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Top 50 Nurse Practitioner Interview Questions and Answers (By An NP)


Written By: Donna Reese MSN, RN, CSN

Job interviews can be stressful. As a nurse practitioner, you might expect the worst when interviewing for a new position. You may be stressing about what kind of questions to expect and how you can effectively answer the types of scenarios that may be presented. I felt the same when I interviewed for NP jobs. Although not all nurse practitioner job interviews are the same, I can tell you that my experiences were not nearly as traumatic as anticipated.

At this point, you may wisely be asking, "what are the most common nurse practitioner interview questions"? By preparing for all types of NP interview questions, you should be in a good position for your all-important pre-employment meeting. This article, Top 50 nurse practitioner interview questions and sample answers will provide you with an extensive sampling of common questions and scenarios to help you ace the interview. In addition, interview tips and guidance will set your mind at ease that you have done all that you can to be prepped for your meeting with a prospective employer.


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What Is The Main Purpose Of A Nurse Practitioner Job Interview?


The primary purpose of a nurse practitioner job interview is two-fold. For the NP, the objective is to sell yourself to a potential employer in hopes of gaining a job offer. On the flip-side, the employer wants to evaluate your qualifications and find out if you are the right candidate for the position.

Additionally, at a job interview, a nurse practitioner can explore the details of the work, the company, and what compensation and benefits will be offered. As a qualified and sought-after provider, you will be interviewing your potential employer as much as they will be investigating your skills and qualifications. You will want to weigh all aspects of this future position; thus, the job interview will be your opportunity to scrutinize your employer, work culture, and job specifics.


Are Nurse Practitioner Job Interviews Hard To Crack?


Job interviews can be quite unique depending on a myriad of circumstances. Most nurse practitioners anticipate that interviewing for a job will be nerve-wracking and stressful. However, the meeting for an NP position often turns out to be much less anxiety-producing than expected and more like a friendly conversation where you are a valued provider, and the interviewer is eager to please you.

When I interviewed for one of the nurse practitioner jobs, I was pleasantly surprised by the congenial atmosphere and attitude of the human resources personnel that interviewed me. They were obviously trying to make me feel comfortable and turned the interview over to me after just a few NP-related questions. It appeared that they were trying to "sell" the position to me and wanted to make sure that I was satisfied with them and the aspects of the job. It was apparent that they wanted to hire me, and it was up to me to accept the position if I so desired.

I'm not suggesting that all NP jobs are easy to come by and that you do not need to prepare for a job interview. But in this day and job economy, providers are in demand, including nurse practitioners. This fact takes a little pressure off the job interview process. Those interviewing for other types of employment may not be as fortunate.

However, I have heard stories of nurse practitioners who were grilled unpleasantly by physicians for their job interviews and did not land the job they had hoped for. I have been fortunate never to have been interviewed by a physician. But I did undergo one interview where there were 4 administrators, each with their own long list of questions.

The meeting was long, with the administrators taking turns nailing me with different questions and scenarios. At one point, I must have been at my limit as I began to feel light-headed. I made it through the process, but it was one of my more challenging job interviews.

My advice is to anticipate a rigorous interview by preparing fully for all types of nurse practitioner interview questions, in case you are put on the "hot seat" when you go for your dream job interview.


What Are The Top 5 Things Employers Look For In A Nurse Practitioner Job Interview?


Potential employers evaluate all aspects of a nurse practitioner during an interview. Knowing what they are seeking will help you to better prepare for the meeting. Here are 5 vital attributes that employers look for in a nurse practitioner job interview:

1. Professionalism-

How you present yourself in an NP job interview is very important. Your future employer will notice how you dress and portray yourself as an individual and nurse practitioner. Looking and acting confident and poised will impress. Answering questions professionally means that you keep the conversation from getting too personal or breezy. Avoid appearing flustered if you can.

2. Communication-

Great communication is a valuable trait for a skilled nurse practitioner. You can portray this significant-quality employers seek in a provider by modeling excellent communication skills during the interview and providing examples of impactful communication as an NP.

3. Passion-

On occasion, your enthusiasm for the profession of medicine and the patients that you help will be the deciding factor in the hiring process. An NP who is passionate about the job and portrays compassion and a willingness to go the extra mile to be there for their patients is a very appealing trait.

4. Qualifications-

The primary attribute necessary for employment as an NP is your qualifications. By having the proper credentials and specialty degree, you have met the minimum conditions for the job. Your qualifications need to be determined right from the start of the interview or hopefully prior when reviewing your resume.

5. Experience-

Whether you are a new grad nurse practitioner or one with years of experience, your future employer will want to know about your experience as an NP. Come prepared to discuss specific situations and cases similar to those that can occur for the position. By having scenarios on hand, you can elaborate effectively to wow the interviewer with your expertise and experience in a particular specialty area.


7 Ways To Prepare For Nurse Practitioner Job Interview Questions


Preparation is the key to eliminating interview jitters and impressing a potential employer. Here are 7 tips to help you to jump-start your prep for the all-important job interview.

1. Research common nurse practitioner interview questions-

Put yourself in the scenarios and practice the answers until you can smoothly and confidently answer the questions. Read on for 50 NP interview questions in this article to give you a head start on the interview preparation.

2. Research the institution and position you are applying for-

The more you know ahead of time about the NP job is better. You will come across as well prepared and knowledgeable. In addition, you will be able to formulate intuitive and in-depth questions ahead of time that will help you ascertain if this is the right job for you.

3. Dress for success-

Plan out what you will wear ahead of time. Professional dress is expected for a nurse practitioner interview. Try your interview outfit on ahead of time to make sure that it fits nicely and does not need pressing, cleaning, or mending. Bring a professional portfolio case with your resume, references, and list of questions.

4. Review job application-

Make sure to glance over the NP job application you filled out before the interview. The qualities that the employer is looking for are often listed in the application. It is wise to speak to these attributes and how you will fit those criteria.

5. Know yourself-

You will likely be asked about your strong and perhaps not-so-strong points in the NP job interview. By having these qualities at the forefront of your mind, you can easily answer these questions positively and appealingly.

6. Be cognizant of your skills-

It is a good idea to prepare a list of both hard and soft skills ahead of time, so they readily come to mind during an NP job interview. Many forget to sell their soft skills such as leadership and compassion which can be just as important as other NP abilities.

7. Remember to charm-

I remember writing little notes to myself on my interview notepad to remember to smile (and speak slowly). By mentally preparing yourself to act naturally and pleasant, you can win over the interviewer with your appealing personality. For those naturally nervous in this type of situation, do whatever you can to help prepare yourself to show your charm.



FOLLOWING IS A LIST OF THE TOP 50 NURSE PRACTITIONER INTERVIEW QUESTIONS + HOW TO ANSWER THEM



WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON GENERAL NURSE PRACTITIONER INTERVIEW QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS?


The following are the 5 most common general nurse practitioner interview questions and answers in 2022.

Question #1: How would you handle an emergency?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

This nurse practitioner interview question is a very general one and can be interpreted in many ways. The sky is the limit for an answer. However, the interviewer really wants to know how you are under pressure. Do you think clearly and are you able to lead your staff calmly to a positive outcome? Your interviewer may give you a specific emergency scenario or keep the question vague and open-ended.

How to Answer:

Take a minute to organize your answer. Then map it out in a step-by-step manner. Relay your answer in an ordered fashion, such as, "first, I would assess the situation, then I would do such and such". Follow the process from beginning to end, making sure that you add in the delegation of staff to illustrate your leadership skills. Using a scenario of your own will add credence to the question and show the interviewer that you have experience dealing with complex issues when seconds count.


Question #2: Why did you pick your NP specialty area?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

The interviewer may be genuinely curious about why you chose this profession and your specialty. As one of the most common nurse practitioner interview questions, you can be honest in your answer about what compelled you to go to NP school and further your nursing career as an NP in a particular area of expertise. Here, you can give a bit of your background and what is driving you and your career. Pick some appealing highlights that may positively illustrate your ambitions and personality.

How to Answer:

When I became a school nurse, my employer required that I go back to school to get my master's degree. Most of my nurse colleagues chose a health education advanced degree which would have been an easier path than a nurse practitioner program. I decided that I could best advance my career and diversify if I instead went on for my family nurse practitioner.

Being compelled to return for a master's degree by an employer is not an exciting or stirring reason to become a nurse practitioner. So, when I was asked the question during an NP interview about why I chose to become a family nurse practitioner, I concentrated on my love for children and the ability to nurse the continuum of ages throughout their lifespan as a family nurse practitioner. This answer was the truth, although I did not include that my employer required me to get an advanced degree (which is not an impressive reason to choose the career of an NP).


Question #3: Why should we choose you for this position?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

The interviewer wants to measure you up to see if you are a good fit for the position, the staff, and work environment. Now is not time to be humble and reticent about tooting your own horn. With this question, you will need to play up your best attributes and sell yourself well. Pull out your positive traits, skills, and experience for this loaded question. Of all of the interview questions for nurse practitioners, the question of why are you the best candidate may be the most important. So, spend some time considering this answer prior to the interview. Be ready to highlight why you are an excellent NP and how you can positively impact your new practice.

How to Answer:

I was a fresh new grad NP when I interviewed for a job at our local inner-city community health clinic. I was eager to make a difference working with our most underserved population.

Although I had no experience as a nurse practitioner, I had years of nursing experience to bring to the interview along with a passion for the most vulnerable in our society. I even pulled in my volunteer work with the local soup kitchens and homeless to highlight my drive to serve those in our community who were in need. Although I will never know what factors came into the decision to hire me as an FNP at this health center, I would surmise that my passion and experience working with indigent and minority populations was helpful.


Question #4: What are your strengths and weaknesses?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

As one of the most common nurse practitioner interview questions, expect to be queried about your strengths and weaknesses. The interviewer is looking for a great work ethic, positive attitude, resiliency, leadership abilities, passion and compassion, pleasant bedside manner, critical thinking skills, effective communication, and experience in the field. Make a lengthy and impressive list of your strengths ahead of time and choose the top 3 or 4 positive traits. You can weave in other strengths to enhance your answer.

As you may guess, naming your weaknesses can be tricky. You do not want to shoot yourself in the foot, so you should consider this NP interview question well ahead of the interview. It is best to name only one weakness and make it one you can turn into a positive trait that you are "working on". Don't pick a negative inherent personality trait where your employer will be stuck with the ramifications of your weak characteristic. Stay away from words like disorganized, bad temper, and poor communicator. Instead, pick a weakness that you can overcome, name it and then list what you are doing to help get beyond this trait.

How to Answer:

For my last interview, I used positive words such as compassion, team player, go the extra mile, and seasoned provider. I then wove in other leadership traits by illustrating examples and praises my boss gave me for my evaluations. By providing examples of both soft and hard skills, I tried to cover most of the bases of what comprises a successful nurse practitioner. Telling a narrative scenario or giving examples will add some substance to the words you choose to highlight.

For a weakness, I pointed out an obvious flaw of many older providers. My computer skills were not that of a young buck fresh out of high school. I went on to say that I enjoyed learning new computer skills and appreciated the challenge that it presented so that I could gain new competency in this area. By hopefully showing my willingness and ability to learn new skills, I took a weakness and turned it into a positive trait.


Question #5: What is your ultimate goal as an NP?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

This nurse practitioner interview question is similar to "where do you see yourself in 5 years?". What the interviewer really wants to know is two-fold. Do you plan to stick around for a few years and make an impact on the practice? Also, your future boss is looking for an NP who does not intend to just coast through the next few years and get too comfortable in the role. An employer wants an NP who continues to stretch professionally to grow the practice and be the best provider for the patients. That means ongoing professional development and attaining new skills and knowledge.

How to Answer:

You can give a lofty answer to this question, such as helping wipe out disease in an underdeveloped country. But this is not expected and most of us have goals that are more attainable and closer to home. Therefore, listing an achievable goal is a good idea.

Some ideas for goals for nurse practitioners can be as follows:

• Further specializing in your field
• Developing a niche idea (as long as it does not take you away from the job and serves to enhance the practice)
• Returning to school for a doctorate in nursing
• Ways to help your community health
• Furthering the field of nursing and nurse practitioners




WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON SITUATIONAL NURSE PRACTITIONER INTERVIEW QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS?


A situational nurse practitioner interview question presents you with a hypothetical scenario, and you have to illustrate how you would handle the problem. You may be asked to describe how you would react in a similar situation. You can present past experiences if you have been in one that fits the question or simply outline how you think you would respond to the given narrative.

The following are the 5 most common situational nurse practitioner interview questions and answers in 2022.

Question #1: How would you approach an agitated patient?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

For this nurse practitioner interview question the interviewer is interested in your communication skills and ability to de-escalate a potentially difficult patient.

How to Answer:

As a provider, I would first approach the patient in a non-threatening manner, moving slowly and speaking calmly. From this brief interaction, I hope to assess his level of agitation and cause of distress. If he is minorly agitated, I would listen and try to problem-solve with the patient to bring down his level of anxiety. If I determine that he is delirious or dangerous and cannot be talked down, I would call a "silent" code white for assistance with the patient.


Question #2: What do you feel you can bring to our practice?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

This NP interview question assesses how you can augment the practice, add new ideas and skills, and grow the practice in the long run.

How to Answer:

Do you have any specialty training or new concepts or skills from your schooling that will be fresh and innovative for the practice? Now is the time to pull out your toolbox of what you have learned recently and over the years. By investigating your future employer prior to the meeting, you should have a good feel for the practice. Look over the website and do a little digging.

To effectively answer this NP interview question, you should do your homework about the employer and then make a list of your skills and experience. What are you an expert in that this practice will find valuable? Are you adept at the latest technology, electronic medical records, and hand-held devices? Do they need someone who has experience in ADHD where you can hold specialty clinics and do telehealth? This is a loaded question where you try to sell yourself and shine a light on your value to the practice.

When I interviewed at a community clinic, I pointed out that I was knowledgeable and credentialed to work in the areas of pediatrics, adult health, and urgent care. Since they needed providers for all of their departments, my background and credentialing as an FNP were a perfect fit for their needs. I highlighted my willingness and flexibility to float to whatever department was in need of a provider.


Question #3: How would you respond to a physician who was challenging to work with?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

This is one of the situational nurse practitioner job interview questions that can be tricky. Hopefully, you are not being interviewed by a physician, as it would make the question even more challenging to answer effectively! However, it is a known fact that physicians can be difficult to work with on occasion, and some are not receptive to nurse practitioners in their practice. They possibly have had NPs leave the practice due to this conflict. So, the interviewer wants to make sure you know how to "finesse" this challenge and work as a team with all of the staff.

How to Answer:

I have worked with physicians and many types of providers for years as a nurse and NP. Most are excellent colleagues. However, occasionally I have come across staff, physicians included, who are challenging to work with. I try to remain calm, professional, and respectful in these instances. I have an easy-going personality and try not to take personal offense in these instances. I value teamwork and try my best to get along well with all staff. I have never had ongoing difficulty with a physician that interfered with my work or the patient's well-being in the long run.


Question #4: What would be your ideal concept of a cohesive support staff?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

Your future employer may ask situational interview questions for nurse practitioners pertaining to leadership qualities. As an NP, there is a good possibility that you will be working with the staff that fall under your supervision. Therefore, how you lead at work is an essential skill that needs to be assessed. In addition, they want to make sure that you fit in with this particular environment and group and are a team player.

How to Answer:

How you delegate tasks, communicate to staff and provide support to the members of your team are all excellent points to highlight for this answer. Using words like mutual respect, clear guidelines, open communication and teamwork will illustrate that you have what it takes to be part of the group culture.

"As a nurse practitioner, I am aware that the staff needs leaders with effective communication and strong leadership skills. I am comfortable designating tasks as needed and trust my staff to do an excellent job. I am available to pitch in when necessary and am willing to instruct and supervise along the way. I find every member of the team to hold a valuable role and frequently express my gratitude for what they do to make the practice a success. My ideal perception of a successful practice environment is an encouraging and supportive staff that works as a team."


Question #5: What would you do if you worked with a colleague who regularly ignored safety guidelines?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

Some situational interview questions for nurse practitioners can be a challenge to answer effectively. Are you willing to step up to protect the patients in the practice? How would you handle this delicate situation?

How to Answer:

"I would first respectfully address the issue with this colleague in private. To make the discussion less judgmental, I would review why I adhere to the safety protocol. If my colleague continues to ignore the safety guideline and puts the patients or practice at risk, I would be compelled to go to my supervisor to discreetly discuss the issue. However, I would not relish going this route."



WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON BEHAVIORAL NURSE PRACTITIONER INTERVIEW QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS?


Behavioral interview questions are similar to situational NP interview questions as they both query about how you behave in a situation. The difference is that behavioral questions may be a bit more general and are asking about how you have reacted to the scenario in the past. It is not hypothetical but your actual real-life experience. Words like "how did you handle" or "discuss a time that" are common in behavioral questions. Your responses are in the past tense.

The following are the 5 most common behavioral nurse practitioner interview questions and answers in 2022.

Question #1: Can you describe a time that you disagreed with a colleague and how did you handle the issue?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

Commonly, nurse practitioner interview questions deal with how you communicate. Effective communication with staff and patients is a critical component of a successful practice. How you handle inner-office conflict will reflect on your personality and skills in communication.

How to Answer:

"Effective communication between staff can lead to less conflict all around. Therefore, I tend to err on the side of keeping all channels of communication open with colleagues and staff. I frequently e-mail updates and I am a proponent of regular meetings and verbal appraisals of happenings. I follow these verbal updates with a written memo to ensure that everyone is on the same page and up-to-date on the latest developments. I encourage questions and feel it is important to discuss issues before they become a big problem."

"While working at a hospital, I had a colleague following up on a patient of mine after my shift ended. I tried to sit down with her to give her an oral report as we typically did daily in our department at shift transition. Instead of sitting down for report with me, my colleague said she did not need an update as she could read the notes.

This was a particularly complex Covid case in a child, and I felt that it was prudent to discuss all aspects of this case with the next provider caring for her. So, I followed her to the computer, where she began to work and proceeded to give my report even if she was not interested. She began to engage with me and asked some questions, and we ended up thoroughly discussing the case. In this instance, the patient's safety was more important than heeding my colleague's (unprofessional) request. My non-threatening but persistent approach did not cause her to react negatively, and I accomplished my goal in a roundabout manner".


Question #2: How do you present complex or grave information or diagnosis to a patient?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

Nurse practitioner interview questions about patient communication are helpful to discern if you provide understandable, thoughtful and comprehensive patient education. A serious diagnosis needs to be handled with the utmost care. How you deliver this message can make all the difference to the one on the receiving end.

How to Answer:

"I try to always provide a serious or complicated diagnosis or information in person to patients. I encourage them to bring a support person and take notes. I also draw illustrations, notes, and comments on paper to better help them understand what I am discussing. They can also take this information home to review later themselves or with loved ones. There is no easy way to let patients know that they have cancer or other devastating conditions. I try to be honest, forthright, and compassionate in delivering this disturbing news. I allow time for questions and answers. I also try not to overwhelm them with too much information and instead schedule a follow-up appointment or referral for more in-depth discussion. I end the session by saying that I am sorry (when appropriate) and am available for the patient and family ".


Question #3: Describe your approach to treating slightly confused elderly patients?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

Nurse practitioner interview questions such as this one are used to determine if you employ critical thinking skills to assess, diagnose and treat this type of patient.

How to Answer:

"In my practice, I rarely deal with elderly patients. However, I know that it is important to recognize early signs of dementia or other factors that can cause confusion in a patient. By taking a thorough patient history, reviewing past records, and all medication, I may be able to begin to see patterns and causes of the confusion. Ordering labs to rule out numerous possible causes such as toxic levels of electrolytes and vitamins and certain conditions such as a thyroid issue, will lead to a clearer picture overall of what is happening. When possible, I like to have the patient bring a support person or family member who is a good historian to help add perspective to the overall assessment. Lastly, I may encourage an evaluation by a neurologist for their expertise on this patient."


Question #4: What is your approach to a patient's relatives?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

Nurse practitioner interview questions may not only deal with the patient but also their families. The interviewer is looking to determine if you are willing to work alongside a patient's family for the greater good of a patient.

How to Answer:

"I have always welcomed and even encouraged family involvement in patient care. That translates to keeping the relatives in the loop when needed about their condition, treatment, and care. I value their opinions and know that families are the ones to care for the patient at home and are a necessary part of the team and the success of a positive patient outcome. This is especially important in a chronically ill patient, the elderly, or children. A supportive spouse is a valuable asset in keeping their loved one on track and on their way to better health. By keeping the family as a close team member, we optimize the chances for a successful outcome".


Question #5: When did you go above and beyond what was expected of you? Explain?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

This NP interview question is one where you can really show how you shine. An employer is not looking for a mediocre NP but one that is willing to do what it takes for her patients and to make the practice a success. By providing a real-life experience where you outdid the expectations will boost your likelihood for being hired as any employer would love a provider who is willing to go the extra mile for success.

How to Answer:

"Working with young children newly diagnosed with diabetes can be a challenge. Not only are they medically fragile but both the parents and child have a steep learning curve to quickly tackle. In addition, the diagnosis is traumatic for the entire family, especially for an older child. Teens normally struggle with peer pressure and self-esteem challenges and the added stigma of a chronic disease makes this challenging time in their lives even more difficult.

“I had a variety of ages of children and teens with diabetes at one point in my practice. To help the kids, I started a diabetes peer support group. The children and parents benefited from being around each other, and I was pleased to see the older children taking the youngsters under their wings. This support group ran for many years and the families and children became friends and support persons for each other. It was gratifying as the provider to see the children flourish and learn about their condition and take it into stride."



WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON CLINICAL NURSE PRACTITIONER INTERVIEW QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS?


Clinical nurse practitioner interview questions are the questions that all NPs dread. It is impossible to know what kind of questions will be asked and no nurse practitioner has all of the answers to every possible medical problem that may be discussed. Due to the immense pressure of an anticipated question to which we do not have an answer, even a seasoned NP will sweat over this portion of the interview.

Fortunately, it is rare that you will be asked many clinical nurse practitioner interview questions. If you do get such a query, typically it will be a general question like the ones below or one very specific to the type of job where you are applying. This video from a nurse practitioner outlines a few steps to ace the clinical portion of your interview and help ease your mind that you can successfully articulate your clinical knowledge.

At times, questions can overlap categories and may be a detailed clinical question that asks how you would respond (situational) or have reacted in the past similar (behavioral).

The following are the 5 most common clinical nurse practitioner interview questions and answers in 2022.

Question #1: How would you handle a request for antibiotics that you felt was unnecessary?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

The interviewer wants to be sure that you are taking a medically acceptable approach to prescribing antibiotics. In addition, this nurse practitioner interview question is asked to see if you employ patient education of appropriate antibiotic use along with providing alternative recommendations.

How to Answer:

Your answer should cover the points listed above. An example is, "I listen to the patient’s request and show affirmation and empathy for their situation by looking them in the eye and nodding while they talk. I verbally validate their complaint and then explain my diagnosis. I then describe why antibiotics are not the best choice, including the harmful effects of antibiotic resistance, and roll out my plan for their treatment and care. I provide an opportunity for questions and answers.


Question #2: What would you do about a patient who is requesting higher doses of pain medication than is safe for an injury?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

The interviewer is assessing your knowledge about administering and prescribing pain relievers. Nurse practitioner interview questions such as this are also asked to evaluate your communication skills with patients in an urgent situation.

How to Answer:

You can give a scenario for an answer which is an effective way to illustrate your aptitude in this area. For instance, “I had a woman come to the ER with an obviously fractured lower arm. After administering the recommended dose of pain medication, she was still expressing discomfort. Her daughter requested more pain medication and I explained that this was the highest dose that was safe. I then offered an anxiolytic, which helped calm the woman considerably. We were then able to manually reduce the fracture to significantly ease her pain”.


Question #3: What is your experience with suturing?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

If the interviewer asks this type of specific question, it is likely that you are expected to have experience in suturing. If not, you should be able to demonstrate that you have a fundamental background in this skill and that you are eager to learn how to incorporate suturing into your NP toolbox of skills.

How to Answer:

This is one of the typical new grad nurse practitioner interview questions. If they don't ask about suturing, they are still wondering if you are competent in this technique. Hopefully, you have had some training on suturing and can expertly walk through the steps of stitching. Feel free to throw in how to assess the need for sutures and when sutures are unnecessary. Mention alternatives to suturing such as stapling, steri-strips, and suture glue. Even if you have never performed suturing, you can be honest about it—express excitement to conquer this technique and still verbalize the method illustrated above.


Question #4: How would you handle a case of suspected physical abuse in an adult female patient?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

You will be evaluated to see if you regularly screen patients for abuse and are familiar with what signs to look for in abuse. Also, your approach to suspected abuse will be scrutinized.

How to Answer:

Our lavatories, waiting areas and patient rooms display signs and provide literature about domestic and other types of abuse which includes a hotline for emergency assistance. I know that many women are scared or uncomfortable disclosing abuse situations. By incorporating screening questions on abuse at every visit and having educational materials displayed, I hope that I am able to provide my patients with a comfortable place to communicate concerns about abuse.

If I suspect abuse, I tread carefully so as not to be seen as judging the patient. I do address my concerns matter-of-factly but compassionately and ask if anyone is hurting her. If she admits to abuse, I sit with her and discuss options for help. In addition to verbally offering recommendations, I hand her written materials in case she chooses to seek help at a later date. If she agrees, I have our social worker meet with her immediately to aid her with solutions for her most urgent needs.


Question #5: What procedures do you employ to prevent the spread of germs?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

Since safety is a crucial aspect of the healthcare industry, you may be asked nurse practitioner interview questions on this topic. Your potential employer wants to ascertain if you are aware of safety considerations such as measures to decrease germ transmission and how you would employ these techniques yourself and to ensure that the staff follows procedural guidelines for hygiene measures.

How to Answer:

Depending on where you plan to work, procedural guidelines for minimizing germ transmission may differ. If in a hospital, I would talk about following the guidelines set forth by whatever department is in charge of safety and germ control. For my answer, I would incorporate hospital hygiene protocol and mention how I would ensure that the staff follows the guidelines and are well trained and aware of the specifics.

If I was interviewing for a private practice position, I might ask a few questions about their procedure and protocol for germ control. I may find that there is very little established in this area. I could then be an asset to the practice in this instance as I would show interest in stepping up to write some guidelines and do training on germ control.



WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON FAMILY NURSE PRACTITIONER INTERVIEW QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS?


The following are the 5 most common family nurse practitioner interview questions and answers in 2022.

Question #1: How do you treat an adult with symptoms of seasonal allergies?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

Family nurse practitioner interview questions many times are simple to answer. The interviewer probably is fairly certain that you are familiar with the treatment of seasonal allergies. However, it is the process of evaluation and your clinical thinking skills that are being assessed. What steps do you take to come up with your diagnosis and treatment plan?


How to Answer:

A thorough history is necessary to discern if a patient has an ongoing allergy problem or an acute issue such as a cold or virus. I would look for a pattern of long stretches of congestion, unproductive or slightly productive cough, red eyes, and scratchy throat. By the patient history, I would try to ascertain if certain times of the year such as spring or fall bring on the symptoms.

I would investigate other triggers that elicit allergies, such as perfumes, working in a chemical environment, or being around dust or mold. I would review what meds the patient is taking and any other measures to control the symptoms. Finally, I would perform a thorough exam, especially noting any allergic changes in the eyes, nose, throat, and skin.

Once I ruled out active disease via history, vital signs and examination, I would map out a plan to treat possible seasonal allergies. I educate my patients on the symptoms, causes and treatments for seasonal allergies. I offer nasal sprays and over-the-counter non-sedating allergy tablets. In addition, I encourage them to shower before bed to remove all allergens on the skin and hair and to change their bedding frequently. I have a handout on allergy prevention that I give them as there are many other simple solutions to help cut down on allergy exposure.

I encourage follow-up if the symptoms persist.


Question #2: Are you experienced with treating ages across the life spectrum?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

Nurse practitioner interview questions for family nurse practitioners often seek your experience in treating patients of all ages.

How to Answer:

Yes, I have treated patients of all ages. Through my nursing experience, I have worked on pediatric units and in outpatient peds. Additionally, as a home health nurse, I have had regular interactions with adults of all ages, particularly those who are seniors. For my clinical rotation for my FNP program, I worked in a Hispanic clinic where patients of all ages were seen daily. Additionally, I have worked in a health clinic as an NP where I treated patients in the pediatric and adult health clinics along with all ages of patients in the emergency department.


Question #3: How do you assess a patient for an auto-immune condition?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

Auto-immune conditions are on the rise. Unfortunately, they are time-consuming and challenging to diagnose and treat. Busy physicians may not have time to adequately spend on this type of patient. A nurse practitioner with the aptitude to work with patients with vague and chronic complaints that may be due to an auto-immune disease will be of benefit to a practice.

This NP interview question can be answered with an account of your experience. If you do not have experience, you should at least provide some factual information about auto-immune conditions to showcase your knowledge on the subject.

How to Answer:

I have treated and followed numerous patients with auto-immune conditions such as diabetes, Lupus, and Polymyalgia Rheumatica. For patients with ongoing and non-acute complaints, I begin with a thorough history and physical. Blood work is a valuable tool when assessing a patient for an auto-immune condition, so I typically order a battery of lab work to help narrow down my differential diagnosis.

For many auto-immune disorders, I will need to meet with the patient numerous times before an accurate diagnosis can be determined. I often refer this type of patient to a specialist such as a rheumatologist or an endocrinologist once I suspect a specific condition that requires ongoing care outside of my realm of expertise.


Question #4: Have you ever seen a case of headlice?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

Although headlice is relatively common, nurse practitioner interview questions such as this one helps the interviewer to determine if you are familiar with the condition. Plus, since headlice is mainly a childhood issue, your experience with kids will be under scrutiny.

How to Answer:

As a school nurse, I was intimately involved in the diagnosis and treatment of head lice on a regular basis. When working as a nurse practitioner at a clinic, I saw my worst case of head lice in my career in nursing. This child had just immigrated from Honduras and her normally black hair was coated completely white with nits. Although, I typically would not endorse cutting hair for lice treatment, in this case, she had little choice as her hair was tightly braided and knotted all over and it was impossible to adequately treat her hair with lice treatment and combing.


Question #5: Are you experienced in telemedicine for acute care needs?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

Your experience in telemedicine is one of the more recent additions to the typical interview questions for nurse practitioners. Since the pandemic, most family practice offices and urgent care facilities offer some type of telemedicine services. Your experience in this area will be of value to any practice.

How to Answer:

At my last job, I rotated into the triage clinic regularly. Here we practiced phone telemedicine as one of our job duties. During the pandemic, telemedicine was our primary mode of screening and treating our non-acute patients. However, I did not perform virtual physical assessments over zoom but instead relied on our conversation for much of my evaluation and treatment. I still was open to seeing patients in person when necessary.

Our practice is moving towards virtual physical assessments and I wanted to prepare for this essential skill. Therefore, I researched the techniques in-depth and took a CE course on virtual examinations in order to adequately prepare for this move in telemedicine.



WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON PSYCHIATRIC NURSE PRACTITIONER INTERVIEW QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS?


The following are the 5 most common psychiatric nurse practitioner interview questions and answers in 2022.

Question #1: How do you deal with a patient who is a substance abuser?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

Since substance abuse is a common issue, psychiatric nurse practitioner interview questions may pertain to this topic. The interviewer wants to know if you are willing to recognize and provide direction for someone with a substance abuse problem. As a psychiatric nurse practitioner, your assessment and communication skills for this touchy subject are key to a successful outcome for a substance abuser.

How to Answer:

I have had several patients who were addicted to either heroin or were abusing alcohol. I am aware that it is a long and frustrating road many times to try and help substance abusers. However, I am happy to have seen positive treatment outcomes for several addicted patients in my practice. I try not to come across as judgmental but come from an area of concern for their health and mental well-being.

Once we have established a rapport, I regularly offer my services to help a patient locate a recovery facility. I ask them if they have any questions about the process or treatment. Sometimes, once you take away the fear of the unknown (and I offer stories of successful recovery), patients are willing to listen and perhaps accept help. I figure that in the least, I am planting a seed that may grow into acceptance for treatment over time.


Question #2: Have you treated patients with ADHD?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

Treating ADHD can be quite a lucrative side practice. Nurse practitioner job interview questions about ADHD can help the interviewer assess if your knowledge and experience in this area will help to build their practice or in the very least, help to care for their current patients with this issue.

How to Answer:

I have treated both children and young adults with ADHD. At times, I have worked in coordination with psychiatrists who have assessed and diagnosed a patient with ADHD. I have helped to implement my own plan of care or that of a colleague physician. Many times, my role has been for follow-up care and med monitoring for those under treatment. In addition, I make sure that I discuss supportive therapy and non-medical approaches to ADHD that can enhance the patient's quality of life with this condition.


Question #3: What is your approach to a patient who appears chronically apathetic and sad?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

This NP interview question is asked to ascertain your intuition in spotting symptoms of depression and your approach to diagnosis and treatment. Since depression is one of the leading causes of disability in the world, your ability to recognize and treat this condition effectively is important for a psychiatric nurse practitioner.

How to Answer:

As a caring provider, I try to look beyond the obvious when a patient comes for an appointment. Most patients with depression are not comfortable talking about their feelings of sadness and hopelessness. Many times, they come to see me with other vague complaints such as muscle aches and headaches, both of which are associated with depression. Once I gently scratch below the surface with them, many patients will reveal their chronic feeling of sadness and apathy. In addition, I can usually assess their demeanor and general appearance for clues of depression. Once they have divulged signs of depression or if I suspect the same, I will delicately discuss my impression.

I typically order bloodwork to rule out other medical causes and review medications and potential substance abuse. There are several excellent screening tools for depression that I may employ and I always make sure that my patients are not suicidal before scheduling their next appointment.

At my last job, the psychiatrist that I worked with would then take my referral to further diagnoses and come up with a treatment plan for this particular patient. In a different previous practice, I would do my own follow-up and develop a treatment plan which would include medication and counseling.


Question #4: Have you ever dealt with a patient who was causing self-harm?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

Nurse practitioner interview questions like this are to make sure that you are a safe provider in potentially challenging life-threatening situations. In addition, how you handle this type of situation is important to most psychiatric practices as it is likely that you will be involved in cases of self-harm.

How to Answer:

I am aware that self-harm rarely is meant as a suicide attempt, although it is still a call for help. Since the patients that I have treated for self-harm explain that the self-inflicted injury is a way for them to deal with painful emotions, I always take this issue as a serious cue to look deeper into the patient's mental health. Typically, further counseling is necessary and I schedule regular follow-up appointments to work on any background issues that come to light.

I first ascertain if the patient is suicidal as a safety measure and then contract with the patient to call me instead of self-harming between appointments. This approach has been relatively successful for my patients and me.


Question #5: Do you feel that communication is an important skill in your practice?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

Any smart NP would answer nurse practitioner interview questions about the importance of effective communication with an affirmative "yes". However, what you say after agreeing to this question is what the interviewer is interested in hearing. Providing reasons why communication is vital for a mental health nurse practitioner and possible examples will help to do justice to this question.

How to Answer:

In my practice, I value effective communication as a means to better understand my patient's needs. In addition, being able to verbally communicate treatment instructions and counsel a distraught patient takes some finesse and patience. Providing frequent reassurance and validation of feelings is essential to navigate ongoing treatment successfully. In addition, I am cognizant of non-verbal cues as well as verbal communication to ascertain an accurate picture of my patient's status.

Therapeutic communication is a primary assessment and treatment goal for me when meeting with a patient with mental or emotional issues.



WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON ADULT-GERONTOLOGY PRIMARY CARE PRACTITIONER INTERVIEW QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS?


The following are the 2 most common adult-gerontology primary care practitioner interview questions and answers in 2022.

Question #1: An 82-year-old female comes to the office with high blood pressure. She is visibly anxious and is wringing her hands. How would you treat her?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

NP interview questions at times are asked to assess if you dig below the surface to come up with an accurate diagnosis when needed. Although this woman came to you to be evaluated for high blood pressure, the interviewer is interested in seeing if you pick up on other clues. In this case, it is the anxiety the woman is displaying. Do you use your critical thinking to explore a connection between hypertension and anxiety?

How to Answer:

I have seen anxiety-related hypertension numerous times, especially in senior patients. After taking her vital signs, I would perform a thorough history to ascertain if she is anxious about anything.

I had a patient of similar age who fit this scenario. It turns out that she had lost her husband a month before and was not faring well in her adjustment to life without him. Due to her anxiety, she was more forgetful, did not have the heart to eat, and was constantly nervous. We had a heart-to-heart discussion on her emotional state and grieving process and I offered her resources for grieving widows. In addition, I prescribed a mild anxiolytic and held off on increasing or changing her hypertension meds. I planned a follow-up in 2 weeks to see how she was responding.

In addition, we spent some time talking about her husband’s death and her adjustment. She expressed her appreciation for my compassion during this visit.


Question #2: What is your plan of care for a 65-year-old female who has frequent fractures without a forceful injury?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

This nurse practitioner interview question seeks to discern if you have the basic background in adult-gerontology to recognize a commonly overlooked problem for older women, which is osteoporosis. In addition, you will be assessed in the process of how you evaluate and treat this condition.

How to Answer:

I advise a DEXA scan for any woman in my practice over the age of 65. In addition, if a patient is at risk for premature bone loss, I order the scan sooner. In this instance, I would review the patient's history for risk factors such as being a smoker, small-boned, previous chemotherapy, long-term steroid use, or frequent fractures. I would then order a DEXA scan immediately to determine if she has premature bone loss, osteopenia, or osteoporosis.

If her scan comes back with a diagnosis of abnormal bone density, I would discuss a treatment plan to begin right away.

This treatment plan would include nutritional counseling, supplementation of Vitamin D and Calcium, exercise, and other non-medication bone preserving strategies. Based on the severity of her bone loss, I may add bone-building medication to her regime. A follow-up appointment is then scheduled in one year to review any changes.



WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON ADULT-GERONTOLOGY ACUTE CARE PRACTITIONER INTERVIEW QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS?


The following are the 2 most common adult-gerontology acute care practitioner interview questions and answers in 2022.

Question #1: How would you determine if an 80-year-old end-stage COPD patient with the flu needs to be hospitalized?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

Some nurse practitioner interview questions have numerous "correct" answers. What the interviewer is looking for is your process for assessing this type of patient. Are you employing critical thinking skills to ascertain if he needs to be hospitalized? How does COPD play into his outlook for successful recovery?

How to Answer:

I am aware that a patient with end-stage COPD has a compromised respiratory status. Without the ability to move air effectively, secretions can pool and become a medium for bacteria. I would assess this patient’s respiratory function carefully. I would expect lung sounds to be diminished due to his COPD but are there additional wet-sounding rhonchi throughout? I would also review his vital signs including pulse ox readings for signs of distress. I would order blood work to rule out infection and also a chest x-ray. I would take a careful history and include his support person in the questioning.

Some questions that I may ask are:

• Does he typically breathe this way?
• Is he more fatigued than usual?
• Can he care for himself?
• Is he eating and drinking enough?


Although I have seen many resilient patients with chronic COPD, I would typically err on the side of caution and admit this patient. With his fragile respiratory status, having the flu can easily tip the scales to cause this patient to decline quickly. A hospitalization for fluids, observation, oxygen and antibiotic therapy will certainly help to return this patient to functioning at his previous status quo.


Question #2: How would you handle a 78-year-old patient with a possible bowel obstruction?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

Interview questions for nurse practitioners may include scenarios where you need to call in a consult or referral. In this question, the interviewer is looking for assessment skills and referral consult capabilities.

How to Answer:

Patients that I have seen with a possible bowel obstruction are typically vomiting and quite uncomfortable. After a thorough history and physical which includes a complete abdominal and rectal exam, I would order a basic lab panel and an abdominal CT. If the obstruction is minimal, I would insert an NG tube for gas decompression and begin supportive measures. If there is a complete blockage, I would insert the NG tube, start an IV of NSS and make a stat surgical referral. I would institute measures to make the patient as comfortable as possible until surgery is imminent.



WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON PEDIATRIC PRIMARY CARE NURSE PRACTITIONER INTERVIEW QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS?


The following are the 2 most common pediatric primary care nurse practitioner interview questions and answers in 2022.

Question #1: How would you treat a school-aged child that you suspect has asthma?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

This nurse practitioner interview question is asked to assess your fundamental knowledge of asthma and your approach to treating this common childhood condition.

How to Answer:

I have worked with countless children over the years with asthma. One thing that I have noted that helps in a successful outcome is stressing the importance of thorough health teaching of both the child and parent. I typically diagnose asthma based on a history of asthma symptoms and an examination. Since a child may not be exhibiting signs of asthma at our visit, the history is very important.

Once I suspect asthma, I draw up an asthma treatment plan and review it with the parent and child. The plan includes preventative measures, recognition of early and late asthma symptoms, an inhaler with a spacer or aero chamber, and an emergency plan. I have found that a written plan is helpful for a better outcome as the parent can refresh themselves on the instructions and all information related to the asthma plan.

I provide literature on asthma with contacts on where to find more information and support.

Then I sit down with the child and parent with the inhaler and spacer and demonstrate how to use it. They then have time to practice and get comfortable with their rescue med and equipment before leaving the office. I also send a script for the inhaler and treatment plan with the parent for the school to have on file.


Question #2: How would you proceed with immunizations for a toddler when a parent does not want to adhere to the recommended vaccine schedule?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

Nurse practitioner interview questions such as this one measures your flexibility as a provider along with your communication skills with parents who may hold a different view than yourself.

How to Answer:

I have dealt with many versions of this scenario as a Pediatric Nurse practitioner. Parents have the right to choose what they feel is best for their child, and I have no problem with this situation as long as the child is not medically endangered. I typically present my recommendations for vaccines according to the American Academy of Pediatrics guidelines and the state where the child will go to school. If the parent has a contrasting opinion on this schedule or certain vaccines, we discuss their concerns. If their information is misguided, I typically will offer further data to clear up any misconception.

At times, the parent only asks to space out the vaccines to lessen any side effects, and I am happy to comply with an alternative schedule if the parent is reliable. Then we both draw up a plan together so that we are on the same page and agree upon it. The critical point to remember is that the child should be fully vaccinated to prevent disease in a timely manner.



WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON PEDIATRIC ACUTE CARE NURSE PRACTITIONER INTERVIEW QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS?


The following are the 2 most common pediatric acute care nurse practitioner interview questions and answers in 2022.

Question #1: What would you do if you suspected MRSA in a child with cerebral palsy?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

Pediatric nurse practitioner interview questions may involve scenarios of children with special needs. The interviewer is probing to see if you have experience with a child with CP. Mainly, your knowledge and method to formulate a care plan is being assessed.

How to Answer:

Children with CP are more at risk for severe infection and spread than other children. Since they may not be able to verbalize discomfort, lesions can go undetected. Additionally, those in a wheelchair cannot change positions as needed and tend to sit in damp diapers—these factors along with being medically fragile need to be considered when a life-threatening infection is suspected.

I tend to err on the side of caution for the children in my practice with cerebral palsy. In this instance, I would culture the lesion and get blood cultures and labs to determine what type of bacteria is growing. If the child has staph or MRSA, I would probably admit him to the hospital for IV antibiotics and observation. If any boils need to be lanced, I would do so in the hospital.


Question #2: An ambulance brings a 4-year-old boy to the ER who is having a seizure. How would you respond?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

For this nurse practitioner interview question, the interviewer is assessing your critical thinking skills and response to an emergency situation.

How to Answer:

Typically, seizures will have stopped by the time a patient comes to the ER. However, every episode that comes to the ER needs to be initially treated as an emergency as more attacks may begin and the child could be in status epilepticus. Safety is first in this type of scenario, so I would assess respiratory status. An intravenous line should be established, along with oxygen administration. A detailed history is necessary to determine if this child has a history of seizures and any medications that he is taking. I would get a description of what led up to the episode, what it looked like, and how long the seizure lasted.

If this is a first-time seizure, I would order an EEG and blood work stat.

If the child is in status epilepticus, oxygen and anti-seizure meds must be given right away. I would monitor vital signs throughout and after the seizure. Most times, once controlled, a child may be discharged home with a follow-up with a neurologist scheduled. If not already on it, I would prescribe anti-seizure medication and educate the parents on emergency treatment of a seizure.



WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON WOMEN'S HEALTH NURSE PRACTITIONER INTERVIEW QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS?


The following are the 3 most common women's health nurse practitioner interview questions and answers in 2022.

Question #1: What would you do if a woman calls for an appointment for a breast lump that she found on self-exam?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

Women’s health nurse practitioner interview questions can be compromised of OB or gynecologic questions. The interviewer in this question is judging your knowledge of a common problem in women’s health and your process to determine the correct way to assess this patient, along with your treatment plan of care.

How to Answer:

I would have this patient schedule an appointment with me the same week, if possible, for assessment of her lump. I would invite her to bring a support person, if she wished. At her appointment, I would take a history of her complaint and perform a thorough breast exam. While examining her, I would also discuss her frequency and technique for self-breast exam.

If I feel anything suspicious, I would be honest with the patient and tell her so and why. I would review any previous mammograms that she had to date for comparison.

I would then schedule a mammogram for the same week along with a follow-up appointment to follow the mammogram to discuss the results.

If it is determined that she may have a cancerous lesion, then I would send her for an immediate referral to a local breast surgeon. I would allow ample time for questions as most patients at this point are fearful and need some answers.


Question #2: Do you have a method for screening for asymptomatic STIs?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

This nurse practitioner interview question is asked to determine your procedure for screening for STIs. The interviewer also wants to make sure that you adhere to the guidelines for this type of screening.

How to Answer:

In my practice, I follow the guidelines set forth by the CDC and our organization for STI screening. I encourage STD screening tests for all new patients according to these guidelines. Also, an updated sexual history that includes an STD risk assessment is completed at each annual exam. I recommend additional STI testing if the need arises based on these questions and my examination. We do some of our own testing in our office and send out others as necessary.

In addition, our pregnant patients receive the recommended STD tests along with others if determined to be at risk. Once again, I follow the CDC and hospital guidelines for these tests.


Question #3: Can you outline your approach to pregnancy counseling after a positive test result?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

Interview questions about pregnancy-related scenarios are almost aways included in women’s health NP interviews. For this question, the interviewer is interested in your approach in providing detailed and comprehensive pregnancy counseling for patients with differing ideas on how to handle their pregnancy news.

How to Answer:

I make sure that all patients are offered options for their pregnancy to include, prenatal care and delivery, adoption, and termination. Many times, I know the patient and they have clearly verbalized their choice of options prior to the test but the options are available for further discussion, if they so desire. In this case, neutral factual information is given and referral, if requested. If they do not request additional information on different choices and have clearly made up their mind, I honor their request and do not offer more details on alternate options.

Once it has been established that they want to go through with the pregnancy, I then outline further plans for the prenatal period.

These recommendations are:

• Medical examination at the time of positive test or their earliest convenience
• Healthy pregnancy counseling and prenatal literature on good health practices are distributed
• Plan for follow-up care
• Referral if necessary for high-risk pregnancies


Also, a script for prenatal vitamins and folic acid is given and I provide time for questions and answers.



WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON NEONATAL NURSE PRACTITIONER INTERVIEW QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS?


The following are the 3 most common neonatal nurse practitioner interview questions and answers in 2022.

Question #1: What role do you play in the parent education of their newborn infants?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

A neonatal nurse practitioner is a highly skilled provider. The interviewer is aware of this fact but often asks NP interview questions that look at an important soft skill in this field: effective communication with parents. In this case, your answer should reflect why it is vital for you to educate the parents of these fragile children prior to sending them home and how you go about this task.

How to Answer:

As a neonatal nurse practitioner, I value open communication between the parent and provider. When these fragile children go home, the parent needs to feel confident that they can care for their precious baby competently. Most are scared and feel uncomfortable as the lone caregiver for their child when they first go home. One of my most important jobs as their provider is to help ease their fears and prepare them to appropriately attend to their infant’s needs.

As a regular part of my job, I work with each parent daily to discuss feeding, diapering, and how to assess for signs of distress. I teach and then encourage parental involvement in the care for specific medical procedures such as NG tube feedings and phototherapy. By explaining what is going on with their child medically and keeping them up to date on all changes, the parent gradually becomes an integral part of the care team.

Several days before discharge, I begin to teach discharge care, so that the parent will have a thorough understanding of repetition of care prior to leaving the nurturing NICU environment. This interval also gives me ample time to evaluate if the infant is going home to a safe and stable scenario.


Question #2: What would you say to a parent who has just lost their infant?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

Some neonatal nurse practitioner interview questions are related to tough scenarios such as death. The interviewer for this sensitive topic is checking your communication skills for what will be a challenging conversation.

How to Answer:

Although I never had the somber job of having to inform a parent that their infant has died, I do have some experience with the death of patients and their families. I cannot imagine how devastated a new parent will feel at losing their newborn.

I would take the parents to a quiet and private room to deliver the heartbreaking news. If they have a favorite staff person, I would attempt to include them in the meeting also.

There is no way to sugarcoat this type of news. In gentle terms, I would tell them that their child could no longer sustain whatever their condition was and their body gave up. I’d say that I’m so sorry but your child stopped breathing (or their heart stopped) at whatever time. Your child is gone. I would stay with them to answer questions and help them grieve as needed. I know that they need time to themselves also, so I leave them with the instructions to stay as long as they want in the room. I would also encourage them to see their child before he is taken away for post-mortem preparation.

Our hospital has grief counselors on staff and I would have them ready to aid the anguished parents.


Question #3: Does a newborn with hypoglycemia need to be admitted to NICU? If so, why?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

The interviewer is assessing your knowledge about typical admission criteria to the NICU and hypoglycemia in newborns.

How to Answer:

I would admit a newborn with hypoglycemia to the NICU due to the danger of fluctuating blood glucose levels. Frequent blood sugar readings and lab work to rule out infection are necessary to determine the cause and status of the problem. Since many premature babies and those with mothers of gestational diabetes have this issue, often, the infant needs a few days for their blood sugars to stabilize. In my practice, any child whose blood glucose levels fall below the hospital's recommended guidelines needs to be admitted to the NICU for further management.



WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON NEW GRAD NURSE PRACTITIONER INTERVIEW QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS?


The following are the 3 most common new grad nurse practitioner interview questions and answers in 2022.

Question #1: Why did you decide to become a nurse practitioner?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

General interview questions for nurse practitioners such as this are typical for new grads. The interviewer is trying to find out what motivates you as an NP. Why you are an NP also can give them a glimpse into what drives you and your career goals. As a new grad NP, this answer should still be fresh in your mind.

How to Answer:

I have loved my career as a nurse and wanted to expand my role to further support my patients. As an NP, I am excited to put my dreams into action and realize my goal to be a patient-centered provider to take my care to the next level.


Question #2: How do you handle pressure?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

You can expect some form of new grad nurse practitioner interview questions about how you handle stress. The interviewer wants to make sure that you keep a cool head and can think critically under pressure to ensure a positive outcome for the patient and staff.

How to Answer:

As a nurse, I have worked in stressful conditions for years. Now that I am an NP, I know that I am expected to lead the team when a crisis occurs, which adds another layer of pressure. In the past, I have remained calm during stressful times at work. I intentionally try to employ critical thinking when under pressure to categorize and prioritize what needs to be done appropriately. In addition, I have no problem delegating tasks to help decrease my immediate stress. I am a proponent of teamwork to help spread tasks to reach the desired goal.


Question #3: What are some challenges that you might expect as an NP?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

Since you are an inexperienced NP, new grad nurse practitioner interview questions may be more general than clinical. I have seen this question asked in numerous interviews, so it is wise to prepare a valid answer prior to the interview. Discussing challenges to the profession may be a bit difficult to answer for those who have yet to be employed in this capacity.

The interviewer is interested in discovering what challenges you and how you plan to overcome this roadblock. In truth, many NPs are frustrated by the limitations in their practice in some situations. However, you may need to tread lightly on that subject or avoid it altogether as some administrators and physicians may not appreciate what may sound like a complaint against them. It is better to stick with personal challenges like the one in the example listed below.

How to Answer:

As a provider, I know that many patients count on me to be able to fix whatever medical issue is plaguing them. I try to keep my communication open about risks and outcomes, but we all want to be cured and healthy, regardless of expectations. I do not want to disappoint my patients and try my hardest to do whatever is within my means to help them get well. However, I am aware that I may let them down at times. Disappointing my patients will be hard for me. I take their health failures to heart. This is something that I will need to come to expect on occasion, although I will never become complacent in my care.



WHAT ARE THE MOST COMMON NURSE PRACTITIONER LEADERSHIP INTERVIEW QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS?


The following are the 3 most common nurse practitioner leadership interview questions and answers in 2022.

Question #1: How would you approach a staff member underperforming on the job?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

The interviewer is assessing your leadership skills and how you handle unpleasant encounters with staff. They want to see an effective leader who will look below the surface when another employee brings the team down. Can you communicate encouragingly and stimulate this employee to be more productive at work?

How to Answer:

As a provider, I want my whole team to be happy at work and to be able to contribute as a well-functioning unit. That means when one person falls, I try to figure out what is causing the problem and how we can work together to help her perform better. I would take the staff person aside and try to ascertain if it is a personal problem bringing her down or if it is a work-related issue.

Once we have pinpointed the cause, I would work with the staff member to problem solve a solution. I would then take whatever measures are needed to help resolve any concerns that are driven by the current work environment. I would attempt to try not to alienate the staff person involved in the matter and not put anyone on the defensive. Instead, I would try to formulate any discussion and solutions as a team approach to better the practice and environment.


Question #2: How do you feel about mentoring a new colleague?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

Nurse practitioner interview questions may be used to assess your willingness to work as a team. Your potential employer will be curious to see if they can count on you to mentor new employees. If you show enthusiasm and a desire to help out, they will be happy to find a team player willing to take on an additional leadership task such as mentoring.

How to Answer:

I would be honored to be asked to mentor a new colleague. I have volunteered to take on students and train and mentor new employees in the past. I enjoy this role and feel it is essential to give those in training a positive and enriching experience, which I try my hardest to provide.


Question #3: How do you promote teamwork within a department?


What the Interviewer Really wants to Know:

Your potential boss hopes to have an effective and cohesive team. He is looking to see how you will positively add to this team. Also, as a leader, what your approach and role will be in promoting teamwork.

How to Answer:

As a nurse practitioner, I am in a unique role as a provider and nurse to understand multiple aspects of the healthcare field. In addition, I have also worked as a CNA and a receptionist. As a varied and experienced health worker, I like to approach team decisions and work from the viewpoint of everyone on the team. I understand that decisions sometimes need to be made from the top down, but almost any decision begins with input from everyone involved in carrying out the final result.

I would include all involved staff members in meetings for discussion of their viewpoints and possible solutions. Once we have implemented a new policy, I will once again revisit the team to seek their input on how the roll-out is going. In addition, I think it is important to encourage all team members to join task forces to include their input and ideas for solutions that will affect everyone. I want the team to feel heard and that they are as big a part of the solution as any of the other members. By having shared goals, hopefully, the entire staff will buy in and work effectively together.



7 Good Questions To Ask At The End Of Your Nurse Practitioner Interview


There have been times when I was only asked 2 or 3 nurse practitioner interview questions before the meeting was turned over to me to make inquiries. In these instances, I remember being a little startled (and relieved) that I was off the hot seat so soon. I also was glad that I had prepared questions ahead of time so that I could intelligently ask about the position and organization.

I don’t know if I would have gotten a job offer if we only met for the initial 10-minute NP question portion of my interview. By asking a string of thoughtful and applicable questions at the end of our meeting, I was able to get a better feel for the job and environment. In addition, the time during my queries allotted the interviewer more opportunity to get to know me. My questions opened up a dialog that would not have occurred if I had not been prepared to offer this type of discourse.

To help get you started on your list of questions to ask your future employer, I have included some ideas for what to ask at the end of your interview that will help show your interest in the position and give you some answers to help see if you are a good fit for the job.

Some thoughtful and insightful questions can be:

1. What role do nurse practitioners play in this practice?
2. Can you discuss the orientation for this position?
3. How many patients am I expected to see each day?
4. Am I expected to take call?
5. How does the team work together in this practice?
6. What do you enjoy about working here?
7. What benefits are offered for this position?

My questions and the answers that ensued spurned on a quite productive conversation.


BONUS! 10 Expert Tips To Ace Your Nurse Practitioner Interview And Land The Job You Want


By reading this article and preparing for the interview, you are already way ahead of many NP candidates. Read on to further your advantage with some excellent tips on interviewing brilliantly to land the job you desire.

Some expert tips to take to add to your toolbox when you interview are:

1. Prepare, prepare, prepare-

Researching nurse practitioner interview questions and then preparing your own thoughtful answers will boost your confidence, ease the interview jitters and impress your prospective employer.

2. Take notes-

By taking notes during the meeting, you look interested in the job, and it will help you later to recall in better detail what was discussed. I’m not talking about writing down every word like you are in a lecture, but a few jotted words here and there are expected and looked upon favorably by the interviewer.

I have interviewed nurses who never took a note, and I always found it odd and questioned whether they would be able to recall all that we had discussed.

Personally, I remember an interview where 2 administrators took turns questioning me from a long list of prepared scenarios. After I answered a question (which I thought was a good response), one of the interviewers jotted a quick note and slid it over to the other administrator to read. My head began to buzz at that moment, and I felt faint. All I could concentrate on was the content of that possible fatal note. Were they giving me the ax at this point? Was it a negative comment?

Having my notepad was a lifesaver for me at that point, as I began to write to clear my head. Also, since I was not thinking adequately, my prepared questions that I had listed prior to the interview were in front of me, and I could carry on intelligently, even when I was not really at my best for a few moments.

By the way, I did get the job and never found out what the note's content contained. I still wonder to this day, which was over 20 years ago!

3. STAR Method to answering questions-

The STAR Method is a technique devised to help you thoroughly answer behavioral nurse practitioner interview questions. STAR stands for situation, task, action, and result. This systematic approach may be helpful for NPs who like to think through an organized process to answer interview scenarios.

4. Tailoring Method to be a great fit-

The Tailoring Method is another helpful pearl to utilize in your NP job interview prep to help highlight why you are a perfect fit for the position. By learning how to formulate your responses to shape your best assets into answers that dovetail with the job description and environment, you greatly increase your chances of getting the job.

5. Don’t get too hung on preparing for clinical questions-

It is impossible to prepare for exact answers to clinical nurse practitioner interview questions. And you will rarely get many of this type of question. Instead, concentrate on showing your “process” of getting to a diagnosis and treatment. Illustrating your critical thinking skills is more important than being a know-it-all. And you are allowed to admit that you have minimal experience in some areas and if that is the case, you would further research ideas and ask for input from your superiors and colleagues.

6. Don’t ask about salary yet-

Although most of us need to know the pay to decide about an NP job, hold off on asking about your financial compensation. Hopefully, your potential employer will offer this information during the interview but if not, wait until you get a job offer.

I rarely have been told my salary at an interview. Often, the salary is not up to the interviewer but to another department such as Human Resources to develop a benefits package once you are offered the NP job.

7. Check your social spaces-

I know of several instances where great applicants were hired, only to be shot down after their Facebook and social sites proved questionable. How disappointing and what a shame!

Read up on how to “employer proof” your social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter. And then take the advice to heart. Don’t be one of the regretful people who wished that they did not ignore this crucial advice. I always advise that you are safe to stick with “puppy dogs and flower” posts for your social media sites when searching for a job.

8. Don’t speak poorly of past employers or educational programs-

It never looks good to be a “negative Nancy” or a complainer. Keep your comments positive and sparkling to put your best foot forward for your interview.

9. Let the interviewer know that you are interested in the job-

There have been times when I was in on an NP job interview, and I could not get a good read on whether or not the candidate wanted the position. When I see a person who is excited about the role and states their interest, their enthusiasm is contagious, and I want them to get the job.

In addition, who would you prefer to be on your team; someone who is blasé about the job or a cheerful colleague who loves where they work? So don’t leave without first letting the interviewer know that you are very interested in the position and would love to be a part of the team. While you are at it, throw in a few phrases about why you would be a perfect fit for the role.

10. Remember to write a thank-you note promptly-

Write a personalized thank-you letter right after the NP job interview. Address it to everyone who attended the discussion. The thank-you letter is a perfect opportunity to once again briefly highlight why you are an excellent match for the job.


My Final Thoughts


I know that this article has given you a lot of crucial information to digest. However, I hope that it did answer your question about what are the most common nurse practitioner interview questions?

By taking your time and allowing ample occasion to give thought to each of the Top 50 nurse practitioner interview questions and sample answers presented here, you can rest assured that you are well prepared for your job interview. Remember to look over the FAQs in this article to learn how to handle stress before the interview and be mentally at your best for the meeting. By employing all the pearls and essential tips in this article and allowing adequate preparation, you will surely impress your future employer. I wish you the best in this step to securing an NP job that you love.


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ANSWERED BY OUR EXPERT


1. What Are Some Good Weaknesses To Mention In An NP Interview?

As discussed earlier in this article, you should list weaknesses that are fixable vs. disagreeable character flaws.

Some examples of acceptable weaknesses to mention in an NP interview are:

• I have a hard time letting go of a project
• I have limited experience with ________. (Pick an area that is not pertinent to your future job)
• I tend to try to do too many tasks at once
• I can be hard on myself
• I am not familiar with (a certain) software.


Remember to only pick 1 or 2 at the most and then explain how you are trying to overcome this weakness.


2. What Are Some Good Strengths To Mention In An NP Interview?

It is much easier to come up with an impressive list of strengths to dazzle during an NP job interview than weaknesses.

Two characteristics that all employers are looking for in a nurse practitioner are critical thinking skills and team player. By listing these 2 traits as positive strengths in your interview, your boss will feel confident that you will make a good fit for the team and be able to care for patients adequately. By having a happy staff and patients, you are covering the most pressing concerns of the interviewer.


3. What To Wear To A Nurse Practitioner Interview?

Dress professionally for an interview. You can't overdress for an NP interview unless you wear a ball gown or a tuxedo! Women should wear suits or dresses and men should wear a suit and tie. Check out your shoes too, as they should be in good shape and be professional-looking dress shoes.


4. Is It Okay To Wear Scrubs To A Nurse Practitioner Interview?

No, it is not OK to wear scrubs to an NP job interview. The only exception would be if the interviewer chooses to meet with you on the floor while at work. Otherwise, if meeting directly after work, bring a change of professional clothes for an interview.


5. How Do I Introduce Myself In A Nurse Practitioner Interview?

I always gave my full name and the position I am interviewing for when introducing myself. For example, “Hi, I am Jane Doe, and I am here for the pediatric nurse practitioner job interview”.


6. Can I Bring Or Take Notes During My NP Interview?

Oh yes, it is acceptable and a good idea to bring and take notes during your NP job interview. It will help keep you on track and give you direction when asking questions.


7. What Are Some Of The Most Difficult NP Interview Questions To Answer?

Clinical nurse practitioner questions are the hardest and most dreaded NP interview questions to answer. Also, questions pertaining to situations where you have no experience can be challenging.


8. What Are Some Tricky NP Interview Questions To Answer?

Some relatively simple nurse practitioner interview questions can be hard to answer. The main one being, “why are you the best candidate for the position”. This type of tricky question is why prep is necessary for the NP job interview. You can anticipate some of these more common questions and prepare your response ahead of time when the pressure is off. Questions where you have to sell yourself are challenging.


9. Is It Ok Not To Answer A Question In An NP Interview?

I have never deflected a question during an NP job interview, even if I did not have an impressive answer. You should always answer all questions. See question #10 (below) for additional ways to answer a tough nurse practitioner interview question that you find difficult to answer. At times, you may need to say that you have not had any experience with this type of situation. The exception may be personal questions that you may not want to divulge (and are sometimes illegal to ask). I would then try to brush it off with a general type of answer.


10. What To Do If I Can’t Answer An NP Interview Question?

You should always try to apply at least critical thinking skills and whatever knowledge you have on the subject. You can also say that you would do further research or ask a colleague or superior for advice. Those are acceptable answers.


11. How Do I Handle Conflict In An NP Interview?

Although this is rare, there may be times when you do not meet eye to eye with the interviewer. It is never wise to argue a point as a candidate for a job. It is best to try to keep on the middle ground and bite your tongue, if necessary, to get through the meeting. If your NP job interview pursues a topic that stirs up conflict, you may want to rethink your interest, as this type of interchange is a red flag. Although the interviewer is looking to see if you fit into the culture of their team, you are also screening them for the same. If you do not think you are a good fit for the group, keep looking.


12. How Do I Handle The Stress Before My NP Interview?

Unless you are a rare breed, all NPs are anxious prior to a job interview. By thorough preparation for the interview, you will feel better going into the meeting. Review NP interview questions, the job description, and the organization or hospital ahead of time. Don’t wait until the last minute to pack your portfolio and pick out your interview clothing.

Remember to check how to get to the interview location and plan extra time for traffic. Prepare to be 10-15 minutes early for the meeting. Eat a healthy meal prior and bring water for the interview. If possible, organize your day to be low stress and not overly packed so that you can relax a bit before the interview.


13. What To Bring To A Nurse Practitioner Interview?

I recommend bringing your paperwork in a neat-looking professional (possibly leather) portfolio or small briefcase. Include several copies of your resume, the job description, additional letters of recommendation, and a legal-sized pad and pen.

Once I saw a candidate arrive at an interview carrying a mickey mouse portfolio, a tiny 3-inch by 4-inch pad, and a pink gel pen with a feather on top. Although her clothing was professional, the rest of her “gear” made a childlike impression. Remember that all aspects of you will be under scrutiny, so keep everything professional for the NP job interview.


14. How Long Do NP Job Interviews Usually Last?

Nurse practitioner job interviews can vary in length. I have had meetings for jobs that lasted only 30 minutes. However, I also have been involved in 2-hour interrogations. Also, I have had multi-part interviews where I was screened first and then went on to numerous other meetings over time as the field of applicants continued to be weeded out along the way.


15. How Many Questions Can I Expect In An NP Interview?

This also can vary. From my experience, the number of questions in an NP job interview ranged from 5 simple questions to 50 varied and sometimes complex scenarios.


16. How To Answer NP Interview Questions Online?

NP interviews can be a zoom interview which presents its own challenges. Don’t get too relaxed, as everything we have discussed so far for in-person interviews holds for a virtual interview.

Except for what pants and shoes you are wearing, the rest of a virtual NP job interview is identical to an in-person one. The questions are the same as an in-person interview. Remember to dress professionally (at least the top half) for a zoom interview. Also, make sure that your camera and speakers are working properly. Last, check out the background and environment of the placement of your camera. You will need an attractive yet neutral backdrop and a quiet environment for a virtual interview.


17. How To Prepare For An NP Phone Interview?

Interviewing by phone can actually be a bit more stressful, so don’t think you are getting off easy by having this option. The questions will be the same, but you will not have the opportunity to read your future employer's body language. Also, I found that there is less chit-chat and that you get down to business much faster in a phone NP job interview. Personally, I find this more challenging as I like to break up the hard questions with other more day-to-day discussions to give myself a bit of a break on the hot-seat.

A positive aspect of a phone NP job interview is that it is more convenient to do while at home, and you can wear whatever you wish.


18. How Do I Close My NP Interview And Leave A Lasting Impression?

Hopefully, you had the opportunity to ask the questions you have prepared about the position. If not, now is the time to get answers before exiting the NP interview.

It will be to your benefit to show your enthusiasm for the NP position by verbalizing your interest. Inject a few quick reasons why you think you will be a good fit for the job. Thank them for the interview, and find out the next steps in the hiring process. Unless the interviewer initiates additional chatter, don’t try to keep the discussion going to make an impression. Finally, give one last expression of appreciation, a big smile and a firm handshake, and leave. Remember to warmly acknowledge all other staff you see along the way in and out of the meeting, including the receptionist.


Donna Reese MSN, RN, CSN
Donna Reese is a freelance nurse health content writer with 37 years nursing experience. She has worked as a Family Nurse Practitioner in her local community clinic and as an RN in home health, rehabilitation, hospital, and school nursing.