Your well-written cover letter and resume are a great introduction to you as a person and shed some light on your employment background. To really get to know you and fully understand your qualifications, hiring teams traditionally schedule several rounds of interviews. Your job during each of these meetings is to sell your credentials, experience and personality. Your answers should detail past experiences and help interviewers get to know you on a deeper level.
Hiring managers will be looking for responses that fit well with the demands of the position and the culture of the department. They will likely start out with a few general inquiries about your interest in the position or your previous experience. You should also be prepared to discuss specifics related to the nursing field and the emergency department. These sample emergency room nurse interview questions and answers will help you be prepared with the essential details.
5 Emergency Room Nurse Interview Questions & Answers
Why did you choose nursing for your career?
I have always enjoyed helping people and find great satisfaction in providing care to people who need medical attention. When I was young, my little sister had cancer. Watching her go through medical treatments was difficult and it taught me the importance of skilled, caring medical staff. Ever since that time, I have wanted to help people in the way those nurses cared for my sister and my family.
Tell me about a time when you had a conflict with a supervisor. How did you handle it?
In a position I worked in previously, we used a specific method for checking in patients that I felt was outdated and inefficient. At an appropriate time during one of our staff meetings, I made several suggestions that I thought would improve the process. The supervisor was specifically looking for ways to increase efficiency but disagreed with my opinions about the check-in process. He didn't utilize any of my ideas and didn't change the intake process. I continued to use the old system and, even though I thought our patients would have been served better by a new method, let the issue drop as it wasn't worth having contention in the workplace.
Describe your ability to handle high-pressure situations.
I have always done well with deadlines and thrive in a fast-paced work environment. During my time at the urgent care clinic, I have helped numerous patients with illnesses, injuries and health crises. One particular day a mother brought in her young child, who had been quite ill. During the intake process, the child became unresponsive and I had to think quickly and act calmly. I immediately began checking the child's vital signs, sent the other front desk worker to get the doctor and began cardiopulmonary resuscitation, which I continued until a physician took over. The child was ultimately revived and my ability to act quickly using the training I had acquired was an integral part of saving that child's life.
Discuss your personal attributes that make you especially qualified for this job.
I am extremely detail oriented. Whether I'm charting and keeping records, noting patient conditions or administering medication, I always double-check my work. Efficiency is important, but not at the expense of accuracy, and I believe in removing as many barriers to accurate care as I possibly can. I am also very observant. I tend to notice the details about patients' conditions that others miss. Whether it's a glassy look in their eye or a certain way they are clutching their abdomen, I look for and record details that may offer clues into the causes behind a patient's condition.
Have you ever had to deal with a distraught family member? How did you handle the situation?
It is always very difficult for family members to see someone they love suffering, and I understand that first hand. During my time at the urgent clinic, I dealt with several family members who came in with a patient who required immediate transfer via ambulance to the emergency department. In each of these cases I spoke calmly, clearly and honestly to the individual. I acknowledged the patient's condition and assured the family that the medical team would strive to provide the best possible care for their loved one.
While prepping for your interview, be sure to brainstorm your own examples and answers to these and other emergency room nurse interview questions to help you land the job.