Nursing Interview Questions

How to Answer “Where Do You See Yourself In 5 Years?” In Nursing Interview

Nursing Interview Questions

In any interview, you can generally expect to hear the question, “where do you see yourself in five years?” Nursing interview questions are no different.

In this article, we will go through how you can answer this and other common nursing interview questions you can expect from interviewers to help you nail said nursing interview questions and get the nursing job you’re applying for.

Nurse Interview: Nursing Interview Questions and Answers

You’ve sent through your CV and cover letter and been called back for a job interview to secure the position. Even highly competent candidates find the interview process stressful, so you have to take the time to prepare yourself for an interview. Applying for a nursing position is no different.

The hiring manager must assess your clinical abilities and whether you can do all the things necessary for your job role in an effective and professional setting.

The importance of looking at and familiarizing yourself with common questions in interviews is vital for securing your dream job as a nurse practitioner.

The “Where Do You See Yourself in 5 Years Nursing” Interview Question

One of the most frequently asked questions in an interview for a nurse is, “Where do you see yourself in 5 years of nursing?” It may be difficult for you to answer on the spot, so you should plan your answers.

In a nutshell, the interviewer is looking for several factors to determine whether you are suitable for the position in your response.

Foremost among these is your commitment to your nursing career, your goals, as well as how well you will fit into the culture of the facility you are applying to.

Failing to Plan is Planning to Fail

The interviewer wants to know if you have a long-term plan. Without preparing yourself, you most likely won’t be able to answer genuinely and in a way that will convince the interviewer you are the best nurse for the job.

Prepare answers so you can show a passion for a long-term career in the industry will assist in convincing an interviewer that you would be the best candidate for the position.

Planning your answers and preparing ahead will show that you have the ability to make preparations in advance for your patients. The interviewer wants to see if you can look ahead and prepare for the future. This shows them that you have the mindset to be a great nurse.

Define Your Goals Clearly

Are you ambitious and ready to do the work to rise up in the ranks of the company? Or are you happy to stay in the same position? You need to have your career goals laid out.

Not only will this go a long way to helping you ace the nursing interview questions, but you will also get a clear outline of how your career will progress. This means both personally and as a part of the organization you are applying to work at.

Interviewers want to know if you will be moving on from the position in a short period of time or if you are in it for the long term. Make sure the answer shows whether you are someone they want to invest time in.

Nursing Interview Questions & How to Answer Them

You should do your homework before going into the interview. Look at how you should approach the interview questions, come up with examples and practice your answers beforehand.

Here is a list of the most frequently asked nursing interview questions you can expect when interviewing for a nursing position. We will go through each one and how to answer them in the best possible way to show that you are the best nurse for the job.

These nursing interview questions will also show you some of the most common reasons people fail interviews, the top reason being that many people do not answer these common nursing interview questions correctly.

The Most Common Nurse Interview Questions

Nurse Assistant

Tell Me About Yourself

While this may seem like a generic question with a generic answer, it most definitely is not. They want to understand what qualifies you for the role as well as what you will bring to the company should you get the job. 

This is most likely one of the first nursing job interview questions you will hear at your interview. Answering it demands an in-depth yet brief reply while showing the hiring manager that you possess the drive and skills needed to succeed.

What Are Your Strengths and Weaknesses?

Another question you are practically guaranteed to hear at any interview is, “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” An interviewer asks this to find out how you analyze your self-awareness and determine whether your view of yourself matches the company’s values.

When answering, don’t go overboard by giving a laundry list of strengths and weaknesses. Focus on measurable, job-specific answers such as your dedication to patients, your empathy and compassion, and your drive to heal people when discussing your strengths.

Weaknesses can include frustration when systems aren’t followed correctly and when other staff members do not follow protocol. Be sure to give examples.

The strength answer should be a match for the hospital’s requirements. The weaknesses answer should be reasonable and genuine, demonstrating a determination to succeed.

How to Answer: Weakness

Stay away from common cliche answers that imply perfection and work too hard for your own sake. Embrace the opportunity and let go where there’s room for improvement. You may also discuss how you work on improving your weaknesses and how they are keeping you down in the role.

How to Answer: Strengths

Show that you believe in the quality of your work and your achievements, but without seeming over-confident.

Say you have a great reputation for providing excellent patient care, despite being overwhelmed or that difficult clients and stress can still bother me, but it’s easy to stay calm while focusing on them instead of on your personal feelings.

Tell Me About a Time You Had to Handle a Difficult Patient.

Every nurse has experience dealing with difficult patients. This question gets asked to see how well you handled it, how you are able to think on your feet, and how it is part of the job.

Answer by talking about one of your most difficult patients and how you managed to resolve the situation with a positive outcome.

Why did You Want to be a Nurse?

This question is one of the more personal ones. Being a nurse has many advantages, but it can also be a stressful and demanding job. Interviewers want to know if you chose your career in nursing because of the pay or because you actually care about helping others.

Interviewers frequently use this question to determine your passion for nursing. Answering it should illustrate and show your passion for the profession and why you love doing it. You should also include what attracted you to nursing in the first place.

Why Are You the Best Person For This Nursing Job?

Being asked why you are the best person for the job is probably one of the most daunting questions to answer. You don’t want to come across as arrogant, but you still need to give an answer that shows what makes you unique and why they should hire you over other nurses.

To answer, you should describe your skills and experience and how they are relevant to the job description. Be honest and humble, and make sure your answer shows self-awareness and confidence.

Another good way to answer is by showing how you define success as a nurse and giving examples highlighting the successes you have had in your career.

How Do You Deal With the Stress of Nursing?

Nursing is stressful, there’s no doubt about it. Recruiters want to know how you deal with the stresses that come with the job. They want to see if you are reliable or if you will crack under the pressure.

Tell the interviewer how you deal with the stress in healthy, constructive ways to show that you are able to perform at peak levels with keeping your cool under pressure.

You must demonstrate your resilience and understanding of stress management techniques. Be upfront about the solutions you’ve found effective and describe how these work for you.

Tell Me About a Time When You Had to Resolve a Conflict With Another Healthcare Worker

Your interviewer will often want to hear about less-than-positive experiences when working with others.

Disagreements at work are fairly standard, particularly when having to collaborate with other staff members and knowing how you react to a difficult situation involving them.

Don’t gloss over the subject, you should be open and honest about the problem. The interviewer wants to see how you deal with interpersonal problems at work.

Answer in a way that highlights your problem-solving and creative thinking skills with examples that have yielded positive resolutions.

Do You Work Well With Doctors, Nurses, and Staff Members?

Nurses are responsible for working closely with their patients as well as their colleagues. They ask this to evaluate whether you are a good match for their present team.

The approach to responding to this nurse interview question is to emphasize your ability to support and work well with others. This involves communication skills, people skills, and the capacity to respond to the needs of others on the team.

What Is The Hardest Part of Being a Nurse?

It’s tough being a nurse. More than 2.7m nursing staff members report that they feel that their role is demanding and they work in a high-pressure environment.

Hiring managers know the demands of patient care. The work environment consists of long shifts of intense work, which can be thankless at times while dealing with the worst sides of people.

If a person asks you this question, he or she needs to demonstrate that you know that being a nurse is hard work. Don’t try to persuade the recruiter that nursing isn’t really a difficult career in your experience. 

For example, emotional strain can be incredibly difficult in nursing. It’s difficult working with patients. Sometimes it is hard to give news and help in difficult times.

Each profession has its good days and bad days, and it’s good to admit that being a nurse may be difficult. Choose a problem that you have experienced or continue to experience in your career as a nurse. Be courteous in your explanation of this difficulty; explain how you managed or how you plan on solving it.

For example, emotional strain can be incredibly difficult in nursing. It’s difficult working with patients. Sometimes it is hard to give bad news to family members of patients you have lost or help patients when you are going through difficult times yourself.

Tell Me the Most Rewarding Part of Being a Nurse.

Working as a healthcare provider has immense rewards. It’s important to explain to hiring managers what you love about this position as well as the reason behind doing this job.

Talk about what aspects of your choice of career as a nurse you find truly meaningful. Use your response to express your enthusiasm for working as a nurse and how that enthusiasm will help the company if you are hired.

For example, you may explain that you went into nursing to be of service and that you sincerely like taking care of those in need.

You should avoid talking about things like the pay or advantages that come with being a registered nurse.

Tell Me the Best Way to Handle a Crisis.

You have to have prepared yourself for each circumstance. Your responsibilities will be to respond to outbreaks or pandemics. Almost all nursing experience was affected by COVID-19. You have the option of using that information in your answers to the questions as well.

Interviewers will be looking for evidence of your understanding of procedures and your ability to handle workload efficiently.

Example: Mine felt similar pressures during COVID-19. Several shift changes have been made to compensate for absences due to testing positive employees. Having to work on completing our projects at different times was tough, so we had to work together.

What Makes You a Good Nurse?

Answer a challenging nursing interview question. You need to show some enthusiasm for a sector. If you ask recruiters why you’re a good nurse, they’re actually asking you to motivate them.

List the main motivation for choosing this occupation and any particular skills you have. Don’t forget to add a couple of facts and stories to support any claim.

Example: As a child, I was always caring for my grandmother’s health and care during her dying years as a teenager. I soon became involved in arranging to volunteer in an area hospice where she lived on a part-time basis.

What’s Your Strongest Skill as a Nurse?

When an interviewer asks what makes you a good nurse, they actually want to know what drives you. This is similar to the “describe your strengths and weaknesses” question.

Demonstrate your enthusiasm for the job and discuss the main reason you picked a career as a registered nurse.

Highlight your compassionate qualities and any important skills you have that would make you an asset to the team. Give the interviewer some experiences to back up your answer. 

Tips to Answer Nursing Interview Questions

A Doctor Talking the Patient

Utilize your answers to prove your capability to deliver the highest level of care to patients. Practicing your responses is one of the best ways to prepare to answer questions in an interview. Make sure you are familiar with the values and culture of the facility you are applying for.

Additionally, you can prepare questions that you’ll ask the recruiter, and update your CV to list any new nursing skills you have gained.

Be Realistic and Honest

A realistic goal will always require learning your strength and limitations of yourself. Make it realistic about your life if you answer the questions. Don’t claim you want to work in medicine or management when no qualifications are available.

It’ll be a surefire way to ensure your time with your interviewer ends abruptly.

Tailor Your Answer to the Employer’s

When answering these commonly asked interview questions about nursing, tailor your answers to employers. Therefore, you must research a company’s goals and objectives. Tell them your way of helping the company achieve its goals.

Always be Positive

Tell the reader that you are always looking for something positive. Don’t say that you don’t really know what it is. See Also: What should be said when speaking to nurses?

Have a Vision for the Future

We need an outlook on the future. It shows your constant desire to improve yourself. This shows how important your career is.


Having the right nursing interview answer to the question of where you see yourself in five years nursing (and all of the others mentioned above) will go a long way. Well-thought-out answers will help you secure that dream job and progress toward your nursing career goals.

By being prepared and confident when a hiring manager asks you about yourself and why you should be their choice for the job, odds are you will be the one that gets it.

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Avlin is passionate about helping aspirants become better personal support workers. He is an entrepreneur and runs a clinic in Toronto.

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