6 Common Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Interview Questions & Answers

Nilda Melissa Diaz
By Nilda Melissa Diaz, Career Advice Contributor Last Updated: April 12, 2022
6 Common Questions For Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner

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Your resume and cover letter stood out above the majority of the other applicants. Now you have been invited to meet your potential new coworkers and employers face-to-face. Along with those earlier steps, the interview is a crucial part of landing your new job. Your first impression will stick with the hiring managers throughout the other interviews, and will be what they use to decide whether or not to invite you back for round two.

Preparing for the interview at home will help you hone your skills to be well spoken, knowledgeable and to present yourself as a valuable asset to their company. While you will inevitable encounter the basic questions such as “Why should we hire you?” and “What’s your greatest accomplishment?” we’ve compiled a list of industry-specific questions. Studying these and the example answers with them should help you stay on track throughout the interview. Here are some common psychiatric nurse practitioner interview questions you may be asked on the big day.

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6 Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner Interview Questions & Answers

Being a psychiatric nurse practitioner requires an observant and detail-oriented mind. How do you keep track of changes in patients' behaviors over time?

In order to properly track changes in patients’ behaviours, you must thoroughly document each encounter and meeting with your patients. I keep very detailed records of all my interactions with doctors, patients and other nurses in order to be able to refer back to them for comparison.

Sometimes it can be difficult to enforce your patients' care plans. How do you expect to successfully get your patients on board with their plans?

The best way to ensure that patients will work with you to adhere to their care plan is to educate them. When people know exactly what is going on in their body or mind, and why you are prescribing a specific type of treatment, they are more interested in following your instructions. People like to know why they are being asked to do things, so education goes a long way in making sure everyone is on the same page.

Being a good nurse requires a comforting bedside manner, not just for your patients but also for their families. Will you be able to be straightforward and educational but also reassuring when communicating with patients and their families?

Open communication with families is especially important to psychiatric nurse practitioners, as sometimes your patients are not able to follow through with treatment on their own. Families are the built-in support group that can assist with the road to recovery, especially with issues of substance abuse and self-harm. It is important to keep the family in the loop and maintain an open communication with them.

You will be working closely with a number of doctors who will be making many demands of your time. Are you able to work quickly and efficiently, and multitask when needed?

I am able to multitask when needed, and I am also able to set boundaries when I feel like my patients’ care might be compromised by me taking on too many tasks. It’s important to work together in a health care facility, but it’s also necessary to remember that it’s the patients’ needs that must be served above all else.

Like a psychiatrist, you will be diagnosing mental illnesses and prescribing drugs. How do you plan on following up with your patients to ensure they are taking their medication?

Follow-up with the patient is necessary when dealing with psychiatric medication. Depending on how autonomous the patients are, I will either follow-up with them directly a few days after their release and continue to follow up on a weekly basis, or I will get in touch with a family member who has insight into the patient’s daily routine.

Depending on the severity of the illness, many patients will require familial intervention and assistance throughout their treatment. How do you plan on keeping the family in the loop throughout treatment?

Communication with the family can be a key aspect of outpatient psychiatric care. In my past position, I made it a practice to schedule weekly follow-up calls to family members when I found it necessary to involve them. Depending on the case, I can also meet with the family during or following visiting hours.

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