Acing nurse phone interview questions is vital to getting the roles you want. Many healthcare organizations rely on the phone to narrow a short list of candidates to meet in person.
Translating your warmth and professionalism over the phone might not come naturally. That is why it is important to know how to prepare for a phone interview as a nurse.
What can you expect from a nursing phone interview?
Knowing the most common nursing phone interview questions and answers is where to start your preparations. Most nurse phone interviews last about a half hour. The flow for different nursing jobs will vary.
Common interview questions for nurses with sample answers
These RN phone interview questions may also apply for entry level and specialty nurse interviews. Think through your answers and write a few bullet points for each.
1. Why did you choose a career in nursing?
This question is designed to uncover your motivations and values. Your future employer might want to know if you might be a fit with their culture and mission.
2. What do you like most about nursing?
This question is a deeper dive into what you love about the field of nursing and what makes the work meaningful to you. It is a chance to talk about advancing your nursing career and what you can contribute to the interviewer’s organization.
3. Tell us about a time you dealt with a difficult patient and how did you handle it?
The employer is looking for how well your compassion, patience, and problem solving skills hold up under stress. This is an opportunity for you to explain how you helped a patient and family members through a difficulty to improve their comfort and understanding.
4. Describe a situation where you displayed teamwork. What were the results?
Working as a nurse requires being a team member. That is why nursing phone interview questions often touch on this theme. Talk about how you deal with conflicts and disagreements with patients, peers, and superiors. Don’t badmouth or blame anyone. Focus on how you handled the situation positively.
5. How do you prioritize tasks on a daily basis?
your workload can be challenging. Your potential employer will want to know how you handle competing demands and stress. Are you able to maintain a sense of calm, to organize and multitask without compromising quality of care?
6. Have you disagreed with a doctor? How have you handled it?
Even the best doctors can make a mistake or overlook something important. The interviewer wants to know if you have the capability to note details and the confidence to bring up issues without being confrontational. This question builds on your teamwork skills as much as it probes your ability to catch the details.
7. Tell me about a time you played a leadership role?
In dynamic healthcare environments, you may be called to take charge at a moment’s notice. The interviewer wants to hear how you take on responsibility, how you gather information and make decisions, and how you contribute to a high-functioning team.
8. Can you tell me about a communication challenge, such as explaining something medically complex to someone without medical training?
Communication is a huge part of any nursing role. No list of nursing phone interview questions would be complete without one or two questions about communicating with doctors, others on the medical team and with patients and their families.
9. Describe a situation when you stepped into a situation without a good understanding of what was going on with a patient?
The interviewer wants to know how you get up to speed in unfamiliar situations and how resourceful you are in doing research. Are you willing to ask the right questions? Admitting you don’t know is a strength. Knowing who to ask and how to find answers is vital.
10. Why do you want to work here?
Employers want people who are motivated and committed. They want to know if you have done your homework on the position and the organization, and to know what contribution you hope to make.
8 nurse phone interview tips
How to prepare for a phone interview as a nurse doesn’t stop with simply preparing your answers to common nurse phone interview questions. You will feel more confident and ready if you also keep these nurse phone interview tips in mind.
1. Research the job and facility to get a sense of culture
The more you know about the employer, the better you can tailor your answers. It’s less about adjusting to the workplace as it is about finding a place where you can naturally fit. Carefully read the job description and note how you fit.
2. Prepare your answers and questions beforehand
In addition to preparing answers to the general questions above, look into RN phone interview questions and questions about specialties to be ready for a curveball. The more you prepare, the more confident you will feel and the better you will come across.
3. Practice answering questions out loud
Don’t just think through your answers in your head, say them out loud. What is easy to read isn’t always easy to say. Taking through your answers a few times ensures you are less likely to stumble over your words.
4. Select a quiet place for your nurse phone interview
If you are in a loud and busy location, it will be hard to concentrate. You and your interviewer might struggle to hear each other. A quiet place with privacy will make it easier for you to do well.
5. Make sure you have a strong phone connection
A poor cell phone connection can throw a monkey wrench into everything, creating confusion and wasting time. Arrange to be in a place with solid cell coverage–or better yet, use a landline.
6. Keep your nursing resume handy for quick reference
In addition to notes about nursing phone interview questions, have your resume in hand. You might need it for specific dates and qualifications. Take the time to improve your nursing resume at the start of your job search.
7. Be expressive and positive to leave a good impression
Be willing to express yourself during the call so the interviewer knows you as a person, not just a list of qualifications. Maintain a positive attitude to leave a good impression that will truly appeal to your potential employer.
8. Follow up afterwards to express interest
Rounding out these nurse phone interview tips is the need to follow up within a day of your interview. It will help you stand out as someone who cares about the job. Thank the interviewer and reinforce your interest in the position.
Start your career in nursing with a successful interview
If you are ready to find a new nursing job, Sunbelt can help. We’ve been connecting qualified nurses like you with the country’s top healthcare facilities and systems for more than 30 years. Explore these open nursing jobs. One might be perfect for you.