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5 Important Nursing Interview Tips


A job interview provides the best opportunity to let your skills and personality shine – and nowhere is that more important than when seeking a nursing position. This type of job combines practical skills, such as measuring vital statistics, with softer skills like communication and negotiation. The interview lets you show those skills and then some to the hiring manager, so it’s super important that you ace it. It isn’t hard to do – just try some of our nursing interview tips.

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Nursing Interview Tips

Have a Clear Professional Goal or Motivation: Dealing with doctors, patients and families can be enough to make even the most passionate nurse want to throw in the towel some days. What will keep you from giving up? Typically, it’s a personal goal or motivation. Maybe you have always dreamed of helping people in tough situations, or perhaps you cared for an ill relative and caught the nurturing bug. You could even simply be following in the footsteps of a parent or other relative you admired. Be prepared to share this as well as your goals for the future. Do you want to continue as a nurse or eventually go back to school and move up the ranks? Share these details with your interviewer to offer insight into how happy you will be in the position overall.

Read Up on the Company: A surefire way to make a bad impression at your job interview is to be unfamiliar with the company doing the hiring, so do your homework. Learn about its corporate leaders, the company’s philosophy and its public persona. Read its social media posts to understand how it interacts with both the public and its employees. Jot down the things that you like as well as the things that evoke questions, and be ready to bring them up during the interview. Even probing questions can show your hiring manager you took the time to do some research on the firm, and that will make you look smarter, more engaged and more qualified than some other candidates.

Show That You Can Perform Under Pressure: When it comes to the highest-pressure jobs, nursing positions are right up there. From day to day, nurses are making tough decisions and working in challenging circumstances. Nurses may need to implement doctor’s instructions or make critical decisions in moments. Performing under pressure is paramount to being a good fit in almost any nursing position, so show your hiring manager that you are up to the challenge. Mine your previous experience for examples when you made good decisions under pressure.

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Be Personable: Being friendly and approachable is critical during any interview. But for nurses, often tasked with comforting people in their most troubled times, giving off a friendly vibe is even more important. Nurses usually offer the friendly face that makes a hospital, nursing home or doctor’s office seem less intimidating, so being warm and approachable is a vital skill. It’s easy to describe yourself as personable, but your nursing job interview gives you an opportunity to show it. Don’t waste the chance. Come into your interview well rested and chipper. Greet your interviewer with your warmest smile and maintain eye contact throughout the interview. Basically, treat him or her like you would your most valued patient and you’re sure to make a good impression.

Be Willing to Learn: Nursing, like any career field, isn’t static. The tactics governing everything from measuring vital signs to rehabilitation are changing every day. The best nurses are willing to be flexible and learn new skills as they are needed, so let your hiring manager know that you are a natural learner. Look back on your work experience for times when you were challenged to learn something new. Perhaps you had to attend a class and pass a test as a requirement to gain a promotion, or you may have volunteered to learn a new skill and bring it back to your team to teach others. Each of these highlights your willingness to become a better employee.

The job interview process can be intimidating, especially when it comes to competitive nursing positions. There’s no shortage of candidates interested in providing care and service at some of the nation’s top hospitals, doctor’s offices and other medical facilities. You can stand out ahead of the pack. Use these nursing interview tips and dominate your interview.