What is the interview process like for hiring nurses?

Know what to expect

Interviewing can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be if you come prepared. Read on to learn about how nursing interviews work.

Nursing is one of the fastest-growing careers globally, and many countries struggle to meet the increasing demand for nurses. In addition, in the United States, each state is projected to experience at least 11% growth in nursing jobs through 2022.

Even with this growth rate, securing a nursing job requires a strong resume of specific skills, plenty of experience, and lots of preparation. Even for most veteran nurses, nursing interviews can be a source of stress, and attending a nursing interview can feel daunting.

Nonetheless, it doesn’t have to be so stressful. Your nursing interviewer will ask questions requiring you to demonstrate your skills and expertise in providing care services in the fast-growing field. Therefore, it is essential to be prepared to demonstrate your knowledge, training, experience, and skills during the interview.

The General Nursing Interview Process

Imagine that after years of hard work in nursing training and sending out countless resumes, you are invited to an interview. But, now what? Just show up and win the interviewers with your top-rated academic papers? Not so fast.

When you’re invited to an interview, your potential employer has already analyzed your documents and determined that you have met the minimum requirements. The main purpose of the interview is to determine whether your personality matches the paper. The interviewer intends to decide whether or not you’re a good fit for the organization — whether you can help them achieve their goals and objectives.

With that said, you need to be well-prepared for nursing job interviews.

Be sure you’ve researched and contacted the organization beforehand to ensure that this is one of the rehabilitation nursing opportunities you’ve been looking for. This will also demonstrate to an interviewer that you have done your research.

Consider reaching out to a hiring manager, your college’s alumni network, or even a staff member at the organization to learn more about the position. Your university professors and advisors may have contacts of people who can help you gather information about the organization and the position.

Ensure you know the venue for the interview and arrive on time. If the interview is on the phone or via webcam, adhere closely to the scheduled meeting time and be sure to stay in a quiet, focused environment to avoid disruptions during the interview.

Research likely questions for the position and contemplate potential responses. There are some routine questions that usually crop up during interviews for nursing jobs.

Be sure to choose an appropriate outfit for the occasion. Your potential employer understands that you’ll not be working in a business suit. But as part of nursing job interview preparation, wearing a professional business outfit with limited scented products and jewelry is important. The objective is to minimize attention on your physical appearance and let your responses to questions speak about you.

Lastly, practice your “game face.” Your interviewer can look at your ability to keep cool under stressful circumstances. So, learn how to respond to provocative questions without seeming frazzled or defensive with your responses.

New Grad vs Experienced Nursing Interview Questions

Whether you’ve just graduated from a nursing institution or are experienced in the field, it is essential to know frequently-asked questions in nursing job interviews.

Interviews for new graduates and experienced nurses are quite different, and the type of questions to expect are also unique. While you’re expected to have general knowledge of the nursing career as a new grad, you have to demonstrate your skills and experience during the interview if you are a veteran.

New Grad Nursing Interview Questions

Does the idea of interview prep for nursing interviews sound exciting? You probably have asked yourself, “what are they going to ask me?” Here are some examples:

Why did you decide to become a nurse?

This is one of the questions in most new grad nursing interviews. A nursing career can be stressful at times. The interviewer knows about it and wants to know what motivated you to follow this career path. They want to determine whether you have a genuine desire to promote the welfare of others and support people when in their lowest moments.

Sample response: ”I have always had a passion for serving in a field where I could help others and have long-term job security. I feel like nursing has both. I am always satisfied when my actions or words can make others have a better life experience.”

Do you have a preferred schedule you would like to work?

The interviewer wants to know whether you have the working flexibility required in nursing.

Sample response: “I am always comfortable working any shift. But, as a new nurse, I would like exposure to the busiest shift. This would help me sharpen my skills and gain experience. If your organization offers rotating shifts, I would love to experience diverse shifts.”

How will you ensure that your personal life doesn’t interfere with your work?

No one is immune to personal issues. The interviewer wants to know if you can separate your personal problems from your work duties.

Sample response: “I know there are times personal problems become overwhelming. However, I have learned to leave my problems at home. Before attending to my official duties, I always outline what I intend to accomplish that day. This helps me to remain focused and avoid outside distractions.”

Experienced Nursing Interview Questions

As an experienced nurse, job interviews are the opportunity to showcase your ability to provide the best quality care for your patient, a willingness to attain organizational objectives, and the capacity to enhance teamwork. Here are some examples:

How do you handle a problematic patient?

Nurses have a fair share of dealing with difficult patients. The interviewer wants to know if you can handle a problematic patient positively and constructively.

Sample response: “Providing care to children can be difficult. I had a case of a 10-year-old patient who kept crying and calling me into the room for various issues. Although I was running behind schedule to care for other patients, I sat down with the patient and learned he was scared of being away from home. I assured him he would feel better and go home in a few hours. After that, he relaxed and fell asleep.”

How do you address concerns from a patient’s family and friends?

Family and friends would often want to know what is ailing a patient. The interviewer wants to know if you can provide information that is not disheartening to people.

Sample response: “I work with empathy for all patients. I understand that I need to provide as accurate information as I can. Still, I try to do so in a nurturing, supportive way to a patient’s family and friends.”

Do you like working in a team or independently?

Nurses do not work in isolation — instead, several consultations are involved throughout each case. The interviewer wants to know if you have the flexibility to work with different people.

Sample response: “I adapt to different working environments easily. I find working in a team more satisfying and bringing out better results. In a team, I get different problem solving ideas and multiple perspectives on providing quality care.”

LPN vs RN Nursing Interview Questions

Licensed Practical Nurses and Registered Nurses work together to provide care, but their responsibilities and training backgrounds aren’t identical. However, it is important to know the different types of interview questions asked of LPNs and RNs.

LPN Nursing Interview Questions

As an LPN, your duties are closely associated with practical aspects of nursing, such as providing basic care. This means you have limited decision-making responsibilities. Yet, you must provide essential information about a patient’s health to your RN supervisor. Here are the most common questions in an LPN interview.

  • How do you feel when your supervisor analyzes your work?
  • What do you do when an RN gives instructions you don’t agree with?
  • How do you work with patients who refuse to take medication?
  • Tell us about a problem you solved independently in your previous job. What was the outcome?
  • How do you make shift transitions as smooth as possible?

RN Nursing Interview Questions

The current boom in healthcare prompted healthcare organizations to rush to hire RNs. However, to secure rehabilitation nursing opportunities, you will need to showcase your expertise, skills, and knowledge during an interview.
Researching questions to expect in the interview can improve your chances of securing a position in your desired organization.

  • How much experience do you have in your specialty?
  • What do you do to consistently increase your knowledge in the field?
  • What would you do if a patient expressed dissatisfaction with your service?
  • How do you deliver bad news to a patient’s family?
  • Describe a time you were forced to make challenging decisions regarding patient care.
  • What do you know about this organization, and why do you want to work here?

Questions to Ask Your Interviewer

In your nursing job interview preparation, you are not only expected to answer questions. At the end of the interview, you will be asked, “What questions do you have for me?” To increase your chances of getting the job, always say yes.

Having a list of questions to ask the interviewer demonstrates your interest and enthusiasm for working in the organization. Think about what you would need to know to accept the job confidently.

Prepare a list of four to five questions so that you will have plenty to choose from if some are answered during the preceding discussion. For example:

Submit Your Resume With Brooks Rehab Today

If you are a new grad or experienced nurse and want to work in a rehabilitation environment, Brooks Rehabilitation focuses on providing each patient with the best care, while making a positive difference in their life. We empower our employees, giving them the tools needed to achieve their professional goals.

Join us in making a difference in our community through exceptional healthcare. Contact us today to submit your resume.

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