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Interview tips for Nurses

When you’re seeking career advancement, it’s important to have your interview skills at the ready. And with a little preparation, you can set yourself up to be successful. Interviews don’t have to be stressful events if you keep in mind that hiring managers are looking for answers to these overall questions:

  • Can you do the job? (Do you have the qualifications?)
  • Are you motivated to do the job? (Do you have a good attitude?)
  • Are you a fit for our organization (Will we want to work with you?)

Questions can be divided into clinical and behavioral. Ideally you want to be reflecting your overall understanding of key areas – clinical best practice, quality management, health and safety, education and training, documentation.


These questions refer to how you manage direct and indirect patient care and the management of the staff providing the care.

  • What kinds of patients did you deal with as a nurse?
  • Are you comfortable taking up nursing responsibilities when necessary?
  • What’s your experience in training, supervising and evaluating?
  • What do you do differently when managing newly trained nurses as opposed to experienced nurses?
  • How would you report to your manager
  • How would you rate your computer skills?

Answering clinical question

It can be helpful to use the nursing process to structure your responses. i.e. Assess, plan, implement and evaluate the clinical problem/situation.


Behavioural questions typically include phrases such as “give me an example of” or “tell me about a time when.”  The logic behind behavioural-based questions is past behavior is predictive of future behavior. When you’re able to point out to a hiring manager how you’ve effectively handled a similar situation in the past, it proves your competence for the role.

  • Please describe your management style.
  • Describe yourself in one word.
  • What would you do if you had a patient who was very upset and was making a scene in the hallway?
  • How have you increased employee retention and what were the measurable outcomes?
  • How did you turn a negative situation at work into a positive one?
  • How do you motivate people?
  • How do you handle conflict? Give an example of a conflict situation you were in and how you handled it.
  • How have you handled dealing with an angry or upset doctor in the past?
  • Describe a time you had to persuade someone to do something they did not want to do.

Answering behavioral interview questions

The “PSR” technique (Problem, Solution, Results) is an effective way to answer behavioral and other types of interview questions. Here’s how it works:

  • Problem: Briefly state the situation and circumstances. For example, “Patients in our unit were falling at a higher rate than the rest of the hospital, and administrators requested that we work to lower these incidences.”
  • Solution: Describe how you resolved the problem. “I implemented a safety process that included identifying high-risk patients, ensuring walkways were cleared of equipment and obstructions and making sure beds were placed where patients had the least amount of distance to walk to the bathroom.”
  • Results: This is the most important step of the process. Tell how your solution saved money, saved lives, etc. Quantify the results as much as possible. “Because of this safety process, we were able to reduce trips and falls by 30 percent.”


There are plenty of resources online that can help you fine-tune your interview answers. Check these out .



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We find jobs for registered nurses in the Middle East and the UK.

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