MockQuestions

Pediatric Nurse Interview Questions

To help you prepare for your Pediatric Nurse interview, here are 29 interview questions and answer examples.

Pediatric Nurse was written by and updated on June 26th, 2017. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 29

Why do you think nurses often report experiencing 'burn out' and what do you do to help try to prevent that?

How to Answer

Being a healthcare provider is a great responsibility. Unfortunately, because of the great responsibility, many providers do report experiencing the need to take a break. The interviewer wants to know that you are capable of handling stress and that you know when to ask for help.

Written by Heather Douglass on November 21st, 2018

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29 Pediatric Nurse Interview Questions & Answers

  • 1. Why do you think nurses often report experiencing 'burn out' and what do you do to help try to prevent that?

      How to Answer

      Being a healthcare provider is a great responsibility. Unfortunately, because of the great responsibility, many providers do report experiencing the need to take a break. The interviewer wants to know that you are capable of handling stress and that you know when to ask for help.

      Written by Heather Douglass on November 21st, 2018

      Entry Level

      "I had a great mentor when I was in nursing school. She told me if I didn't remember anything else she told me, that I should always remember to take care of myself. I have grown to understand what she meant. If we are bogged down physically and emotionally, it is easy to become overwhelmed and experience feeling burned out."

      Written by Darby Faubion

      1st Answer Example

      "I understand how some healthcare providers can experience burn out. It has nothing to do with wanting to change professions or leave a job. Sometimes it's just hard to lose patients or to feel like we can't save them all. I try to schedule myself some personal time, whether its a few days away when I am off work or going hiking. Anything to help create some balance in my life."

      Written by Heather Douglass on November 21st, 2018

      Experienced

      "Unfortunately, I can speak from experience about burn out. When I was a new nurse, I thought I could work all the time and that I was invincible. I lost several patients within a short period of time and the toll of the loss was very overwhelming to me. Since then, I have learned how to work hard, but to also work hard at caring for myself as well."

      Written by Darby Faubion

      Community Answer

      "I think nurses experience burnout because it is not an easy job. It can be an emotionally and physically draining job at times, which is why it is crucial to take care of yourself and to remember the reasons why you love your job. After a rough day, I also write down the positive things that happened before going to bed."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Excellent answer! Offering insight into your own routine is a very nice touch.

  • 2. How do you respond to an emergency situation at work?

      How to Answer

      Depending on the situation, you will want to respond quickly and make yourself available to assist the doctor in any way you can. Be aware of the surroundings and also observe the patient. Your best response will be one where you are sensitive to the situation by listening closely to the doctor and nurses involved. There may not be anything you can do to help, but if you get in the way, you could definitely create more problems. Ask what you can do and pay attention. If you need to step aside, be respectful and understanding.

      Written by Heather Douglass on November 21st, 2018

      Entry Level

      "That really depends on the situation. I always try to remember to remain as calm as possible and report to my designated area as quickly as possible and follow emergency protocol."

      Written by Darby Faubion

      1st Answer Example

      "If an emergency were to arise, I would wait patiently for the doctors orders and assist her or him in whatever she or he needs. If there is an immediate danger to a patient or someone in my care, I would make sure to offer assistance to get them to safety."

      Written by Heather Douglass on November 21st, 2018

      Experienced

      "There can be any number of emergency situations in a healthcare facility, so how I would respond would be dependent upon what type of emergency it is. First and foremost is the safety of patients and employees. I would make sure no one is in immediate danger and follow any emergency protocol, per facility instructions."

      Written by Darby Faubion

      Community Answer

      "This depends on what the emergency is. I would follow the protocol based on the emergency and act calmly. If I could do something in my field of practice in an emergency that needed immediate attention, then I would do so at that time."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      Perfect response! The interviewer will be looking for an answer that refers to your ability to remain calm while recalling your training.

  • 3. Is there a particular story about a pediatric patient that was personally moving for you?

      How to Answer

      Nursing, although rewarding, can be very stressful at times. It is important to recognize the things that make you feel stressed, but it is just as important to be able to remember events that brought you satisfaction or happiness within the job. These are the things that keep a nurse motivated. The interviewer wants to see that you are able to balance the negatives with positives.

      Written by Heather Douglass on November 21st, 2018

      Entry Level

      "I remember a patient who had leukemia and whose wish was to live through the Christmas holiday season. We were able to arrange a private room for her and we brought in decorations and a tree. She was able to have Christmas in her room with her family. I will never forget her."

      Written by Darby Faubion

      1st Answer Example

      "I once had a patient with a seizure disorder come onto our unit. This child had a service dog, and we were able to draft new regulations allowing service animals to be accommodated. The presence of her dog made the child much more relaxed while receiving care on the medical unit. A comfortable patient heals faster. It was very moving to see how she interacted with her pet and what a difference it made for her having him there."

      Written by Heather Douglass on November 21st, 2018

      Experienced

      "There are so many children whose stories are moving to me, even after it has been a while since I've cared for them. One of the most moving, I can say without a doubt, was when I cared for a boy who was a twin. He was terminally ill. His brother stayed at his side night and day. He slept in his bed as much as possible. It was heartbreaking and encouraging at the same time, if that makes sense. It renewed my faith in people and in what love and care for others can really do. That child didn't survive, but his memory will live on forever."

      Written by Darby Faubion

      Community Answer

      "I have not yet worked with a pediatric patient, but do have a story of an adult patient who was personally moving for me. He had a major fall and traumatic brain injury; his doctors thought he would never walk or talk again. A couple of months later he was non-verbally responding with smiles and actions, then he was sitting in his chair, then taking his first steps and going to rehab. I got to see that patient walk out of the hospital. It was so touching."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Rachelle Enns

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Rachelle Enns Reviewed the Above Answer

      What an amazing example! A story like this will make you a memorable candidate that stands out. Nicely done.

  • 4. Have you ever worked in an environment where your co-workers were from diverse backgrounds?

      How to Answer

      In an industry as large as healthcare, diversity among peers is inevitable. To be successful, it is crucial to learn how to work with a diverse group of people. Some people are intimidated when faced with learning new cultures and beliefs, but in the healthcare industry, it is crucial to provide effective care. The interviewer wants to know that you are open to meeting and learning about new people and becoming an integral part of the team. Be positive with your response.

      Written by Heather Douglass on November 21st, 2018

      Entry Level

      "The largest diverse group I worked with was probably when I did my clinical rotation at University Medical Center. I was afforded the opportunity to meet people from different cultures, religions, and professional backgrounds. It gave me an eye-opening experience of how many wonderful people there are!"

      Written by Darby Faubion

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  • 5. What fuels your passion for your work as a pediatric nurse?

      How to Answer

      This question is just as important for you as it is the interviewer. It is important to recognize what is important to you and how it affects your drive to perform a job well. The interviewer wants a look inside at what makes you passionate about this job.

      Written by Heather Douglass on November 21st, 2018

      Entry Level

      "I think I could say more than one thing fuels my passion for pediatrics. There is just something about the feeling I get when I can help a child begin to recover and be back to his happy, playful self. It is a very rewarding feeling."

      Written by Darby Faubion

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  • 6. If you were the person responsible for hiring new employees, what qualities would you look for in a candidate? Do you think you possess those qualities?

      How to Answer

      There is more than one reason for asking this question. First, the interviewer wants to know what qualities you think are important to perform this job. Second, and most importantly, your answer will tell the interviewer if you hold yourself to the same standard as you do others. If you want to see certain characteristics in your peers, you should be able to tell the interviewer with confidence that you possess those traits, as well. This question is one that interviewers often use to distinguish sincerity on the part of the candidate.

      Written by Heather Douglass on November 21st, 2018

      Entry Level

      "If I were hiring someone, I would look for someone who is passionate about the job and about patient care. I also feel that being approachable and willing to learn is very important."

      Written by Darby Faubion

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  • 7. If you were offered a position that requires travel, would you accept it?

      How to Answer

      Some people jump at the chance to have a great job with the benefit of travel. If you are one of those people, a simple 'yes' answer is great. If you would prefer not to travel, say so, but offer a reason why that option is not appealing to you. Just remember, if you are not 100% sure you are willing to travel, don't say 'yes' just to try and land a job. Your resistance to travel later could be detrimental to continued employment.

      Written by Heather Douglass on November 21st, 2018

      Entry Level

      "While I would not disagree to travel at times, I have small children and would prefer a position that offers more time at home."

      Written by Darby Faubion

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  • 8. What are some things you would like for people to notice about your personality?

      How to Answer

      Personality and character are closely related. For instance, someone with an honest character or good work ethic will tend to be more open about his or her beliefs as well as personal and professional expectations. The interviewer is looking for cues as to what character you may bring to the table, so to speak. It is important to remember, body language speaks volume and eye contact is a big indicator of your self-esteem, and your self-esteem is reflected outwardly in your personality. Be confident when you answer and make eye contact with the interviewer.

      Written by Heather Douglass on November 21st, 2018

      Entry Level

      "I would like for people to feel that I am genuine and easy to get along with. Life can be stressful, but we don't have to dwell on difficult things. I want to people to see that, no matter what may be going on whether at home or work, I have a positive attitude and a good work ethic."

      Written by Darby Faubion

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  • 9. Has there ever been a time that you had a disagreement with a coworker? If so, how was it resolved?

      How to Answer

      Any time you work with someone else, there is a chance of having a disagreement about something at one time or another. The interviewer knows this. It's human nature for people to have their own opinions. What is important to the interviewer in this question is whether or not you are willing to compromise and work through difficult situations with your co-workers. Being unwilling to compromise or find alternative solutions to a dispute can affect everyone on the team, even if it is indirectly. Sharing a personal experience is OK, but do not embellish it to 'be the hero.'

      Written by Heather Douglass on November 21st, 2018

      Entry Level

      "I am usually a very soft-spoken person and strive to be the 'peacekeeper.' I can't recall any specific incident of a disagreement.I would like to think if a disagreement should arise that I would be able to handle it professionally and resolve the issue without any long-term consequences."

      Written by Darby Faubion

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  • 10. In addition to providing care to seriously ill children, pediatric nurses must attend to stressed out family members. How do you approach offering support to family members?

      How to Answer

      It is natural for parents or other caregivers to be afraid and experience anxiety.. Communicating your compassion and knack for comforting others will show an interviewer how well-rounded you are as a nursing professional.

      Written by Heather Douglass on November 21st, 2018

      Entry Level

      "I know what it's like to be the family member who is worried about a loved one requiring care. I remember when my father was very ill. He had some nurses who were very kind and approachable. He had a few that were not so kind. I always try to remember how I felt when I was the one in need of support and to treat those family members with the same kind of respect and kindness that I wanted."

      Written by Darby Faubion

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  • 11. If you could choose a specific schedule or shift, what would it be?

      How to Answer

      Many people work more than one job or have a one parent home which requires them to have a flexible schedule. Others simply prefer to work one shift rather than another. Being upfront with the interviewer about what schedule suits your preference could help prevent conflict later on. It is easier to plan a schedule you can agree on than it is to fix problems that arise due to fear of being rejected. Be honest and direct.

      Written by Heather Douglass on November 21st, 2018

      Entry Level

      "I really don't have a preferred schedule. I know that, as a new employee, I may be asked to work different shifts, and I am ok with that."

      Written by Darby Faubion

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  • 12. What is a challenge you face being a pediatric nurse?

      How to Answer

      Every job has challenges. When answering this question, share something that feels like a challenge to you, but remember to end your answer on a positive note. Your perception of a challenge is often the biggest obstacle to overcoming it.

      Written by Heather Douglass on November 21st, 2018

      Entry Level

      "One challenge I face is not getting too attached. Nursing requires a great deal of compassion and caring for children certainly demands it. Sometimes it's hard to leave work at work, especially when I have a patient that I know may not be there when I return the next day."

      Written by Darby Faubion

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  • 13. Why do you think you are a good pediatric nurse?

      How to Answer

      This is a chance for you to 'sell yourself' to the interviewer. Share what you think sets you apart from other pediatric nurses who may be applying. Remember, be positive. Make sure to mention some of your personal qualities, such as compassion, rather than only your hard skills.

      Written by Heather Douglass on November 21st, 2018

      Entry Level

      "I am passionate about being a good nurse and doing all I can to make a difference in the lives of my patients. I am a hard worker and believe in teamwork. I believe I could be an asset to the team of pediatric nurses you already have here."

      Written by Darby Faubion

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  • 14. Have you had any special patient or experience that you could share with me that would tell me what it's like to be a pediatric nurse?

      How to Answer

      Sharing a previous experience with an interviewer will let the interviewer have a look you and what how you react to certain situations. There is no right or wrong answer, perse. Just remember, any experience you share should not have a negative tone toward a patient or family member. Always be positive.

      Written by Heather Douglass on November 21st, 2018

      Entry Level

      "When I was first out of nursing school, I took care of a teenage boy that I will never forget. He was suffering from an illness that destroyed his lungs and he needed to be on a ventilator. He was scared and isolated from his friends due to being in the ICU and being so sick. I remember working nights and not only providing him with the nursing care that he needed, but finding the college basketball playoffs on TV and watching it with him one night before he went to sleep. He had the biggest smile on his face from watching that game with me."

      Written by Darby Faubion

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  • 15. Have you ever been in a situation in which a co-worker put a patient in jeopardy? If so, how did you handle it?

      How to Answer

      If you have ever been faced with a situation that resulted in you having to make a judgment call that may have affected the job of a friend or co-worker, you know how disheartening it can be. However, nurses are bound by law to protect patients and other co-workers by reporting anything in appropriate or dangerous. The interviewer wants to know that you are capable of identifying and reporting a situation if needed.

      Written by Heather Douglass on November 21st, 2018

      Entry Level

      "I have never been in a situation that required me to report a co-worker. Honestly, I hope I never experience a situation like that."

      Written by Darby Faubion

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  • 16. Tell me about a time you had to deal with a distraught family member and how you handled it.

      How to Answer

      Pediatric nursing requires not only dealing with a patient, but the family members who are responsible for the child. Being able to identify stressors that may affect a family member is important for a nurse in this specialty. The interviewer wants to know that you are capable of addressing the needs of the family member as well as the patient and that you understand why that skill is important for a pediatric nurse.

      Written by Heather Douglass on November 21st, 2018

      Entry Level

      "One experience I had with a distraught family member was when I was caring for a young boy who had a broken leg. The accident happened when the child was at a friend's house and the mother wasn't there. By the time she got to the hospital, she was very upset and not sure what happened or what to expect. I was able to take her to the room where her child was so she could see he was ok. I notified the doctor that the mother had arrived and he counseled with her regarding her son's status. Those few minutes with her made a huge difference for her."

      Written by Darby Faubion

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  • 17. What advice would you give to a nurse who is about to begin a career in pediatrics?

      How to Answer

      Your thoughts and opinions are important. It is important to remember when you are asked a question like that that the interviewer will be observing for sincerity. Don't use this as an opportunity to say all of the things you would change in this specialty. Rather, highlight the things that are positive, things that would encourage others to want to be a part of your team.

      Written by Heather Douglass on November 21st, 2018

      Entry Level

      "I would say to remember that you're only human, and you will become emotionally involved. Remember it is ok to cry and laugh. Just know when each is appropriate. Most of all, don't be afraid to love and give your heart away because as a pediatric nurse you will do that every single day."

      Written by Darby Faubion

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  • 18. Has there ever been a time when you received negative feedback, and how did you handle it?

      How to Answer

      Receiving negative feedback can be discouraging, but it doesn't have to be something that leaves you feeling incapable of doing your job. The important thing to remember when answering this question is don't talk negatively about the person who gave you the feedback. Rather state what was said and how you grew from the event.

      Written by Heather Douglass on November 21st, 2018

      Entry Level

      "I once received negative feedback when I was working the ER. One of my patient's mother was very upset that her child was not being treated as quickly as she thought and she complained to my supervisor that I was not doing my job. After talking with the supervisor, I asked if I could spend some extra time with the patient and his mother so that she could experience the good care that we give. Fear and uncertainty is often a reason that people lash out. Sometimes a gentle word is all that one needs to help relieve a stressful situation."

      Written by Darby Faubion

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  • 19. What changes have you seen in terms of children's chronic health issues since you became a pediatric nurse?

      How to Answer

      Medicine is an ever-evolving industry. Staying on top of recent studies, breakthroughs, and technological advances is crucial for a nurse to do her job effectively. Also, being able to identify changes that are occuring within the population of patients, a nurse cares for, helps to determine if there is something that needs to be reported and/or followed.

      Written by Heather Douglass on November 21st, 2018

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  • 20. What would you say is your greatest strength as a pediatric nurse?

      How to Answer

      Understanding one's own strengths and weaknesses is critical. It is always a good idea to read over the job description of the job for which you are applying while preparing for an interview. Compare your strengths to the required skills listed in the job overview highlight those when the interviewer asks this question.

      Written by Heather Douglass on November 21st, 2018

      Entry Level

      "One of my strengths is definitely being able to multitask. Working with pediatric patients often means having to do several things at once. Children are not very patient; so being able to multitask and get things done quickly helps me get my job done without them becoming too impatient."

      Written by Darby Faubion

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  • 21. What about your work feeds your spirit?

      How to Answer

      This question will give the interviewer an inside look at how you think and what motivates you. This is an opportunity to let the interviewer see inside you, not just watch perform a task. Be open. If you can recall a specific event that happened while working that made you happy or feel fulfilled, share it.

      Written by Heather Douglass on November 21st, 2018

      Entry Level

      "To be able to care for a child during a time that is so stressful and to be able to touch the lives of others in some small way is meaningful beyond words. When a parent looks me in the eye, gives me a hug, and thanks me for making a difference in the life of their child, the feeling is remarkable."

      Written by Darby Faubion

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  • 22. Working in a pediatric unit requires a great deal of attention to detail and often multi-tasking. What do you do to help keep yourself from becoming overwhelmed?

      How to Answer

      Managing patient care requires the ability to multitask and ensure all details are checked and double-checked. In a pediatric care nursing interview, discuss your understanding of the importance of maintaining detailed records, caregiver education, performing multiple assessments and handling medications and procedures efficiently and accurately.

      Written by Heather Douglass on November 21st, 2018

      Entry Level

      "I have learned to recognize the things that may cause me to feel overwhelmed and try to address them before a situation gets out of hand. For example, I always like to make sure that all physician orders are clear before I begin a shift and report anything that seems to be out of order or any changes in patient status as they occur. This keeps things from piling up and leaving me feel overwhelmed later on."

      Written by Darby Faubion

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  • 23. Have you ever done wellness exams or given immunizations to pediatric patients?

      How to Answer

      Depending on the services a facility provides, some pediatric nurses may be expected to assist with well child exams and/or give immunizations. While every skill you are asked about in an interview may not be a mandatory skill for employment, the interviewer will be able to compare your experience and skills with all possible openings.

      Written by Heather Douglass on November 21st, 2018

      Entry Level

      "I have always worked the pediatric unit in a hospital setting. So far, I have not had experience with working with well-child care and screenings or immunization administration."

      Written by Darby Faubion

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  • 24. Have you ever cared for children with autism, and can you share your knowledge of one of the disorders within the Autism spectrum?

      How to Answer

      There are several disorders associated with autism. Until recent years, this diagnosis was not understood and much research is still be conducted to find ways of preventing and diagnosing the disease early. What do you know about autism?

      Written by Heather Douglass on November 21st, 2018

      Entry Level

      "I am familiar with a few disorders in the autism spectrum. Pervasive Developmental Disorder is more severe than Asperger's syndrome, but not as severe as autistic disorder. I haven't had an opportunity to work directly with autism patients, but would like an opportunity."

      Written by Darby Faubion

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  • 25. Nurses at our facility often work on rotation. Are you willing to work, nights,weekends, holidays, or overtime if needed?

      How to Answer

      Being flexible with the schedule you are willing to work is always a plus. However, many people work more than one job or have a one parent home which requires them to have a flexible schedule. Others simply prefer to work one shift rather than another. Being upfront with the interviewer about what schedule suits your preference could help prevent conflict later on. It is easier to plan a schedule you can agree on than it is to fix problems that arise due to fear of being rejected. Be honest and direct.

      Written by Heather Douglass on November 21st, 2018

      Entry Level

      "While I am not unopposed to working overtime or extended schedules such as holidays, I would like to have the opportunity to spend time with small children, as well."

      Written by Darby Faubion

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  • 26. What about your job as a pediatric nurse gives you the most satisfaction?

      How to Answer

      We all have things that give us a feeling of accomplishment or satisfaction. The interviewer uses questions like this to get to know you, not just as a nurse, but as a person. Often the things that bring us satisfaction at work have a parallel in our personal lives that affect us in much the same way.

      Written by Heather Douglass on November 21st, 2018

      Entry Level

      "I think one of the most satisfying feelings is when I see a patient who has been in a critical state who begins to improve and smiles at me. Sometimes words aren't needed. A smile or a nod from someone to show that they are aware that I am there and are glad about it is a great feeling."

      Written by Darby Faubion

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  • 27. Have you ever had a disagreement with a coworker? If so, how was it resolved?

      How to Answer

      Any time you work with someone else, there is a chance of having a disagreement about something at one time or another. The interviewer knows this. It's human nature for people to have their own opinions. What is important to the interviewer in this question is whether or not you are willing to compromise and work through difficult situations with your co-workers. Being unwilling to compromise or find alternative solutions to a dispute can affect everyone on the team, even if it is indirectly. Sharing a personal experience is OK, but do not embellish it to 'be the hero.'

      Written by Heather Douglass on November 21st, 2018

      Entry Level

      "I am usually a very soft-spoken person and strive to be the 'peacekeeper.' I can't recall any specific incident of a disagreement. I would like to think that if a disagreement arises I would be able to handle things in a professional manner and resolve the issue in a respectful manner."

      Written by Darby Faubion

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  • 28. What made you choose to become a pediatric nurse?

      How to Answer

      Your choice of profession tells alot about you. Interviewers often ask what made you choose a specific profession. It's their way of getting to know you and seeing how passionate you come across regarding your choice.

      Written by Heather Douglass on November 21st, 2018

      Entry Level

      "I actually worked medical-surgical nursing for a while before deciding to work in pediatrics. I enjoy getting to be the 'happy face' in the midst of uncertainty for those children. It is a very rewarding job."

      Written by Darby Faubion

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  • 29. What characteristics do you think are important for healthcare professionals to have?

      How to Answer

      There is more than one reason for asking this question. First, the interviewer wants to know what qualities you think are important to perform this job. Second, and most importantly, your answer will tell the interviewer if you hold yourself to the same standard as you do others. If you want to see certain characteristics in your peers, you should be able to tell the interviewer with confidence that you possess those traits, as well. This question is one that interviewers often use to distinguish sincerity on the part of the candidate.

      Written by Heather Douglass on November 21st, 2018

      Entry Level

      "Confidence is one thing I think is important. It's hard to believe in someone who doesn't believe in themselves."

      Written by Darby Faubion

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