Cranberry Corner: In Which I

New Grad nurse interview questions

Dear nursing applicant:

It’s tough getting a job nowadays. You have thirty minutes to convince the employer that they should hire YOU. You may be the best nurse ever, but if you interview poorly, you won’t get the job. .


It’s a given you are going to get the Tell me About Yourself Interview Question.

Here’s how to nail this question.

Classic Interview Questions

One thing that will help immensely when you have an interview is to prepare for the Classic Interview Questions. These questions should never take anyone by surprise, because nine times out of ten, they will be asked.

Tell Me About Yourself Interview question

Failing to prepare (and by prepare I mean rehearse) for the “Tell me about yourself” question can quite literally mean you do not get the job. It’s a wide-open question to which you should not give a wide open answer.

Be prepared. If you’re not prepared, you’re liable to skip all over the place, ramble, and never stop talking.

Rehearse your answer with a friend several times. Not to memorize- but to remember all your points.

Keep it relevant

Think back- have you ever been on a date with someone you didn’t know well? If so, you’ve been asked this question.

So you already have experience in choosing what to share about yourself. It’s the same with an interview.

Decide what to share about yourself by including those details that will highlight the traits and characteristics they are looking for in a candidate. Focus on what most interests the interviewer, and stress your accomplishments.

Try putting yourself in their shoes. Listen to your self from their point of view.

Talk in stories. Stories are remembered.

Present-Past-Future Model

One way to organize your thoughts is to use the Present-Past-Future model.

  • Tell them where you are now (present) in your job situation.
  • Then mention your previous work placement (past).
  • End with talking about your hope to be employed by them (future).

Here’s an example of how to answer the Tell me About Yourself Interview Question

Well, (smiling) currently I’m in my last semester of nursing school. I’m Class President and received the Florence Nightingale Award for exemplary patient care and academic standing. Before that, and up until last summer, I worked as a nursing assistant.

For the three years that I was a CNA, I had perfect attendance and organized the monthly unit birthday parties. I always tend to get involved in whatever group I’m in. I’m very social and I get my energy from interacting with people, and working in teams.

Last summer, I interned as a student nurse on Med-Surg at Happy Hospital in the same town where I attend university. The nurse manager asked me to stay on and work as an RN on her floor. She said she really liked the way I interact with patients. It’s probably because I learned a lot from a module I took called “How to handle patient complaints”.

But family is most important to me, and I miss my nieces and nephews. I grew up snowboarding in the winter, and can’t wait to go snowboarding again.

Now that I’m moving back to my home town, I’m really looking forward to an opportunity to work here at Happier Community Hospital, where I can begin my career as an RN and grow.

Here the applicant started in the present, segued to the past and ended optimistically in the future. She/he also said (in code) “I am a leader, a people person, a self-starter, savvy (I understand about pt satisfaction), and loyal”…right?

Good luck! I hope you WOW them in your interview!

Related Articles

Now that you know the secret to the “Tell me about Yourself” question, you can start preparing your answer!

Until next time friend,

Nurse Beth

Come visit me at Ask Nurse Beth career column at for all kinds of entertaining and informative career questions and answers, and to submit your own question Or visit me at and StaffGarden where I also blog. Buzzzzzz…I’m a busy little bee !

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