8 Nursing Interview Question Examples (With Sample Answers)

By Indeed Editorial Team

14 October 2021

During a nursing interview, your interviewer may ask you questions designed to test your talents and understanding of dealing with and caring for people in a fast-paced workplace. Although you may not know the exact questions until the interview, most interviewers have a list of standard questions to screen candidates who are a good fit for the job. Learning about common interview questions can help you prepare replies that highlight your talents, training and experience. In this article, we provide eight common nursing interview question examples and sample answers that can demonstrate your qualifications for the position.

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Nursing interview question examples and sample answers

In your nursing interview, use your replies to demonstrate your capacity to provide the highest level of care to your patients. You can prepare questions to ask your interviewer and update your resume in addition to rehearsing your replies. Discussed below are some frequent nurse interview question examples and sample answers to practise:

1. Do you get along with other nurses, doctors and staff members?

Teamwork is an essential skill for anybody working in the health care industry. It's critical to convey your appreciation for the benefits of working together with doctors, nurses and other staff members. Collaboration with colleagues may assure the effectiveness of safety procedures and boost workplace satisfaction. When answering this question, highlight your interpersonal qualities such as collaboration, patience, empathy and active listening.

Example: "During my clinical training in the emergency department at Simple Hospital, I realised how vital it is to communicate well with fellow nurses. One evening, a patient contacted me and informed me that she had been waiting for her medicine for 30 minutes. I was new to the hospital at the time, so I double-checked with his nurse before opting to do it myself. The patient had Alzheimer's disease and his attending nurse had previously given him the medicine. This communication aided our team in ensuring the safety of the patient."

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2. How would you deal with a tough patient?

As a nurse, being kind and patient is essential. Your patients frequently face challenges, which may affect their emotions and attitudes. If you come across a challenging situation with a patient, take measures to reassure them. Be mindful to provide any medicine on time and to provide any other resources that may make the patient feel more at ease. Consider offering an example of a moment when you faced a tough patient and worked to enhance the patient's result when asked this question.

Example: "I was doing a night shift in the paediatric ward and had a 13-year-old child under my care who we were treating for an infection. Within an hour, the patient called for me numerous times with various concerns. Even though I was late in my scheduled treatment of other patients, I sat down with him to enquire how he was doing.

He was anxious about his condition and was not used to being away from home. I talked to him for a few minutes about his dogs at home and brought him additional food. After that, he went to sleep and did not call again for the rest of his treatment."

3. How do you deal with stress at work?

Fast-paced workflows and complicated tasks are common in the medical sector. As a result, it's critical to have a clear explanation of how you deal with the emotionally and physically demanding parts of your profession. Describe the stress-relieving strategies you've created in response to this inquiry. You can talk about your interests, support groups, workout routines and other methods to live a healthy lifestyle.

Example: "During my nursing education, I attended a lecture where the speaker advised nurses to adopt and maintain healthy behaviours. She suggested choosing a physical activity or pastime to do to relieve stress. I followed her suggestion and joined a gym that provides a wide range of classes, so there's always something new to try. I also help out at an animal shelter. These two activities have successfully eased my stress."

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4. What would you do if your substitute did not show up?

It's important for nurses to remain in their position until the next shift nurse arrives. This shift change is to guarantee that there are no gaps in the level of service offered by the nursing team. When a replacement does not come on time, some options you may give include calling your replacement while staying for a few minutes past your shift or finding someone else to handle the tasks until your co-worker arrives. If there's an issue or your substitute is late on many occasions, you can speak with your supervisor.

Example: "One night in my previous employment as an ICU nurse at Green Valley Hospital, I couldn't locate a replacement. My lengthy shift was coming to a close and I was eager to go home. I spoke with my boss and we made changes to better match his schedule, so I could end my shift on time."

5. What would you do if you had a disagreement with a doctor?

When answering this question, stress your interpersonal abilities such as active listening, collaboration, problem-solving flexibility and the ability to follow the line of command when required. Mention that you would first work directly with the doctor to settle the difference in your answer. Add that if you want more support, that you would contact your supervisor.

Example: "I encountered a problem while working in the emergency department of a small hospital. On certain evenings, we were understaffed and everyone was busy. One night, I was reviewing a patient's file and saw that the prescription didn't appear to be correct. To begin, I contacted the doctor to address the difference. The doctor verified the initial prescription, but something didn't seem quite right to me.

At that moment, I decided to talk to my boss about it. When the three of us went through the prescription together, the doctor saw that there was a mistake. We were able to fix the prescription and offer the proper therapy to the patient."

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6. Describe how you deal with a heavy workload

When answering this question, emphasise your commitment to caring for your patients in a range of situations. You can offer an example of a period when you managed an increased number of duties without compromising on processes or procedures. Don't forget to provide details of a previous experience, explaining what caused the problem, how you managed it and the outcome.

Example: "We experienced a weekend over a holiday season where we were understaffed and had more patients than normal. Because of the staffing problem, I was concerned that we might wait a long time to see our patients. I offered to stay a few hours later that day and some of my co-workers did as well to cover the remaining shifts. Throughout the day, our team collaborated and communicated with one another when we needed assistance or a break. Finally, we were able to complete all of the duties."

7. How would you deal with a patient who has difficulty managing pain?

When working with patients who may be in agony, it's important for nurses to be able to demonstrate empathy. It's also important to take patients' concerns seriously. Express concern for your patients' problems and offer an example of how you might assist them via empathy and problem-solving.

Example: "I recall a woman who was in discomfort throughout her pregnancy while I was working in obstetrics and gynaecology at Innovation Hospital. I offered various sleeping positions and stretches, but they were ineffective. I informed her doctor, who was able to prescribe additional therapy.

The following time she came in, she was ecstatic to report that the therapy was working and she was rarely in pain. In other circumstances, I've been able to provide patients with comfort measures such as additional pillows or assistance with the television as they wait for their doctor to come. When patients tell me they are in pain, I always take them seriously."

8. How would you deal with a situation like an outbreak?

It's important that your answer to this question exhibits your relevant skills. This entails highlighting your understanding of how to handle certain medical problems. Also, it can show your soft skills, such as teamwork and adaptability. Discuss your ability to cooperate, your in-depth understanding of nursing protocols and your attention to detail for a powerful response.

Example: "In my previous position as a public health nurse, I noted an unusually high number of individuals with comparable symptoms. I'm in charge of a team that collects and analyses data. It turns out that our country had a flu outbreak. Because of our team's reporting, our facility's personnel noticed the symptoms and took routine infection control procedures. Authorities were able to warn the public about potential symptoms. I believe our team performed an excellent job of watching our patients and reporting problems."

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