How to Answer Nursing Interview Questions

nursing interview questionsNursing interviews are never easy, even if you’re a seasoned vet. There will be questions that catch you off guard, or that you might not know how to answer. It is your responsibility to prepare for your nursing interview as best you can. Do your research on the company, be prepared to talk about how you can help them, and let them know what separates you from the rest of the field. I’ve come up with some examples of what employers might ask you on your nursing interview, and how to answer these questions. I’ve broken it down into what you should do and what you shouldn’t do.


Tell us about yourself.

DO: Talk about your nursing success and experience. You need to be relevant in your answer. Start with your choice of school and why you chose nursing (see below question). This type of question is very open-ended and isn’t necessarily the best question for employers to ask, but it needs to be answered.

DON’T: Employers don’t want to know that your favorite movie is The Notebook, or that you frequent Applebees for half off appetizers. Don’t bore them with your entire life story.


Why did you choose a nursing career?

DO: Tell an inspiring story so you stand out from the other nursing job candidates. One example could be if your family members are nurses. You see the compassion and hard work that your relatives exhibit day in and day out on the job, which inspired you to start thinking about being a nurse. Talking to other nurses about why they chose a nursing career can really help you craft your answer.

DON’T: Don’t just give the simple, “I like it” answer. You need to go into depth as to why you chose this path.


Tell us about a difficult situation you handled in the past.

DO: Analyze your past experiences and demonstrate your professional strengths. Nurses go through difficult situations, sometimes on a regular basis. Talk about how you turned a difficult situation into a positive, or how you overcame the obstacle to succeed.

DON’T: Don’t talk about a difficult situation in your personal life that has nothing to do with your career. Don’t talk about the time when your best friend came to you to borrow money and you were put in the difficult situation to deny the request. Again, it’s all about your professional experience, and you need to harp on that.


How would you handle a situation where your patient complains about everything?

DO: Talk about how you handled or would handle the complaining patient with understanding and patience. We are all aware that you are more than likely to receive a patient that doesn’t stop complaining, and it’s important to show your employer that you can handle this.

DON’T: Do not come off that you would be short tempered or impatient. You very well might act this way with a complaining patient, but it’s important to not convey this to your prospective employer.


What do you find difficult about being a nurse?

DO: Let your employer know that although nursing can be very stressful at times, you try your absolute best each and every day in caring for patients.

DON’T: Do not be unrealistic and idealistic. Your employer is well aware that nursing is not a walk in the park. Nurses are faced with many difficult decisions and difficult situations each day on the job. Nursing is a stressful job and your interviewer knows that.


What do you like best about being a nurse?

DO: Highlight your rewarding experiences over the years of being a nurse. Let your potential employer know that the patients’ and their families’ gratitude is what makes you keep coming back. Your work makes a real difference in peoples’ lives.

DON’T: Don’t go on and on about the nursing profession. Interviewers want to know what makes you tick and what you love best about being a nurse. Don’t just give them a template answer. Try to keep it short and simple.


How would you answer these nursing interview questions? Let us know in the comments section below!