INTERVIEW TIPS for New and Experienced NURSES

Whether you’re fresh out of nursing school or a seasoned nurse looking for a career change, these interview tips are sure to put a fresh perspective in your mind about how to prepare and be yourself.

Be Yourself

This is the most important part of the interview. Let your personality shine! Laugh, tell a joke, share a personal story, and smile. This should help you feel more relaxed and calm during the interview. Remember, the people interviewing you were in your position at one point. They want someone who is authentic and that will be compatible with their patients and team members. So, just be you!

Do Your Research

Research the organization and unit you are applying for. You should have a basic understanding of the organization’s history, mission, and vision. You should also be familiar with the unit or department. Find out if they are known for anything or have received any types of awards or certifications.

Make a Portfolio

Don’t just have a resume. Have a portfolio! This will help you stand out from the other candidates and will show that you are prepared and organized. Be sure to leave them with a portfolio after the interview. This will allow the decision makers to share your portfolio with the team and will leave them with something to remember you by.

What to include in your portfolio:


Letter(s) of Recommendation

Certifications (CPR, ALCS, PALS, CCRN, etc.)

Research or Papers

Volunteer / Community Service

Participation in Professional Associations

Remember Keywords

Have a list of keywords that you want to bring up during your interview. Here is a list of my recommendations:





Patient Centered

Culturally Competent


Practice Interview Questions

-Each answer should have a beginning, middle, and end

-Always end each question with something positive

-Silence is OK. Feel free to pause and think about your answer. Don’t rush.

-Be prepared for specific questions relating to the unit you are applying for. (ie. Oncology, pediatrics, OB, surgery, ER, etc.)

Examples of interview questions:

Tell me about yourself.

What made you choose nursing and why did you choose this department?

Describe a time when you disagreed with a co-worker. How was the issue resolved?

Explain a time when you went above and beyond your basic responsibilities?

Collaboration is key in healthcare. Explain a time when you collaborated with others. What was the situation and outcome?

Mistakes happen. Explain a time when you made an error and how you handled it?

Here, we inspire innovation. Describe a time when you had to be innovative.

What is your greatest strength? What is your greatest weakness?

Ask Questions

This is your chance to ask questions. And please do!! This will show that you are engaged and interested in learning more about the position.


What is the patient to nurse ratio?

What is the orientation process?

Any opportunities to participate in a unit practice council?

When should I expect to hear from you?

Always Follow-Up

Send an email to the HR coordinator and interviewer within a few hours after your interview. Thank them for taking time out of their day to learn about your past experience and career goals. This will also give you chance to tell them anything important you may have left out during your interview.

Another reason to follow-up is if you don’t hear back within a reasonable timeframe about the status of your interview. Send the HR coordinator or person who interviewed you a friendly email asking about the status. Don’t feel bad about this, especially if there was a time expectation that was set.


This is KEY! Always practice before each and every interview. Rehearse with a family member or friend. Practice your introduction, answering questions, asking questions, and using your keywords. Do not over practice because you don’t want to sound stiff or over rehearsed. You are not trying to memorize a script. Instead, you should practice to get comfortable.

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42 Replies to “INTERVIEW TIPS for New and Experienced NURSES”

  1. Emily 1995

    Hey Blake, Thanks so much for the video. I had an interview at a rehab hospital recently and did terrible because I had added stress of something else going on, lack of sleep, nerves and I just was unable to think of examples during those specific example questions. I just got called for an interview on friday for a temporary complex care position. Im trying so hard to be prepared this time around. Thank you for your tips Blake.

  2. 00comm

    In my experience if you get to this point the hard part is over. A lot of hospitals dont even do in person interviews. Some of them aren't even doing phone interviews any more. Theres a trend toward robo interviews where all you do is talk to what is basically an answering machine that asks questions. This advice is all fine and dandy if you ever get to talk to someone but thats not the difficult part.

    Actually getting to the point of talking to a living, breathing person is the real hard part and this vid doesn't address that at all.

  3. ICU Murse

    i made a video of 24 questions and my own answers I practiced before my ICU interview, I did very well and got the job!!! it's on my profile 🙂 this video HELPED ME TREMENDOUSLY!!! you're awesome. Thank you for your insight!

  4. Wtf Amy

    Great video 👍 I will be 50% opposite of what you mentioned in your video 😆 but your tips are helpful I have a phone interview soon but I have a habit of rambling but definitely practice makes perfect.

  5. ICU Murse

    This video helped me a ton! Nurse Blake is the best. I definitely used it to help me prepare for a new grad position interview and I got the job!!! I’m so lucky and incredibly grateful for all you contribute to the nursing world.

  6. Kansaspeach

    28 year Nurse. Great TIPS. Be Authentic and Gemuine! I cam sense when hiring. I also want to know that you're result oriented! Not just a hard worker. I pray you have a long rewarding career!!!

  7. Kali Ma

    I got to b honest I think this is really more so for new nurses. Once you have years of experience it’s kind of like nobody cares about these tips anymore. I’m MY experience at least

  8. Daniel S

    Nurse Blake: Your interviewing tips would not only work well not only in nursing, but for other professional positions as well. I have been on both sides of the desk many times. My number one tip: BE POSITIVE! If you cannot be positive with the interview at hand, it’s probably not going to work. Be positive! Be yourself!

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