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Nurse Practitioner Interview
Questions

25 Questions and Answers by Rachelle Enns

Updated August 17th, 2018 | Rachelle is a job search expert, career coach, and headhunter
who helps everyone from students to fortune executives find success in their career.
Question 1 of 25
Are you comfortable making tough decisions in regards to a patients care?
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How to Answer
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.
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Top 25 Nurse Practitioner Interview Questions with Full Content
1.
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"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."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"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."
Anonymous Answer
"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!
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Anonymous Answer
"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!
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2.
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"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."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"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."
Anonymous Answer
"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!
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Anonymous Answer
"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!
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3.
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"building trust."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"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."
Anonymous Answer
"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.
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Anonymous Answer
"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.
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4.
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!

Rachelle's Answer #1
"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."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"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."
Anonymous Answer
"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!
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Anonymous Answer
"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.
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5.
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.

Rachelle's Answer #1
"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."
Rachelle's Answer #2
"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."
Anonymous Answer
"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!
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