Questions Nurses Should Ask When Interviewing

Updated on December 3, 2020
Questions Nurses Should Ask When Interviewing

A job interview is one of the most daunting tasks any career seeker can face. Explaining how your skillset and qualifications fit an open position can be a difficult task, even if you have the degree or certification to prove it. For those who aspire to enter the medical field—a rewarding industry for trained and passionate people to seek work in—an interview is a strong determining factor.

Preparation before an interview is a key step in the process. Thoroughly research any facilities that you get invited to interview at beforehand. Medical facilities need to fully equip and prepare their staff for day-to-day operations with patients. During this challenging time of a global pandemic, workplace health and safety is of the utmost importance.

When you begin interviews to become a nurse, it’s advantageous to have a shortlist of questions to ask on hand. These questions can aid a nursing candidate to determine what kind of atmosphere they’ll be entering. No medical facility, practice, or hospital is exactly alike. Here are the top questions nurses should ask when interviewing.

What Is the Typical Patient-To-Staff Ratio?

Registered nurses know the effect a person has on another is truly tangible and measurable. All the while, knowledge of the actual patient-to-staff ratio of a facility is vital before accepting a nursing position. By asking this question, candidates can be aware of staffing levels to evaluate if the facility is understaffed and how realistic their expectations of their nurses are based on patient acuity.

Job candidates should also inquire about who makes such staffing decisions specifically within your unit. With this follow-up, the status of the nursing department within an organization is revealed to you—and who exactly is in power making the important decisions.

Who Is the Ideal Nurse for This Position?

Out of all the questions nurses should ask when interviewing, this question may be at the very top of the list. The interviewer may answer with a list of their own, speaking of various attributes, qualities, and skills of the kind of nurse they’re looking for. With this question, you can see if you can live up to their expectations to be a valuable asset to the team. You can then turn around their answer and touch on any key competencies of a nurse which you personally have.

What Steps Do You Take to Protect Patient Information?

Under HIPAA, the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, medical facilities are required to follow regulations to protect private patient information. By asking this specific question, you can show you truly care not only about the company you work for but as well as the patients. Understanding HIPAA’s four amendments can help you further phrase follow-up questions to ask the interviewer to obtain details about how they care for patient privacy.

Remember, the purpose of a job interview is not only for a facility to decide if they want to hire you but also for you to decide if you have a desire to work there. Ask additional questions based on your specific research. Should being a nurse be the right fit for you, you’ll have the opportunity to make a real difference in the world.