7 Pre-Op Nurse Interview Questions and Answers

Pre-op nurse interview questions

Working in the operating room can be stressful for anyone, and being the person in charge of taking care of the patients and preparing the procedure isn’t an exception.

If you are interviewing for a pre-op nurse position, providing proof of skills, knowledge, and experience is critical.

In order to best prepare yourself for pre-op nurse interview questions, practicing your answers to the most common interview questions will be key.

Below we have the most frequently asked questions along with good examples of how you should answer them in order to stand out from the other candidates.

Common Pre-Op Nurse Interview Questions and Answers

Each of the questions below has been asked many times during pre-op nurse interviews.

Ask yourself these questions, and decide the best ways to answer them to make you sound confident and professional.

1. Why do you want to be a pre-op nurse?

Being a pre-op nurse can be a little stressful and overwhelming.

You have to deal with patients that are anxious, scared, frustrated, etc.

You also have to have the ability to assess the patient before going into surgery to ensure they are prepared for anything that comes your way.

Employers what to make sure you are aware of what comes with this job and that you can handle it.

Example answer:

I have worked in many nursing positions over the past ten years.

I am really good at calming patients’ nerves and handling tense situations in order to put people at ease, whether it be the patient, doctor, or family members.

I want to use this skill to help those in some of the most trying times, i.e., just before surgery.

2. How would you handle an irate patient?

Emotions run high right before surgery, and patients can become overwhelmed and aggravated quickly.

The employer wants to make sure the nurse they chose knows how to handle these types of situations in the best ways possible.

Example answer:

I would listen to them.

I have found most people who become angry, agitated, and irate typically get that way when they don’t feel they are being heard or understood.

When people are scared, they act in irrational ways, so I like to stay calm and express that I understand their feelings and discuss all of their concerns.

3. Why do you think we should hire you for this position?

It’s okay to brag a little bit here.

This is the time you talk about:

  • your education,
  • your prior work experience,
  • and your personal experiences.

The interviewer wants to ensure you have confidence and are a good candidate.

Example answer:

I think I would make a good addition to your team because I have a lot of experience working in high-stress situations.

See also: How Do You Handle Stress Nursing Interview Question

I worked in an ER for many years and had to prepare patients for emergency surgery frequently.

See also: ER Nurse Interview Questions

I am a very empathetic person who has the ability to deal with those who suffer from anxiety but have thick skin so I can handle a lot of anger or stress, whether it be the patients or the team I am working with.

See also: Why Should We Hire You as a Nurse

4. How would you handle problems with another co-worker?

In the medical field, no one has time to be a mediator or the go-between when two coworkers can’t get along.

When an employer asks this question, they want to ensure you have the ability to use professional skill-solving techniques to handle a personal problem in the workplace.

Example answer:

I am not one for drama and think the workplace should be a safe space.

If I have any trouble with a co-worker or, a coworker has issues with me, I try to find an effective way to communicate and work things out.

If that doesn’t work, I typically will only engage with the coworker as needed.

See also: Med-Surg Nurse Interview Questions

5. What professional experience do you have that makes you a good candidate for this position?

If you have worked as a pre-op nurse in the past, that is great.

You can use the experience to your advantage.

However, if you haven’t, you can utilize other previous jobs and skills you possess to sell yourself to the interviewer in order to get the job.

Think about previous tasks and duties assigned to you in other job positions and find a way to make them fit for this position.

Example answer:

I worked for the pre-op department in our local hospital to prep patients that were having routine surgeries performed.

This was a great experience that gave me the skill needed to know what was expected in this type of role.

I also worked in the ER department for about 5 years.

This provided me with the ability to handle unexpected situations and high-stress environments and provided me with extra insight on how to work with physicians; before and during surgery.

6. Why did you leave your last job?

While being honest is always the best policy, being too honest could be problematic.

If you left your job because a boss wasn’t doing their job or the staff wasn’t holding their own weight, do not say you left because of problems in the workplace.

Employers do not want to hire someone who might not stay on if they have an issue with a co-worker.

Example answer:

If you left because you felt others were not doing their jobs and you were overworked, simply state the office was understaffed, and you wanted to find somewhere that you could grow and somewhere with stability.

7. Why do you want to work for our office?

Employers want to make sure the nurse they hire has good intentions and is applying because they are interested in the facility they are applying to, not just looking for the next job.

Take this time to do a little research on the company and use the information you find in your answer.

Example answer:

When I saw your company was hiring for a pre-op nurse, I decided to do a little research to see what your company was all about.

I noticed that you have excellent ratings and reviews.

Also, that you have spent time ensuring your equipment is not only up-to-date, but you have done a great job securing grants and donations to keep the best technology out there available to your patients.

I really admire that and would love to be a part of the team.

Conclusion: Pre-Assessment Nurse Interview Questions

Working in an operating room is high-stress whether it is before, during, or even after surgery.

It is essential that you show the interviewer you can handle high-stress situations and present yourself with confidence.

Best of luck with your upcoming pre-op nurse interview!

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