Common Interview Questions For Nursing

You’ve done the research and are ready to apply for a nursing job. You have the skills, experience, and education needed for the position; now it’s time to ace your interview. The interview process can be stressful—especially if you’re interviewing with several hospitals at once or multiple recruiters from one hospital are calling to schedule interviews on short notice. In that case, you have less time to prepare yourself for each one. But being prepared can help alleviate that stress on interview day by giving you confidence that you know exactly what questions will be asked so you’ll be better prepared with answers before your big day!

Common Interview Questions For Nursing

1. Tell me about yourself

When asked this question, you should talk about your education and work experience. You should also talk about why you want to work in nursing, why this hospital and department are a good fit for you, and what you know about our organization.

The interviewer is looking for more than just the facts; she wants to get a feel for who you are as a person. For example, if someone said they were passionate about computers but didn’t have an IT degree or knew much about programming language syntax, that would be an immediate red flag! So don’t just recite your resume—talk passionately about what drove you into nursing and why this particular hospital’s need for nurses matches up with your passions.

2. Why do you want to work for our hospital?

This is a simple question that can also be tricky to answer. You should think about what your goals are in nursing and how this position would fit into them. If you’re looking for something more challenging, then your cover letter should make it clear that you’re ready for more responsibility.

If you want to put some extra effort into distinguishing yourself from the competition, consider researching the hospital’s mission statement or other unique qualities before applying for jobs there. This will give you ideas on how to connect those qualities with why they resonate with you personally.

If possible, try thinking of an example from your own background where this kind of work has helped someone else out in a way that appeals to your sense of empathy and altruism as a nurse (for example: “I worked at home care agency assisting patients dealing with terminal illnesses”). This is not always necessary but can help show off some of your best qualities if done well!

3. What is your greatest strength?

  • Have a list of your strengths prepared. You can take this opportunity to list all of your strengths, not just one. While you are in the interview, it is important that you are honest with yourself and don’t be too modest.
  • Don’t just say that you are a hard worker or a people person or a team player. These words may make sense but they don’t show specific examples on how these traits translate into positive outcomes in real life situations at work.
  • If possible, give an example of how one of your strengths has helped you overcome an obstacle at work or elsewhere in life (for example: “When I was working as an intern at XYZ Hospital, there were times when my coworkers weren’t able to finish their work because they had other responsibilities outside of work like family commitments or schoolwork…I took on some extra responsibilities so that everyone would have enough time to finish their tasks before deadline day arrived”).

4. What is your greatest weakness?

A common interview question for nurses is “what is your greatest weakness?” The interviewer may want to know if you have a self-awareness of the areas you can improve on, or if it’s a trick question.

Don’t say that you don’t have any weaknesses. You should be able to identify at least one area in which you could improve, even if it’s something small like being late to work once or twice every week.

Don’t say that none of your weaknesses are significant enough to bother talking about them in an interview.

Don’t say anything along the lines of “I’m too hard on myself” or “I’m too hard on others,” as this doesn’t show any desire for improvement and implies that those around you will never be good enough no matter what they do.

5. How would you handle a conflict with a coworker?

You should understand the other person’s perspective, listen carefully to the other person’s concerns, acknowledge the other person’s feelings and try to understand their point of view.

It is important for you to remain respectful and polite throughout the conversation. Also, be patient with your coworker as they may not be used to having conversations like this.

6. Tell me about stressful situations in the workplace and how you handled them.

As a nurse, you will encounter stressful situations in the workplace. Your ability to manage stress and remain calm under pressure is an important part of your job. It’s important for employers to see how you handle yourself when things get tough.

To answer this question effectively, be prepared to discuss one or two stressful situations from your past job experience. The situation should be relatable to the position you’re applying for and should highlight how well you work under pressure and manage stress levels. You’ll also want to mention what steps were taken to resolve the situation and how it was resolved (or if it has not yet been resolved).

When discussing stress-related issues, it’s important that you include an explanation of what actions were taken by yourself or others involved in handling them. This helps illustrate that they are manageable scenarios that can be handled effectively by anyone who has sufficient knowledge of their own skillset as well as those around them who may have additional resources at their disposal when necessary.”

7. Tell me how you helped resolve a conflict between two co-workers.

The key to resolving any conflict is to use a model that best fits the situation. For example, if there is a disagreement between two coworkers and they’ve both agreed to work together, you should use an active listening approach. If you are mediating between two people who have not previously agreed on their own solution, it’s better to use a negotiation approach. The most important thing is for you to get all parties involved in the conversation and hear each one out.

8. How would you handle a patient who became agitated and started yelling at you?

  • Remain calm. It’s important to not take a patient’s behavior personally and instead try to understand their point of view.
  • Ask the patient if there is anything you can do to help them feel more comfortable or safe.
  • If the patient continues to be agitated, call for backup from your supervisor and/or security guards (if applicable).
  • If the patient continues being aggressive or disruptive after calling for help, ask them to leave so they don’t hurt anyone else in the room.

9. If you were leaving nursing, what would be the most important thing someone could take away from working with you?

If you were leaving nursing, what would be the most important thing someone could take away from working with you?

There are many ways to answer this question, but I would choose one of these: I’d make them a good listener. I’d make them a good teacher. I’d make them a good mentor. I’d make them a good leader. Or perhaps they will say “a good communicator,” or “a strong team member,” or any number of other descriptors that might apply specifically to their personal style and work environment. The point is—it doesn’t matter how the interviewer answers this question; there are so many different options for how we can define ourselves as people!

10. Describe a time when you had to make sure that an urgent need was met. Tell me how you approached the situation, who was involved and what the outcome was, and what lessons you learned from it.

  • Tell the interviewer about a time when you had to make sure that an urgent need was met.
  • Tell the interviewer how you approached the situation.
  • Tell the interviewer who was involved in this scenario and what their roles were.
  • Describe what happened in this situation, including what the outcome was and any lessons learned from it.

11. If I called one of your references right now and asked why we should hire you over others, what would they say to persuade us to hire you?

It’s helpful to have some ideas ready when you’re asked this question, but don’t memorize them. You should be able to speak freely and comfortably with your answer.

If you’re not sure what they’ll say, ask them up front. It’s always a good idea to talk to your references before the interview and get their opinions on how they would persuade people that they would hire you over others.

You should also have a list of questions prepared in case they ask for more details about your references or themselves:

  • Why did you choose this person as a reference?
  • What does he/she do for fun? What are his/her hobbies? How much time does he/she spend volunteering in the community?

12. Being prepared can help alleviate stress on interview day.

Being prepared can help alleviate stress on interview day. Being aware of what you want to say, who you are saying it to and why, will give you a sense of control over the situation. Before meeting with your interviewer ask yourself these questions:

  • What do I know about this company?
  • Who is my interviewer and what does their role entail?
  • What do I already know about the position for which I’m interviewing?

These questions allow you to prepare yourself mentally before meeting with your potential employer.


There are many common nursing interview questions you can expect to hear. With practice, preparation and good humor, you will be able to answer these questions with ease and confidence.

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