Five common nursing interview questions
By Dan Allard
1. Why do you want this job?
This will likely be your first question. Explain what attracted you to the role and how your skills match the potential employer’s needs.
You may be attracted to the role due to the learning and development opportunities, or perhaps because the hospital has a positive reputation. As part of your nursing interview preparation, it’s important to research the employer. Don’t be afraid to pull in examples of what you’ve learnt as part of your answer.
If you were impressed with their recent CQC rating, then say so! Likewise, if you are keen to work alongside an esteemed colleague. The hiring panel will be interested to hear what you’ve learnt about them.
2. Which of the 6Cs do you think is most important?
This isn’t a trick question – there’s no right or wrong answer. The hiring panel may ask you about the six core values to assess your knowledge. They’ll want to know what you think about the 6Cs and understand how you can effectively put them into practice. For example, if you work in paediatric or learning disability nursing you may feel that ‘communication’ is the most important value. You can bring in your experience of working with patients are unable to communicate easily with you.
3. Why have you chosen this as your specialist field?
If you have branched out into a clinical speciality, then you may be asked what attracted you to that specific area of nursing. This is an opportunity for you to showcase your strengths and explain what you enjoy about your speciality and what motivates you. Make sure you’re aware of the tasks that may be detailed within the job advert and try to give examples of how you have experience in these areas.
4. How have you dealt with conflict?
You should be able to share personal examples to demonstrate your ability to remain calm in a crisis and your skills in conflict resolution. It may be about how you’ve worked with a colleague who may have had a different opinion. Or it could be an example of a time where you’ve had to work with a difficult patient or family member. Those working in learning disability nursing will need to showcase how they can diffuse difficult situations whilst remaining calm and level-headed.
5. What do you know about our organisation?
Prospective employers want to know what you’ve learnt. They want to know that you’ve read their CQC report. They want to know that you’re well-acquainted with their core values and their mission statement. This will be your opportunity to ask the hiring panel any questions that you may have and link your answer back to the first question.
How do locum nursing job interviews differ?
If you are applying for a locum nursing job role, hiring managers are more focused upon competency-based questions. As part of the application process, you will be asked to complete a competency checklist which will confirm your capabilities and details of your mandatory and statutory training. This information will allow managers to determine if you have the skills to meet their short-term needs.
We have written a selection of pieces around starting and navigating your nursing career. If you have any specific questions relating to your interview, please get in touch with your Sanctuary consultant.