The pre-admission school of nursing interview questions is one of the most important parts of a nurse’s career: it’s the gateway to the enrollment. While it seems challenging and nerve wrecking especially for those who are doing it for the first time, with adequate preparation and practice you can ace your interview. The benefits of understanding how to answer nursing interview questions are that it helps the interviewer know your problem-solving capabilities, interpersonal skills and conflict handling skills. In short, the interviewer wants to know if you have the right personality to be a competent nurse.
What types of nursing interview questions to expect?
The number of questions you will be asked will depend on the number of people on the interview panel. Regardless of whether it’s a few or a ton of questions, the answers that you give are what matters. The questions are to help the interviewer understand why you want to be a nurse, who you are as a person, your attitude towards nursing and hobbies. What motivated you to become a nurse, do you have a role model, why do you prefer this college and why should we accept your application are some of the likely nursing interview questions that you can encounter.
Nursing interview questions can differ depending on the number of interviewers present, who the interviewers are and how much information they want to know about you. While the types of questions can vary from one institution to another, nursing interview questions mainly fall into 4 main categories.
Background nursing interview questions
Background or traditional questions are about telling the interviewer how your past has motivated you to enter in the nursing filled. Tell me about yourself, what experience do you have that motivated you into nursing and what do you know about our institution? are some of the questions that fall into this category.
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Nursing interview questions: tell me about yourself is one of the most common question interviewers tend to ask. The best answer to this question is to emphasize your background experiences that best fit what the interviewer is looking for in a nurse. Talk of any three past experiences that are related to the nursing field. For example, you can say: "I have been a first aid student for the past 5 years and my most recent experience was treating wounds in my local Red Cross dispensary."
Behavioral and personality questions
Behavioral and personality nursing interview questions often begin with “List, give me an example or tell me”. They work to assess the strengths and weakness of a candidate. Head nurses, nurse educators and practicing physicians know the qualities that make a competent nurse. Therefore, interviewers use your past behavior to predict your future performance. Behavioral questions such as give an example of a stressful situation and how you handled it or tell us about your recent successful experience can pinpoint your best qualities.
The trick to answering behavioral questions is to identify traits which a person can use to describe a great nurse such as empathy, great communication skills, teamwork, and resilience. To understand these type of nursing interview questions and answers strengths and weaknesses know what great skills you bring to the table and use your real life experiences to back up your claims.
Nursing interview questions about clinical competency and current affairs
Questions that are related to clinical competency and current affairs are to help the interviewer understand whether or not the candidate has a passion for health. Individuals who have a passion for nursing will know the current happenings in the nursing field. To prepare for such questions always stay updated on any current affairs by reading the latest health issues. Your answer should also show that you’re well informed so focus on current issues or policies by subscribing to a magazine, newspaper or website with the latest information in the nursing field.
While nursing interview questions and answers tell me about yourself, they also test on experiences related to the candidate’s career path. If you don’t understand the question, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. The interviewer might even simplify the question which will help you answer it well. You can increase your knowledge of current issues by regularly watching news related to your area of interest.
Ethical and problem-solving nursing interview questions
The main reason why an interviewer asks an ethical question is to evaluate the candidate’s judgment and ethical decision making. They also test on the candidate’s ability to handle tough situations. This is because decisions that a nurse makes can determine whether a patient lives or dies. Research shows that the recommendation that a physician gives can be influenced by personal beliefs, values, and biases. Therefore, right nursing interview questions related to ethics or problem-solving skills tend to test on whether or not a candidate can survive and thrive even in stressful situations.
The best way to understand and prepare any ethical questions is to practice with examples of nursing interview questions and sample answers. Try to base your answers in a way that puts both the needs of the patient and employer first. Even in problem-solving questions, your answers should not put the patient or employer at risk and should emphasize honesty and integrity.
Using your own past experiences to support your response is way better than just give straightforward answers. For both ethical and problem-solving questions ensure you prepare examples that demonstrate that your decision-making abilities are based on the set procedures and policies.
Examples of nursing interview questions
- Tell us why you'd like to become a nurse
- What are some of your hobbies or passions?
- If you see a classmate stealing, what would you do?
- A nurse at a clinical practicum site is acting unethically. What would you do?
- What are your personal strengths?
- What are your personal weaknesses?
- What would your previous bosses or classmates say about you?
- Why do you want to be admitted into our nursing program?
- What would you do if you find yourself struggling in a nursing course?
- What would you do if you have a conflict with a professor?
- Tell us why you'd be the best candidate for our nursing program.
- Do you have any questions for us?
- What is your proudest achievement to date?
- What qualities do you think a good nurse should possess?
- What would you do if a patient or family member threatened you?
- Do you have dependable transportation?
- Why are you interested in attending our nursing school?
- What qualities do you believe you have that are bound to make you a successful nurse?
- What kind of experiences have you had with nurses in the past? Are you satisfied with how this system works in our country?
- How important do you think communication skills are for a nurse?
Tips to help you ace any nursing interview
To win over the interviewer and secure your position as a nurse in the school of your choice you must stand out from the rest of the applicants by letting your education, experiences and personality shine. Here are more tips that you can use to prepare for any nursing interview
- Be confident
Almost everyone suffers from interview jitters. The trick to looking cool even when you’re nervous is to believe in yourself because success always starts with the mindset. Use your academic background to demonstrate your knowledge in the nursing field and use school of nursing interview questions to prepare in advance. Use your body language to look interested and motivated.
If your interview panel has more than one person, address the interviewer who asked the question then afterward glance at the rest of the panel. Avoid giggling, fidgeting and any bad body posture that can make you look nervous. When you encounter interview questions that throw you off, find a way to remain calm because the interviewer is testing how you can handle stressful situations.
- Practice makes perfect
When it comes to answering nursing interview questions, practice makes perfect. How you answer the questions will be used to gauge your communication skills. Therefore, think about what you’re going to say and how you’re going to say it and practice in front of another person beforehand. You’re likely to have pre-interview jitters if you don’t practice using nursing interview questions and answers in advance. Try to anticipate the direction the interview might take and role play how you would answer any problematic questions. Sound positive even when you’re not sure about the answers, be objective and remember an interviewer is a person just like you.
- Do your homework
As part of your college search, you should have a comprehensive list of why you want to go to that particular nursing school. Look for information like which part of the school appeals to you, their achievements and skills they exemplify. Also, review past accomplishments and read reviews about what other people say about that particular institute or nursing in general. This is because the interviewer may want to test your communication skills and enthusiasm for nursing.
Make use of nursing school interview questions and best answers by offering examples that relate to your life experiences. For such questions, there are no perfect answers, and every nurse cannot solve problems the same way. Therefore what the interviewer wants to know is your critical thinking ability. Part of doing your homework is having general knowledge about nursing. Review nursing books, journals, and latest health-related issues because you will be convincing the interviewer that you understand matters related to health.
- Expect the unexpected in nursing interview questions
Whether it’s a question about which spirit animal you are or the type of superhero you would want to be if you had powers; in an interview always expect the unexpected. Before answering nursing interview questions and answers scenarios that are unexpected always think before speaking so that you can formulate an answer that will score you some major point.
Nowadays some interviewers are opting to use unusual school of nursing interview questions because the standard questions and scripted answers make the candidate remain in the comfort zone. The unexpected questions are usually meant to see if the candidate can handle situations that are out of his or her comfort zone. But no matter how unusual the questions are remain cool and focus on giving answers that will convince the interviewer that you’re the right person for the nursing program.
- Be professional
Nursing school interview is just like any other job interview. Therefore your dressing and communication etiquette should be professional. Avoid rehearsing all the answers to common interview questions and saying them out in a robotic manner. For a grad student or someone who is attending the interview for the first time nursing interview questions and answers new grad can give you an idea of what to expect during the interview. However, instead of memorizing all the answers, weave all your responses into specific situations in your life to demonstrate the point.
Whether you’re a grad student or seasoned interviewee, you can best present yourself as a professional by dressing appropriately such as wearing a well-fitting suit that is wrinkle free. After all, you want to be remembered for your academic achievements and professional skills. Dressing appropriately shows that you take the initiative and are motivated to look good in your career.
When you practice using nursing interview questions and answers, you are giving yourself a chance to ace that interview. So in your next interview don’t let a simple answer stop you from getting that chance to stand out. Use the above tips and suggestion.