The interviewing process is intended for you and the nurse you’re meeting with to discuss their experience, the job, and determine if you’re a good fit for one another. One of the best methods to get down to how someone will perform on the job is to ask behavioral questions. These are questions that put the candidate into a situation that’s common in healthcare. In this 2-part series, we want to take a look at questions that focus on themes of teamwork, patient care, and communication. What should you be asking in your nursing interviews?
An inevitable experience for any nurse is working with a difficult co-worker. The best way to ask this question is “Tell me about a time you had to work with a difficult co-worker. How did you handle that?” this allows them to tell you about how they used their leadership or teamwork skills to make a bad situation better.Pride for Teamwork
Of course, you don’t only want to ask about negative interactions. You should also focus on how their teamwork skills have created positive workplace relationships. For example, “Tell me about a time when your team accomplished something good. How did that make you feel?” With this question, they’ll get to talk about their accomplishments as well.
There may also be times when a nurse will need to deal with patient families, including those unhappy with the quality of care. Compassion and empathy are a big part of the job. “Tell me about a time when you needed to talk to unhappy family members about the care their loved one was receiving. How did you handle that?”
Family members aren’t the only people who can become angry over care. Patients themselves are often scared and frustrated, and that can cause them to lash out. “Tell me about a time when you had to handle a hostile patient. Did you ask for help, and how did the situation work out?”
A nurse may also need to communicate complex medical concepts to patients and family members in layperson’s terms. This isn’t as easy as it seems. You want to know how they can translate between the medical terms they’ll use with doctors and other nurses to people without a medical background. Choose a common condition in your field and ask them to share how they would explain it to a patient.
When a team works smoothly together, it’s a wonder. But sometimes, things do get lost in translation. When that happens, how a nurse reacts will be more important than getting to the bottom of the miscommunication. “Have you ever dealt with a major miscommunication that impacted the care you were providing patients? How did you handle that?”
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