Behavioral Nursing Interview Questions and Answers

Behavioral nursing interview questions

When attending any nursing interview, it is important to have an understanding of the type of questions that will be asked. Knowing this information beforehand can help you formulate both your responses and who you will be as a nurse.

One of the most common types of nursing questions is behavioral questions.

As the name implies, these questions are asked to assess your behavior in certain experiences or situations.

Behavioral nursing interview questions are often the same ones you were asked by your professors to consider as part of the clinical portion of a class.

Themes of Behavioral Nursing Interview Questions:

During nursing interviews, interviewers will ask behavioral questions as per the following themes.

Patient Care

Behavioral nursing interview questions regarding patient care may ask you to talk about your role in the treatment of a patient.

These questions will help determine if you are good at communicating with patients and other professionals.

They will also determine if you know how to prioritize your care tasks, as well as your medical knowledge.

Communication Style

A good nurse must be able to communicate to relay vital information about the patient’s condition.

Questions regarding your communication style ask you to describe how you act in certain situations in which you are required to relay information on time.

Teamwork

Working with a team requires cooperation and collaboration to provide the best patient care. Behavioral questions about teamwork will ask you to discuss your role within the team.

Furthermore, questions may try to determine if you:

  • can work well with others,
  • are a good communicator,
  • and are overall a dependable nurse.

Adaptability

Nurses must be able to adjust their behavior to handle many situations, especially when the patient’s condition changes.

Behavioral questions about your ability to adapt ask you to describe a difficult situation and how you handled it.

They may also ask about how your behavior was impacted by a change of plans or an unforeseen event.

Motivation and Core Values

To provide good patient care, a nurse must have the motivation and drive to do so.

Behavioral questions regarding your motivation as a nurse ask you about this, as well as your values.

Furthermore, they may ask how you handle challenging situations or what you think is the most important thing in a patient’s recovery.

Time Management

Nurses must be efficient in coordinating their responsibilities and tasks.

Behavioral questions about your time management skills ask you to explain how you prioritize things if you are punctual, and your ability to handle multiple tasks at once.

With that in mind, what are the frequently asked behavioral nursing interview questions?

Those are coming up next.

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Behavioral interview questions for nurses and answers

Behavioral Interview Questions for Nurses

  • In the workplace, you might encounter uncooperative colleagues. How would you handle this situation?
  • How organized are you?
  • How do you prioritize things?
  • Tell us about a time when you had to adapt quickly.
  • Let’s assume you are handling an aggressive patient. How would you handle the situation?
  • What do you feel is the biggest challenge of being a nurse? Do you manage to overcome it?
  • There are instances when the patient’s family is dissatisfied with the care plan. How do you handle these difficult situations?

Common Behavioral Nursing Interview Questions and Answers

By analyzing the themes, there are common behavioral nursing interview questions that may be asked during an interview. The 7 most common sample nursing behavioral interview questions and answers are as follows:

1. In the workplace, you might encounter uncooperative colleagues. How would you handle this situation?

One of the most common behavioral interview questions is how you would handle a difficult colleague.

It is important to note that during the interview, you must give examples of past experiences in which you successfully handled such a situation.

Example answer:

In the past, I have had a colleague that sometimes would refuse to cooperate with me.

They would be uncooperative and refuse to do their share of the workload. I would try and talk to them and ask why they were being so uncooperative.

Since they did not respond to my request, I decided to contact my colleague’s superior.

Fortunately, my colleague’s supervisor was able to help me resolve the issue so that we could both get our work done.

See also: Tell Me About Yourself Nursing Interview

2. How organized are you?

Being organized is a skill that is very important in the workplace.

Organizational skills are an advantage because it allows you to successfully multitask and accomplish many tasks at once.

During the interview, it is important to give examples of your organizational skills and how you can multitask.

Example answer:

I am very organized. I like having a neat and clean workspace as it allows me to focus on my daily tasks.

For instance, if things are organized, I can quickly find things that I am looking for.

Furthermore, the organization allows me to complete tasks in an efficient way and prevents me from wasting time.

See also: Nursing Interview Questions

3. How do you prioritize things?

Giving examples of your time management skills is important in this question.

You must show that you can prioritize things and that you are efficient in doing so.

Example answer:

Prioritizing is very important because it allows me to do my job in the most efficient way.

For instance, if I prioritize my tasks for the day, I can make sure that I am able to complete the important things on time.

I would start with my highest priority tasks first while making sure that I always meet deadlines.

See also: Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years Nursing Interview Question

4. Tell us about a time when you had to adapt quickly.

Adapting is an essential skill in the workplace and especially as a nurse.

It is important to be able to adapt quickly to various situations, especially when you are caring for your patient.

During the interview, you must discuss a time when you had to adapt quickly and how you were able to do so.

Example answer:

There was a time that I had to care for a patient in the emergency room.

They came in with multiple injuries when no doctor was available.

I had to take care of them by myself while also notifying a doctor about their condition.

This taught me how to adapt quickly and handle unexpected challenges.

5. Let’s assume you are handling an aggressive patient. How would you handle the situation?

It is important to show that you can handle various situations in the workplace, especially with aggressive patients.

You must also show that you can remain calm and handle the situation effectively.

Give examples of your past experiences where you had to handle a difficult situation.

Example answer:

I had a patient who was aggressive and tried to attack me while I was handling their IV stick.

I realized that other people were not able to handle the patient so I took control of the situation.

While remaining calm, I slowly guided them out of the room and explained that we needed to take a break.

I also called the doctor and explained the situation to them.

See also: What Are Your Values Nursing Interview Question

6. What do you feel is the biggest challenge of being a nurse? Do you manage to overcome it?

It is important to be able to show that you are willing to challenge yourself and overcome the challenges.

This shows determination which is essential in the workforce.

Example answer:

I feel that the biggest challenge of being a nurse is not having enough time to complete all my tasks.

However, I am able to overcome this challenge by prioritizing things and working efficiently.

For example, if I have many patients to see in the morning, I will prioritize them in order of who needs me the most.

See also: Diabetes Specialist Nurse Interview Questions

7. There are instances when the patient’s family is dissatisfied with the care plan. How do you handle these difficult situations?

You must show that you can deal with conflict and remain calm in such situations.

See also: Nursing Conflict Scenario Examples Interview

You must also show that you are able to handle the situation in a professional manner.

Example answer:

There have been instances where the patient’s family was not satisfied with the care plan.

However, I am able to remain calm and discuss things in a professional manner.

I will try my best to find out why there is a disagreement and discuss it with the doctor in order to resolve the issue.

See also: Nursing Care Plan – Full Guide & Free Templates

How to Answer Behavioral Nursing Interview Questions?

Since you now have an idea of the 7 most common behavioral nurse interview questions, it becomes wise to learn how to answer them in a professional manner.

Video made by: Self Made Millenial

Below is a format about how to properly formulate a response.

The format is STAR, which is an acronym for Situation, Task, Action, and Results.

Situation

First, you will need to provide a context for the question.

For example, if they ask you about a time when your patient’s family was not satisfied with your care plan, you must first set the scene and provide a context for the incident.

Be sure to give some details such as:

  • the patient’s condition,
  • the location,
  • and the date.

Task

Next, provide a brief explanation of what was being asked of you at that time.

Was it to give a report on the patient’s status? Or was it to resolve an issue between the nurse and the patient’s family?

See also: Can Nurses Treat Family Members?

You must describe the task that you were assigned to do.

Action

Describe what you did in order to accomplish the goal successfully.

Be brief in your explanation.

Show the interviewer that you are able to prioritize tasks and manage time efficiently while also demonstrating how you use resources like co-workers and doctors to accomplish the task at hand.

Result

Finally, you should mention the result of what you did. Show the interviewer that your actions were effective in achieving the goal.

You can do this by providing proof in the form of numbers or statistics.

For example, you might say that after you talked to the patient’s family, they no longer had any complaints about your care plan.

Conclusion: Behavioral Interview Questions for Nurses and Answers

When attending any nursing interview, it is important to prepare beforehand.

The common behavioral nursing interview questions and answers given here will help you gain a better understanding of the kinds of behavioral questions you may be asked as well as the format for how to answer them.

It is important to practice your interview skills and ensure that you are fully prepared for any kind of nursing interview.

Good luck with your behavioral nursing interview questions!

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