6 Common Perioperative Nurse Interview Questions & Answers

Nilda Melissa Diaz
By Nilda Melissa Diaz, Career Advice Contributor Last Updated: December 08, 2022
6 Common Questions For Perioperative Nurse

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You’ve written a strong cover letter and resume, identified the nursing specialty where you want to work, and now you’ve been called in for an interview. Congratulations! Now it’s time to prepare to shine in your face-to-face meeting. During this initial in-person interview, it’s important to have two goals: to see if this organization is a fit for you and to impress the interviewer and show them that you are the right nurse for the position.

From reading your resume, this potential employer already has assessed that you have the qualifications necessary to hold this position. During your interview, you will have the chance to show that you are truly the right person for the job. The hiring manager will be asking general interview questions to learn who you are and whether you are a fit for the organization, but he or she will also be asking industry-specific interview questions. Here are some common perioperative nurse interview questions and answers to help you be ready to showcase your skills.

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6 Perioperative Nurse Interview Questions & Answers

Tell me about a stressful encounter with a frustrated or angry patient and his or her family member and how you handled it.

A patient who had just been brought into the operating room was extremely nervous and distraught. She began to cry. Although the anesthesiologist was about to put her under, I still spent a few minutes explaining what would be happening during the surgery. I spoke in a calm, clear voice and placed my hand on her arm. This soothed her and she was able to relax as we moved forward with the surgical tasks. Her outcome was successful, and later in the recovery room, she asked for me to send her thanks.

What personal qualities do you have that make you a good perioperative nurse?

A couple of my best qualities that make me an excellent nurse are that I am caring and sympathetic. I have always had an innate ability to empathize with others. This combined with my good judgment and ability to follow instructions precisely and give orders to others has served me well in the operating and recovery rooms. I am also very detail-oriented, which allows me to monitor instruments and supplies to keep the environment safe and comfortable.

There will be times when you will be asked to work long shifts. How do you balance your professional and personal life to avoid difficulties?

I am proficient at time management because of my stellar organizational skills, which allows me to be fully present on the job. Not only am I highly organized on and off the clock, I also have a support network of people who can step in if I need assistance in my personal life. It is always my goal to be on task and focused on the patients when I am at work.

How do you minimize errors or mishaps on the job?

Making mistakes as a nurse can be catastrophic. Because of this, I make sure I follow standard operating procedures. I also have checklists I follow. I believe one of the reasons errors are made is because of weariness, so I make sure I am well rested when I am at work so that I can stay focused on my patients. I believe that if I take good care of myself when I am off the clock, I can take good care of my patients when I am tending to them.

What weakness do you have that relate to nursing?

I have a lot of initiative, so when I first became a nurse, it was challenging to have to wait for instructions. Because I’ve learned how crucial it is to wait for a surgeon’s orders, I have overcome this challenge. While I still have lots of good ideas for moving ahead to help patients, I have learned much from doctors’ expertise by holding back and waiting for guidance and instructions.

What are your goals for the future?

I hope to gain further experience in nursing and to continue to learn and grow in the medical industry. I want to be a part of a forward-thinking team dedicated to innovative healthcare. I want to grow with an organization such as yours.

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