Nobody likes interviews. They are just an avenue for uncomfortable questions under the guise of trying to verify your competency for a given post.
For positions like nursing, for example, interviews are crucial. Not only are they necessary to determine your competency for the job, but they’re also necessary for learning about the position you’re taking up.
Here is an exhaustive list of questions you should ask at a nursing interview to get you ready for the position.
Best Questions to Ask at a Nursing Interview (As the Applicant)
1- What does your typical nurse-to-patient ratio look like?
This question is necessary to evaluate your typical workload at the facility. If the facility has a higher patient-to-nurse ratio, you should brace for a lot more work.
Having to do more work than usual isn’t necessarily bad. It is imperative to help nurses gain needed work experience.
2- What medical record systems do nurses use here?
Medical facilities use different electronic medical systems. With this variety, there’s a chance that you’ve never used the EMR system the hospital uses.
Knowing what kind of EMR system the hospital uses buys you time to learn how to use it if you eventually get selected at the hospital.
3- Do you provide any additional training or orientation to your nurses?
No two nursing jobs are the same. In a new job, you will need to use new equipment and work with new colleagues.
Asking for the potential orientation programs helps you weigh your options and leaves a good impression on your interview, showing that you’re interested in taking the position.
4- How does your training look?
Understanding how the institution handles training for nurses can help you adjust very quickly.
It can help you do preliminary research about their training practices, speeding you through the process quicker than you’ll realize.
5- Who is my direct supervisor here, to whom will I be reporting?
Before taking up any medical post, it’s crucial to know the ranking system. Who do you report to, and how do you give input when things don’t go well.
These are questions to ask before taking up the job, as you’ll need to know them to work effectively.
6- How often do you conduct performance evaluations?
This is a question most interviewers don’t expect you to ask, but you should ask anyway.
Asking about the frequency of performance evaluations shows that you’re ready to work hard and don’t shy away from performance reports.
7- How do you measure the performance of nurses at evaluations?
Hospitals have different ways to judge the performance of their staff. This is one thing you shouldn’t be assuming.
Knowing the criteria that the facility uses to measure the performance of nurses will help you understand what to focus on, speeding up your progress at the job.
8- What does your on-call policy look like, are there any?
As a nurse, you may need to be on-call for specific days. This means you should be ready to resume duty on-call.
Most hospitals compensate nurses for on-call duty, but the compensation structure differs. Learning what the compensation structure looks like helps you make a better career choice.
9- Are there any tuition reimbursement offers for nurses?
If you plan on furthering your academics as a nurse, you may want to work at facilities that offer tuition reimbursement.
The best way to know is by asking at an interview. Skimming through their tuition reimbursement policy will also help you plan for the growth of your career.
10- What is your overtime policy (if you have any)?
Some hospitals will require you to work overtime at some point in time. During an interview, it’s crucial to learn what the facility thinks of overtime work.
You should ask questions to learn if the facility normalizes overtime duty or gets enough staff to cover the regular schedule.
Inquiring how many nurses work overtime might be a little overboard, but may also help determine the job fits your schedule.
11- What can increase my chances of success while working here?
This question is especially crucial if you plan to stay at the company over a long period. Knowing what people earn favors for doing will undoubtedly help you advance too.
Asking this question also leaves a good impression of you, as it convinces the interviewer that you’re willing to commit to the hospital.
12- What challenges do other nurses face?
You don’t always get a rosy ride, especially with nursing jobs. You’ll have to face some challenges and scale through them.
Learning what challenges other nurses face could give you an insight into what challenges you’ll potentially face and how you can deal with them.
13- Are there any support or mentorship opportunities?
Facilities that prioritize staff growth always provide mentorship opportunities to new hires.
Asking this question leaves the impression that you’re willing to advance your skill and familiarize yourself with the job faster.
14- How do you like working here?
It’s not all about the institution you’ll be working for. You also matter, and you decide to be happy at work.
Asking this question could help uncover some not-so-good things about the facility, helping you decide if you can live with them.
Ask this question with care, however, depending on who is conducting the interview.
15- How do you handle weekend shifts?
Sometimes, you will need to work shifts during the weekend. However, this shouldn’t be so frequent that you don’t have any time to enjoy your weekends.
Typically, hospitals will have nurses work weekend shifts once every three weeks or so. Having to take weekend shifts every week isn’t only tiring, it’s also unfair.
16- How do you appreciate your nurses?
You should avoid working at a facility that holds no value for its staff. If the interviewer can’t list methods that the organization uses to appreciate their staff, the job may not be worth it.
17- What does your ideal nursing candidate look like; what qualities do you want them to have?
Asking this question helps you learn what the facility wants of their nurses and which skills you need to hone.
If you can ask these questions early on, you can blend them into your skillset to help you get hired.
For Grad Nurses
18- Who are my support people during residency?
If the hospital has a residency program set up for grad nurses, you may want to learn about the basic structure and to whom you’ll be reporting.
Inquiring about your trainers before the fact isn’t too soon and will only help you blend in faster.
19- What’s the existing structure for new nurses coming off orientation?
After the orientation program for graduate nurses, what next?
The best structure for nurses coming off orientation is working under supervision with continued support. As a graduate nurse, if the facility lacks provisions for this, you should consider trying another.
There’s nothing worse than a nurse hating their job; the lives of people are at stake.
20- What are the main problems you face with grad nurses, and how can I avoid them?
This question leaves a good impression that you’re trying to improve on the existing culture.
It can also enable you to gain valuable insight into what is expected of you in your position, and you can scale through effortlessly.
21- How many class hours do I get; how does it compare to the practice hours?
Having a clear answer to this question gives you a clear impression of how your typical workday will look.
You’ll also learn if the facility hires graduate nurses to do more work or get more training. Either way is okay, but you can make your choice.
22- How long is the residency program?
The length of residency programs varies across institutions. Depending on how you want to fast-track your career, you may be aiming for shorter or longer residency programs.
Residency programs typically take six to 12 months. You may also want to know what happens after the residency and how the residency program looks.
Top Questions Asked at a Nursing Interview (By the Interviewer)
23-Do you want to work in this facility; why?
This is a commonly asked interview question, but that doesn’t make it easy to answer. You can only answer this question perfectly if you’ve conducted preemptive research about the facility.
This question allows you to outline everything you’ve learned about the institution so far and what makes it a better place of work than others.
Before going for any nursing interview, conducting some research about the facility is crucial to increase your chances of getting hired.
24- What are your weaknesses?
Interviewers ask this question mainly to determine your honesty. They want to know if you can point out a flaw about yourself, making the question tricky to answer.
Point out a weakness that you can improve on but doesn’t make you inappropriate for the position.
Fronting positive weaknesses like “I’m a perfectionist” doesn’t work. Everyone is a perfectionist. However, it doesn’t hurt to add such positive flaws to keep the discussion lively.
25- Do you excel in teamwork, or do you prefer to work by yourself?
You don’t need to choose one. Excellent nurses excel as part of a team and don’t fall behind if you leave everything to them.
Answer this question by pointing out your abilities to work alone and also as part of a team.
26- Where do you see yourself in five years?
Interviewers mostly ask this if the facility is looking for nurses to work over the long term.
This is not an opportunity for you to fantasize about salary increments or promotions. Instead, outline the personal academic goals that you’ll be putting in motion.
Would you want to advance from being an LPN to an RN or even an APRN? This question gives you a perfect opportunity to let the interviewer know all of these.
27- How long will you like to work here if you get hired?
Like the previous one, interviewers ask this question if they see you working with them over an extended period.
The answer to this is similar to the previous one. If you see yourself scaling over the institution in no time, here is the perfect place to give a realistic timeline.
Some Questions to Avoid at a Nursing Interview
28- When do I get a promotion?
There’s no doubt that you’ll get a promotion after a period of satisfactory work at the institution.
However, asking about promotions during the interview shows that you’re more interested in promotions than caring for patients if you get hired.
To increase your chances of getting an appointment, you should avoid asking this or related questions.
29- Will I have to take a drug test after selection?
There is absolutely no reason why you should ask this question if you don’t do drugs.
Because it’s awkward for the interviewer to ask if you do drugs, they’re usually on the lookout for these kinds of questions during the interview to see your take on drugs.
Avoid asking questions relating to a drugs test during an interview. Even if you do, the answer will surely be a resounding yes.
30- How much do you pay?
As a practicing nurse, you should prioritize caring for your patients over everything else. Questions relating to the compensation structure are unnecessary and can leave a negative impression, especially early in the interview.
Always allow the interviewer to bring up salary-related discussions and focus on patient care and career development instead.
An interview should be an avenue for dialogue. Before going for an interview, it’s crucial to learn a few things about the institution offering the job.
Also, asking questions relating to the advancement of your career and the working environment you’re transitioning to gives you an idea of what you’re getting.
You don’t have to do all that yourself. That’s why we’ve compiled 30 questions you should consider asking at a nursing interview to increase your chances of getting hired.
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