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20 Important Sample Nursing Behavioral Interview Questions and Answers

Do you think you have what it takes to be a good nurse? Simply passing an examination is not enough. Compassion, communication skills, empathy, resilience, and adaptability are some of the qualities that every good nursing professional must have. We have listed a few common questions that any aspiring nursing intern would have to face in an interview.

All About Behavioral Style Nursing Interview Questions

A successful interview is not just about answering the technical questions correctly; the employer also checks your overall body language, vocabulary, and personality. Behavioral questions check your potential in nurse job interview. Most applicants are absolutely clueless about answering these questions; we are here to help with our nursing interview tips.

How to Answer the Behavioral Interview Questions?

Behavioral questions are basically a set of problems or hypothetical situations that the interviewer puts you in to check your reaction to it. We have compiled some of the difficult questions that will be asked to a CNA or Registered Nurse candidate:

1. How Well Do You Handle Work Pressure?

Here the interviewer wants to check your resilience and dedication to work. The healthcare sector can get pretty demanding and they want to see how well you are under pressure.

As a CNA candidate, I understand how demanding and pressurizing my work can get and I’m totally prepared to handle it. I am good at multitasking and am known for keeping my cool even under the most stressful of situations.

2. Would You Describe Yourself As Organised?

As a nursing official, you’ll have to deal with a lot of paperwork and details of patients, case studies, medicines among other things. Good organization skills are a must-have for any CNA candidate.

In a team, I am that meticulous person who believes in keeping things in order. Also, I am aware of the latest sorting and analysis methods used in the sector today and hence a good organizer.

3. How Would You Deal With A Difficult Patient?

A hypothetical question that wants to check your reaction or behavior in case of a tough situation

As a practicing nurse, I understand that not all patients that I’ll have to deal with will be easy and cooperative. There may be times when I’d have to take care of a difficult case. I would try to empathize with his/her pain, try to understand their problems and solve it ASAP. I am a compassionate and sensitive person who can be both firms yet gentle with patients when required.

4. What Would You Do If The Doctor is Unprofessional?

Again a situation or scenario that checks your presence of mind and maturity

As a registered nurse I have worked with a number of professionals and doctors in various fields of medicine. There have been cases where the doctor was rude, uncooperative or troublesome to deal with. In such cases, it is best to keep ones cool and address the problem as maturely as possible. Also, I won’t hesitate in reporting this to the higher authorities if the matters go out of hand.

5. How Would You Deal With An Uncooperative Colleague? 

In an organization you’ll have to deal with all kinds of people; some of them might be difficult to deal with. That doesn’t mean you lose your cool, the interviewer wants to check your presence of mind.

Working as a nursing supervisor or Registered CNA it’s my responsibility to maintain harmony in the workspace and I will do my best to enforce it. In case there is an uncooperative employee or colleague working under me I would try my best to help them and encourage them to perform better.

6. How Can You Best Motivate a Complacent Nurse To Perform Better?

If I notice a nurse is underperforming then I’d talk to them and try understanding their problem. Most nursing officials, doctors or other staffs working in a hospital are under immense stress and work pressure. It is perfectly normal for people to snap and lose their cool momentarily.

7. How Would You Deal With The Patients Relatives?

The interviewer wants to see how sensitive and emphatic you are to the pain of others.

Seeing a loved one in pain can be a very stressful and painful experience for the family and I would be extremely patient with them. They are the ones who are hit the most and suffer immense trauma. However, that doesn’t mean I would give them any false hopes. I understand that as a nurse it is my duty, to be honest, yet gentle in breaking down the bad news to the family.

8. What Are the Precautionary Measures You’d Take When Dealing with a Chronic Patient?

Chronic patients can be pretty difficult to deal with as they are resigned to their fate and have very little faith in a full recovery. As a nurse my duty is not only limited to giving them their meds, but also extends to cleaning them up and also reporting their progress regularly to the doctors. A bit of optimism and cheerfulness can make all the difference to their life. I would establish open communication channels and talk to them about their physical, mental and emotional problems.

9. How Would You Cheer Up A Depressed Patient?

Patients in any medical institution often have several mental or psychological issues that can adversely affect their physical health and progress. In such a case I would try to cheer them up and keep a healthy transparent communication channel. Maintaining proper hygiene, organizing fun activities, outdoor programs etc. are some of the ways I would plan to motivate a depressed patient.

10. How Would You Calm An Aggressive Patient Down?

The interviewer wants to understand how level-headed you are and would react in such a situation.

When dealing with an aggressive or violent patient, the most important thing is to be as patient as possible. I would deal with a cranky patient with utmost gentleness and sensitivity. I would try talking to them and understand their problem. In case the problem persists I would suggest a professional deal with them.

11. How Would You Transfer A Patient From One Bed To Another?

New grad candidates fresh out of college are well versed in the technical knowledge but have zero experience in the nursing sector. The interview will test their practical knowledge and behavior when posed with a situation such as this

I would first tell the patient exactly how I am going to transfer them. This would prepare them for any sudden movements or surprises. Then I would call for 3-4 assistants depending on the weight, age, and size of the patient. Carefully the four of us would then lift him/her up either manually or using a machine and lay them on the other bed.

12. Are You A Team Player?

Any organization would want a candidate who is comfortable working in a team. A cooperative, compassionate and easy-going person is an asset for any medical institute.

I am a team player. I understand the importance of teamwork and am willing to be as cooperative with my colleagues as the situation demands. I am capable of taking charge of a situation, make quick smart decisions and also follow orders to the T.

13. What Motivates You To Be A Nurse?

This is a typical question that every interview has where the employer wants to gauge your passion, your interest, and level of commitment to the medical field.

Nursing is a very noble profession where I get to help people and ease their suffering. I get to make a difference in the lives of hundreds of people with a kind word or gesture. Of course, money is a motive too.

14. How Would You Deal With Conflict in Workspace?

Conflicts, especially in a peaceful and professional environment of a medical institute can heavily impact the reputation of the hospital. A fight or argument in the workspace is common; your reaction to it makes all the difference. I would try to resolve the issue by first hearing out both the parties. In case the issue turns violent I’d get the higher authorities involved.

15. What Would You Do If an Office Staff Misbehaves With A Patient?

One of the most important nurse skills that any candidate must possess is sharp observational skills and presence of mind. The interviewer wants to check that by giving you a hypothetical scenario

In case I notice any office staff misbehaving with a patient or any other person inside the hospital premises I would take immediate action and try to resolve the conflict. If the official is found to be at fault then I would report him/her to the higher officials. I would also apologize to the victim and try to compensate for any loss or injury physical, mental or otherwise.

16. How Well Can You Cope With the Advances in Medicine?

The medical field has come a long way since the times when nurses have to maintain manual journals and jot down notes consistently.  The interviewer wants to check your technical know-how and competency.

I am pretty familiar with the latest devices, systems, and programs associated with the medical sector. I can work on the advanced database, applications and analytical software for faster, accurate and efficient sorting of information.

17. Tell Me About the Previous Work Experience and Employer?

Talking about the previous work experience shows your loyalty, integrity, and honesty towards the professions. Ensure that you mention only the good things and don’t overtly criticise your employer,

My work experience with previous intuitions and under other professionals has been enriching, to say the least. I learned a lot about the technicalities of the medical sector. I joined my previous work as an amateur nursing assistant and am now qualified for a registered nursing supervisor.

18. Describe the Previous Patients and Cases You’ve Dealt With?

Working in the medical field, I had to deal with loads of patients, all having different ailments and issues. Sometimes, the patients are extremely friendly and cooperative, on other occasions they are aggressive, aloof and even downright violent. I remember a case where I was entrusted with the care of a child who was severely injured in an accident. The most challenging thing about the case was distracting the child from the pain and cheering him up from the pain.

19. What Would You Do If Your Replacement Didn’t Arrive?

The interviewer wants to check how cooperating and loyal you are to the organization

Nursing duty works in shifts, each employee has a time period allocated to them. There may be times when someone would need an emergency leave or is late to their shift. If the problem is genuine then I have no problem cooperating. However, I won’t hesitate in reporting to the authorities if my colleagues are slacking or irregular with their work.

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