The nursing profession has evolved into a leadership role that requires specific knowledge and skills.
You need to be knowledgeable about nursing, but you also need to possess people skills, organizational skills, communication skills, and the ability to lead.
These days, nurses are taking on more leadership roles than ever before. Some of these nurse leadership roles include:
- Nurse manager,
- Head nurse,
- Chief nursing officer (CNO),
- Nursing home administrator, See also: Interview Questions for Nursing Home Administrator
- Patient care director,
- Nursing supervisor,
- Vice president of nursing,
- Director of Nursing,
- Clinical nurse specialist, etc.
All these leadership positions have specific leadership questions that will be asked during your interview.
You should prepare some answers for the following leadership nurse interview questions so you can ace your interview and get your dream job.
Scope of Nurse Leadership Interview Questions:
In general, when attending an interview for a leadership nurse position, you will be asked some:
- general questions,
- in-depth questions,
- experience background questions,
- and questions specific to the role you are applying for.
General questions are those questions that are asked to all applicants for the leadership nursing position.
The answer you give should be related to your education, skills, and experience. Some of these general questions are:
- What experience do you have in this industry?
- Are you willing to relocate if need be?
- How would your past co-workers describe you?
For in-depth questions, you should give in-depth answers that show your skills in a better light.
You should answer the following in-depth nurse leadership interview questions:
- What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
- Give an example of how you successfully led a team?
- How do you deal with challenging staff members?
Questions specific to the role you are applying for should be answered very carefully.
For instance, when answering questions related to the role of a nurse manager, you should focus on your experience in managing teams and your ability to recruit, train, develop and motivate staff.
The following role-specific questions should be answered:
- What experience do you have in managing teams?
- How do you motivate the team to produce quality results?
- Give an example of when you successfully managed a crisis?
Before you start going through the nursing leadership interview questions and answers you should watch this video about expressing your leadership style.
So, what are some of the most common nurse leadership interview questions you should prepare for? Those are coming up next.
Do you prefer watching the video?
If you would instead like to consume this content in a video format, check this video out!
Common Nurse Leadership Interview Questions and Answers
When preparing answers for your nurse leadership interview questions, bear in mind that these answers should be tailored to the specific role you are applying for.
The following are some of the most common nurse leadership interview questions:
1. Why are you interested in this nurse leadership position?
This is one of the most common leadership nurse interview questions.
The interviewer knows that this role is more than just a job for you.
You should answer this question by stating your interest in the specific role and the growth potential that comes with it.
I have always had a passion for patient care, but I am also passionate about taking on leadership roles.
This nurse leader position allows me to do both.
It will give me an opportunity to lead a team of experienced nurses and enhance my own leadership skills as well.
See also: Lead Medical Assistant Interview Questions
2. What are your greatest strengths?
This is one of the nurse leadership interview questions that should be answered with careful consideration.
The interviewer wants to know what you think is your best quality as a nurse and as a leader.
I always put the patient first, no matter what it takes.
I am a good listener and an excellent communicator.
My ability to work well under pressure and deal with challenging situations makes me a strong leader.
See also: Interview Questions for Assistant Director of Nursing
3. What are some of the challenges nurses face today?
Being a leader, you should always be on top of things.
You should know what some of the challenges nurses face today are, and this is one of the nurse leadership interview questions that will allow you to prove your worth.
When answering the question, focus on the different challenges you have come across in your work and how you overcame them.
The most common challenge is burnout.
Nurses are under a lot of pressure to perform and deliver top-notch care, but the working hours and conditions at times make it tough to give their best.
I know the feeling and I try as much as possible to create a working environment that is not pressurizing.
We do regular team-building activities to enhance morale and ensure that the team remains motivated.
See also: Research Nurse Interview Questions
4. How would you describe your management style?
This is one of the nurse leadership interview questions that will give the interviewer an idea of how you would treat people under your supervision.
You should be diplomatic in your answer and show that you are a team player.
My management style is based on the leadership principles I learned in school.
Applying these principles, I believe in listening carefully and making sure that everyone’s voice is heard.
When you treat your employees with respect, you get the best out of them, and that is what I focus on.
See also: CRNA Interview Questions
5. What would your subordinates say about you?
This is yet another of the nurse leadership interview questions that will allow you to show your strengths as a potential leader.
Stressing on some of the qualities that will make you successful in this role, mention what your subordinates would say about you.
My subordinates would tell you that I am a very hands-on nurse leader.
I do everything in my power to ensure that patient care is not compromised in any way, and I am always the first one to volunteer for extra work.
I like to think of myself as a friend and mentor.
See also: CNA Interview Questions
6. What is your greatest achievement as a nurse?
This is one of the nurse team leader interview questions that will show if you have what it takes to be a leader.
Talk about your greatest achievement as a nurse, what role you played in it, and how you overcame any challenges that came your way.
I would say that my greatest achievement as a nurse is when I managed to save a patient’s life.
It was one of those moments where the pressure was immense, but I managed to perform under pressure and that is something that I am proud of.
See also: Clinical Nurse Specialist Interview Questions
7. How do you motivate the team to produce quality results?
Motivation is perhaps the most important quality a leader should possess.
This is one of the clinical nurse leader interview questions that will give you an idea of whether you are fit for the job.
Focus on some of the strategies you use to motivate your team and how it has helped improve overall productivity in the past.
I believe that a good leader is someone who can harness the talents of their team and motivate them to perform better.
I motivate my team by encouraging them to challenge themselves and constantly setting new targets that they can strive towards.
It has worked for me in the past, and it is something that I will continue doing if given this opportunity.
See also: Assistant Nurse Manager Interview Questions
These are some of the most common nurse leadership interview questions you are likely to come across in your job hunting process.
By being prepared, you give yourself the best chance of getting your dream nursing leadership position.
However, in an interview, the interviewers will through in one, two, or three tough questions to separate the best from the rest.
What are some of the tough nursing leadership interview questions you will get in an interview? Those are coming up next.
See also: Utilization Review Nurse Interview Questions
Tough Nursing Leadership Interview Questions and Answers
Below are three of the most common tough nursing leadership interview questions that require a bit more finesse in your answer.
As with any answer you give to an interviewer, be honest and try to tie in some of the qualities that will make you an asset for the role.
1. The workplace is an environment full of conflict. How would you resolve these conflicts in the best way possible?
This is one question that will give employers a good idea of how you work in an environment with constant conflict and stress.
Restate the qualities that separate you from the rest and then give some examples of how you have handled conflict in the past.
Conflict can be difficult to handle, but I believe that a good leader is someone who can resolve any conflict in the best way possible.
I have always been a firm believer in going directly to the source of conflict and talking it out to come to a solution.
If I am given this opportunity, I will do everything in my power to keep the workplace as conflict-free as possible.
See also: APRN Interview Questions
2. What do you know about our company?
This is one of those nurse leadership interview questions that will determine how prepared you are for the role and whether or not you did your research.
Focus on some of the qualities that will help you excel in the role and show the interviewer some of your knowledge of their company.
This has been my dream job ever since I heard about it, and I have done extensive research about your company before this interview.
Your commitment to upholding the highest standards of care is something that is truly admirable, and I would love to continue that tradition if given this opportunity.
See also: Charge Nurse Interview Questions
3. What are your future career goals?
Asking about nurse leadership interview questions related to your plans can give your interviewer an idea of whether or not you see your future with the company or if you are looking for a more long-term opportunity.
Focus on some of the ideas that excite you most about this role and show the interviewer how you can improve on them even further.
I am excited to be part of a team that is committed to helping improve patient care in this new role, but I am really interested in some of the aspects of management.
If given this opportunity, I would love to continue on the same trajectory and work towards becoming a training manager.
I believe that this position would allow me to share some of what I have learned and encourage other team members to excel.
Conclusion: Nursing Leadership Interview Questions
Nurse leadership is an exciting, rewarding career path with a lot of opportunities.
It can be daunting to know how you will answer some of the more common nurse leadership interview questions.
By being prepared and focusing on the qualities that make you an asset to this role, you can ace any nurse leadership interview.
Good luck with your nurse leadership interview!
Related articles of ours: