Nursing assistants are vital to hospitals and other medical facilities. That is why hiring them is a huge responsibility.
When an interview process is designed to hire someone at this position, it focuses on what the applicant can offer in terms of monitoring patients’ conditions and providing basic nursing care.
Most questions will be based on what the prospective employee knows about nursing work. And some will focus on their personality. Since nursing requires compassion as a key ingredient, it is imperative for nursing assistants to show their consideration for patients’ wellbeing during the interview.
Preparing for the interview requires finding out what the facility is looking for in a nursing assistant. You will need to go through your resume and cover letter thoroughly so that you can relate your answers to the information provided in them.
Related: Nursing Assistant Resume
Nursing Assistant Interview Questions and Answers
1. Why did you want a career in nursing?
I believe that nursing is one of the noblest of professions. This will to help people when they are unable to do so themselves and my inherent love for the profession made me decide that I wanted to work as a nursing assistant.
2. Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I have been working as a nursing assistant for 1 year now, and find the work quite amazing. My aspiration is to work in a capacity where I can effectively contribute to patient wellness and health.
3. How did you learn about this opening?
I had been scanning the newspapers for just such a position when I came across this vacancy. Since the requirements were in great alignment with my qualifications, I figured that this was something I should explore further.
4. Out of all the candidates, why should we hire you?
I am a great candidate because I am well-versed in a number of areas. These include providing one on one dedicated nursing care to patients, providing personal care, taking and recording vital signs, and cleaning and sanitizing patient areas. In addition, I am proficient in collecting information about conditions and treatment plans and examining patients for bruises and injuries. Since I am a thorough individual, I leave no stone unturned to ensure patient wellness and health. I am sure that these reasons are sufficient to decide that I am a good contender for this position.
5. What duties have you performed in a nursing assistant role before?
I have performed a wide variety of duties in this role. These include assisting patients with performing basic tasks such as toileting, grooming, and dressing, administering medication, and checking and recording vital signs. Furthermore, I have been busy answering patient calls, and responding to queries and problems. In addition, my work involves measuring and recording food intake and output, and documenting and reporting observations of patient behavior, complaints, and physical symptoms.
6. What is your biggest strength?
My patience is my biggest strength. Nursing requires a lot of patience, and I believe that I can effectively work in a calm and collected manner at all times, even when the going gets tough.
7. What is your biggest weakness?
I am a perfectionist. I understand that there are no perfect situations in life, but that does not stop me from expecting the impossible. However, I am working on setting realistic goals for myself.
8. What can we expect from you in the first three months of work?
I am confident that I will be an immediate asset to the hospital. I hope to take on all the cases assigned to me with great professionalism. And you will see a great change in how patient care is handled.
9. What do you do to keep yourself motivated?
I feel that motivation is not a problem if you do your work right. A patient who has been well taken care of is motivation in itself. I focus on ensuring that my work is done according to the procedure. When I see positive outcomes, I feel immediately encouraged.
10. Tell us about the toughest decision that you have had to make in the last year?
I was recently in a quandary about reporting a nurse’s nefarious conduct to the nurse manager. The nurse in question had been drinking while on duty, which was completely against the rules. Since she was a senior, it was difficult for me to decide that this behavior needed to be reported. However, I felt that it was in the best interests of her patients and the facility if I reported her. And I did.
11. How do you feel about working in an environment where one can often get emotionally attached to patients?
My training makes sure that I treat patients with empathy but never get emotionally close to them. I feel that by doing so, one’s judgment can be impaired, which doesn’t work well at all.
12. Place your skills on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being the highest.
I am at a 7. I feel that I have a long way to go because there is so much more to learn than I already know.
13. How do you handle emergencies?
I handle medical emergencies with great precision. There is no lack of urgency in me, and I strive hard to ensure patients’ safety at once.
14. Tell me about an achievement that you are proud of.
On my first day at work as a nursing assistant, I saved a patient’s life by recognizing the early signs of a cardiac arrest. Doing something like this on my first day after formal training is a great achievement.
15. What is one contribution that you have made to your present place of work?
I recently suggested that all patient charts should be digitalized for better understanding. This suggestion was taken quite seriously by the facility managers, and they immediately replaced paper charts by tablets. Of course, I received a lot of praise for my input.
16. How good are you at providing emotional support?
I feel that I am great support where emotional assistance is concerned. I am a great listener and know just what to say to make patients and their families come to terms with their situations.
17. How important do you think patient education is?
I believe that patient education is extremely important, as it is the patient’s right to know what is going on, and how to deal with it.
18. What do you look out for when transferring patients from one place to another?
I ensure that patients are properly strapped into their wheelchairs or stretchers before they are transported. Their wellbeing and safety are my prime concerns.
19. What is your experience as far as lab liaison is concerned?
I have been taking and securing samples such as blood, and urine, and safely transporting them to laboratories. Also, I am experienced in following up on test results and examining them pre-diagnosis.
20. Have you ever found yourself in a situation that was difficult to come out of?
Up till now, it has been pretty smooth sailing. But if such a situation does prevail, I will accept the challenge, and I am sure that I will come out shining.
21. As far as inventory is concerned, what is your experience?
At my present place of work, I am responsible for overseeing nursing supplies inventory. Stocking and securing supplies such as dressing packs, and treatment trays are all in a day’s work for me.
22. And what experience do you have with setting up medical equipment?
I am well-versed in setting up, calibrating, and operating treatment and testing equipment, such as oxygen tents, portable radiographs, and overhead irrigation bottles.
23. If you ever thought that a doctor was indulging in malpractice, what would you do?
If such an event ever surfaced in front of me, I would have no choice but to report the offending doctor.
24. Do you have any experience with disabled patients?
As a matter of fact, yes. I am presently providing direct nursing care to 3 comatose patients, by administering therapy treatments to them.
25. Do you think it is necessary to attend continuous training sessions?
Absolutely. It is imperative for nurses to be trained continuously so that they can provide effective nursing care to patients. Learning and applying new nursing care methods is important to patient wellbeing.
26. What do you know about chronic illnesses?
Nowadays, a huge part of the patient population suffers from chronic illnesses. Diseases such as MS and Lupus are rampant. I have had at least 15 patients who suffer from chronic illnesses, and need to be hospitalized quite often.
27. In your opinion, should chronic illnesses be treated the same way as acute ones?
Not at all. Acute illnesses need immediate emergency attention. Treating chronic illnesses is a long process, which takes years, sometimes the patient’s entire life as well. There is no way that they can be treated in the same way.
28. What are your 5-year plans?
I am aiming to work well enough and to learn sufficiently about the work to be able to work as a nurse manager within the next 5 years.