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Nurse interview questions and answers

This Nurse interview profile brings together a snapshot of what to look for in candidates with a balanced sample of suitable interview questions.

Christine Del Castillo
Christine Del Castillo

Former Community Manager at Workable specialized in employee experience, talent brands and our event series, Workable Ideas.


Nurse Interview Questions

These interview questions have been written to help you hire qualified registered nurses for your facility. They drill down to the specific hard and soft skills that are indicators of high performance in their roles as nurses. Candidates who make excellent nurses are observant, flexible, and empathetic. They’re people who can work under pressure, with multidisciplinary teams, to deliver the best possible care to patients.

The candidates you interview may have varying levels of experience. Feel free to alter them or add to them depending on the experience of your candidate. For example, for interviews with new nursing school graduates, you can add questions that better mirror their experience with the nursing profession so far. You can ask them about new technology that they’ve used in their classes, or what they hope to gain out of working at your facility. You may even want to add process-based questions. A question like “Walk me through the steps for initiating intravenous line access” will do more than demonstrate hard skills. It will show you how thoroughly, confidently and concisely they can explain their logic to others.

In general, you’re trying to see how well your candidates know their profession and how deeply they think about what they do on the job. The smart, ambitious candidates you’ll want to hire will come prepared with their own questions and will have done their research on your facility. They’re also the most likely to ask spontaneous, insightful questions during their interviews.

Operational and Situational questions

  • How has your education and training prepared you for this position
  • What attracts you to our facility? What do you hope to gain from this experience?
  • What clinical experience has been important and relevant for you?
  • How you keep up with changes in this field?
  • How well do you think you communicate with patients and their families?
  • Describe a time you resolved a problem with an angry doctor, patient, colleague or family member.
  • What’s difficult about meeting the needs of patients?
  • Describe a time you advocated on behalf of your patient.
  • How would you care for an alert patient who suddenly became confused and disoriented?
  • What charting systems have you used? What works well? What doesn’t work so well?
  • What would you do if you were assigned to a specialty area you weren’t familiar with?
  • Have you worked with foreign nurses before? How do you help them?
  • What time-management strategies would you recommend to your team?
  • What do you do in situations where you are right and others are wrong?


Ready to fine-tune this interview kit?
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