Now is a great time to pursue a job in all medical fields, with a special emphasis on nurses.
Are you considering applying for a job but aren’t sure how to handle some common office nurse interview questions?
Employers are seeking well-rounded individuals who can resolve disputes with both patients and coworkers while being able to handle stressful situations like outbreaks.
The office will ask questions like “What is the hardest part of nursing?” and “Where do you see yourself in five years?“.
It sounds like you’ll encounter a mixture of standard interview questions and a few that relate specifically to nursing.
In this article, we’ll explore 7 of the most common interview questions for office nurses through explanations and examples.
Common Office Nurse Interview Questions and Answers
Here are 7 of the most common office nurse job interview questions.
1. What is the hardest part of being a nurse?
This is an entirely personal opinion, so don’t get stuck on the “what you should say”. Everyone struggles with something unique.
Answer in an honest way that still shows you love your job.
The hardest part of being a nurse is knowing I can’t save everyone.
I love this job and all the ways it allows me to help people, but it’s still difficult when a patient crosses my path that we can’t save.
I think that breaks everyone’s heart.
2. How would you handle a difficult patient?
Part of nursing is encouraging patience and compassion in everyone you see daily.
Many patients don’t want to be at a doctor’s office and are there because something is wrong (or they have to be).
When handling difficult patients, check to see if anything could make them more comfortable. A bottle of water, a magazine, or someone to talk to can go a long way.
When asked this office nurse interview question, reflect on complex patients you’ve encountered and explain how you helped them.
At my previous practice, I had an elderly gentleman who was extremely upset and was yelling at the staff.
When we convinced him to calm down, he admitted he was worried about his wife, who was still home.
Though we had a strict “no cell phone” policy, the doctor and I agreed to allow him to call his wife to check in on her.
He was much more peaceful after that and thanked us for our kindness.
See also: Dental Treatment Coordinator Interview Questions
3. How would you handle a crisis such as an outbreak?
These days, it isn’t easy to have office nurse interview questions without answering this question.
Even though the situation is something we don’t want to consider, consider a time when you may have helped contain the flu or any easily transmittable illness.
I worked in an inner city clinic while a huge STI outbreak occurred within the youth population.
I helped design an education program that helped students and youth learn about the risks of unprotected sex while giving them the tools to make their own decisions.
See also: Dental Office Manager Interview Questions
4. How do you deal with stress on the job?
We all know nursing is a high-stress job, and thankfully, more and more employers are considering their worker’s mental health.
See also: Mental Health Nurse Interview Questions
To answer an office nurse interview question like this, explain the techniques you use for stress relief at home or work.
Discuss hobbies, things you love to do with family, or how you take your dog for a walk every night for some one-on-one pooch time.
In college, a friend convinced me to go to a yoga class with her. I had a great time, but I wasn’t sure what I was supposed to get out of it.
After the class, we began talking to other members, and I learned that many of them were in the medical field.
They used this class to destress and build a community outside of work.
While yoga didn’t quite work for me, it gave me the idea to find a local pottery class.
I love it there, and it’s a great space to separate myself from my work.
Between pottery and playing with my dog, I found two incredible ways to help myself relax.
See also: How Do You Handle Stress Nursing Interview Question
5. How would you handle a disagreement with coworkers?
You’re bound to butt heads with a few coworkers no matter where you work.
In an environment where others’ care is on the line, you must be able to resolve disputes quickly and professionally.
Discuss your interpersonal skills like active listening, teamwork, and flexibility to answer this question.
When I worked at an overnight clinic, I noticed a patient struggling to take their medication.
When I asked what was wrong, I saw that their chart stated they couldn’t swallow large pills.
After asking them to wait a few minutes for me to find clarification, I checked in with the other nurse on duty.
She and I briefly discussed the issue, and we realized we both thought we were right.
I listened to her explanation carefully and then asked if she would be willing to check the chart with me.
Once she did, she realized there had been an error, and we were able to distribute the medication appropriately.
See also: Medical Assistant Interview Questions
6. Where do you see yourself in five years?
It’s important to show potential employers you strive for growth.
You can discuss your professional and personal life to answer this question, but make sure the emphasis is on professionalism.
You don’t need to add specific job titles.
I want to continue growing as a leader while encouraging others to be the best they can be.
I see myself leading a care team to improve our city’s way of handling and distributing life-saving medications.
In five years, I see myself continuing to change my patients’ lives.
7. Why are you interested in working here?
Don’t think of this question as a trap. Explain the business’ core values and how they align with your own.
Tell a personal anecdote about how the location changed you in some way.
When I was young, my grandmother became very ill.
We were worried about her healthcare because she couldn’t make decisions for herself anymore.
She was a patient at this practice, and this office took good care of her, even when we weren’t around to help.
That meant a lot to me, and now I want to do that for someone else’s grandmother.
See also: Why Do You Want to Work Here as a Nurse
Conclusion: Interview Questions for Office Nurses
Becoming a nurse is an exciting journey, and job interviews shouldn’t stand in your way.
Whether you’re experienced in your field or just starting, consider these 7 office nurse interview questions the next time you apply for a job.
Good luck with your upcoming interview!
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