Certified Nursing Assistant Interview Questions and Answers

By Catherine Bynes on Thu, Aug 15, 2013

nursing interview questionsCongratulations! Now that you have become a certified nursing assistant (CNA), you are ready to find employment. You will want to be well prepared for your nursing interview questions so that you can get hold of a great job. Improve your chances of having a successful interview by considering these questions you might be asked by the employer.

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself? Do not just rattle off your educational and school history but rather discuss how your experiences will make you a great CNA. For example, you can reply by saying, “I get along with people very well. This has made me a team player at all jobs I have had. In my previous employment as a sales associate, I got along well with the public and went out of my way to help both customers and co-workers. I am thrilled to have an opportunity to apply my people skills and caring attitude to a job as a CNA and hope to make all patients feel a little more at home and very well cared for. Having worked two jobs while also completing my CNA training, I know I have the ability to work long hours and multitask without losing my energy or positive attitude.” 

Why do you want to work as a CNA?  Provide an answer showing your passion to work in the health care field but with your own personal touch. You might say something like, “I have known since I was a child that I wanted to work in a job where I could truly help others and know that I want to enter the health care industry in some way. When I was in high school, my grandmother became too ill for us to care for her on our own. My family hired a home health agency to provide nursing care for her. Now my grandmother is doing very well and I truly believe a lot of that is because she had such wonderful nurses. I decided to become a CNA because I would like to help others the way those lovely ladies helped my own grandmother.” 

Why did you leave your last job? You do not want to say, “I hated that job and could not leave it fast enough.” Even if you had bad experiences, look for a positive spin: “I learned a lot about myself in my previous job and part of what I learned is that my talents and skills can better serve your health care facility and the people I will work with each day. I know I will continue to grow as a person and as a nursing assistant if I work for you.” 

Where do you want to be 5 years from now? You do not want to say that you no longer want to be working there but you also need to show you are a motivated individual with goals. If you want to grow in your nursing career, you could say, “I hope to gain a few years of solid experience working as an assistant before pursuing a licensed practical nursing (LPN) degree. I know I can learn a lot working for this hospital which has a reputation of providing outstanding care to patients. Sometime down the road, I hope to work as an LPN or maybe even an RN for this facility.” 

What are some positive personality traits that will help you in your job?  Instead of saying something generic like, “I am a great communicator or I pay close attention to detail”, provide a personal story. “I have always been the type person to go the extra mile in everything I do in life. I give it 110%. When I was completing my nursing assistant training course, I was working with a patient I had gotten to know well. Her conversations with me one morning were nothing like we had before. I just had a feeling something wasn’t right even though she looked well and her vitals were fine. Even so, I talked to my supervisor to let her know something was wrong. The doctor was called and it turned out the patient was ill that day. Since I had always taken time to really talk to and understand my patients, I was able to help when she was not well.

These are just some of the nursing interview questions you might encounter on your way to become a practicing certified nursing assistant. Just be truthful and stay grounded on the reasons you applied for the job in the first place. You'll do great!

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1 COMMENT

Mark Smith 10 months ago
This is a really good article. From the perspective of an agency (we run http://cnajobs4u.com) I'd also add that you need to bring the basic docs to the interview: ID, Drivers license, CNA license, CPR card, preferably a printed version of your resume and at least 2 references of prior employers.

Cheers!