25 Nursing Interview Practice Questions

As nursing school graduation approaches, an important next step is securing a job as an RN. This is a very exciting time and could lead to meeting new people and new health care facilities. Ideally, you are confident in the nursing knowledge and skills you have learned in school, but acing a job interview is one more hurdle to jump to cross the finish line.  

Job interviews can be nerve-wracking. You have to be aware of your strengths and weaknesses, answer tough questions, and showcase your compassion and critical thinking skills. To prepare for what can be a daunting task, below are some questions that may be asked during an interview. To prepare mentally, read through them and figure out how you would answer them. Being prepared for a job interview often increases success. 

  1. What made you choose to become a nurse? Why did you want to work in this specialty? 
  1. Do you prefer to work as part of a team or individually? Why? 
  1. What’s the most challenging part about nursing for you? What do you do to encourage yourself to keep going, despite the difficulties you face? 
  1. What’s the most rewarding part about nursing? Which part of nursing do you find gives you the most satisfaction? What do you most enjoy about nursing? Why? 
  1. Give an example of a time when you have provided compassionate care to a patient. What is your understanding of outcomes-based care and patient-centered care? 
  1. How did you handle a time when you received orders from a provider that you felt were inappropriate or incorrect? 
  1. Describe a time in patient care when you weren’t sure of how to proceed in a situation. What did you do? How did you make a decision and what was the outcome? 
  1. Think of a time when you had a professional disagreement with a supervisor or manager. What was the conflict and how was it handled? What was the outcome and was it satisfactory to both parties? 
  1. How do you deal with rude or demanding coworkers, doctors, or other members of staff? What have you learned from working with difficult people? 
  1. What do you do when a patient becomes verbally abusive toward you? How do you approach the situation? What have been your outcomes with this approach? 
  1. What is the most stressful type of situation you have encountered as a nurse? How do you handle these particular stressors? Are you usually successful? 
  1. Have you ever worked as a nurse in this particular specialty/department and worked with this specific patient population? What contributed to your success in this area? 
  1. In general, how do you stay up to date with the latest developments in healthcare? Do you regularly stay up-to-date with CEUs? 
  1. Are you a member of any nursing organizations? Have you experienced any major benefits from membership in these groups? If so, what are they? 
  1. If you were asked to stay late at the end of your shift without any advance notice, what would you do? How would you handle the situation? 
  1. How often are you late for your shift? Have you missed any shifts in the last year? What were the reasons for being late or missing a shift and what did you do about it? 
  1. What is the ideal work environment for you to thrive as a nurse? What type of workplace dynamic are you most comfortable with? 
  1. How would former coworkers or co-students describe you? How would supervisors or professors describe you? 
  1. What is it about this particular position that interests you? Why do you want to work with this hospital/clinic/organization? What do you know about us? 
  1. Think of a time when you were asked to work on a difficult project? What did you contribute? Was the project successful? How and why? 
  1. Think of a time where you were in a leadership position, official or not. Describe that situation. Were you training or mentoring another nurse? Did that nurse become a successful addition to your team? 
  1. Where do you want to be professionally in 5 years? 10? 
  1. Do you feel that your educational, personal, and professional backgrounds have prepared you for this particular position or role? How so? 
  1. When will you be able to start if you are offered the position? 
  1. Is there anything that should keep us from hiring you for this position? Why do you think you are well-suited for the role? 
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Dr. Jenna Liphart Rhoads, Ph.D, RN, CNE

Dr. Jenna Liphart Rhoads is a registered nurse and a nurse educator. She earned a BSN from Saint Francis Medical Center College of Nursing and an MS in nursing education from Northern Illinois University. Jenna earned a Ph.D. in education with a concentration in nursing education from Capella University where she researched the moderation effects of emotional intelligence on the relationship of stress and GPA in military veteran nursing students.