What is a CNA?
A Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) is a dedicated assistant to the registered nurse. He or she acts as the nurses’ eyes and ears in a particular case. They are also required to take care of the most essential needs of their charge, bringing them into close contact with the patients. These nurse aids act as bridges to higher authorities. Nursing assistants are the ones fulfilling the basic needs of the patients, and they are distinguished by their patience and dedication to the job.
Once you qualify the competency test, you need to prepare for the CNA interview. The interview has a lot of standard, as well as job specific questions. CNA interview is your big chance to impress the panel and pave the way for a successful start to your career. Thankfully, by studying some of the common interview questions for CNA exam, you can be well prepared and improve your chances of success.
In the subsequent sections, we will cover 25 frequently asked questions in CNA interviews, and how you can answer them.
1. Tell Me About Yourself?
Usually the first question you’ll be asked at any interview. This eases you into the whole interviewing process. However, don’t go about babbling about yourself, mention just the professional details.
Once you have stated your name, age and academic qualifications give them an insight into your background. This might include your hometown, the family, the schooling, and hobbies.
2. What Are Your Strengths and Weaknesses?
Don’t simply state your academic qualifications. Try to stay as honest and transparent as possible. The interviewer wants to check the confidence and credibility of the candidate here.
Sample Answer – I’m an honest and hardworking person capable of handling pressure under extreme emergencies. I am a team player and can mingle well with my colleagues and superiors. You can look at the previous projects and teams I’ve been for a better insight into my teamwork and management skills.
3. Why Do You Want To Be A CNA?
The interviewer wants to know more about the passion and love you hold for the job. Yes, money may be an incentive here, but speaking about the emotions and respect for the work is what will earn you the brownie points here.
Sample Answer – I’ve had always wanted to help people and I feel that being a nurse is the best way I can achieve that. Being a CNA, I also get to learn a lot about medicine and the basic first-aid and precautions required to keep a patient safe from immediate danger. The fact that the job pays well is an added bonus.
4. Tell Us About Your Previous Employer and Working Experience?
Refrain from discussing the negative aspects of the job and your previous boss here. Talk about the good stuff, the things you have learned and the experience and knowledge you have gained in your previous workspace.
Sample Answer – I have worked in hospitals and private clinics before, a very enriching experience indeed. My previous employer Jack has been extremely helpful, patient and considerate in training an amateur like me. All that I know about CNA has been because of him and I’m grateful for that.
5. Why Should We Hire You?
Another one of the trick questions where the interviewer wants to know how you play your strengths and test your confidence.
Sample Answer – I think I will be a perfect candidate for the organization as I have the experience and the skill required for the job. Other than the technicalities of medicine I have the urge and will to work for others and help them get better and this is what makes me a good CNA.
6. What Are the Common Challenges You’ll Have to Face as a CNA?
Be as truthful and pragmatic as possible. State the challenges you have faced in your previous jobs and how you tackled them
Sample Answer – Working as a CNA is no piece of cake and I understand it. I have faced a number of challenges and obstacles in my previous workspaces such as:
- Dealing with cranky and difficult patients
- Managing the night shifts
- Avoid any conflict with co-workers
- Having to deal with the internal politics of the organizations
7. What Will Be Your Duties As A CNA?
Here you will have to talk about the responsibilities and duties that your job as a CNA entails:
Sample Answer – I understand the duties I will have to perform as a certified nurse and the problems it includes. I feel I am qualified enough to handle these responsibilities some of them include:
- Taking care of the patient, this involves the basic tasks such as giving them their medication, back rubs, cleaning them, assisting them to the bathroom etc.
- Serving meals, turning the patients, dressing their wounds and monitoring the various medical tests and procedures
- Record, document, and store the vital body stats such as blood tests, urine tests, body temperature, heart rate etc. regularly
8. How Would You Deal With An Aggressive Patient?
Next, the interviewer might state a hypothetical problem to see how you keep your calm during hostile situations, try being as diplomatic and level-headed as possible.
Sample Answer – Dealing with an aggressive or uncooperative patient is never a pleasant experience but I try my best to put them at ease and understand what’s ailing them so much. The most important thing here is to be kind and gentle with them, I try to talk to them and keep them updated on the medical procedures that I would perform. Having had the experience of dealing with difficult patients in the past as well, I can assure you that I will be vigilant and will keep an eye out for them.
9. As A CNA What Are the Things You’ll Have to Take Care of When Transferring a Patient from Bed?
This is a technical question that needs to be answered practically and to the point. Keep your answer as pragmatic and real as possible.
Sample Answer – As a CNA my job also includes moving patients or assists them in the physical movement if they are themselves incapable of it. Firstly I will check whether they can carry their own weight. If the patient is cooperative and can move with a little help I would then use a gait or support belt to help transfer them. In case the patient is unable to move at all, I might need to call in a couple of caretakers and use a body sling to transfer them.
10. What Will Be Your Approach While Doing A Lateral Side Transfer For Patient Having Different Weight?
In this question, the interviewer wants to know how well you handle the situation and also get an idea of how quick your decision-making skills are.
Sample Answer – In my experience as a CNA, I have to deal with all kinds of patients. Some overweight and some physically incapable of any movement. Transferring or moving them usually requires special equipment and a couple of assistants and caretakers. If a patient weighs less than a hundred pounds a body sling and 2 caregivers are enough to move his body laterally. However, in case the patient is over 200 pounds we’ll need a mechanical side transfer device.
11. What Are The Precautions You Will Have To Keep In Mind While Using Bath Boards and Transfer Benches?
The interviewer wants to check how well you understand the responsibilities and duties you’ll have to perform as a CNA.
Sample Answer – One of my duties as a CNA is to take care of the hygiene of the patients entrusted to my care. Some of the precautionary measures I’ll apply are:
- Place a washcloth or a soft fabric between the patient’s skin and the transfer bench
- Ensure that the wheels of the wheelchair are properly locked and that the ground is not very slippery
- Help the patient move about and support his weight to avoid slipping and accidents
- Ensure that the water has drained out properly and that the patient is comfortable and properly cleaned up
12. State the Difference Between Intradermal and Intravenous?
For an aspiring CNA, this is a very basic and preliminary question. Keep your answer as technical and to the point as possible.
Sample Answer – Intradermal is a method where the CNA injects the drug into the patient’s body through the dermis or the upper layer of the skin. In intravenous, the drug or medicine is injected directly into the blood stream through the veins.
13. Mention the Different Stages of A Pressure Sore?
Here, the interviewer is specifically asking a medical, technical question to understand how well your theoretical knowledge is. Keep your answer simple and to the point:
Sample – There are basically four stages of a pressure sore:
- Stage 1 is where the sore is red and doesn’t turn white when pressed
- Stage 2 is when the pressure sore breaks the upper layer of the skin but doesn’t go all the way inside
- Stage 3 and 4 are pretty serious as the pressure sore turn into ulcers that move down all the way to the muscles and tendons and bones
14. Explain Occlusive Dressing?
Try adding an element of care and personal touch to the answer; don’t just use the medical jargon and technical terms. The interviewer wants to check your technical knowledge and work ethics here.
Sample Answer – As a CNA I’ll be responsible for dressing and clean the wounds of the patients entrusted to my care. Occlusive dressing happens to be one of the ways I can go about in providing immediate relief and temporary aid to my patient. An occlusive dressing is not a long-term solution, but a quick fix that is used to stop the blood flow and prevent the risk of further infection. Covering the wound, applying an ointment and providing the first-aid are all part of occlusive dressing,
15. What Do Assault and Battery Mean in CNA Practice?
Clearly, mention the difference in the technical terminologies in CNA practice
Sample Answer – Assault is the act of violence or physical abuse or a threat of violence towards someone. Battery, on the other hand, is referred to the sexual assault or manhandling of the patient.
16. What Is According To You The Best Way To Deal With An Irritant Patient?
Again, a scenario question where the interviewer wants to understand more about how patient and caring you are as a person
Sample Answer – Dealing with an irritant patient is always a challenge, but I’m up for it. Firstly, I would talk to him and try understanding his issues. I might even seek the assistance of a fellow staff member. I would then read about the patient’s history and see if has some psychological issues. If I am still unable to figure out the cause of his distress then reporting to the seniors and seeking professional help is the best way out.
17. How Can A CNA Become A LN (Licensed Nurse) or Registered Nurse?
You must be aware of the promotions and opportunities available to the CNA, talk about the future plans you have and the things you want to do.
Sample Answer – A CNA can become an LN or licensed nurse once he/she has successfully completed over 200 hours of special education in areas such as pediatrics, medicine, and gerontology. Also, you need to pass the national NCLEX-PN exam and have the required work experience in an authorized hospital or clinic.
18. Explain the Differences Between LVN, RN, and VN?
Knowing about the different designations and duties of the nursing department is always a plus point.
Sample Answer – RN is a registered nurse and is more experienced and responsible than an LVN in terms of taking care of the patient. LVN is a licensed vocational nurse, who is a subordinate of the RN and is responsible for collecting and documenting data.
19. What Are the Common Challenges You’ll Have to Face during Work?
State the obstacles and problems you’ll have to deal with and how you will tackle them
Sample Answer – Some of the issues I might have to deal with in my job will be having to instill a sense of confidence and keep the hope alive in the patient that he will get better. To and maintain harmony among the office staff and superiors. Ensure that the medicines are stocked up and that there is no problem in working for the organization.
20. How Would You Deal With A Doctor Who Is Rude and Doesn’t Cooperate With You?
The interviewer again tries giving you a hypothetical scenario. Don’t bad-mouth the organization and keep the answer as diplomatic yet firm as possible.
Sample – Sometimes, under pressure, the doctor or my superior might be a bit rude or off-putting. I wouldn’t really report it if it is a rare or once in a blue-moon. Talking it out with the doctor and sorting out any misunderstanding will be my first priority. There might be a possibility that I might be at fault. However, if the problem persists I will have to report him to the higher authorities.
21. How Would You Deal With A Difficult Patient?
The interviewer wants to know how level-headed and calm you are in an emergency or untoward situations.
Sample Answer – In case I am entrusted to care for a difficult or cranky patient I would treat him/her with utmost patience and gentleness. The most important thing here is to not lose my cool and establish a transparent communication channel and trust.
22. What is According To You The Most Rewarding Thing about Being a Nurse?
Try being as honest and transparent as possible and state why you truly love the job
Sample Answer – Being a CNA I can help and assist the weak and sick patients to get better and maybe lead a better life. There is nothing more rewarding than helping a fellow human being and see him hale and hearty at the end of it. Also, interacting with the patient’s family and giving them the hope for a speedy recovery is something that makes me happy and at peace every time.
23. What Motivates You To Be A Nurse?
The interviewer wants to know about the emotional connect and incentive here.
Sample Answer – Being a CNA has its fair share of perks and challenges. Firstly, I will have the opportunity to work with and assist doctors and professional medical experts. Secondly, I get to help people get better. And thirdly the monetary benefit is no doubt a motivator and instigating factor.
24. Discuss Your Salary Requirements
This is a tricky question; some organizations have a pretty strict pay scale that doesn’t allow any scope for bargain and discussion. However, there are smaller companies that do leave a buffer zone in negotiating the salary
Don’t mention an impractical or highly exaggerated salary- don’t price yourself outside the market
25. Do You Have Any Questions For Us?
Here, the interviewer is giving you an opportunity to clear some of the queries and doubts that you might have about your job. Make it a point to ask a few questions as you might appear uninterested if you don’t have any.