Prepare for Interviews - Nursing

Learning to convey your skills, interests, and experiences to a potential employer in a clear confident manner is crucial to your successful internship and job search.

For any interview, you should be ready to answer behavioral interview questions. Behavioral interviewing is a technique in which employers assess your potential performance based on your past actions and results. This interview style was developed in order to help employers learn whether you have the capabilities required to succeed as a nurse. Thus, behavioral interview questions are the next best thing to direct observation because they ask you to recall in detail what you did in key situations; your past behavior is a predictor of your future behavior.

Some typical behavioral interview questions for nurses might be:

  • Describe a stressful clinical situation and how you handled it.
  • Describe an encounter with an angry or frustrated patient and family member and how you handled it.
  • Describe the most challenging patient experience you've had. Explain why it was challenging.
  • Tell me about a time when your performance did not meet your expectations.
  • Give me an example of how you handled rapid or unexpected change.
  • Tell me about a time when you had to build motivation or team spirit with members of a work group.
  • Tell me about a time when you received difficult (or less than positive) feedback from your supervisor. How did you respond to the feedback? What changes did you implement as a result?
  • Define pro-active and give me an example of a time when you behaved this way.
  • Tell me about a situation in which you had to work with someone with whom you were uncomfortable. Describe the working relationship that developed and your influence on this relationship.
  • Recall a situation or relationship which suffered from poor communication. What happened and how did you resolve it?

Preparing for interviews also gives you an opportunity to demonstrate your research ability. The time you spend learning about the internship or job, and developing responses to questions about your interest and related skills, will be worth the effort, especially when you receive that job you really wanted!

We partner with InterviewStream for you to practice your interview skills.  Look for both basic interview questions asked of every job candidate and questions unique to nursing students.

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