Registered Nurse Job Interview Informations

Registered nurses (RNs) supply and organize patient care, teach patients and the public about a variety of health conditions, and offer advice and emotional assistance to patients and their family members.
Any time you are interviewing for a nursing position, you will be questioned about your abilities and experience, your education, and your interests. Here are some questions you may be asked throughout a registered nurse job interview along with some sample answers:

What made you decide on nursing as a career?

Your answer should be positive and thoughtful. Here are a few ideas:
  • I wanted to do something in my career that is challenging and interesting.
  • I think that nursing is one of the most fascinating and expanding careers obtainable today, and I value the difference I can make in my patient's hospital stay.

Do you have any professional associations?

Most all interviewers ask this question at every level of nursing. It is never too early to join a professional nursing organization.
Here is a sample answer:
I feel it's essential to stay educated about the nursing career. I'm a member of (then state all of your affiliations).

What can you identify as the most gratifying thing in relation to being a nurse?

Hopefully, you have plenty of answers for this question. Using personal stories or examples work best here. The following are answers from real nurses for this question:
"The most rewarding thing for me as a nurse is seeing the joy when a family first holds their baby."
"Interacting with the patients and their families is what I find most rewarding."
"I find helping patients through recovery after surgery, which is often one of their greatest challenges, to be most rewarding."

How has your training equipped you for the difficulties you will encounter in this position?

Give answers pertaining to your individual expertise. Here are some real life samples that nurses gave for this question:
“I had an internship position at an Oncology Center after finishing school last May, that gave me on the job experience with patients, and I am interested in pursuing my career specializing in cancer treatment.”
“My clinical training in the ER of City Hospital prepared me for the hectic care required of an ER Nurse.”
“I had the opportunity to operate as a research assistant for Dr. ____, who was writing about new findings in the remedy of heart disease when I was working at City Hospital. The knowledge I gained during that time prepared me for assisting with cardiac patients in a more effective way.”

Are you a self motivator?

You want to be positive and promote an organized image.
Some answers you might give:
"Absolutely, I can always find something productive that needs doing."
"I'm very motivated to do a good job at what I take on, and I like to stay busy."
"I am a self motivator, and I take great pride in my job as a nurse."
What appeals to you about working at this location?

It is important that you know something about the place you are interviewing with. Give a thoughtful answer that relates to the specific place. Here are a few real life examples of answers:
"Your facility has one of the top rated Cardiac units in the country, and I am interested in utilizing my experience with Cardiac patients in a hospital engaging in the latest research and techniques."
"I really enjoy working in Geriatrics, and your facility has a vibrant and innovative reputation for its programs and population."
"I have worked in very large hospitals, where I gained valuable experience, but I enjoy working in a small hospital, where you can get to know your patients, the doctors, and your colleagues on a more personal level."
Notice how they all related their past expertise to what they could bring to the place they were interviewing with?

What do you truly feel that you contribute to your patients?
This is an excellent time to bring up your compassionate qualities.
Some answers might be:
  • I provide my patients the very best attention and care I can.
  • I think that I offer my patients comfort and assurance that they are being well cared for.
  • I really feel that my patients know that I am there to deliver comfort and understanding, that I can listen to their problems, and that I will act as their advocate if necessary.

How do you handle stress on the job?
This answer also needs to be presented positively, with the emphasis on the patient care.
A few sample answers might be:
  • By concentrating on the most essential thing, the proper care of the individual. I feel I owe it to my patients to remain calm and centered on them.
  • In the ER setting, there are often stress filled situations that occur. I just make sure that the stresses of the job don't get in the way of the care of my patient.
  • I am typically a calm person, and I don't allow on the job anxiety to interfere with my work.

How would you cope with a doctor who had been impolite and demeaning to you?
This is a tricky question. It is asked for several reasons; your interviewer needs to know you can follow directions, but also needs to know how you would handle a difficult situation. Some sample answers to this question might be:
  • I would likely take the question to my boss. If the doctor was displeased with me in some manner, I would want to determine what it was so I could take measures to rectify the condition.
  • I might ask the physician if there was anything in my care of the patient that they felt needed discourse.
  • If it were a onetime incident, I would maybe think that she was just experiencing a bad day. If it happened frequently, I would alert my supervisor.

How would you handle a patient who complains constantly of pain? And some sample answers:

  • I would consult with the attending medical doctor to make certain that the patient's discomfort was being handled in the most efficient way.
  • I would most likely reassure the affected patient that all possible was being done to relieve their discomfort.
  • I would pay attention sympathetically to their grievance, reassure them that their concerns were being listened to, and that we were doing everything possible to assist them.
How would you handle a patient who complains about everything?

Many nurses can answer this question easily, but it is important to present your answers with a positive outlook.
You might want to say, I would first make sure that the patient had no legitimate complaints, and then try to be patient and assure them that we were doing our absolute best for them. Or, I realize that some patients will grumble about everything, simply because they are miserable about what delivered them to our care. I just reassure them that everything possible is being done to make them comfortable.
In which way would you manage the family of an individual in your care who is unhappy with your treatment of the patient? Empathy is a big part of any nursing job. Your prospective employer wants to know how you might treat others involved in your patient's life with compassion and how you would be an advocate for your patient. You might want to tell how you would listen to them and their concerns and try to reassure them that everything is being done to help their loved one. Sometimes family members are looking for someone or something to blame for what their loved one is going through, but other times, they have legitimate issues. You might want to bring up that you would address immediately anything problems you were not aware of.

What do you find difficult about being a nurse?

Be honest, sincere and caring in answering this question. Many people complain during this part of the interview, but you always want to make your interviewer aware of your professionalism. You might say occasionally I find it hard to keep work at work, as I have a tendency to become very concerned with my patients. This shows your compassion without you complaining.
Another answer might be, I believe the most challenging part of being a nurse is any time I have a person that is very depressed, or in a great deal of pain, and I cannot comfort them to the extent I would like.
Or I choose to look at problems as challenges, and I enjoy overcoming challenges. All of these answers keep you in a positive light.

Do you prefer to work alone, or as part of a team?

You might state that it depends on the situations. I appreciate being part of a procedure and support group, but I also like the autonomy of working on my own.
Or I think that nursing in a medical center is a group effort, and I actually enjoy making my contributions to the team.
Or one needs a degree of independence to work without the everyday support of a team. As a private duty nurse, I enjoy the one-on-one with my clients.

If you had the opportunity to become a doctor, would you take it?

Be honest. It is fine if you want to continue your education and it is also perfectly acceptable to state that you love your current position and think you will remain a nurse until retirement. It is also acceptable to say that you are unsure at this point in your career.

If you are happy being a nurse you might say no, I take pleasure in the individual contact with my patients and the companionship of my co-workers in nursing. Or, I decided to become a nurse due to the fact that I find the field intriguing. I plan on developing my career as a nurse, not a doctor.

If you are interested in becoming a doctor, you could say yes, I enjoy the medical field enormously, and intend to continue my training throughout my profession.

As with all other nursing fields, it is important to present yourself as a profession during your interviews. You should come in profession clothing, not scrubs or your nursing uniform. You should have a resume to present and any letters of recommendation.