So you have passed the NCLEX-PN, applied for LPN jobs, and are now preparing for a job interview. Being an LPN is not easy as a mere qualification is not enough. While most are hired by traditional healthcare facilities, LPNs are also demanded by families to look after ailing patients. Besides these, duties of LPNs may include acting as government consultants, providing information to the public sector, and conducting programs and workshops.
Because of such a large number of employment options, it is very important to be aware of the government specifications about code of duty and the expected salary in a particular area. Nurses tend to face exploitation anyway, and the more unconventional the job description, the more alert you should be. At the same time, if you really love looking after people and care to improve lives, an LPN job can be very rewarding and satisfying.
Given below are some sample interview questions for LPN jobs, followed by their best answers, to help you with that interview lying between you and your dream job.
1. What inspired you to aim for this LPN position?
Remember that honesty is the best policy while answering such questions. At the same time, try to avoid materialistic answers, like bringing in your family or money matters. An ideal answer should reflect your passion for helping others through difficulties.
Sample Answer: After some time as a CNA, I felt I had reached a point in my career where I should challenge myself more and contribute more to the healthcare sector, which is something I am very passionate about.
2. How do you deal with stressful situations?
Stress is a big player in any work situation and workplace conversation is becoming increasingly accepting of it. With this, the interviewer wants to know whether you recognize stress as a part of your nursing role, how to maintain the personal-professional divide, and what you do to manage it.
Sample answer: I handle stress by compartmentalizing and prioritizing. That helps me in giving my best to the present, and preventing further stress. In the ER, it is the patient that matters the most to me.
3. Why do you want to work with us?
This demands a very specific answer, and you should display an acute awareness of the company you are aiming to work for. Here, you need to convince the interviewer why you should be prioritized over dozens of other candidates.
Sample answer: The quality of service that this institution has delivered over the past few years is really impressive [you can be a bit more specific in this regard], and I would be proud to associate the hard work that I would be putting into healthcare with your name.
4. Why did you leave your previous job?
This again is a very tricky question to answer. Remember not to criticize your previous workplace, because through this question your employers would also be determining your reliability. Also, try not to include mistakes that you made if they are off the record.
Sample answer: After working for some time in my previous place, I felt I had reached a point where there was no place for me to grow anymore. Having said that, I must also mention that I learnt a lot there, and contributed my bit. It is now time for me to look for new challenges.
5. What is your biggest strength?
Questions like these are aimed at knowing what the nurse thinks of himself or herself, and what the team can gain by including them. You can take your time but do come up with an honest answer without exaggerating.
Sample answer: An ideal answer to this question should be anything that you are good at- patience, thinking on your feet, good management or listening skills, just about anything in you that you are proud of.
6. What is your biggest weakness?
This is a question often asked in conjunction with the previous question. Again, be honest as that would not only prevent you from being handed things you are not good, but would also help your employers understand where exactly to place you. Do not forget to mention that you are working on those weaknesses.
Sample answer: Again, this can be anything- inability to speak in public, anxiety, inability to separate the personal from the professional, and other such things.
7. How would you deal with an anxious family member or patient?
Such scenarios are very common in hospitals, and more so at private facilities like someone’s residence and as a medical professional, you can never underestimate frayed nerves. This is a very important Licensed Practical Nurse interview question asked to understand how good you are at public relations, or keeping a cool head for that matter.
Sample answer: I understand that these are very difficult scenarios and more often than not, the patient would be in pain. I would approach things very slowly and take great care to make the patient or the family member understand. In case things start escalating, I would ask my colleagues to help, or take the matter to the authorities.
8. Where do you see yourself five years from now?
While the interviewer wants to understand your zeal through this question, try to avoid answers that may not include the institution you are currently aiming for. You may be very ambitious and hope to get a job in a hospital much better than this one, or you may marry and settle down. So the best answer should show you only as a dedicated, inspired employee.
Sample answer: In five years I plan to be more experienced and knowledgeable than I am now, and I do plan to become a Registered Nurse in the process.
9. What would you do if you did not agree with your RN?
This is a very crucial question, and it may also involve the doctor or any other senior for that matter. Remember that as an LPN, you are not allowed to intervene directly and interpret data. This is aimed at knowing how quick you are with your thoughts and actions, whether you are a good subordinate, and how professional you can be.
Sample answer: I would first try my best to understand what my senior is telling me. If I see that it is beyond my comprehension, I would follow protocol and ask some person in charge to intervene and help us out. In case of an ER emergency, I would consider it safe to follow my senior’s advice.
10. What would you do if your replacement does not arrive?
In the daily course of things, it is very common for such things to happen, and because you are applying for this position, you are expected to have already sorted out what you would be doing with your kids, your cooking and other such things in case your profession demands you to commit more.
Sample answer: I would try my best to wait for my replacement to show up. If they don’t and there is no communication, I would contact the proper authorities and arrange for a replacement and wait till they show up.
11. What would you do if you saw a colleague behaving unethically?
This is a tricky question. The interviewer would be judging your commitment to your job through this, and yet at the same time would also try to understand how safe you would be for the reputation of the institution in case there is an embarrassing situation. So you need to carefully consider management and prioritization issues while answering these questions.
Sample Answer: I believe that the action should be situation-specific. If I see that my colleague is doing something out of ignorance or inexperience, I would try to reason with her. In case he/she is emotionally distressed, I would try to get help. However, a graver situation would always require a serious consultation with the proper hospital authorities by following the chain of command.
12. How much do you expect as remuneration?
It can be assumed that you applied for a particular position knowing how much to expect as your salary. But when this question is asked, it is best not to fix on a sum, to keep options open on both ends. Remember, nursing is a job that is often underpaid, so it is best to get things checked with government manuals.
Sample answer: I would expect the remuneration to be appropriate to my position and qualification which would take into account my hard work and dedication.
13. What, according to you, are the essential qualities of a licensed nurse practitioner?
Here, the interviewer wants to know what it is that you prioritize as a nurse. The answer to this would naturally depend on your self-conception, so it is best to be as honest as possible so that you are placed in a position best suited for you.
Sample answer: I believe that a Licensed Nursing Practitioner should have sufficient discretion to be able to manage subordinate CNAs while at the same time being dedicated to the Registered Nurse. I also think that it is very crucial to have good communication skills, considering that I would be the one collecting data from the patients and passing them on to the physician or the RN. For this reason, I also think an LPN should have a lot of patience and be a good listener.
14. What do you do to keep yourself updated?
Through this question, the interviewer wants to understand your level of dedication to your work, and whether they can rely on you to continue being a good employee. An honest answer is expected, and for this, you really have to make an effort.
Sample answer: I enrolled in an advanced course to sharpen my skills. I often take part in workshops conducted to make us understand the new things out there. I also have subscriptions to a number of magazines to know about the latest updates.
15. How comfortable are you being a part of a team?
An LPN is expected to convey what he or she wants or needs in very clear terms, at the same time, they may not necessarily be comfortable working with a lot of people always. So the best way to answer this question would be not picking options. Emphasize your skills while also mentioning your weaknesses, and show your readiness to adapt to any kind of situation.
Sample answer: It depends on the situation and the kind of work I am expected to do. Being alone helps me best to arrange my data and put them down in the proper places. Similarly, in critical cases or operations, I find it best to sit down and arrive at a common footing with my other teammates if the situation permits so.
As we mentioned before, an LPN job is not easy, nor the interviews. But an instinctual affinity for a job should automatically help you answer some of the toughest questions. So take a deep breath, go through LPN interview tips, do your research, and you are sure to come away with awesome results.