Even if you have a fantastic resume and cover letter, you'll only get part of the way toward your nursing goals if you don't have the ability to ace an interview. After finalizing your documents, it's time to put some effort toward perfecting your confidence in answering the questions that potential employers will use to determine whether or not you are qualified for the job.
One of the reasons that an interview is so important is that it gives you an opportunity to show what you know about the responsibilities of a behavioral health charge nurse and to demonstrate your knowledge about the nursing field in general. During an interview, you'll be able to share your particular set of skills and background, so that you are able to convince the hiring professionals that you are the best candidate for the nursing position.
Take a look at some of the most common behavioral health charge nurse interview questions and some of the answers that might impress your interviewer.
5 Behavioral Health Charge Nurse Interview Questions & Answers
1. Tell me what you know about behavioral health nursing and how your experiences have prepared you for this position.
I understand that there are multiple roles to fill as a behavioral health charge nurse. For example, this specific position requires training in medical care and behavioral health care. The charge nurse often acts as a liaison between staff members and administration. The position might require the completion of performance evaluations, budgeting duties and working with patients and their families. In the past, I've held key roles in our team and enjoyed opportunities to build up our team and provide trainings regarding policies and procedures.
2. What first motivated you to become a nurse? What do you expect to gain from this position?
I knew early on in my schooling that caring for people gave me a great deal of satisfaction. It wasn't until later on in my coursework that I discovered the appeal of behavioral health. As I've worked in a number of volunteer positions, I've learned that I have a lot of interest in working with those clients who have a combination of medical and behavioral health issues. As I fulfill the duties that attend this position, I hope to learn more and to explore more deeply some of the behavioral health issues facing clients.
3. Describe how you stay current with the most recent updates in nursing.
To me, nursing is more than a job. It is a role that I hold both on the job and in my personal life. On occasion, I've used my nursing skills for the benefit of my own family. To that end and for professional improvement, I attend trainings and courses as often as I can. For example, earlier this year, I attended a mental health symposium put on by the American Psychiatric Nurses Association.
4. Confidentiality is a very important issue in the healthcare community. How do you intend to maintain the confidentiality of your patients as a behavioral health charge nurse, especially at the end of a long and tiring day?
In the past, I have addressed this issue by making confidentiality a top priority. I've worked to ensure that my work area is set up for quick filing and to minimize visual access to my monitor. I work to stay current with HIPAA compliance. My family understands that I can't talk about my work other than to describe my own emotions when I get home.
5. Give me an example of a challenge you faced as a leader and tell me what you did to overcome that challenge.
I was the acting shift supervisor once while our regular supervisor was on maternity leave. One of the nurses on our shift was upset that I had been chosen and wasn't following through on normally assigned tasks. We had been a close knit team and I didn't want to do anything to jeopardize that, but I was concerned that our ability to care for patients would suffer. I approached this coworker and asked what I could do to provide support. I realize that there are times when a leader must make tough decisions, but for this particular challenge, approaching the nurse in a supportive role was very effective. Later on, when I had to assign unpopular duties, this particular nurse responded positively. We had developed a mutually respectful relationship that I value today.