Nurse Interview
Questions and Answers

Nurse interview questions will explore certain key areas including your nursing background, your suitability for the specific job, your motivation and your understanding of the nursing role in today's healthcare environment.

Be prepared for your nursing interview, use the sample interview answers to develop your own winning responses to these typical nursing job interview questions. Answer each question completely but concisely and come across as the right nursing professional for the job.


Expect interview questions that assess your training, qualifications and work experience as they relate to the nursing job opportunity.

Where did you get your training and what qualifications and certifications do you have?

Explain why you have chosen a specific area of practice.  Be prepared to discuss your theoretical training as well as the practical component. Remember to take copies of your certifications with you.

Nurses at work

You will be asked nurse interview questions around your work experience based on the resume you have submitted.

Prepare by carefully going through your resume beforehand. Be completely familiar with your tasks and responsibilities and the skills, abilities and knowledge you have gained.

Anticipate the following type of questions:

This nursing job requires training and experience in ......... Tell me how your training and experience fulfill this requirement.

Your resume shows that you have knowledge of ........ Please tell me more about your experience in this area.

What is your experience in ..... Tell me in some detail how you went about performing this task?

In answering these nurse interview questions highlight special achievements and the acquisition of specific skills and abilities. Use the opportunity to demonstrate your commitment to nursing. Speak positively about your experiences and previous employers. Keep your answer relevant to the requirements of the nursing opportunity.

Prepare for these common nurse interview questions and you will be able to give effective and convincing answers that set you apart as an excellent candidate for the nursing job.

Why are you the right person for this nursing job?

Highlight why your training and experience qualify you for this specific nurse job. Prepare for this beforehand by closely reviewing the key job requirements and matching the relevant skills and abilities you have gained to these. Provide specific examples of these skills when answering this question.

Use your background research to show your understanding of the key challenges faced by this organization. Detail how you can help meet these challenges and be part of the solution

Why are you interested in this particular nursing job?

Again prepare for this by finding out as much as possible about the job and the facility. Demonstrate why this job is the one you particularly want using this background research. For example:

"I am specifically looking for a position in a facility like this because of it's excellent emergency care ....."

What have been your most significant accomplishments to date?

Describe achievements that relate to this nursing job. Take specific examples and describe how your approach benefited the patient and/or facility.

What do you consider your strengths and weaknesses as a nursing professional?

Prepare three or four key strengths that relate closely to the job you are interviewing for. Reinforce each strength with a concrete example. Go to what are your strengths to help you with this question.

List of Strengths and Weaknesses

Be honest about your weaknesses, show you have the maturity and insight to recognize your areas for improvement. State a weakness and then discuss how you are managing it and the improvements you have made so far.

What are your future goals?

Your answer should show your commitment to this job and facility. You can explain how this nursing job meets your long term objectives by providing an opportunity to grow and develop your nursing skills.

Be realistic and select reasonable, achievable goals otherwise you will come across as a bit of a dreamer.

Why are you leaving your present job?

Explain how this opening provides a new challenge and opportunity. Avoid criticizing your former employer or colleagues and giving a negative reason for leaving. Focus on the positive possibilities that will come with a move to a new nursing job.

What do you consider the most important qualities for this nursing job?

Make your answer relevant to the specific nursing job. For example common qualities required for successful performance as an ER Nurse include adaptability, resilience, critical thinking, organization and planning, emotional stability and high stress tolerance.

What did you like and dislike about your previous position?

The interviewer is evaluating your suitability and compatibility with this nursing opportunity. General likes that are applicable to most nursing jobs include learning opportunities, professional growth, job diversity and directly contributing to improving patient care.

The dislikes should not refer to characteristics of the nurse job you are interviewing for. Stay away from reasons that involve common working conditions such as overtime. Avoid criticisms of your previous employer but refer to the absence of something that you want in your new job such as the opportunity to use your initiative more or learn new skills.

Expect nurse interview questions that explore your motivation for the nursing job and a nursing career.

Why did you choose your specialty area of nursing?

Whether the area of specialization is ER, Occupational Health, Community Health, ICU or any other, the key to answering interview questions about your nursing career choice is to be very specific about why you chose it. What influenced you in your choice? How did you explore your options? Highlight how your strengths are best utilized in this area and how it suits your personal competencies.

Why do you want to work in our hospital and/or community?

Use your background research to support your answer. Look at aspects such as the commitment to health care provision, innovations in patient care, the community it serves.

How do you stay current with the nursing profession?

Nurse interview questions about your motivation to learn and stay updated are important indicators of your commitment to nursing as a career. Examples include attending conferences, subscribing to professional nursing journals, joining relevant forums and groups and conducting online research.

What are the biggest challenges facing nursing today?

Healthcare systems globally are struggling to meet the demands of the populations they serve. One of the major problems is the current shortage of trained nurses. Use your interview answer to demonstrate that you have thought about this issue and offer up some reasons as to why there is such a shortage of skilled nurses.

Possible reasons include low nursing school enrollment due to poor perceptions of nursing as a fairly rewarded career and nurses leaving the profession before retirement age due to job dissatisfaction. You need to be able to show your interest in nursing as a career by demonstrating that you have thought about the current and future issues facing nurses.

A number of nurse interview questions will be competency-based or behavioral interview questions. Go to this section to view behavioral nursing interview questions with answer guidelines.

Prepare a list of good interview questions to ask in your nursing interview.

Stand out as a professional nursing job candidate with these nursing interview tips

Expect a number of common job interview questions in your nursing interview.

Nursing Job Search Tools

Nurse Job Description

Sample Nursing Resume

Nursing Cover Letter

Competency Based Nurse Interview Questions

Practice answering these sample nurse interview questions in mock sessions with a colleague, friend or relation until you feel comfortable about handling your nursing job interview.

Use this mock job interview to practice for your interview.

Follow up properly after your nursing interview. 

Job Interviews > Job Interview Guide > Nursing Job Interview > Nurse Interview Questions

  AddThis Social Bookmark Button

Return to Top of Page