Prepare for your Nurse Interview.


How to successfully prepare for your nursing job interview

Your next nursing job role is within reach! The position pays well, is in the ideal setting with the perfect shift pattern. All you need to do now is secure the role at interview.

The good news is, if you have been offered an interview through Sanctuary Health, you know the hiring manager will already know you are the right fit.

Your individual Sanctuary Health consultant will be able to give you plenty of information on the role to help you gauge the interviewer’s expectations, but there’s still plenty of scope for you to perfect your interview techniques.

For certain nursing roles, there’s still a great deal of competition, so how do you make sure you are the ideal candidate on the day? To put yourself a good chance, you might want to carefully consider and practice your answers to the following questions.

What three strengths do you bring to the role?

Try to bring your answer in line with the 6Cs (Care, compassion, competence, communication, courage, commitment). The NHS England website provides a useful summary of these. Try to structure your answer based on examples of at least three of these. Make sure you acknowledge the 6Cs.

Can you provide an example of how you manage tasks?

It’s always good to have an example here. Start with a short statement that describes you approach to managing and prioritising tasks. Then follow the statement with a real-life example.

If a colleague did something wrong or unsafe, what would you do?

You may or may not have experienced this as a nurse. Whether you have or not, you need to make it clear you are aware of the procedure for reporting anything considered to be wrong or unsafe. Explain, step-by-step, what your approach would be. Try not to throw in too many hypothetical possibilities though. Keep it simple.

What’s your understanding of compassionate care?

You might get this question in reverse. You could be asked "has there ever been a time where you have felt unable to give compassionate care?" You need to think carefully about your answer. Perhaps you could talk about how you always try to remain focused on providing the best care to the patient and how you manage to stay objective.

What makes a good shift and how would you contribute to this?

Use this question as an opportunity to talk about delivery of safe, effective care and collaborative working. The best answers talk about the value of multi-disciplinary working and finding answers to pressured situations. Be prepared with some real-life examples though. It’s much easier to elaborate on something that you’ve experienced.

These are just a few of the more common questions asked at a nursing interview. Remember though, whatever the question, to:

  • Be concise and structured in your answer.

  • Keep your answers to just a couple of minutes. You can always ask the employer if they would like you to expand on your answer.

  • For competency-based answers, adhere to the STAR formula; situation, task, action and result.

Our interview guide will tell you everything you need to know...

Whether you are looking for shift work, a locum or permanent position, we have nursing roles available throughout the UK.

If you’re looking for your next position, take a look at our wide range of nursing jobs.