Interview Questions for a Nursing Job

How and why did you choose your specialty area?

This is a chance to share your strengths. You could talk about where you think you are gifted and how that makes you a great fit for a particular specialty. It’s helpful to add a personal touch to your interview, but it’s not necessary to have a personal story to explain your specialty choice.

What motivates you?

People choose nursing because of the impact they can make on others. This is a common interview question for all fields, but nurses should particularly focus on the motivation they have to help others. It is good to include a narrative here—if you have one—about a personal experience that inspired you to pursue this career path. Your passion for this career path should shine through in this answer.

How do you keep current with nursing issues and modern medicine?

This question is not really pertinent to recent graduates, but it is probably more commonly asked for experienced nurses. It is important though because it shows long-term commitment to the career. There are many options for keeping current with nursing, such as subscribing to nursing journals, attending conferences, joining nursing groups, or researching new technologies online.

Why are you leaving your current job?

It is important to stay positive when answering this question. It doesn’t matter if your last job was a nightmare. Don’t focus on the bad conditions of the last workplace, but instead emphasize the new challenges and opportunities that this prospective position would offer. Never talk about a boss or co-worker in a negative way. Your interviewer will assume that you will talk in the same way about them in the future.

Tell me about a time when you didn’t get along with another nurse.

Don’t pretend like you have never had a problem with a co-worker because the interviewer won’t believe you. Offer up a time that you had a dispute, but there is no need to go into details. More importantly, you should explain how you took the initiative to communicate professionally with them about it. Show how you worked through it as a team and how it eventually improved. Employers want to see how you problem solve, and they also want to know that you won’t cause trouble in a group environment.

Where do you see yourself in a few years?

When a healthcare organization is looking to hire someone, they want to know how long the applicant will stay at the position. This needs to be an honest reply, so don’t say you would stay there permanently if you don’t believe that. However, if you think this will be more of a short-term position for you, then talk about how you see yourself improving in the position. Instead of just saying “I will probably only stay here for one year,” you could say, “I hope to learn valuable skills in this position so that I am a better nurse further down the road. With the experience of this job, I see myself in a better position to help a greater number of people in a couple of years.”

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