20 Nursing Healthcare Interview Questions and Answers

Doctor reassuring her patient holding her hands after an interview

Nursing Healthcare Interview Questions and Answers: Getting invited to an interview is one step to getting the job. However, interviews can be nerve-racking, especially when you have no idea of what to expect from the interview session. 

First, you need to understand that, interviews are means by which the interviewer will ask questions related to the position you are applying for, and in return, you provide answers that match the needs of each question. 

To ace a nursing healthcare interview, it is essential that you prepare ahead using likely interview questions and suggested answers as a guide. Therefore, in this article, we will provide you with 20 Nursing Healthcare Interview Questions and how you can answer them.

20 Nursing Healthcare Interview Questions and Answers

Below are 20 Nursing Healthcare Interview Questions and Answers:

#1. What Can You Tell Me About Yourself?

In any kind of interview – healthcare, business, or accounting, your interviewer will surely ask you this, it is a go-to conversation starter for any interview. The question requires a detailed explanation about yourself, like your educational history, and experience.

The question is an attempt to know you and to know if you are qualified for the position both educationally and personally. 

You can keep your answer simple yet professional by Focusing your attention on specific reasons why you want to work in the nursing healthcare industry. Also, state your passion and love for nursing, and mention some of your achievements and relevant work experiences.

Suggested Answer: It has always been my passion to help people and work alongside others to achieve a common goal or task, which is the reason I volunteered with a local community clinic in my high school days, and since then, my commitment to nursing has only increased as I have worked in several healthcare-related fields over the years. Now that I am looking for another opportunity, I am excited to explore your organization and contribute to this role.

#2. Why Did You Choose To Apply For This Nursing Role?

Be honest and sincere, and keep it relevant and brief, because the interviewers just want to hear what particularly inspired you to apply for the role. Talk about the qualities of the industry that you value, and think about why you want the job in particular. 

Suggested Answer: I have always been interested in working with an organization that prioritizes healthcare and patient care, so I am glad to be here. From my research, I know your company also prioritizes good patient care and patient satisfaction, which I am well impressed with. I am also really impressed with your technological advancement in the last few years.

#3. Do You Work Well With Other Nurses, Doctors, And Staff Members?

When you are asked this question, talk from your personal healthcare-related experience that shows you have successfully worked with a team when providing patient care. Emphasize your skills like teamwork, patience, communication, and active listening. 

Suggested Answer: “During my volunteering at a local community clinic, I understood how important it is to work and communicate with other nurses. There was a time I had an experience with a patient who required a significant amount of my time. 

This patient’s care demanded constant monitoring, emotional support, and medication administration. To manage this patient’s care without compromising care for others or multitasking, I collaborated with the rest of my team and dedicated myself to reviewing some tasks that could be reassigned to other team members. This effort helped strike a balance and ensure that all patients received high-quality care.”

#4. Why Did You Leave Your Last Position?

By asking this, the interviewer wants to know what inspired you to leave your former position. Be positive and focused, do not put your previous employer on blast, but let your focus be on the new opportunities you are in search of.

Suggested Answer: “I have always been interested in advancing in my career. However, my other workplace didn’t have the innovative environment I am looking for, thus I left my other position in search of new opportunities.”

#5. What Is Your Biggest Strength And Weakness?

This interview question is asked by typically every employer to know if your strengths and weaknesses align with the position you interviewing for. The question seems simple yet challenging to answer because there’s no correct answer or exact response to it. All you have to do is speak positively about yourself.

Suggested Answer: “One of my biggest strengths is my ability to make others feel comfortable. I work hard to earn my patient’s trust, and I am very good at multitasking. Also, One of my biggest weaknesses is that I tend to become a perfectionist, which makes me go too hard on myself if I cannot complete a task. Although, I am working on it, and trying to be forgiving of myself.”

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#6. How Would You Handle a Difficult Patient?

Nurses have their share of problematic and difficult patients. The key is to know how to deal with these patients in respective ways.

Suggested Answer: “I believe one of my duties as a nurse is to care for my patients when they are going through medical pains. I remember a time when a patient was going through pain and he felt no one was attending to him, things got physical, and he was threatening other staff. Then I came to his aid and reassured him that all would be fine. That calmed him, and he received treatments. I treat patients with care and understanding.

#7. What Would You Do If Your Replacement Doesn’t Arrive On Time?

When you work in the medical field, you may experience this type of situation. An employer may ask you this to see how well you handle such situations. In your answer provide a solution and emphasize how you’ll manage patient care.

Suggested Answer: “I experienced this kind of situation in my last position, my replacement didn’t arrive on time so I had to work overtime and provide care for patients while following the organization’s policies. I spoke to the supervisor, who talked to the individual who was showing up late, to ensure they would be on time for the next shifts.

#8. Can You Describe How You Manage a Busy Workload?

This interview question requires you to talk about how you schedule your day, describe how you set your deadlines, and explain how you focus on one task at a time. When answering this question, describe a time when your workload was heavy and provide a detailed explanation of how you managed it.

Suggested Answer: “I believe that in the healthcare field, knowing how to manage a heavy workload is as important as anything else. As a result, I try to manage all my workload with time effective in mind.”

#9. Can You Describe a Time When You Went Beyond And Above For a Patient?

Describe how you have positively impacted a patient, and talk from your personal healthcare-related experience that shows you are capable of going far above expectations for a patient.

Suggested Answer: “There was a time when the organization I once worked in had a patient who had severe condition and arrived at the emergency room without identifying the patient’s medical history. I stayed up all night, even after my shift to gather information about the patient, including calling his family members. By doing this, I was able to gather the patient’s medical record.”

#10. Have You Dealt With a Family Or Patient Who Was Displeased With Your Care? How Did You Handle It?

Unfortunately, even if you are doing the perfect thing, some patients or families won’t agree with your method. The key to dealing with such a situation is patience and confidence.

Suggested Answer: “Having a patient or family who is displeased with your treatment is challenging. However, I strive to provide high-quality care to each patient. I once had a patient who complained about how I was not gentle enough while injecting the needles. Even when I was extremely gentle, from that point, I decided to be especially slow with that patient.

#11. Where Do You See Yourself In Five Years?

Be honest and sincere while answering this question, but before answering, the questions you should ask yourself are: does the position you are interviewing for align with your growth and professional goals, and do your career goals align with the organization? 

Suggested Answer: “In five years, I would hope and love to be a senior nurse within your team, overseeing a few staff members.”

#12. According To You, What Skills Make a Good Nurse?

This healthcare interview question requires you to highlight the necessary skills, experience, and character a professional nurse needs to acquire.

Suggested Answer: “To me, I think a professional nurse needs to acquire patience, good communication skills, empathy, and a strong desire to help others.”

#13. What Do You Find Rewarding About Being a Nurse?

With this question, your future employer wants to know what you find rewarding about being a nurse. 

Suggested Answer: “There are a lot of things I find rewarding about being a nurse. I enjoy helping people and making a difference in their lives.”

#14. Nursing Healthcare Interview Questions and AnswersHow Do You Manage a Stressful Situation?

Start your answer by explaining how you’ll analyze the situation to see if it is under your control, and what you can get into control immediately. Emphasize your explanation of the skills you possess, that can help you handle pressure and challenging situations.

Suggested Answer: “As an ICU nurse, I experienced pressure and stressful situations every day. There was a time when I had to work overtime and cover more patients due to my co-worker calling in sick. I decided to analyze the situations of the patient to see which one was urgent and which one I could easily and quickly get into control, and thanks to this method, I could manage my workload successfully without complaint.”

#15. How Would You Handle a Disagreement With Your Team?

When you are answering this question, emphasize teamwork and management skills, maintain professionalism, and maintain a calm posture.

Suggested Answer: “I believe that there are times when you or your teammates disagree with each other about a patient’s treatment. In this kind of situation, I try to maintain my management skills and emphasize my resolution skills.

#16. Can You Tell Me About a Time You Effectively Educated a Patient?

This is your chance to make a lasting impression about yourself and your skills. Describe the outcome, showcase your experience, and talk about the accolades you received in your last position.

Suggested Answer: “I once had a patient who was readmitted to the hospital for the same problem. I realized this patient was newly diagnosed with the problem and did not fully know what to avoid eating/drinking. I wrote everything down and gave her examples of what to eat and what to drink, a few months later she sent a card to the unit, thanking me for my efforts and explaining how she hadn’t been readmitted to the hospital for months.”

#17. What Do You Find Difficult About Being a Nurse?

When answering this question, it is important to give an answer that aligns with the job position.

Suggested Answer: “The one thing I find most difficult about being a nurse is the emotional aspect of the job. It can be sad to see people suffering in pain and not be able to do anything to help them. It can also get tough when I have to deliver sad news, but I am getting better at handling it over time.”

#18. How Would You Handle a Disease Outbreak?

This one is a very important question that requires a detailed explanation. Outbreaks are huge these days, and as a nurse, you need to be prepared for every scenario. Dealing with a pandemic, epidemic, or any kind of outbreak is part of the nurse’s role.

Suggested Answer: “I can recall an instance when there was an outbreak during a holiday season, I noticed an unusual number of patients coming in with the same symptoms, I led a team to collect and analyze data about the disease, we used the information to develop strategies and treatment that can help prevent the spread of the disease.”

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#19. What Strategies Do You Use To Build Trust With Patients?

Nurses have to build trusting relationships with their patients, Although, this may be difficult, as many patients may be hesitant to share personal information. The interviewer wants to know if you can gain your patient’s trust and convince them to open up.

Suggested Answer: “I believe that as a nurse, it is important to build trust with my patients, therefore I take a holistic approach to convincing them to trust and open up to me. I start by listening to their concerns and complaints, demonstrating empathy and understanding, and providing an honest response when needed.”

#20. Why Should We Employ You?

Avoid saying “I am perfect for this position so you have to employ me.” Instead, talk about the great impact you’ll bring to the organization, demonstrate your abilities to think critically, and talk about the skills you possess that can be of great use in the organization. You can also talk about your years of experience in the industry.

Suggested Answer: “I am confident I can add to the values of this organization through my skills and experience. I put patient care before everything else, and I believe that this is how all healthcare should be provided. I can work well both in a team and alone.”

Conclusion on Nursing Healthcare Interview Questions and Answers

Preparation is one of the major means to ace a nurse healthcare interview. Therefore, you need to prepare ahead for your interview and also practice some of the expected questions and answers provided in this article.

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