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Ace Behavioral Interviews for Registered Nurse Positions

Unlock the Secrets to Mastering Behavioral Interviews and Secure Your Nursing Role.

Top interview questions to expect


1. Describe a challenging patient interaction and how you resolved it.
2. Tell me about a time when you prioritized patient safety in a critical situation.
3. Share an instance where you effectively collaborated with other healthcare professionals to deliver exceptional patient care.
4. Give an example of how you handled a difficult family member or caregiver while providing patient care.
5. Tell me about a time when you identified a patient’s needs that went beyond medical care and took action to address them.
6. Describe a situation where you demonstrated cultural sensitivity and respect in your interactions with patients.
7. Share an instance where you provided patient education and ensured they understood their treatment plan and medication regimen.

Check the latest questions for this role:

Answering interview questions with STAR structure

The STAR framework is a structured approach to answering behavioral interview questions that helps you provide clear, concise, and compelling responses. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result.

Situation: Briefly describe the specific situation or context in which the event occurred.

Task: Explain the task, responsibility, or challenge you were faced with in that situation.

Action: Detail the specific actions you took to address the task or challenge. Be as specific as possible, highlighting your skills, knowledge, and decision-making process.

Result: Describe the positive outcome or result of your actions. Quantify your achievements whenever possible, and emphasize the impact you made.

Sample answers to above interview questions


1. Describe a challenging patient interaction and how you resolved it.

Example Answer:

Situation: While working in the emergency department, I encountered a patient who was agitated, disoriented, and refusing treatment.

Task: My task was to assess the patient’s condition, gain their trust, and provide the necessary medical care.

Action: I approached the patient calmly and respectfully, using a soothing tone of voice and active listening skills. I explained the importance of the treatment and how it would benefit them. I also involved their family members in the conversation, as they were concerned about their loved one’s well-being.

Result: Through patience, empathy, and effective communication, I was able to gain the patient’s trust and administer the necessary treatment. The patient’s condition stabilized, and they expressed gratitude for the care they received.

2. Tell me about a time when you prioritized patient safety in a critical situation.

Example Answer:

Situation: During a busy shift in the intensive care unit, I noticed a sudden change in a patient’s vital signs, indicating a potential cardiac arrest.

Task: My immediate task was to stabilize the patient’s condition and prevent further complications.

Action: I promptly initiated the emergency response protocol, calling for additional staff and equipment. I administered CPR and oxygen therapy while continuously monitoring the patient’s vital signs. I also communicated effectively with the medical team, ensuring a coordinated response to the critical situation.

Result: Due to my swift actions and effective teamwork, the patient’s condition stabilized, and they were successfully transferred to the cardiac care unit for further treatment.

3. Share an instance where you effectively collaborated with other healthcare professionals to deliver exceptional patient care.

Example Answer:

Situation: I was working with a multidisciplinary team to care for a patient with complex medical needs.

Task: My role was to coordinate the patient’s care plan, ensuring seamless communication and collaboration among different healthcare professionals.

Action: I took the initiative to organize regular team meetings, where we discussed the patient’s progress, reviewed treatment plans, and addressed any challenges. I also facilitated effective communication between the patient’s family and the healthcare team, ensuring that everyone was informed and involved in the decision-making process.

Result: Through effective collaboration and coordination, we were able to provide comprehensive and patient-centered care. The patient’s condition improved significantly, and they were discharged from the hospital with a comprehensive follow-up plan.

4. Give an example of how you handled a difficult family member or caregiver while providing patient care.

Example Answer:

Situation: While caring for a terminally ill patient, I encountered a family member who was emotionally distressed and making unreasonable demands.

Task: My task was to manage the difficult situation, provide emotional support to the family, and ensure that the patient received the best possible care.

Action: I approached the family member with empathy and understanding. I actively listened to their concerns and validated their emotions. I explained the patient’s condition and prognosis in a clear and compassionate manner. I also set boundaries and communicated the limits of what was medically possible.

Result: Through effective communication, empathy, and boundary setting, I was able to defuse the situation and establish a more cooperative relationship with the family member. The patient received the necessary care, and the family expressed their gratitude for the support and understanding they received.

5. Tell me about a time when you identified a patient’s needs that went beyond medical care and took action to address them.

Example Answer:

Situation: During a routine patient assessment, I noticed that an elderly patient was feeling isolated and lonely due to limited mobility and lack of social interaction.

Task: My task was to address the patient’s emotional and social needs, in addition to providing medical care.

Action: I took the initiative to engage the patient in conversation, learning about their interests and hobbies. I also contacted the social work department to arrange for regular visits from a volunteer who shared similar interests with the patient.

Result: Through my proactive approach and collaboration with the social work team, I was able to improve the patient’s overall well-being and quality of life. The patient expressed gratitude for the attention and care they received, beyond their medical needs.

6. Describe a situation where you demonstrated cultural sensitivity and respect in your interactions with patients.

Example Answer:

Situation: I was caring for a patient from a different cultural background who had difficulty communicating in English.

Task: My task was to provide culturally sensitive care, ensuring that the patient understood their treatment plan and felt respected throughout their hospital stay.

Action: I used a language interpreter to communicate with the patient and their family. I also made an effort to learn a few phrases in their native language to show respect and understanding. I also ensured that the patient’s cultural and religious beliefs were taken into consideration when planning their care.

Result: Through my cultural sensitivity and respect, I was able to establish a strong rapport with the patient and their family. The patient felt comfortable asking questions and expressing their concerns, leading to better adherence to the treatment plan and improved patient outcomes.

7. Share an instance where you provided patient education and ensured they understood their treatment plan and medication regimen.

Example Answer:

Situation: I was caring for a patient with newly diagnosed diabetes who was anxious about managing their condition.

Task: My task was to provide comprehensive patient education, ensuring that the patient understood their diagnosis, treatment plan, and medication regimen.

Action: I took the time to explain the disease process, the importance of medication adherence, and the potential complications of uncontrolled diabetes. I used simple language and provided written materials in clear and concise formats. I also encouraged the patient to ask questions and clarify any doubts they had.

Result: Through effective patient education, I was able to empower the patient to take control of their condition. The patient expressed confidence in managing their diabetes and was motivated to follow the treatment plan.

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