10 Behavioral Interview Questions for Nurses (With Examples)
Nursing behavioral interview questions test your knowledge of how to care for patients, your communication skills, your motivation, your ability to work in a team, and your ability to change. Your answers should show that you have these core skills and back up what you say and have done with examples.
This article looks at behavioral interview questions and answers for nurses to help you do well in your next job interview.
10 Questions about a nurse’s behavior for a job interview
During an interview, you might want to use the STAR method to answer questions about your behavior.
- Talk about a specific event and give enough details for the interviewer to understand what happened. The situation could be from school, volunteer work, a previous job, or anything else that is relevant.
- What were your plans back then?
- Action: Tell what you did to solve the problem. Make sure to detail your actions so your interviewer can understand your unique role.
- What were the results of what you did? You can talk about your achievements in a way that shows how qualified you are for the job.
Examples of questions for nurses to ask at an interview
Here are 10 questions that you might be asked about your behavior at a nursing interview:
1. How would you make a rude patient calm down?
This question is about how you deal with problems. Recruiters ask this question to see how well you can solve problems and get along with others. In your answer, give an example of a patient who didn’t cooperate with treatment or didn’t do what was written on the prescription.
A professional nurse needs to be able to listen well and use words to get people to agree with her. So, you can easily understand what patients and their families are worried about, change their minds, and explain treatment plans in a way that is easy to understand to reduce resistance.
“As a nurse with a lot of experience, I know that no two patients are the same when it comes to treatment and following directions. I’ve been through a lot of hard things. I try to keep things under control by being patient, showing empathy for their situation, trying to understand their worries, and giving them reassurances and a quick solution. Part of the job is to be both kind and firm, and most patients end up helping you even if they don’t want to.
2.How well do you deal with stress at work?
To be a good nurse, you need to be dedicated and able to work well under stress. This question tests your ability to stick with something and how well you can manage your time, among other things. Show in your answer that you can keep your emotions in check even when you’re under a lot of pressure to do well.
Tell me about some ways you dealt with stress and stayed in charge. Do you have a particular relaxation technique? Do you take short breaks to work out to get your endorphins going? You could keep a journal where you write about how grateful you are to be able to help others when they are in trouble. No matter how you deal with stress, back up your points with examples.
“As a CNA candidate with more than 8 years of experience, I know that my job is stressful, but I can handle any challenges that come my way.” People who work with me know that I can stay calm under pressure and do more than one thing at once without much trouble. When there was a multi-car accident, people who were hurt would be rushed to the emergency room where I worked. The hospital wasn’t full, even though it was the middle of the night. As the nurse with the most experience there, I asked everyone who knew how to help people who had been hurt to help me. Together, we were able to keep the people who had been hurt safe until more experienced help arrived. Everyone had a hard time, but we all got through it and no one died.”
3.How do you handle a coworker who doesn’t want to work with you?
With this question, the interviewer is trying to find out how well you can think on your feet, get along with other people, and solve problems. Give a good example to show that you have these skills.
“When I was a nursing supervisor, I had a coworker who always disagreed with any diagnosis I made in front of doctors. People who know me know that I try to keep everyone on the same page at work and try to settle any disagreements I have with others as soon as I find out about them. At first, I didn’t give it much thought, but then I realized that the attacks had been planned. If she didn’t tell me what was wrong, I would have to tell the HR department. She told me that she thought the doctors with more experience liked me more than her. She said she was sorry, and we got right back to work.”
4. Do you think you’ll be able to keep everything in order? Can you provide an example?
A nurse does more than give people medicine and make them feel better. They also have to pay close attention to details and fill out a lot of paperwork. You have to care for several patients at once and keep detailed records about their treatments, medications, and other things. You need to be very organized to do these things well. As a nurse, you need to be good at managing your time, talking to people, and keeping things organized so that you can find all the important information about your patients quickly.
“Keeping things in order is important if you want to be a nurse. Over the years, I’ve learned how to organize things well, including clinical analysis methods and other ways to make information easy to understand. Now, I can take care of more than one patient at a time without forgetting anything about their treatment, medical history, or progress.
5. What do you tell a doctor who doesn’t act like a doctor?
Nurses don’t have as much training as doctors, but they are very important in taking care of patients and giving them the treatment that doctors recommend. Doctors can be hard to work with or won’t help if they don’t want to. Show that you are an adult who knows how to solve problems in your answer.
“I work with a number of doctors and other people in the medical field every day. Some of them are good with people and know how to be humble. Some people don’t think that what nurses do is important. When a doctor didn’t act like an adult, I tried to. But there was one time when I had to tell a higher-up about a doctor. We had different ideas about how to help a dying patient, and the situation almost got out of hand. So that nothing bad would happen, I told HR.”
6.How do you talk to the family of a patient?
The patient’s situation affects his or her family the most. Some people might not like what you say, but others might get to know you better. It’s important to know how to work with them in a way that shows you care about your patient and makes things easier for their friends and family.
“As an RN, I know that my job is to take care of patients and try to make them as comfortable as possible while reassuring their families.” But I am honest and firm with my family so I don’t give them false hopes. If one of my patients dies, I try to tell their families in a kind way and give them as much comfort as I can.
7.How do you, as a boss, deal with problems between coworkers?
The best way for a medical facility to work is if everyone gets along and works together, but you may not always get along with your coworkers. Your ability to solve problems and lead should help settle things down and get everyone back to working as a team.
“Since nurses are people, it’s natural for tensions to rise from time to time. When that happens, I would talk to the people involved and try to find a solution that works for everyone. If they are worried about how a coworker is acting, I’m always willing to help smooth things over. If they keep fighting and it gets in the way of taking care of patients, I may have to tell the bosses.”
8. Do you prefer to work on your own or with a group?
A nurse’s job requires her to work with many different types of doctors, lab technicians, anesthesiologists, radiographers, and other medical professionals. Because of this, a nurse should be able to work well with others, so make sure your answer shows you can do this.
“As a nurse, the only way I can make a difference is by working as part of a team. I can do what doctors tell me and tell junior nurses what to do when things get dangerous.
9.How will you treat a patient who has been sick for a long time?
This question is asked by recruiters to see how well you can understand and talk to other people. It’s important for a nurse to be honest and stay friendly with long-term patients.
“People who have been sick for a long time can be hard to care for because there’s no guarantee they’ll get better. As a nurse, it’s not just my job to give them medicine and keep the doctors up to date on how they’re doing. I also help them feel better and give them hope that things will get better. I would talk to them, hear about their problems, and try to help them figure out how to solve them.”
10.What is the best way to get a nurse who is too comfortable to do their best work?
People who work in the medical field, like nurses and doctors, are under a lot of stress and pressure at work, which can make them less productive. This question tests your ability to lead and sees if you can get your subordinates and coworkers to do their best work.
Example: “If I hear that a nurse isn’t doing as well as they usually do, I would try to find out why. I know that nurses and doctors are under a lot of pressure, so I know it’s normal for their work to slow down sometimes. But I’ll do everything I can to help them get through this hard time so they can work harder and do a better job.”