Common Interview Questions for Nurses

Hey, it’s been a while! A lot has happened since you saw me last. I graduated from nursing school, passed the NCLEX-RN exam, got my first RN job, and found out that my husband and I are expecting our first baby in November! I plan on writing bits and pieces about each of these milestones, but thought I should start out with the most common interview questions for nurses.


This is still a strange and awesome sight to see. I have worked so hard to get those two letters behind my name!

Before interviewing, I prepared a list of 30 questions that I thought might be asked in my interviews. I typed out my answers to each one, including stories from clinical and work experiences that highlighted my strengths.

After typing out each answer, I rehearsed my answer OUT LOUD (the “out loud” part is very important). If you practice your answers out loud, you will be able to make your answers sound more natural, and you’ll know if you need to tweak it a little bit. The way I write is different than the way I talk, as I’m sure it is with most people (so rehearse, rehearse, rehearse!).

For your convenience, here are the 30 questions I prepared. If you think of any that I missed, please add them in the comment section below! As you answer each question, remember to be honest and positive!

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. Tell me about a situation where you upheld patient confidentiality.
  3. Why should we hire you?
  4. Do you like to work alone or in teams?
  5. Are there any certifications that you’re interested in obtaining?
  6. Give me an example of how you have handled change in the past.
  7. Tell me a time when you went above and beyond.
  8. How would you prioritize your shifts?
  9. How would you respond if a patient is upset?
  10. Give me an example of how you’ve worked as a team.
  11. Tell me about a time when you had to problem-solve.
  12. What lead to your interest in nursing?
  13. Describe a challenging experience you had in one of your clinical rotations and how did you solve the problem?
  14. When faced with a stressful work situation, how do you relax?
  15. Give me an example of a time when you knew you did a good job as a nurse/student.
  16. How would you respond to the charge nurse if asked to do some of the menial tasks for patients which are not normally your responsibility?
  17. Do you think you’ll be a career nurse, or will you be eventually looking for another profession?
  18. Can you describe a situation connected with nursing that made you angry?
  19. What type of colleague do you least like to work with?
  20. How many years do you see yourself staying with this facility?
  21. How do you go about making a decision?
  22. Tell me about a time when you provided for a patient’s cultural needs.
  23. How could you contribute to this facility?
  24. Tell me about a previous mistake and the lessons you learned from it.
  25. Tell me about a time when you had to work with a difficult person.
  26. What do you know about _____ hospital?
  27. What do you know about the _____ unit that you’re applying for?
  28. Tell me about a challenge or conflict you’ve faced at work and how you dealt with it?
  29. What’s a time that you exercised leadership?
  30. Tell me about a time you disagreed with a decision made by an authority figure.