Interview questions for a nursing position

Preparation and research are key to having a successful interview for a nursing position. Anticipating the types of questions your interviewer might ask will enable you to prepare some answers so you can come across in the best way possible. Whether you're a recent nursing graduate or are looking for a change from your current nursing job, there are particular questions relating to this role you can expect to come up in your interview.


Interviewers will want to get a feel for who you are as a person and what motivates you to be a nurse. This profession requires people skills, team-working skills and a dedicated and reliable attitude, so your interviewer will be trying to gauge whether you possess the right attributes to be a good nurse. Common questions include:

Tell me about yourself and what's not covered on your resume.

What motivates you?

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Give me an example of when you worked well in a team.

Do you handle pressure well?

What makes you a good nurse?

What is your greatest achievement?

Why are you leaving your current job?

Specific to the Post

Interviewers will ask questions to find out why you've chosen this specific job at this specific hospital/organisation. They're trying to filter out those people who don't appear to understand what makes the facility unique and why the available job is more appealing than any other. Common questions include:

Why would you like to work for our company?

What do you think of our company's mission statement?

Why have you chosen the specialisation of nursing?

What do you think are the main challenges in this role?

How do you see your career progressing in this position?

Have you read anything recently that you think you could apply to your work in this role?

Describe your ideal line manager.

What are the three most important skills needed for this position?

Qualifications and Experience

Interviewers will want to make sure you have the necessary qualifications, training and experience to fulfil the needs of the position. Sometimes people are dishonest on their resume, so this is a chance for interviewers to grill you about your educational and professional achievements. Common questions include:

Why did you choose to study nursing where you did?

Tell me about your best piece of work during your nursing course?

What was your greatest accomplishment during college?

Have you done any additional training since graduating?

Tell me about three things that you learnt during your previous job/placement?

What were your responsibilities in your last position?

Current Industry Issues

Nurses are expected to be aware of and take an interest in current affairs relating to nursing and health, so interviewers will want you to demonstrate a good level of knowledge in this area. Common questions include:

What are the current health issues?

What journals and publications do you read relevant to nursing?

Tell me about a recent article you read that was interesting.

Has there been any legislation passed recently that you think could affect nursing in the future?

Interviewee Questions

It's common practice for interviewers to ask at the end of an interview whether you'd like to ask them any questions. This is your opportunity to demonstrate that you've really thought about the position, the company and how you might fit in, so it's wise to prepare at least a couple interesting questions. Good examples include:

What is your patient-to-nurse ratio?

Do you have any support staff to assist nurses?

Do you offer any training opportunities for professional advancement?

How often do you review the performance of your nurses?

What challenges and projects lie ahead for the organisation?

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About the Author

Emily Watson started writing in 2008. Watson has been published in "Children & Young People Now," "Youth Work Now," "Accent magazine," "The House Hunter," "Gap Year Business," "Timeout Education" and online at and She holds an honors degree in history from Newcastle University and has a PMA-Group postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism.

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