25 nursing interview questions you should already have an answer for


Let’s be honest, job interviews have earned a pretty bad reputation. We yearn for the outcome, but wince at the thought of rapid-fire interview questions coming our way.

Not unlike a trip to the dentist, you know that looming job interview will ultimately be a beneficial experience for you. But you will have to suffer for it; unless you take the time to prepare properly.

Nursing interviewers aren’t there to fluster you. They don’t enjoy watching you squirm. They just want to find the best person for the role, and to do that they need to get to know you a little better.

So we thought we could help all the budding nurses out there to prepare for an upcoming interview for your dream nursing job. Here are 25 questions you might get asked, and it won’t hurt your chances if you’ve put a bit of thought into them first!

Try jotting down some ideas for each one a few days before your interview and avoid memorising responses as you probably won’t get these exact questions, but they are likely to be similar.

  • What attracted you to nursing in the first place?


  • What interested you about this particular role?


  • Why are you leaving your previous role?


  • What was your favourite/least favourite thing about your last role?


  • What do you know about (Employer’s organisation name) already?


  • Can you tell us about a time you have had to deal with an angry patient/resident? What did you learn?


  • What’s one thing about nursing that is guaranteed to make you smile?


  • Tell us one technique you use to manage conflicting priorities at work


  • If you weren’t a nurse, what would you be doing?


  • What is the biggest achievement in your professional life to date?


  • Can you give us an example of how you have furthered your nursing knowledge outside of the job itself?


  • What words would your colleagues use to describe you?


  • Can you provide an example of a time you had to say ‘no’ when your manager asked you to do something? How did you handle it?


  • A senior staff member asks you to drop everything and help them with something you aren’t qualified to do? How would you react in this situation?


  • What is the most difficult decision you’ve faced in your career so far?


  • If you could invent one piece of technology to help nurses in the future, what would it be?


  • Can you provide an example of a time you disagreed with what your supervisor was doing? How did you handle it?


  • In your experience and studies, what is the biggest issue facing the healthcare sector at the moment? How could this be improved?


  • Tell us a bit about your previous manager


  • What training do you wish you had received more of in your last position/studies?


  • A health facility is understaffed and you’ve just clocked off a double shift a few hours earlier. They call you back and ask you to start another shift immediately, but you know you haven't had the stipulated amount of rest time. What do you do?


  • A patient is constantly asking for pain medication, but they don’t have the right prescription. You can see they are suffering, but the doctor assures you they are fine. What do you do?


  • You witness a team member being careless and making a small mistake when caring for a patient. They ask you to ignore as it’s not a big deal but the patient seems bothered by it. What do you do?


  • What advice would you give to a young person thinking about becoming a nurse?


  • What is more important to you - A good relationship with your patients/residents or a good relationship with your workmates?

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