of experience you have in your field, and be sure give some details about your most current position. Conclude your response with a statement about what you are looking for in a position at this time.
Nurse Practitioner Interview Questions
Tell me a little bit about yourself.
Many interviewers will start off with this question, which could throw you off a bit. You've done all of this research on the company but have you prepared to talk about yourself?
"With pleasure! I have over ten years of experience in the healthcare industry and am interested in growing my career to the next level. On a more personal note, I love to read, go hiking and spend a lot of my extra time volunteering with the humane society."
"“I have a Bachelor's of Nursing from the University of Michigan and am currently working on completing my Masters' degree. I have three years of experience as an RN. My most recent position was at the local children's hospital, and I’m currently looking for a position that will allow me to grow into a leadership opportunity."
"My family migrated to the US in 2005. I worked briefly as a telemetry nurse. I then moved to Texas which I have been at my current employer since 2006, with 12 years of oncology experience as an outpatient nurse in SCT, and with more than a year as an oncology inpatient nurse. I started my master's degree in the fall of 2016, graduated Dec 2018 and passed the APN exam 3/2019. On a more personal note, I am a mom of 3 good boys ages 16,12 and 7 and I love to read and travel."Rachelle's Answer
Wonderful answer! You give the interviewer a great overview of your professional career while adding in a touch of personal too.Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
Why did you choose to advance your studies beyond your RN degree?
In most regions, a nurse practitioner requires a Master's degree. Discuss the details surrounding your elevated degree. This is also an opportunity for you to highlight your motivations such as your desire to have more responsibility beyond typical registered nurse duties and to be a highly valued member of the patient care team. You may also want to mention why you chose the RN career path initially and how that experience led you to pursue an advanced degree in nursing.
"While my RN career has been rewarding, I wanted to complete my NP license so that I could have a broader impact on my patients. I am proud to have a deeper knowledge and to be able to interpret diagnostic tests to recommend treatment. Also, I now collaborate with physicians and the leadership team on a more regular basis."
"I wanted to help with the shortage of physicians in our state and felt that becoming an NP would help the system to move a bit faster for many patients. I can diagnose illnesses, write prescriptions, and perform many tasks that a doctor would normally need to do. It truly relieves wait time for many people, which is very rewarding to me."
"While my 20+ years of nursing career has been rewarding, I wanted to have a broader impact on delivering care to patients. I decided to invest in myself and pursue higher learning, with the hopes of using the knowledge and skills, in providing exceptional care to our patients."Rachelle's Answer
Fantastic answer! It's very clear and shows that you continually strive for more.Was this answer helpful? Yes (1) or No (0)Thank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
"Throughout my career as an RN, mainly while working in Labor and Delivery, my interest in women's health began to grow and evolve. I felt the next step in providing excellent care to women would be to obtain my Master's degree and to transition into a provider role. It was of particular importance to me as I worked with a primarily economically disadvantaged patient population and witnessed how this, unfortunately, directed how care was sometimes given. I made it a personal goal that upon becoming a Nurse Practitioner, I would aim my practice in creating a broader impact in our healthcare system, particularly in underserved populations."Rachelle's Answer
Your answer is fantastic. Very personal and heartfelt. Well done.Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
How do you plan to continually grow as a nurse practitioner?
You have an elevated degree; however, that doesn't mean that you stop learning once you have reached the top. Discuss your plans to take professional courses, obtain new certifications or focus on personal growth. You may also want to mention a class or volunteer position to highlight your commitment to professional growth.
"I am so happy to have completed my last certification for my nurse practitioner license. I recently enrolled in a weekend course through the American Heart Association that will allow me to teach CPR classes at the local middle school."
"I never stop learning and believe that, especially in the healthcare industry, one must stay up to date on new trends and discoveries. I plan to continually grow as a nurse practitioner by taking monthly courses on a variety of related topics. If there are any courses you recommend, I would be happy to hear your recommendations."
"I believe that in healthcare, education never ends. I plan to stay up to date on important topics relating to women's health by keeping current on publications, attending conferences, and completing continuing education courses. For example, this month, I plan to participate in a point of care OBGYN ultrasound course to familiarize myself with basic OBGYN ultrasonography as this is a key component in women's health care."Rachelle's Answer
The interviewer should appreciate the fact that you are already attending additional courses. This is a wonderful way to show that you believe in continued education and growth vs. just saying so. Well done!Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
"I am always eager to learn new knowledge and new skills; I believe that Is important in our profession. I would be able to accomplish this by attending continuing educations, lecture seminars, conferences and continuously interact with our physicians and colleagues and use them as my mentors in this field."Rachelle's Answer
You have multiple avenues in mind, which the interviewer will like to hear. Nice variety!Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
What are your salary requirements?
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.
"I can share with you what I am currently earning, and where I would like to be in my next position. Currently, I am earning a base salary of $88K plus health benefits. I'd like to earn a bit above that in my next position."
"As I am new to my career as a nurse practitioner, I am happy to negotiate my earnings based on your typical salary for this role."
"I have researched what a typical base salary would be, and would be happy to negotiate around what is considered the average for this position, taking into account additional benefits offered as well."Rachelle's Answer
Perfectly said! You sound well researched, in control, and willing to negotiate within reason.Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
"As a new NP, I am happy to negotiate my earnings based on the typical salary for this role."Rachelle's Answer
This is a good start! If you can, do some research on payscale.com or a similar tool so that you are well researched on the topic of salary in your area, for this role.Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
How do you feel when a physician criticizes your work?
Be authentic when answering this question but do avoid sounding cynical or begrudged. If you choose to give an example, be sure it allows you to demonstrate your ability to handle criticism with style. Do not use specific names, as the healthcare industry is tight-knit!
"It is never easy to be criticized or to receive unfavorable feedback. However, I believe that I can learn from each experience and constructively move forward. For example, a physician recently mentioned to me that my notes in the database were not as detailed as she would prefer. I had to take a minute and breathe because I spent extra time on those notes and felt frustrated by the feedback. However, I knew this physician could be tough to please so I asked her to show me exactly how she preferred the notes in the system so that next time, as a team, we could be more efficient."
"I am newer to my career as an NP and, with that information, sometimes comes additional critiques from physicians. I take every critique as a learning opportunity. I am thankful for any feedback that helps me to become a better healthcare practitioner."
"As a new provider, I realize that each instance of constructive criticism is an opportunity for learning- something that never ends regardless of years of experience. I hope to look to physicians and other experienced providers as mentors and value their feedback, which ultimately helps to become a more well-rounded provider."Rachelle's Answer
It seems you are more than ready to learn and accept constructive feedback, which is excellent!Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
"As a new NP, I know I have lots of information and skills I need to develop. With good mentorship support from this organization, I hope I can be as professional and efficient NP as possible. In this process, I know I will make mistakes. Good and bad feedbacks are important for me as this learning experience will help me be a better health care provider to our patients."Rachelle's Answer
Your willingness to accept feedback will be an excellent sign for the interviewer. Well said.Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
What accomplishment do you believe was the most difficult for you to achieve?
Being able to face a challenge or difficult situation, and still gain some accomplishment, in the end, is very satisfying. Talk to the interviewer about a time when you were able to come out on top despite being faced with an obstacle.
"In my career, so far, I feel that the most difficult accomplishment for me to achieve were the two back-to-back promotions in my current facility. Because promotions are granted based on results, and education, I had to put in a lot of overtime hours, and hustle, to get there."
"My biggest accomplishment, so far, was to complete my Master's Degree while still working full time. It was a lot of hard work, dedication, and time management on my party but I am so proud that I did it."
"I believe that earning my Master's degree has proven to be the most challenging accomplishment I have achieved so far, all the while balancing life outside of school."Rachelle's Answer
You should be very proud of yourself for reaching this milestone. How did you maintain balance through it all?Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
"My biggest accomplishment so far is to be able to finish my master's degree and pass the FNP exam in spite of my physical limitations. Having to juggle (full time) work, family and school on top of getting sick during this period took a lot of dedication, patience, and perseverance on my part. I am so glad I pursued and conquered it."Rachelle's Answer
Back to the feedback on Q #11 - I would avoid mentioning an illness so vaguely. Either dive right into it, so that the interviewer has no questions remaining, or skip it all together. This seems like a significant milestone for you so we don't want to ignore it, but in most states, it's illegal for the interviewer to ask if you're okay to work, if this sickness will return, etc. In short, it puts the interviewer in a spot of the 'unknown' which rarely pans out well for a candidate. I adore your honesty; however, in an interview situation, it may not be the best audience.Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
How did your experience as an RN, whether in clinicals or on the job, affect how you do your job as an NP?
Be sure to summarize your experience as an RN and share how it enhances your ability to be an excellent NP. If possible, give a specific example that will nicely incorporate RN duties along with NP collaboration.
"One of my first positions as an RN was at a skilled nursing facility where I cared for geriatric patients with Alzheimer's. A big part of my day was explaining to the family of the patients what the disease was and how it could be treated. I learned so much about Alzheimer's and the effects it can have on a family. Now, as a Nurse Practitioner, I can have even deeper discussions that include a medication treatment plan, onsite therapy options and more. My experience as an RN has shaped the way I communicate with patients compassionately and professionally."
"All of my RN experiences have given me an endless amount of knowledge in the medical industry. I could never replace the experiences with any amount of education."
"I have an opportunity to take care of oncology patients for almost 13 years. Seeing how our patients and their families face cancer bravely is so inspiring. I have taken this same positive outlook in my own personal and professional life and have applied it in everyday life."Rachelle's Answer
It's very heartwarming that you have taken life lessons from your patients and applied them. Your answer is genuine and the interviewer should really appreciate that.Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
Why should we hire you over any other nurse practitioner?
Go ahead and brag about yourself (a bit!)...be sure to keep it concise and relate it back to why you are the best choice for this position. You do not need to recap your resume, instead, highlight one or two things that you are most proud of. Use some unique words that make you memorable. You need to shine brighter than the rest!
"I am hoping to work with an innovative facility that is on the cutting edge of patient care procedures. I read an article about your hospital and the exciting work being done in cancer research and I wanted to be a part of it."
"I graduated top of my class with honors and have a stable work history. I am looking for a challenging position that will allow me to grow into a leadership role within healthcare. I will also note that I am tri-lingual, fluent in English, Spanish, and Mandarin. This has assisted me greatly when it comes to managing patients of varying cultural backgrounds."
"I have 13 years of both outpatient and inpatient experience in this institution. I believe that gives me a great advantage over other candidates. I have worked with some physicians and colleagues who could vouch for my work ethic."Rachelle's Answer
These are excellent reasons to hire you over any other candidate. Nice work!Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
What do you know about our facility?
The interviewer is asking you this question to see if you did your homework on the organization or if you are merely floating your resume. Be sure to read up on the organization that you are interviewing with and have a few questions prepared. The interviewer is looking for a baseline of your knowledge and level of interest.
"I made a short list of hospitals that I'd like to work with, and yours is on the top of my list. I know that your facility is a nationally recognized hospital that is known for service excellence. When my sister was sick a few years ago, she was admitted to the ER and told me that she had an outstanding experience, given the situation. I am especially interested in knowing more about the workplace culture and the community programs you support."
"I know that your facility is top of the line when it comes to technological advancements and research. I am a major supporter of these efforts and would be honored to work in such an advanced hospital environment."
"It is the #1 hospital for cancer care; that its main goal is to eradicate cancer and to deliver the best and safest care at all times."Rachelle's Answer
Good answer! You obviously know your stuff!Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
How do you gain a physician's trust and respect?
Professional working relationships are essential as a health care provider who regularly works on a multidisciplinary team. You can be specific about your process or stay general by sharing some of your best practices around "building trust." If possible, share an example of how you gain trust within the patient care team or how you relate to others.
"I feel that the best way to earn the trust of the physicians is to be helpful, always do what I promise, and be honest with them at all times. Strong relationships have to be built on these principles."
"I am a believer that a certain level of respect is something that should start upon working with a new team member, as this is a courtesy we should always provide our coworkers. Trust, however, is mainly earned over time. I believe this is best accomplished by creating an environment that fosters honesty and transparency while maintaining that level of respect. Additionally, being open to feedback and leading by example is key to establishing trust."Rachelle's Answer
You make a perfect distinction between trust and respect. This is a perfect response. It seems you are well versed in what it takes to build strong, trust-based relationships.Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
"I believe trust and respect are qualities that we earn in time. I can achieve this by making myself dependable, which means when I'm given a task to perform I make sure that I do it well and efficiently. Also, making my team know that I am a good team player and a good worker."Rachelle's Answer
Your response is perfect! It isn't pushy yet exudes confidence and a great sense of self-awareness.Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
What motivates you as a Nurse Practitioner?
The interviewer wants to know what keeps you motivated to do a good job, day in and day out. Take this opportunity to share what motivates you as a professional and how it relates to your career path. At the end of the day after you have seen car accidents, suicide attempts, and the most depressing sides of human nature - how do you keep your head up?
"My experiences in this field have been invaluable. I have learned so many skills that I will be able to use when I move to the ICU at your hospital. Knowing that each patient is an opportunity to make a difference in someone's life motivates me and makes me love my job every day."
"I am motivated at the thought of working my way up through the ranks to lead a team of RN's one day. I love to train and coach and am very excited about my career trajectory."
"Knowing that I can use my skills and training to educate women to manage their health better- whether during their pregnancies or throughout their lives, motivates me to continue learning and growing in my role as a Nurse Practitioner."Rachelle's Answer
Fantastic answer. Your passion shines through in your heartfelt responses.Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
"My invaluable oncology experience in this institution has shaped me to be a better health care provider. I am privileged to work with knowledgeable healthcare providers, in delivering the best care possible. I am humbled to be allowed to make a difference in our patient's lives and in my small contribution to making cancer history. This motivates me to work each day."Rachelle's Answer
What an excellent 'why' statement! Wonderful!Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
How do you stay current on new medical findings, publications, and innovations?
The interviewer wants to know that you are capable, and interested in, staying up to date with the changes and trends in healthcare. This question allows you to highlight your commitment to growth and development, both personally and professionally. Tell the interviewer about a book you have read or a course you have taken as of late.
"I recently read an article about advancements being made in the treatment of children with food allergies. My nephew has a severe peanut allergy, and this article led me to do more research at my library. Since then, I've spent time in the pediatric ward and was able to apply some of my findings. Our hospital also offers several free classes per year on various topics, and I try to attend as many as possible. I am always interested in learning new methods on the job."
"I believe in keeping a beat on the healthcare industry, on a daily basis. For that reason, I have a few google alerts set up with specific keywords. Also, I take one leadership development course per year. This keeps me competitive in the industry and helps my patients to get the best of me."
"I regularly read the latest bulletins from associations I belong to, such as AWHONN and NPWH, and have also set up weekly alerts from organizations like ACOG and the USPSTF. I've also been fortunate enough to have had great clinical experiences with preceptors who remain up to date on new findings and have passed that information on to me."Rachelle's Answer
The resources you mention are highly reputable, and you sound very involved, which is exactly what the interviewer will be looking for. Good work!Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
"Having to work in this premier institution I am privileged to work with top-notch health care providers who are a great source of knowledge. I believe I can also stay current by pushing myself in attending learning seminars and continuing educations offered by the institution. Or by simply asking questions with mentors and colleagues who have a lot of knowledge and experience to share."Rachelle's Answer
Learning on the job, and taking coursework available in your profession are both excellent answers. If you read a bit about your profession (medical journals, for instance) this would be a great way to round out your answer.Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
Tell us about your community involvement.
Most hiring authorities prefer candidates who have some volunteer experience. As a nurse practitioner you have a love for helping others, but do you support your community through volunteering? Share a bit about your core values or your commitments outside of work.
"I have a family member that was diagnosed with diabetes a few years ago, and I am now a volunteer with the American Diabetes Association. There is an annual fundraiser, and I am the co-chairperson for the event. One of the reasons that I applied to this position was because I read about your facility's commitment to employee wellness and I appreciate that the company also supports the American Diabetes Association."
"I was raised by parents who believed that giving back to the community through volunteering was the most important thing you could do. Even if you don't have money to give, you can always find the time. Currently, I spend every Sunday afternoon working as a health aid for at the homeless shelter."
"Through my 13 years of nursing experience, I have learned to love oncology. I participated in a department's activities such as Caregiver week and fundraising activities such as "walk the boots."Rachelle's Answer
Interviewers love volunteer and community work so this response will score very high with a hiring authority. Nice job!Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
Are you comfortable making tough decisions in regards to a patients care?
The interviewer wants to know how you handle difficult situations. Be sure to highlight your ability to think strategically and to make quick, thoughtful decisions. Provide an example of the confidence you have in your decision-making skills when it comes to patient care and the tough decisions that come with it.
"I think my confidence in making tough decisions has grown over the years. As a new RN, I was a bit more hesitant to make these decisions and learned a great deal from the more tenured nurses on my team. Now, with my added education as a nurse practitioner, I make strategic and thoughtful decisions based on my knowledge and experience. I also am very comfortable asking for help in situations that may be new to me. I value the collaborative approach we have as a team."
"As an RN, I decided to separate the feelings surrounding patient care decisions from my other emotions. The medical decision needs to made factually and not based solely on feeling. For this reason, I do not find it difficult to make tough decisions."
"Yes, I am confident that I will utilize resources and apply critical thinking for optimal patient outcomes."Rachelle's Answer
This is a solid answer backed by the fact that you will refer to your training and resources. Exactly what an interviewer would want to hear!Was this answer helpful? Yes (1) or No (0)Thank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
"As a nurse for the last 13 years, I have learned to adapt to the busy environment with patience and utilize nursing skills when needed. For example, recently we had a patient who coded in the unit. As the first responder, I was able to assess the patient's status quickly and was able to activate the response team right now and was able to save a patient's life. It felt good."Rachelle's Answer
You should be very proud of your quick thinking, and ability to make decisions under pressure. Very good answer!Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
How would you rate your performance in this interview so far?
This question is a stress test! You need to be honest about your feelings about this meeting while maintaining an air of confidence at the same time. Be honest. It's okay to ask the interviewer to circle back if you aren't pleased with your initial response.
If you feel that your performance in the interview is going well: "I believe that this interview has been quite informative and I am happy with my performance. Is there anything that I can clarify for you from this conversation?"
"I believe that this interview has been quite informative and I am happy with my performance. Is there anything that I can clarify for you from this conversation?"
"If you feel that your performance in the interview is not going well: "I am not sure if I have been able to portray myself 100% accurately in this interview; although, I am trying my best. If there is anything more that I can clarify for you, I would be happy to do so."
"I would like to believe that I have presented myself to you as genuinely as possible and I'm hoping that I have conveyed my interest and eagerness to join this group."Rachelle's Answer
Good answer! You sound confident while solidifying your interest in this role.Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
"I feel like I have presented myself authentically, and hope to have given you an idea of what it would be like to have me as a provider within your practice. I look forward to the next steps in this process."Rachelle's Answer
You sound confident and ready to move forward to the next greatest step in your career :)Was this answer helpful? Yes or NoThank you, your vote helps us display the best answers.
Rate your communication skills from 1-10 with proper examples backing your given rating.
How do you handle conflict in the workplace?
How would you describe your work ethic?
When you suffer a setback, how does that emotionally affect you and your work?
Do you have any restrictions on your RN or NP license?
Tell me about a crisis situation you faced at work. How were you a part of the solution?
What type of nursing tasks do you find least desirable, or most challenging?
What qualities should a leader have?
If you could change anything about your job, what would it be?
What do you like most about being a nurse?