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Top 5 Nurse Job Interview Questions

When interviewing for a nursing position, you want to make sure your passion for the field shines through. Come ready to answer common job interview questions, however there are a few nurse-specific questions that you should practice ahead of time.

What are necessary qualities for a nurse to possess?

The answer to this question will reflect your work priorities and what characteristics you feel to be most important.

"Over time, I have seen that excellent communication is first and foremost, whether I am comforting a patient or discussing treatments with a doctor. Another important quality is organization. In such a sensitive environment, one mistake could be the difference between life and death.Lastly, patience is essential to possess. You must be a people person and be able to endure any possible turn of events."

How would you handle a patient that constantly complains about pain?

There is bound to be a difficult patient so you need to know how to handle such a situation. Use your past experience to show how you have previously overcame a similar circumstance.

"It all comes down to reassurance and proper care. This reminds me of a patient I had a few years ago. She told me about the excruciating pain she was experiencing several times.My first thought was to make sure we were doing our jobs right so I conferred with the attending doctor to ensure the patient's pain was being managed in the most effective way possible. Then, I listened and empathized with my patient while simultaneously reassuring her we were doing everything possible to ease her discomfort." 

How do you deal with stress on the job?

In the field of nursing, you can come across many obstacles that may be stressful. The interviewer wants to gauge how you handle tense situations in a fast-paced environment. Show them that you persevere in tough situations.

"I think knowing what the job entails and being prepared allows you to be better equipped when stressful situations do arise. Honestly, a little stress is expected in our field. If I feel like I am getting to the point of being stressed out, I will take a few deep breaths and remind myself why I got into nursing in the first place. Although there may be a few trying moments here and there, the impact nurses have on people's lives is well worth it."

What do you contribute to your patients?

Every nurse has a common job description, but you must possess something unique. This question allows the interviewer to get a sense of what makes you stand out among the other job applicants.

"I want my patients to have the best experience possible and I consider that my sole responsibility. I will go above and beyond to see to it that my patients are well taken care of. I believe dedication is an integral part of being a successful nurse and providing the best care under any circumstances. Also, I offer a listening ear that they can feel comfortable confiding in. As well as knowing I will wholeheartedly advocate for them, if necessary."

What is the most difficult part of being a nurse?

This can be a tricky question to answer because you want to be honest and genuine, while still showing that you love your job.

"I absolutely love being a nurse, but as with all jobs challenges will cross my path. The hardest part of being a nurse is seeing a patient in pain or unhappy and being limited in the extent I can comfort them. The reality is that as a professional I can only do so much. However, I realize this helps me so that I do not become too emotionally invested in my patients."

Alex Woodward |
Categories: Interviewing
Alex is a Growth Marketing Manager at Snagajob, where she works with sales to help connect businesses with the right workers. Her first hourly job was as a barista at Caribou Coffee.