You put a lot of sweat and tears into crafting the perfect resume and cover letter so you can land a job as a licensed practical nurse (LPN). However, it takes more than a few attractive documents to take you from being a job candidate to being a happy new employee. You'll need to do well during your face-to-face interview. The interview is your opportunity to show off your winning personality, your dedication to teamwork, and your enthusiasm for your chosen career. After all, no one wants to hire a nurse who is apathetic toward the duties and privileges of the profession.
During your interview, you're likely to encounter some commonly asked questions, such as "Why should we hire you?" and "What are your greatest accomplishments?" However, there are other more specific licensed practical nurse interview questions, and you should be prepared to answer these as well.
6 Licensed Practical Nurse Interview Questions & Answers
1. You may face some stressful situations in this job. How do you perform under pressure?
I used to work in an ER, and I learned that the key to keeping cool under pressure is prioritizing what needs to be done first. This gives me focus, and focusing on one thing at a time stops me from being overwhelmed. It also helps to prevent costly mistakes.
2. You'll be working with a team of other nurses. How do you get along with others?
I enjoy working with other people, and I like to learn from them, too. I realize that sometimes personalities clash, but I've found that maintaining a positive attitude and always trying to be polite can smooth over disagreements. I appreciate how input from others can help me to become better at my job.
3. This job may require you to work long days, including some nights and weekends. How do you feel about that?
The most important thing is to provide quality patient care, and I know from experience that when a facility is understaffed, it can take away from how much attention the patients receive. That is why I try to be available as much as possible. I don't mind working nights and weekends, and I'm no stranger to long days. At one of my other jobs, I would commonly work double shifts. That isn't ideal, of course, but I can do it when it's necessary.
4. How do you react when you get a tough patient?
I realize that some patients are more difficult to deal with than others, whether it is because of their medical condition or because they have a certain disposition. At my previous job, I came across an elderly gentleman who was extremely cantankerous because of dementia. Right away, I tried to find the cause for his anger. I eventually discovered that it was because he was experiencing physical pain. When I took steps to remedy that pain, he calmed down a little, and we were able to treat him properly.
Since I first got into nursing, I've always strived to cultivate empathy for patients, and that has helped me immensely whenever I come across someone who seems like they may not want to be helped.
5. Do you have any plans to pursue your RN certification?
Yes, I would like to eventually become a registered nurse and maybe even pursue a specialty. I think this would make me more valuable to patients and to my employer. My ultimate career goal is to learn as much as I can so I can have the greatest impact possible. I'm also interested in taking on a lead role in nursing.
6. What do you believe are some of the qualities that a licensed practical nurse most needs?
An LPN should be personable and focused on patient care. Getting along with others is vital because nursing is a people-oriented career. Also, an LPN meets so many different kinds of people from a wide range of backgrounds that it is absolutely vital to be able to adapt to these different situations. The personalities on a nursing team can also vary widely.
Attention to detail and communication are key, too, because people's lives are involved. It's important to stay in touch with other team members, particularly the RN who is on duty, so no patient gets overlooked.