How to Answer "Tell Me About Yourself" Nurse Practitioner Interview Question – (6 Best Examples)


Written By: Kasee Wiesen DNP, APRN, FNP-C


I know first-hand interviews can be stressful—and the question, “tell me about yourself” is a common source of this stress. How do you answer this question? Are you to answer it generalized including information regarding your personal and professional life? Or do they just want to know about your professional experiences? Are they trying to get to know who you are as an individual or how you would work together with a team?

So, let’s take a closer look at this interview question. How do you answer the “tell me about yourself” nurse practitioner interview question? Below are the six best example answers for the “tell me about yourself” nurse practitioner interview question and the top 10 tips to answer this question perfectly.



WHAT IS “TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF” NURSE PRACTITIONER INTERVIEW QUESTION?


The question, “tell me about yourself,” is a common question that is asked early on in the interview—sometimes, it is the initial question. It is a good ice-breaker question that allows the interviewer to gain some quick facts about you and can help direct the direction of additional questions.

And while this question is very common, it may be presented in different formats. For example, the interviewer may ask, “tell me more about your journey to becoming a nurse practitioner” or “walk me through your resume.” Regardless of how the question is worded, the goal is to learn more about your professional career and goals and will allow the interviewer to begin their assessment of your communication skills and how you would fit within the clinic.

RECOMMENDED ONLINE NURSE PRACTITIONER PROGRAMS

DO ALL EMPLOYERS ASK THE QUESTION “TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF” IN A NURSE PRACTITIONER INTERVIEW?


I have completed many interviews throughout my career as an RN and NP—and I can honestly say that every interview has included the question, “tell me about yourself.” Therefore, it is important to be prepared as this question will appear in your upcoming interview.



WHEN DO EMPLOYERS ASK THE QUESTION “TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF” IN A NURSE PRACTITIONER INTERVIEW?


Employers often ask you the question, “tell me about yourself” early in the NP interview. This question is often used to warm up the interviewee and help them feel more comfortable and at ease with the interview. It is also a great question to use as an introduction and can lead to a seamless transition to other questions.



5 IMPORTANT THINGS EMPLOYERS REALLY WANT TO KNOW WHEN THEY ASK“TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF” IN A NURSE PRACTITIONER INTERVIEW?


Do you wonder what the interviewer actually wants to know when they ask, “tell me about yourself ” during the interview as a nurse practitioner? If so, please review the five tips below about the important things employers really want to know when they ask the question, “tell me about yourself.”

1. They want to know about your education:

The interviewer wants to know where you obtained your MSN or DNP, and they will want to know what settings you completed your clinical experiences. In certain circumstances, the interviewer also wants to know where you completed your BSN, so be prepared to provide that if asked.

2. They want to know about your current nursing role—whether as an RN or an NP:

When the question, “tell me about yourself,” is asked during the NP interview, provide information about your current role in nursing. If you are an experienced NP, share your role and other pertinent information. If you are a new grad, share how your experience as an RN can benefit you in your new role as an NP.

3. They want to know about your past job experiences:

The company you are interviewing for will want to know about your past job experiences. This may include your current role as an NP and what your day-to-day looks like. Or how your previous RN role will impact your new career as an NP.

4. They want to know your long-term goals in nursing:

What is your long-term goal as an NP? Many employers want to know where you see yourself in 5, 10, or even 15 years. Be prepared to share your goals—even if it is to work for this company until retirement.

5. They want to know about your passions and interest as a nurse practitioner:

When asking the question, “tell me about yourself,” they also want to know your passions and interests as an NP. Is your passion to provide primary and preventative care? Or is it to deliver care diagnosis and treat mental illness? Regardless, the interviewer asks this question to know if you would be a good fit for the job.



WHAT ARE THE BEST EXAMPLES OF THE"TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF" NURSE PRACTITIONER INTERVIEW QUESTION FOR NEW GRADS?

(The following are the 3 best example answers for the "tell me about yourself" nurse practitioner interview question for new grad nurse practitioners.)


Example #1:

I have been a nurse for 5 years and recently graduated from the family nurse practitioner program at (insert your university here). My nursing background in adult med surg and the emergency department have helped prepare me to deliver primary care to patients across their lifespan. I have a passion for providing high-quality care that is enhanced by practicing evidenced based medicine. I am driven, a strong communicator and a team player—which will leave a lasting impact on my patients.

Example #2:

I have been a nurse for 15 years and recently graduated from the adult-gerontology acute care program at (insert your university here). I have always known I would advance my degree—I wasn’t sure of the area I wanted to pursue. I have worked in various areas of nursing. Still, after working in an adult intensive care unit and the step-down unit, I discovered my true passion for caring for adults in the inpatient setting—thus leading to my decision to advance my degree. Providing patient-centered care through communication with the patient and team and being driven to provide evidence-based care will help me deliver high-quality care for my adult and gerontological patients while in the hospital.

Example #3:

I graduated from (insert college or university here) with my BSN 7 years ago—and I will graduate from (insert college or university here) in May with my MSN and will be a pediatric nurse practitioner. I have always wanted to be a nurse practitioner—and working with the pediatric population is my passion. My nursing experience in pediatrics has prepared me to work as a pediatric nurse practitioner. I have a solid foundation and experience working with pediatric patients and their family members. My communication skills are excellent. I am a strong team player and understand the importance of continuing my education to ensure evidence-based medicine is always used in my practice.



WHAT ARE THE BEST EXAMPLES OF THE "TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF" NURSE PRACTITIONER INTERVIEW QUESTION FOR EXPERIENCED NURSE PRACTITIONERS?

(The following are the 3 best example answers for the "tell me about yourself" nurse practitioner interview question for experienced nurse practitioners.)


Example #1:

I graduated from (insert university here) in 2015 and have been working as a family nurse practitioner in a family practice clinic in a rural setting. This experience has been excellent as I have had a great opportunity to build on my NP skills, including becoming proficient in wellness exams, suturing, and splinting. Due to limited access to other specialties, I have had to demonstrate strong assessment skills and a wide span of knowledge. This has led me to develop confidence in my assessments and expertise, communication skills, and desire to stay current in my practice through the completion of CEUs. I work well with the healthcare team, including consulting other professionals when needed.

Example #2:

I graduated from (insert name of college or university here) 17 years ago, and during this time have worked in various settings as a nurse and nurse practitioner. My nursing background includes an emergency department and an outpatient behavioral health unit—and I have spent the last nine years working as a psychiatric mental health nurse practitioner (PMHNP) for a facility in my hometown. This job provided me with a lot of experience in diagnosing and treating mental health disorders in both the inpatient and outpatient settings—which has been an awesome opportunity to work in both settings. I have become very efficient in my assessment skills and in formulating a diagnosis and treatment plan based on these findings. I believe teamwork, communication, and compassion are the foundation of holistic care, and I practice each daily to ensure my patients receive the best care possible.

Example #3:

Hi everyone. I have worked as a family nurse practitioner for the last two years. I graduated from (insert college or university here) with my DNP and began working as a family nurse practitioner for a large teaching hospital shortly after graduation. I have enjoyed what I do and have had the opportunity to deliver primary and acute care to patients across their lifespans. I see approximately 15 patients daily, allowing me time to respond to messages throughout the day and provide interpretation of labs or diagnostic imaging results I have received. I greatly enjoy what I do—and I believe strong communication and a team-orientated mentality are needed between myself and the rest of the clinical staff. I also have a passion for practicing evidence-based medicine, which I achieve through completing CEUs and using various resources providing the most up-to-date information—as this is essential in delivering high-quality patient-centered care.



BONUS! TOP 10 TIPS TO PERFECTLY ANSWER "TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF" NURSE PRACTITIONER INTERVIEW QUESTION



TIP #1: Practice answering the question


About the Tip:

As I mentioned above, you should expect this question to occur early on in the interview. Therefore, I cannot stress the importance of practicing your answer to this question prior to the interview. Do not write a script down, but instead think about which points you would like to discuss and practice elaborating on those.

Why is this Tip Important:

I recommend practicing before the interview to make you feel more comfortable and prepared when answering the question “tell me about yourself”. It will help ensure you stay focused on the question and include the information you want.


TIP #2: Keep it concise—do not ramble


About the Tip:

Keep your answer concise—think about what the interviewer wants to know about you. They want to know about you professionally--including your experiences as a nurse or nurse practitioner.

Why is this Tip Important:

Keeping your answer concise will help you not to ramble—allowing the interview to keep moving in the appropriate direction. Being able to answer questions concisely (by not rambling) also demonstrates your ability to educate patients efficiently, which is a vital skill for the nurse practitioner.


TIP #3: Keep it at around 1 minute in length


About the Tip:

This tip goes along with tip #2—keep your answer for around 1-2 minutes. This is a rough estimate, and understandably if the interviewer asks you to elaborate on specific points, your response may be longer.

Why is this Tip Important:

This tip is crucial because it provides a guide for you when preparing for the interview. This will give a rough estimate of how much time you should spend on the question “tell me about yourself” and allow you to develop a non-rambling answer.


TIP #4: Portray yourself in a positive light


About the Tip:

Always portray yourself in a positive light. Don’t point out a weakness; instead, highlight the positive skills, achievements, and education you have completed, along with any goals you want to achieve as a nurse practitioner.

Why is this Tip Important:

This tip is important because you want to be sure people remember the positive aspect about you—you want to get the job if you are a new grad and don’t have NP skills or achievements to discuss. Point out any achievements you had as an RN and how those will influence your career as an NP.


TIP #5: Don’t share a lot of personal information when answering this question—they are wanting to know about you as a professional.


About the Tip:

The interviewer is asking the question “tell me about yourself” to learn about you professionally. While providing some personal information is okay—emphasize your answer on your professional career.

Why is this Tip Important:

It is easy to want to discuss your personal life when this question is asked—but the interviewer wants to know about you as a professional. There are often other opportunities throughout the interview to share personal information about yourself.


TIP #6: Don’t just restate your resume—pick some points from your resume and highlight those points.


About the Tip:

Don’t just regurgitate your resume to them. Focus on approximately 3-5 points from your resume and elaborate on those when answering the question.

Why is this Tip Important:

They have your resume in front of them—and have already reviewed it before bringing you in for the interview. By emphasizing specific points, you provide more in-depth information about yourself and allow them to learn a little about your personality and communication skills.


TIP #7: Discuss your strengths including achievements at work


About the Tip:

This tip goes along with one of the above tips—always speaking positively about yourself. Be sure to point out any specific strengths that would benefit the position you are interviewing for. Also, emphasize any achievements you have accomplished as a nurse or nurse practitioner.

Why is this Tip Important:

You want to stand out against any other applicants for the job. When stating your strengths and achievements, be sure to point out how they would benefit you in this new role—as this will help demonstrate why you are the best applicant for the job.


TIP #8: Be confident


About the Tip:

When answering the question “tell me about yourself” in an NP interview, be confident. Your confidence in your answer also shows confidence in your ability to practice as a nurse practitioner and the skills needed to be on the job.

Why is this Tip Important:

Confidence can be contagious—and if you are confident in the interview, the interviewer will remember that and will lead to them having a greater confidence in your skills and their desire to hire you.


TIP #9: Be honest


About the Tip:

Honesty is always essential—including honesty on your resume and any answers provided during the interview. Do not try to enhance or falsely elaborate on any skill or achievement you have on your resume.

Why is this Tip Important:

It will also not benefit you to lie or even falsely enhance your achievements or strengths, and this will catch up with you eventually and may lead to a negative outcome.


TIP #10: Don’t seem too scripted when answering the question “tell me about yourself”.


About the Tip:

This tip can be challenging for some—because the first tip I provided is to practice your answer. So how can you practice but not sound too scripted? When practicing, identify the talking points you want to discuss and practice saying them out loud—but don’t write the answer down and memorize the response.

Why is this Tip Important:

You want your answer to seem honest and natural. If it is too scripted, the interviewer may think you lack self-confidence. By not appearing scripted with your response, you are again demonstrating your communication skills which are a critical part of your role as a nurse practitioner.



MY FINAL THOUGHTS


Do you feel more confident in how to answer the “tell me about yourself” nurse practitioner interview question? I hope after reading the six best example answers for the “tell me about yourself nurse practitioner interview question and the top 10 tips to answer this question perfectly; you have a greater sense of comfort and ease when asked this question in an interview.


Kasee Wiesen DNP, APRN, FNP-C
Kasee Wiesen is a practicing family nurse practitioner. Her nursing background includes emergency medicine, pediatrics and peri-op. Education is a passion of Kasee’s, and she has taught BSN, RN-BSN and DNP students, and has enjoyed every moment of it!