Complete Nursing Interview Guide-originnurses.com

Complete Nursing Interview Guide – [Q&A Included]

A travel nursing interview can be as tricky as nursing itself. Nursing is one of the most rewarding and exciting jobs once you step in, but landing a job can be a serious challenge.

A typical travel nursing interview consists of a common interview and situation-based questions done remotely. Worry no more. We have put together the most common interview questions, tips, tricks, and what to wear in an interview so you nail your travel nursing interview.

Let’s Go!

What is a Travel Nursing Interview Like?

Typical travel nursing interviews are conducted in a virtual office and have five stages; introduction, small talk, information, question & answer session, and wrapping up. 

Initially, the hospital and travel nursing applicant make their first impression on one another. This is called the introduction. 

The interviewer starts a small talk on any random topic to build a comfort level. The interviewee introduces himself, and the Q/A session starts. The interview ends with a positive note from the company’s side.

As a travel nursing candidate, you will need to prove that you have skills beneficial for the travel nursing profession. These skills include patience, decision-making in critical situations, patient education, being dynamic with new staff, and patient care. 

You need to have your resume, active nursing license, proof that you have passed the nursing examination, any extra certificates linked to your profession, immunization records, and social security number close by and ready to share digitally. 

Read our guide about Compact Nursing License

Here is how you can prepare yourself:

  • Read the job description carefully.
  • Ask your recruiter questions about the position.
  • Note down what qualities that company needs in a travel nurse.
  • Think about your experience linked to those skills.
  • Rehearse situation-based and common interview questions.
  • Practice, practice, and practice.

Wanna know the highest-paying travel nursing states? Read here.

How To Actually Nail Your Travel Nursing Interview?

How To Actually Nail Your Nursing Interview-originnurses.com

Do you have a travel nursing interview ahead? You might be wondering how to nail your travel nursing interview. Nailing your travel nursing interview and landing your job will be a trouble-free procedure if you follow these easy steps.

Research the Hospital or Care Setting

Before the interview, do in-depth research about the hospital or setting. Use journals, LinkedIn,  newspapers, and the company’s website to look into their mission, organizational culture, and industry trends. Social media can be a great place to ask questions too.  Many travel nurses will want to share their personal experience if asked on groups like Facebook offers. It will be a plus if you research your interviewer. 

Sleep Properly

Do you know that insufficient sleep can affect your stress levels? Yes, the lesser you sleep, the more anxious you will be during your interview. Make sure to rest sufficiently and start your day with a proper breakfast before giving your nursing interview. 

Dress Smart

Even though it is a virtual interview, many research pieces show that dressing smartly will increase your confidence, build a better first impression, and improve your performance. Additionally, bright dressing will make you look professional and serious about your job.

Login or Call Early

Yes, it is better to be early. Make sure you know how to use the interview software and practice with others prior.  Check your microphone volume, and make sure you have good internet and sound.  Remove any distractions from the area and make sure you are in a quite place with no background noise. 

Be Positive

It may seem weird to hear, but interviewers usually talk to everyone you have contacted in the organization. Doing so helps them understand more about your personality. 

The best you can do is avoid negativities and be charming to everyone you meet. Your politeness and positivity play a significant role in helping you win the travel nursing job.

Don’t Read Out Your Resume

Interviews are to check your skills not mentioned in your resume. Cramming and reading out your resume in front of interviewers won’t help.

Instead, give examples from your life to relate to your skills. Also, tell them what difference you are going to make which other candidates won’t.

Here are the signs that you have nailed your nursing interview. 

6 Common Travel Nursing Interview Questions & Their Answers

6 Common Nursing Interview Questions & Their Answer-originnurses.com

A travel nursing interview guide is incomplete without these common questions asked. Practice these to make sure you rock your travel nursing interview. 

Tell me about yourself?

They can also ask you, “how would you describe yourself” or “tell us something that is not in your resume.” All of these questions have the same meaning.

Here is how you can plan your answer:

  1. Background/ short biography: start with your name, initial education, and nursing education.
  2. What makes you fit for this job: highlight your previous experience (if any), training, technical and other skills, or if you have gained any highly-preferable certificates. 
  3. Why are you interested in travel nursing: tell them you like challenging fields, enjoy a variety of routines, make a difference in people’s lives, you’re good at empowering and transferring knowledge to others. 
  4. Why are you interested in this hospital: tell them that this setting excites you or gives travel nurses a platform to groom themselves. 
  5. Highlight the qualities that make you unique.
  6. Format your answer. Start with describing your past, present, and then future. 

Do’s while answering “tell me about yourself”: 

Make sure to tell skills linked to nursing, discuss future goals regarding nursing. Also, Keep your answer precise and to the point.

Don’ts while answering “tell me about yourself”: 

Don’t cram and read your resume or tell achievements unrelated to the profession.

What are your strengths?

Make sure to mention knowledge-based and transferable skills. Also, mention your unique qualities, like you know how to educate families of patients. Common nursing strengths include dedication, honesty, patience, teamwork, and flexibility.

Do’s while answering about your strengths: 

Make sure you mention strengths that are beneficial to hospital staff, patients, and their families. You can’t just regard cooking or driving as a skill as they are not related to your profession. Explain each strength with an experience or example.

Don’ts while answering about your strengths: 

Don’t tell strengths you don’t possess. 

What are your weaknesses?

Weaknesses are tough to talk about in an interview. You can’t tell something that will make you unsuitable for the job. Here is what you can do:

  • Tell weakness that won’t affect your job. You cannot tell the interviewers that you are careless and can’t function in critical travel nursing situations. 
  • Be self-aware.

You can tell them that you don’t have certain clinical experience or tell them you spend more time on paperwork. 

With every weakness you mention, explain how you are taking the necessary steps to improve yourself. This way, no matter what the weakness is, the company will indeed consider you.

Do’s while answering about your weaknesses: 

Tell weaknesses that can benefit them, like you pay too much attention to minor details.

Don’ts while answering about your weaknesses: 

Don’t tell them that you have no weaknesses. 

What can you bring to the team?

As a travel nurse, you can mention all qualities that brought you to this point in your career. Highlight your related accomplishments, back them up with examples and explain how they’re helpful for hospitals. 

Whether you have 10 years of experience or not, your accomplishments and way of describing them should convince interviewers.

Experienced nurses should start answering with the years of experience, share relevant skills and focus on fulfilling the job’s essential requirements.

Do’s to answer this question:

Talk about the advantages you can bring to the team in the long run. Your answers should be precise and reflect positivity.

Don’ts to answer this question:

Try to make up your answers instead of copying traditional answers. 

What is your best work achievement?

Start with briefly explaining the qualities you possess and how these values lead to that specific work achievement. Note that they have asked you about the best achievement, so you have to mention one achievement only.

Be honest, specific, and mention your recent achievement that is relevant to travel nursing.

Do’s to answer this question:

Mention recent and specific accomplishments only. 

Don’ts to answer this question:

Don’t mention an irrelevant achievement

Conflict / Situation-based Questions

Read, Research, Practice, and Repeat. This is our formula to tackle situation-based questions. You can also use the STAR technique. It is a famous trick to answer conflict-based questions.

STAR is a short form of situation, task, action, result.

Situation: what challenges you faced.

Task: your role.

Action: what steps did you take.

Result: the outcome of the action taken.

Imagine the tricky situations you can face as a nurse and plan an answer based on the STAR technique. 

Here is a list of the most common situation-based questions asked.

Nursing Interview Clothes: What To Wear?

Nursing Interview Clothes_ What To Wear_

Clothes play a critical role in a nursing interview. They leave a good impression and portray that you’re a perfect fit for the job.

Dressing for Men

Choose from the following to create an ideal nursing interview look.

Top Light-colored, button-down pressed collar shirt.

Dark-colored sweater or blazer. We recommend you to go for navy blue, black, brown or grey blazer.

Tuck your shirt into your pants. 

Avoid polo shirts.

Scrubs are fine if you are more comfortable wearing them.  Stick with solid colors and no patterns though.

Bottom Neatly pressed cotton or dress pants.

Dark-colored jeans (preferably black)

Avoid shorts.

Shoes Dark-colored, polished leather shoes.

Matching socks should accompany shoes. 

Loafers or any dark-colored closed-toe shoes will help.

Accessories Simple wristwatch.

A belt that matches shoe color.


Dressing for Women

Choose from the following to create an ideal nursing interview look.

Top Nicely pressed button-down shirt accompanied with a cardigan.

A simple blouse with a simple jacket.

Blazer (preferably navy blue or black).

Avoid tight or baggy clothes and low-cut necklines.

A casual suit accompanied by a cardigan and belt will help too.

Scrubs are fine if you are more comfortable wearing them.  Stick with solid colors and no patterns though.

Bottom Dress pants.

Pencil skirt (knee length).

Shoes Closed-toe shoes.

Low heels.

Avoid sneakers, flip-flops, sandals. 

Accessories Simple jewelry.

Stud earrings.

Hoop earrings.

Basic color nail polish.

Avoid wearing strong perfumes.

Don’t carry big handbags.

Tie hair neatly.

FAQs Related To Nursing Interview

FAQs Related To Nursing Interview

The questions below will help you knock out your travel nursing interview.

Do I need travel nursing interview coaching?

Travel Nursing interview coaching helps you to:

  • Improve communication skills
  • Enhances confidence
  • Helps fight interview anxiety leaving you calmer
  • Teaches focus skills
  • Helps reduce the discomfort you feel while sitting in front of a team of interviewers
  • Covers frequently asked nursing and situation-based questions and their answers

We will recommend that if you are giving an interview and are very nervous, go for coaching. Also, if you have failed to land a job ever before due to your anxiety, you need nursing interview coaching in that case too. 

However, if you are confident about your preparation and feel slight anxiety, don’t go for nursing interview coaching. Little nervousness is normal before interviews. 

How do you stand out in a travel nursing interview?

Acing your travel nursing interview can be challenging unless you believe that you are the perfect fit for the job; it may seem tricky, but it isn’t.

Apart from your nursing skills, tell the interviewers that you have technical skills too. Every field in the world now uses technology. Learning to use hospital technology will make you stand ahead of other candidates.

If the company asks you if you have any questions, ask questions like nurse-to-patient ratio, a nurse mentoring project in the hospital, and how to check if the patient is satisfied with them.

Once done, leave them with a thank you. Also note,  if they tell you that you’re selected, don’t talk about the salary package right now, leave that for the recruiter. 

Read our guide to become a travel nurse

What is expected of a travel nurse?

Travel nurses should possess skills related to their profession smoothly and be experts in building trust between patients and nurses. Hospital management expects nurses to: 

  • Listen to patients and support them emotionally.
  • Provide health education to patients and their families.
  • Make decisions under critical situations.
  • Perform health testing such as drawing blood and checking blood pressure.
  • Coordinate with doctors and other colleagues. 

The list continues, but these are the major expectations hospital management has from a travel nurse. 

Anything Else?

Our travel nursing interview guides cover all aspects of a typical travel nursing interview. Although a travel nursing interview may seem challenging at first, taking necessary precautions and practicing out tips may help you land a high-paying travel nursing job.

Now that you know how to nail your travel nursing interview wait no more and apply for a travel nursing job now.

Apply for travel nursing jobs here.

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