5 Most Common Nurse Practitioner Interview Questions (With Example Answers and Tips)

By Indeed Editorial Team

December 27, 2020

When you’re preparing to interview for a position as a nurse practitioner, it’s wise to review commonly asked interview questions specific to the job. Many interviewers ask similar questions to learn more about your abilities as a nurse practitioner. Considering your answers ahead of time can help you enter an interview with confidence. This article provides sample questions and answers for a nurse practitioner interview.

Preparing answers to the most common nurse practitioner interview questions

As you prepare for an interview for a nurse practitioner position, it can be helpful to consider the questions that the interviewer might ask, as well as the intent behind each question. Taking the time to evaluate your responses can help you calmly present what you would like to say yourself, your skills and experience.

It’s also important to prepare your professional materials and credentials before the interview. Update your resume , tailor it to the position and include your key responsibilities and achievements. You will also need to provide your nursing license, notice of passing board scores (if applicable) and proof of BCLS or CPR certification.

Using the STAR method to answer questions can also help you provide succinct and powerful responses. STAR stands for “situation, task, action, result.” Describe a situation that relates to the question, as well as the task you had to complete. Next, outline the action you took in that situation and the result that occurred.

Related: How to Use the STAR Interview Response Technique

Interview questions with sample answers

Some of the most commonly asked questions in nurse practitioner interviews are designed to help the interviewer learn more about your personality and how you react in certain situations. These questions enable the interviewer to get to know you better and determine how well you would align with the team and organization.

  1. Why did you choose to become a nurse practitioner?

  2. How do you perform under stress?

  3. What do you think is the most challenging aspect of working as a nurse practitioner?

  4. How would you respond if you witnessed unethical actions from a member of your care team?

  5. What do you contribute to a patient’s care experience?

1. Why did you choose to become a nurse practitioner?

When an interviewer asks this question, they are trying to better understand what motivates you to succeed in your career, as well as how committed you are to your work. The demands of a nurse practitioner can be significant, so passion is vital.

Example: “I chose to pursue a career as a nurse practitioner because I am invested in the care and treatment of those whom I can serve. During my education, I found that nursing was of particular interest to me, so I chose to continue to earn my nurse practitioner license. In this role, I can further support patients and work as part of a care team that delivers personalized care to each patient.”

2. How do you perform under stress?

Working in health care is often stressful, so an interviewer needs to know how you handle that type of stress at work. Consider how you can craft an answer that outlines your abilities to cope with and manage stress, which is a reality of a nurse practitioner job.

Example: “Some pressure in my role helps me to feel motivated and productive. Although stress is part of the job, I have worked to develop ways to manage stress more effectively. I feel I can delegate to others well, which can help prevent overly stressful situations as the team members are all working together to take on their share of the work. I also react to individual situations, rather than to stress, allowing me to better handle each scenario as it arises.”

3. What do you think is the most challenging aspect of working as a nurse practitioner?

A nurse practitioner faces unique responsibilities and challenges. As a result, nurse practitioners can become stressed or frustrated at work, which can carry over into their personal life as well. When answering this question, it’s important to be honest about what you think is especially challenging, while also discussing how you handle that aspect of the job.

Example: “I find it especially challenging to work with a patient who is facing a life-threatening illness or disease. This situation is difficult for me because it is emotionally difficult to be involved in. To overcome this challenge, I continue to pursue education and training that allows me to better respond to life-threatening illnesses and situations to help improve patient outcomes. I also give my best effort to provide emotional support to those who are suffering.”

4. How would you respond if you witnessed unethical actions from a member of your care team?

Ethical behavior is especially important in health care, where a violation could have very significant results. You need to outline your ability to identify and react to unethical behavior from those on your team. By asking this question, an interviewer also wants to make sure that the ethical aspect of a career in health care is important to you.

Example: “In my previous position, a triage nurse on our team revealed the details of a high-profile patient’s medical condition and treatment plan to the media without the patient’s consent. This action had a direct effect on the privacy of that patient, as well as the reputation of our medical clinic. After privately speaking with all members of the team to determine who breached the patient’s privacy and HIPAA laws, the nurse who shared the confidential information was removed from direct care and the team.”

5. What do you contribute to a patient’s care experience?

Since nurse practitioners interact directly with patients, an interviewer needs to determine what you feel you can contribute to each patient’s care experience. The experience of the patient will determine the outcome, as well as whether that patient comes back for additional treatment when needed. When answering this question, consider some of the unique ways you interact with your patients, such as how you exceed the call of duty or respond to patient needs.

Example: “I start every patient interaction by making sure I am communicating as clearly and effectively as possible. I take the time to answer questions from my patients and their support people, as well as respond to their concerns quickly so they feel heard. When I interact with a patient, I also focus on putting myself in their situation so I can better show compassion and empathy.”

Interview tips

When interviewing for a nurse practitioner role, it’s helpful to follow a few simple tips that will increase your chances of success.

Listen carefully to the questions

When you have a better understanding of what your interviewer is asking, you’re more likely to give a response that makes sense and offers insights into your skills and abilities. You can ask for clarification to ensure you address each question directly.

Offer positive responses and information

Maintain a positive tone through all the answers you give.

Be truthful in all answers

Also, aim to answer questions simply without offering extra information that doesn’t necessarily pertain to the situation.

Think about questions you want to ask

In every interview, the person asking the questions will turn the time to you, allowing you to ask any questions you might have about the position. Consider what questions you can ask to better understand the role and atmosphere. Some examples include asking about work-life balance, why the last person in the role left, continuing education opportunities and how well the staff members work together as a team.

Dress in conservative, professional attire

This may include dress slacks or a skirt, a blouse or button-down shirt and dress shoes.

Give yourself enough time

Arrive early so you can find the location with ease, which will help you make a better first impression.


Browse more articles