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Questions to ask in your nursing job interview


They’ve asked their questions and now it’s your turn. But what will impress and what should you stay well clear of?

Questions to impress …

  • How would you describe a typical week/day in this position?
  • What are the prospects for growth and advancement?
  • Is it possible to have a look around the unit?
  • What are the responsibilities of this post?
  • How many staff/patients are there?
  • Do you have a set staff to patient ratio?
  • Is overtime expected?
  • Do you have a preceptorship scheme? (If you are a newly qualified nurse)
  • How does the service audit patient satisfaction?
  • How does the service gather patient feedback?
  • How will your post fit within the multidisciplinary team?

If you can’t remember these, there’s no harm in writing them down and pulling them out of your bag at the appropriate time. You’ll look enthusiastic and prepared.

Questions to steer clear of …

  • What sort of ward is this? You should already know the answer to this question if you’ve done your research.
  • If I get the job when can I take annual leave? Showing that you’re keen for time off before you even start might give the impression you’re not really enthusiastic about the job.
  • Did I get the job? Unfortunately, the interviewer won’t be able to answer this until they have interviewed everyone.

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Try to avoid asking questions that will make the interviewer repeat themselves. For example, questions about issues already mentioned in the job description or earlier in the interview. It might appear as if you haven’t fully prepared or weren’t listening if the interviewer has to go over old material again.

Questions to finish up with …

  • If I were to be offered the position, when would you be wanting me to start?
  • When can I expect to hear from you?
  • Are there any other questions I can answer for you?

All that remains is to smile, say how much you’ve enjoyed your interview and be on your way. Well done!



Readers' comments (2)

  • Thank you, as a newly qualified nurse still seeking employment, this is a great tool to have.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Excellent tips, many thanks. Good for everyone to take note of and prepare for interviews.

    Not just for students and newly qualified nurses, but anyone wanting to have a change and gain new skills, opportunities and experiences, or wanting a change in direction.

    Good luck.

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