Job Interview Questions for Nurses and How to Answer Them

Job interview candidates sitting on chairs awaiting interviewer

For some, the thought of attending a job interview is a scary prospect. Even if you don’t particularly care for the position and are attending the interview for the experience, it can be quite daunting. Put yourself in the position of actually wanting the job, and you second guess your ability to walk and chew gum, let alone your capabilities to do the job you’re trained for.

Now picture yourself interviewing for a job doing something intricately detailed, in some cases a matter of life-and-death, and highly scrutinised – and a job you desperately want. The interview for such a position must weed out the applicants who are capable and those who aren’t.

Nurse interview questions do just that – sort the wheat from the chaff and produce a handful of successful applicants, perfect for the job. You need to keep your head and think while under intense examination.

What are some nursing interview questions? How do you successfully answer them, while still being honest? The idea is to be prepared. Many interviews will ask a question along the lines of:

You are looking after a patient and this happens – what do you do?

Scenario questions demand specific answers, and all should include “document” and “escalate” (if the latter is appropriate). As a nurse, the expression “document or it didn’t happen” is alive and breathing in your nursing interview questions and answers.

The interview panel will also be looking for your ability to follow protocols and procedures, so be sure to include “I’d follow the appropriate processes” and if you don’t know them, don’t attempt to list them; let the panel know you assume your orientation to the facility will include education on their policies and procedures for certain situations.

Some answers might need to include standard nursing or medical acronyms, such as your A to G assessment or basic first aid response, DRSABC (but be sure you know what they are).

Legislative Questions

The panel will also be looking for your commitment to legislation and that you can remain within your scope of practice, so you may be asked questions on drugs of dependence and administering them, or what you’d do if you saw someone doing the wrong thing (such as incorrectly documenting something).

Nursing interview questions can be multi-part, so if you don’t understand anything (or you’ve forgotten the beginning by the time they get to the end) be sure to ask them to repeat or clarify something.

Be prepared and confident, and go into an interview knowing you can do the job – it’s the best start you can give yourself! Feel free to browse our selection of nursing jobs for your next opportunity.