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Guide To Nurse Practitioner Interview Questions

Guide To Nurse Practitioner Interview Questions

Preparing for a Nurse Practitioner interview can be nerve wracking, even though it doesn’t have to be. We’ve compiled a helpful guide for you to answer your nurse practitioner interview questions with ease - so you can land that ideal nurse practitioner job.

With plenty of nurse practitioners in high demand over the next decade, many job seekers are going back to school to get some additional education and secure their future as a nurse practitioner.

You can learn more about what it takes to become a Nurse Practitioner in our recent blog post, How Long Does It Take To Become A Nurse Practitioner, where we break down all the potential paths you can take to become a Nurse Practitioner, and the estimated time to completion for each path.

According to the BLS, Nurse Practitioners are expected to have an estimated 31% job growth outlook over the next decade, much faster than the average healthcare occupation. As a result, becoming a Nurse Practitioner means that your future career in the healthcare industry, is also one of the most secure positions available - something everyone is happy to hear.

What Does A Nurse Practitioner Do?

For those who are considering a career as a Nurse Practitioner (NP), you might be wondering what does a nurse practitioner do? Essentially, a Nurse Practitioner is a Registered Nurse (RN) with advanced training.

Nurse Practitioners are Registered Nurses with advanced training who can provide care to patients throughout their patients’ life span. They can care for patients from recent newborns to the elderly.

In addition, Nurse Practitioners help identify acute illnesses or injuries, provide necessary immunizations, help manage chronic health problems, order and evaluate various diagnostic tests, prescribe various medications or therapies, provide educational services to improving lifestyles or well-being, and perform medical procedures.

Preparing for a Nurse Practitioner Interview

Congratulations, you have successfully landed a nurse practitioner interview. Whether it is your first interview, or you are looking to make sure that you have all your ducks lined in a row for recent interview trends, we have put together the definitive guide to nurse practitioner interview questions you might face.

There are several steps you should take to ensure that you are prepared for a nurse practitioner interview, and all the interview questions that might arise. You want to make sure that you put your best foot forward in the interview, to showcase that you are the ideal candidate for the position.

One thing you need to keep in mind when preparing for your nurse practitioner interview, is that healthcare recruiters and hiring managers are looking for problem solvers.

Nurse practitioners are all about solving problems throughout their day - and you need to showcase your problem solving skills in your interview.

Homework Is Critical

One great way of preparing for your nurse practitioner interview questions is to do your homework. One essential aspect of doing your homework is reviewing the application you submitted.

By reviewing your application, you can refresh your memory as to what inclined you to apply for that particular position. In addition, you can review what the company specified in the job description.

In most cases, there is a large separation of time between the time you apply for a job posting, and the time you get a call back for an interview. In that time, you might have forgotten those critical details in the application or the reasoning behind which you applied.

In addition, you might have crafted your resume differently or have noticed some flaws that you would like to fix that were mentioned on a previous resume that you submitted with the application.

Take some time to review the application, job posting, and resume that you submitted to ensure that you remember all the little details. These little details will come in handy during the interview, as you can recall them with the interviewer.

When you recall little details from the job posting, your application, or resume, it showcases to the employer or healthcare recruiter that you are willing to go the extra mile in your preparation, as opposed to those other interviewees who come to the interview unprepared or know very little about the hospital or healthcare facility in itself.

As many employers and healthcare recruiters ask that you bring in another copy of your resume ot the interview, now would be a good time to review our Resume Guides to ensure that your resume is up to snuff for the interview.

Another piece of homework that you can choose to do is doing a little bit of research on the facility itself. This is a great tool to use when you are in an interview to showcase potential reasons as to why you want to work for that individual hospital or healthcare facility.

Plenty of hospitals offer similar benefits or compensation packages, but it’s the little things that make the difference when working full time at a healthcare facility.

Some of these little things might be the employee education perks, shift schedules, time off, additional benefits, recent facility expansions, commitment to excellence in certain disciplines and specialties, or a positive work environment.

Recalling any of these things in your interview is a great way to separate yourself from other candidates. You have to remember, employers and healthcare recruiters don’t just want someone to come in and do the same thing over, they want their future employee to provide value and enjoy coming to work each day.

Showcasing a few of the reasons through the use of doing your facility research homework in your interview as to why you would rather choose that particular hospital/facility over others is a great way to show that you will enjoy coming to work each day while striving for success.

Common Nurse Practitioner Interview Questions

business professional - guide to nurse practitioner interview questions

We have put together a list of the most common nurse practitioner interview questions you might face in your nurse practitioner interview. It is beneficial to run through these questions several times, so that you can come up with potential answers for each.

While you don’t want to memorize your answers, as appearing scripted can work against you, you do want to work out any mistakes you are prone to making in the way you answer these common nurse practitioner interview questions.

  • Why did you choose to become a nurse practitioner?
  • What does hnolistic care mean to you?
  • What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
  • As a nurse practitioner, what are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
  • Did you experience any conflict in a previous place of employment?
  • If so, how did you handle that conflict in your previous place of employment?
  • If you have any other applicable work experience that would benefit your role as a nurse practitioner, what is it?
  • Have you ever had to deal with an angry patient?
  • If so, how did you go about dealing with that particular patient?
  • Have you ever had to deal with a difficult family member(s) of a patient under your care?
  • If so, how did you go about dealing with that particular family member(s)?
  • Why should we select you for this role?
  • What makes you a good fit for this nurse practitioner position in our facility?
  • If you could have any choice of a job, what would it be and why?
  • Why do you want to work in this particular hospital?
  • Why do you want to work in this particular healthcare facility?
  • What are some of your short term goals?
  • What are some of your long term goals?
  • How do you expect to achieve your goals?
  • What were your study habits like in school?
  • If we asked a friend or co-worker, how would they say you go about preparing for an exam or important meeting?
  • What does success mean to you?
  • What are some of your greatest accomplishments that you are proud of?
  • How do you measure success in your own way?
  • What motivates you to achieve success?
  • If you could go back and change something about the last decade, what would it be and why?
  • What is your greatest disappointment?
  • What is your greatest professional disappointment?
  • Tell me about your desired boss?
  • What makes a good boss in your opinion?
  • What makes a bad boss in your opinion?
  • What were some of the things you enjoyed while working under a superior?
  • What are some of the things you wish you had done differently in a previous place of employment or your current one?
  • How do you feel you will take those changes and create success moving forward?
  • Give me a few examples of not getting what you wanted, and how you learned to cope with that for future occurrences.
  • Give an example of when you had to make a split second decision?
  • What became of that split second decision?
  • Moving forward, what changes would you make to ensure that all split second decisions turn out favorably?
  • Have you ever disagree with a physician?
  • If so, how did you handle that disagreement?
  • How did you choose your nurse practitioner specialty?
  • Have you intentionally gone against a policy because you disagreed with it?
  • When faced with something you’re not familiar or comfortable with, how do you go about figuring it out?
  • If you had to highlight three of your best qualities, what would they be?
  • If you had to highlight three of your worst qualities, what would they be?
  • What are some qualities you look for in your coworkers?
  • What is your nursing philosophy?
  • What types of patients do you enjoy working with?
  • What types of patients do you not enjoy working with?
  • What do you do when you have to make an important decision but don’t have all the necessary information to have a fully fleshed out answer or plan?
  • What has been the most difficult patient case you have had to work on?
  • Is there anything from your educational background that you feel would be beneficial to your role as a nurse practitioner?
  • Have you ever had to provide indirect care with a patient of yours?
  • If so, how did you go about providing that indirect care?
  • How do you handle stress?
  • If you are working on a team, what do you feel is most critical for that team to be successful?
  • If your team isn’t working well together, what are some steps you would take to potentially remedy the situation?
  • Can you give me an example of how you have worked with physicians in the past to provide patient care?
  • Have you ever received constructive criticism from a previous boss?
  • If so, what was the constructive criticism, and how did you take steps to improve on their comments?
  • Have you ever received constructive criticism from a previous coworker?
  • If so, what was the constructive criticism, and how did you go about using their criticism in your career?
  • What are some of your biggest pet peeves?
  • Why are you leaving your current position (if you have one)?
  • Why did you decide to leave your previous position?
  • At your last job, how much of what you did was spent working with a team?
  • Do you prefer working independently or as part of a team?
  • What did you like and dislike about your previous job?
  • Do you believe you will be working here for the foreseeable future, or is this a short term situation?
  • What do you feel you could contribute to our hospital/facility?
  • What is your leadership style?
  • Are you considering other nurse practitioner positions at this time?
  • Are you open to potentially relocating if a position opens up somewhere else in our system?
  • Why do you believe you are the best candidate for the job?
  • Is there anything you would like to tell me about yourself that we didn’t previously cover in the interview?

It is a good idea to run through these interview questions and take notes on the ones that you are struggling with. When you take notes, you can recall that information and some helpful tips for providing a good answer in your interview.

Questions You Should Ask In A Nurse Practitioner Interview

Nurse Practitioner Interview - Guide to Nurse Practitioner Interview Questions

One great benefit of interviews is that interviews are a great way for the employer or healthcare recruiter to find out more about you, but also so that you can find more about your potential future place of employment.

Finding out a lot about the facility or hospital, your coworkers, and boss is essential to determine whether or not it is going to be a good fit for you.

One great way of determining whether or not it is going to be a good fit for both parties is to ask questions during the interview. Frequently, healthcare recruiters or hiring managers will ask, “Do you have any questions for me?”

Too many people answer this question with, “Nope, not at the moment.” Unfortunately, this is kind of off-putting for the healthcare recruiter or hiring manager, because it seems as if you aren’t interested in the position.

In addition, asking a few questions will help clarify some things that you were hesitant about or unsure of. Ensuring that you have all the details you need regarding the position will help you make an easier decision down the road - which is important.

Here are some of the common questions you should consider asking the recruiter or hiring manager in the interview:

  • Is there an orientation period?
  • If so, what is the orientation period like?
  • Are there any additional steps I need to take to become more qualified or ready for this position?
  • If so, how do I go about getting started with that process?
  • What is the timeline for the remainder of the candidate selection process?
  • What is the timeframe of a potential decision on the candidate you will select?
  • How many other nurse practitioners currently work in this facility/hospital?
  • Which characteristics of employees make them successful in this position?
  • How many patients should I expect to see in a day?
  • Who would be my backup nurse practitioner if I cannot come into work due to an illness, injury, or emergency?
  • What is the size of the unit I will be working in?
  • Does this hospital have any plans for future expansions?
  • What are some of the strengths and weaknesses of this facility?
  • Could you explain the overall organization structure?
  • Is there room for advancement with this position?
  • Are there any additional benefits that you feel I should know about?
  • What is the hospital’s culture like?
  • What do you think of the hospital’s future?
  • What qualities do you appreciate most in those who report to you?
  • What would be a few of the goals in my department in the upcoming years?
  • How many others have held this position in the last five years? Where are they now?
  • What do you enjoy about working here?
  • Is there any other additional information that I can provide you that would make you feel more comfortable with me as a candidate, or certifications/skills you feel I should have for this role?

Asking these questions will help you not only provide more information about yourself, gather more information about your potential future place of employment, but also determine how serious of a candidate you are in the healthcare recruiter’s or hiring manager’s eyes.

One concern that many nurse practitioners have after leaving an interview is they cannot determine how the interview went. Oftentimes, nurse practitioners feel that the interview went well but aren’t sure. Asking questions to the interviewer is a great way to help put a stamp on where you stand as a candidate in their eyes.

Dress For Success and Project Confidence

Now that you know some of the common interview questions that might be posed in a nurse practitioner interview, the next thing you need to do before heading to the interview is to dress for success and project confidence.

While the workforce is getting more casual in nature, the healthcare industry is still one of the most strict when it comes to workplace environments and dress codes. As such, you should ensure that you dress professionally when going to your nurse practitioner interview.

By dressing professionally, you can ensure that you send off the right message - compared to those candidates who looked like they just rolled out of bed.

In addition, you want to make sure that you project confidence. This can be difficult for some people as they are natural introverts, but you have to project that you feel you are the best candidate for the position.

When you project uncertainty, the healthcare recruiter or hiring manager will be uncertain about whether or not your qualifications are substantial for the position, or whether or not you have the skills to complete your work.

When you project confidence, you can showcase that you feel you have the right skill set to be a great nurse practitioner that can impact patients in a positive way, and help the company achieve great things moving forward.

Review Why You Should Be The Leading Candidate

In addition to asking some questions to the interviewer to find out more about the position, another thing you should do is to recap why you should be the ideal candidate for this position.

In essence, you are reviewing everything in one short spoken paragraph to leave the interviewer with. In this short statement, you want to remind them about your education, professional experience, and passion for working with patients at that particular hospital or healthcare facility.

In addition, you want to thank them for your time and remind them you will be following up with them in the future to learn about the status of the candidate selection process.

Follow Up After The Interview

One thing that many people forget to do after a nurse practitioner interview, is to follow up with the hiring manager or healthcare recruiter. As many healthcare recruiters and hiring managers schedule several interviews on the same day or during the same week, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle and stacking of other candidates.

To ensure that this doesn’t happen with your application/interview, you should make sure that you follow up with the interviewer later on down the road. You can choose to send a thank you note, or an email.

In this thank you note or email, you want to once again thank them for considering you for the position and reinforce why you would be the ideal candidate for the position. If you have decided to not move forward with your own consideration of the position, this would also be a good time to let the interviewer know so that no time is wasted on either end.

A small follow up gesture is a great way of reminding the interviewer about who you are, and your passion to work with them moving forward. In addition, it might give you the extra edge against those candidates who forget to follow up.


Now that you have the definitive guide to answering nurse practitioner interview questions, you can trust that you are well prepared for your upcoming interview. With each interview, you’ll get a little less nervous, a little more prepared, and be able to highlight why you are the best fit for the position. Good luck!
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