The toughest nursing interview questions are often the most common ones. These are the type of nursing interview questions that are asked everywhere and are so ordinary that it is often easy to take them for granted; probably thinking that what answers you’ll give will not make a difference, but they will!
Common nursing interview questions make the majority of nurse interview questions for a reason – that’s to see which applicants have the drive, determination, character, and personality that will best fit the job opening. To help you with overcoming the toughest and most common nursing interview questions, here they are with suggested points to make when answering them:
The Most Common Nursing Interview Questions
How would you describe yourself?
This is one of the trickiest nursing interview questions because answering this unprepared can easily get you sidetracked and start talking about unrelated things. Remember, you are answering an interview and it is most likely that the interviewer wants to know your positive personality traits and how those relates to your career as a nurse.
Focus on: Highlight what makes you a good employee, what your strengths are, your achievements, and your career goals.
Why would you want to work with us/for us?
This nursing interview question can be asked a myriad of ways. Other forms are:
- Why should we hire you?
- What made you apply for this position?
The key to answering this nursing interview question is to bring up what you can do for the company/position while enthusiastically talking about the potential things the company can do for you. Doing so presents you as a pro-active team player and a valuable asset to anyone who’d hire you. Don’t forget to mention some key details that are specific to the company interviewing you. You will want them to know that you sincerely want to be a part of them and you’re not just randomly applying to every opening for a nursing job.
Focus on: Your enthusiasm! Don’t feel bad about not having enough experiences or credentials for a position, what matters is how willing and eager you are to learn and what makes you an asset to this specific hospital. Make them need to want you.
Where do you see yourself in 5/10/15/25 years?
This nursing interview question can mean the huge difference between a hire and your resume getting trashed, so resist the urge to be too out of this world in your answer. This nurse interview question can also be phrased as:
- What are your career goals?
- Where do you see yourself going after being with us?
The interviewer wants to hear that you’ll not be leaving them as soon as another opportunity comes along. You would want to talk about career growth but making a point of including the company you are applying to as you go along.
The answer can be something along the lines of: “In 5 years, I will hopefully be the nurse supervisor for your entire surgical wing, then I will pursue higher education and strive better to be nurse manager. Maybe someday I’ll end up as your nurse director, I’d really love that.”
The answer above is a bit playful but shows that you’re dead serious about what you want and willing to put in the effort to get it. More so, by mentioning specific positions in the hospital, it shows that you plan to grow with the hospital and already thinking as a part of it.
Focus on: Specific goals on the job! This shows that you’re a doer and have the initiative it takes to excel.
Why did you choose nursing?
Just like the previous nursing interview questions, this one comes in various forms such as:
- What made you pursue a career in nursing?
- What is your dream nursing job?
- What did you want to be when you grow up back when you were a kid?
The interviewer wants to know how dedicated you are and committed to your nursing career. No one wants to hire a nurse who’s just seeing a nursing job as a temporary thing or a nurse who is not sure about why he or she became a nurse in the first place.
Focus on: Your unwavering commitment! Share what made you decide to become a nurse and what you specifically love about being a nurse. Vague answers won’t cut it for this nursing interview question, so you better make sure that your pores ooze nurse when answering this.
Do you have any questions about the job?
The following nurse interview questions are often a veiled version of the above:
- Do you have any questions for us?
- How much are you expecting to get paid?
Don’t dive straight up to asking about how much you’ll make (even though it is oh-so-tempting!). If the interviewer brings it up, simply say that you expect to be paid a fair rate that’s within industry standards for your experience level.
Focus on: Questions about benefits, incentives, trainings, and growth opportunities if hired. This includes details of the position, educational opportunities, rotations, and nurse-patient ratio.
The interviewer often wants to hear that you’re not desperate for a nursing job and that you’re being smart with your choices because that shows maturity and depth of character. After all, the best employees are those who are happy with what they are doing and not just going through the motions of having a job. Let the interviewer know that although you want to be hired for this nursing job, you’re not sacrificing your career goals either.
Truth is, there is nothing boring about the common nursing interview questions shared in here. If any, they’re often asked because they are the nursing interview questions that can set you apart from other applicants.
Need more Nurse Fuel to land your dream nursing job? See our articles on the ‘Different Types of Nurses’ and ‘How Much Do Nurses Make’. Next time you get asked the common nursing interview questions above, you’ll surely know how to turn them to your favor!