Nursing Interview Questions and Answers: How to Answer the “Tell Me About Yourself” Question

nursing interview questions and answersby Sarah Stasik

Love them or hate them, nursing interviews are an important milestone for RNs (and potential nurses) in all stages of education and career. 

Whether you're looking to get into nursing school or taking your nursing career to the next level, knowing how to navigate nursing interview questions and answers is critical to success.

While it seems simple, one of the most difficult nursing interview questions is the dreaded “Tell me about yourself” question. 

Find out how to deal with this common nurse interview question, and then check out interview tips for nurses who might not like interviewing. 

How to Answer the Nursing Interview Question: “Tell Me About Yourself”

Yes, potential employers do want to know about you. As a nurse, they'll want to know about your education, experience and critical skills, which are questions that are often easy to answer. 

In addition to questions regarding your nursing skills and education, employers may also want to know about you personally to determine if you'll be a good fit for the team. 

Here's what to do (and not do) when faced with common nurse interview questions, “Tell me about yourself.”

How Not to Answer the Nursing Interview Question: “Tell Me About Yourself”

This is not the time to blather on about yourself. Interviewers aren't looking for a biography, so keep answers concise and include things relevant to the position. 

For example, information such as the number of cats you own is a bit arbitrary, but you do want to open up and give some personal tidbits. 

Don't simply cop out with an answer that any candidate could provide.

Tips for Nailing the Nursing Interview Question: “Tell Me About Yourself” 

Suzy Welch, a CNBC contributor, says your answer to what might seem like a throw-away question are actually very important. Employers use this information to gauge factors such as maturity and authenticity. 

With that said, Welch recommends keeping your answer tied to the job — your potential employer doesn't want to know everything about you. Rather, they want to know what about you, specifically, makes you the best candidate for the position.

But do weave your own personality into the answer. Did you battle cancer before opting for a career as an oncology nurse? That could be a very relevant fact. 

Did you line up the neighborhood kids and treat scratch and bruises as a child? That shows your passion for triage nursing early on.

Plan ahead for this very common nurse interview question with one or two personal stories or facts you can work in. And don't forget to ask your own interview questions to wow employers even further with your preparation and dedication.

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