One of the most important questions you’ll get asked in a nursing interview is “How do you handle stress?”.
When answering this interview question, you should first acknowledge the real stress of the job, and then focus on specific examples of times when you handled nursing stress well.
You should also focus on the positive aspect of stress and how it may even work to your advantage in a hospital environment.
As a successful nurse, employers want to know that you can handle stress induced by the job.
They also sometimes are looking to see that you are good at handling your stressors in general (even if they’re from your personal life) so that they don’t interfere with your work performance.
While stress is a normal part of life, your potential employer will want you to prove that you can potentially overcome stress and still be successful on the job.
In this article, you’ll learn several examples of ways you can answer interview questions regarding job stress management.
You’ll also get some tips on how to approach these answers in an interview setting to stand out amongst other candidates.
Keep reading to get the rundown and prepare for questions about handling stress in your nursing interview. Let’s get into it!
How Do You Handle Stress Nursing Interview Question Answers
Below are some examples of ways you can answer how you handle stress nursing interview questions.
Keep in mind that you should tailor these responses to your personal experiences and skills, as well as the values of the hospital you’re applying to.
1. I use stress as a motivation to succeed and learn on the job.
This answer is a great option in a nursing interview because it highlights stress as a potential positive on the job.
You can use this answer to explain how the nuanced challenges and stress of working in a hospital keep you on your feet and attentive to patient needs.
You might also explain how you go into a job expecting stress so that you are prepared for it when it comes.
2. I use my communication and situational skills to respond to stress.
Talk about how your ability to communicate well with patients and coworkers helps you to overcome stressful situations.
If you know that you work well in high-pressure or fast-paced situations, you can highlight this and point to a time when you approached the situation calmly to come to a solution.
3. I use planning and preparation to handle stress as a nurse.
This is a great way to illustrate your stress management.
Planning ahead and preparing with fellow nurses can even improve the way you handle stress as a team.
When providing this answer, make sure that you highlight a time when you used your planning skills to minimize stress at a nursing job.
4. I maintain awareness of stressors so that I can adapt and face them.
Explaining to an interviewer that you keep a healthy level of awareness to stress on the job is important.
Not only will it show them that you expect stress to arise and expect to face it head-on but it will also show them that you have the important quality of self-awareness when working in a medical environment.
You can also note how you use this awareness to enact change and improve upon how you manage stress going forward.
5. I prioritize my professional boundaries to keep stress under control.
Letting an employer know that you are eager to please, but still aware of your human limitations, is key.
Knowing when to say yes vs no is a skill in a high-pressure nursing environment, where things move quickly.
If you can’t manage your time and energy well, you’ll end up making a lot of people unhappy around you.
See also: Nursing Scenario Interview Questions
How to Answer How Do You Handle Stress as a Nurse?
When answering how do you handle stress nursing interview questions, there are a few things to keep in mind so that your answer is heard and understood.
1. Use the STAR method
One method you can employ in nursing interviews is the STAR answer, which is when you tackle the question by assessing a situation, task, action, and result.
Point to an example of a situation when you handled stress as a nurse, and illustrate the task at hand.
Then, explain how you acted in response, including skills you used and how you learned from that reaction.
Finally, explain the result and how this experience affected your nursing career.
2. Be honest about your capabilities
While you want to use the interview as a chance to impress, you also need to be truthful and accurate about what you bring to the table.
Without honesty, an employer may not see you as trustworthy or reliable enough to join their nursing staff.
3. Highlight stress management skills
Before your interview, it might help to make a list of specific skills you have that assist you in managing stress.
Try to put these skills into simple and understandable phrases of 1-3 words, such as:
- “highly organized”,
- “quick to adapt”,
- “thrive under pressure”,
- or “problem solver”.
Think of it this way, each candidate is going to be expressing similar stress management skills.
You want your answer to stand out as unique, and you want the employer to see how your specific skills fit in with their mission and values.
Conclusion – How Do You Deal With a Stressful Situation Nursing Interview
When you’re up for a position as a nurse, you’ll most likely get asked how you handle stress.
In order to approach this question with forethought, you should be aware of your specific stress management skills and situations in which you’ve managed stress successfully.
Use techniques such as the STAR method to answer questions in a unique way, and approach stress as a potential positive in the work environment.
Remember, your future employer will want to know that you acknowledge the stress of being a nurse and have the tools to prepare you to face it.
Good luck with your upcoming nursing interview!
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