Occupational health nurses focus on identifying health and safety issues in the workplace by helping to prevent injury and illness and restore workers back to health.
This job requires not only a nursing background but also a familiarity with business practices.
We’ve provided some occupational health nurse interview questions that are most likely to come up when applying for an occupational health nurse position.
Interviews can be intimidating, but if you prepare answers ahead of time and anticipate certain questions will be asked, they can be less stressful.
Honesty is always the best policy, and being positive with your answers helps increase your chances of getting the job.
It’s important for you to demonstrate why you’re the best candidate for the position and provide answers to interview questions that help you stand out.
Employers of occupational health nurses are looking for trustworthy people who can problem solve and think quickly on their feet.
This job interview will be a miniature test of how you react when you’re put on the spot.
Read through the following interview questions for occupational health nurses and helpful hints on how to prepare your answers, and you are on your way to a successful interview.
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Occupational Health Nurse Interview Questions and Answers
1. Have you ever developed and implemented a new health policy?
This question is looking to seek out your knowledge base of current health topics as well as how creative you are.
You can provide a solid example of a situation in which you developed and implemented a new health policy, but it may be more ambitious to devise one ahead of time that you haven’t yet had the opportunity to enact.
After learning how virulent last year’s strain of the flu was and noting how many people didn’t get vaccinated due to schedule conflicts, especially with work, I would love to implement an onsite vaccine clinic that employees can visit during breaks to receive the flu vaccine without having to miss work.
2. How well do you communicate with others?
Communication is key as an occupational health nurse.
You need to be able to relax and absorb information from both employees and employers of the company.
Speak to your professional attitude and transparency with people.
Give examples of when you successfully communicated a difficult concept or piece of information with another colleague or a patient.
I have a lot of experience implementing my communication skills under various circumstances.
I understand when I need to be sensitive about information as well as use discretion to uphold privacy such as speaking with a patient or their family.
I can also effectively communicate concepts to others and if they are having trouble understanding, I can find a different way to explain them.
3. How would you handle an emergency involving potentially introducing an infectious disease in the workplace?
This question is designed to see how well you handle yourself under pressure.
Occupational health nurses are responsible for the health and safety of the workers, so in an emergency situation, they need to know that they will keep their cool if even everyone else is freaking out.
Provide an answer that speaks to your level-headedness and rational side.
If there is a suspected infectious disease in the workplace, I would gain all the information I could about the nature of the suspected disease and set up a quarantine area if necessary.
Then I would alert the relevant authorities to the situation and communicate with the workers what is going on and how best to protect themselves from the disease.
See also: Public Health Nurse Interview Questions
4. How would you resolve the situation if you found yourself in a workplace conflict?
This question is a heavy hitter that speaks to your people skills and problem-solving abilities.
Nobody expects everyone to get along, and chances are conflicts will arise, so they need to know that you will be an asset, not a hindrance, to the goal of moving forward as a company.
If I found myself in conflict with another employee, I would bring up the issue with him or her and ask if we can resolve it together.
If necessary, I would ask a neutral party to help us mediate the conflict and come to a resolution so that we can all focus on working together to achieve success for the company.
See also: FNP Interview Questions
5. Do you have any experience working with mental health patients?
Part of your job may be to offer a listening ear to overstressed workers or those struggling with mental health issues like depression.
See also: Mental Health Nurse Interview Questions
It’s also important to know how to handle patients before and after receiving any treatment for workplace health issues.
They are looking for someone who at least has the bedside manner and understanding to be patient and sensitive to these workers.
I have worked with patients who have been diagnosed with anxiety and depression.
I know that they can become overstimulated easily and have different triggers so it’s important to approach them calmly and speak gently to invite open communication.
See also: Nurse Leadership Interview Questions
6. What would you do if you received a negative response to a new health and safety regulation you were trying to implement?
This is a true test of your communication skills and how you handle conflict.
Not every decision you implement will be met with positive acceptance, and they need to know that you have the backbone to stand behind your decisions while also listening to the concerns of the workers.
I would ask the person in question what objection they have to the new policy and why they feel that way.
If it is a legitimate concern, I would work with them to see how we could change it to be better.
If it is not, I would communicate more clearly why it is important to implement the new regulation.
See also: Correctional Nurse Interview Questions
7. Why are you the best candidate for this position?
This is when you need to list your strengths as they are most applicable to the occupational health nurse position.
Communication, problem-solving, and working well under pressure are important traits to demonstrate.
Give examples of how your strengths can help you as an occupational health nurse and how they’ve helped you in the past.
I am great at problem-solving which is important for this job because new health hazards arise throughout the workplace that requires effective preventive measures and solutions.
See also: Utilization Review Nurse Interview Questions
Conclusion: Interview Questions for Occupational Health Nurse
An occupational health nurse is a rewarding position that requires a clear communicator and an excellent problem solver.
If you want to be successful in your job interview, prepare ahead of time and give adequate thought to each question.
Hopefully, these common interview questions for occupational health nurses will help you out. Be honest and open, and you will rock that interview!
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