Healthcare Behavioral Interview Question Examples

Job Interview: Senior Nurse Supervisor

Behavioral interview questions are increasingly popular among employers when conducting job interviews. Here we list 30 questions you could find yourself facing in the near future.

We’ve broken them down in six distinct categories for you.

Your job is to consider potential answers and be prepared!

Teamwork

  • Describe an experience in which you took part in nurse recruitment, training and orientation. How did you go about making decisions on the need for remedial education, and ensuring new hires would function well within your team of nurses?
  • Tell me about a time when your hands-on role in patient care and your supervisory position over shift nurses helped define for you what good teamwork means. Why do you feel this way?
  • Describe an experience that shows why a good nursing team functions best when all fully understand and adhere to current policies on reporting, government policies or other.
  • Tell me about time, outside of training, when you decided to step back from a hands-on position in order to view your nurses working together, making decisions, and providing suitable patient care. What was the situation and why did you make that decision at that time?
  • Describe an experience that you feel shows how you manage to strike that delicate balance between good nursing teamwork, morale, and your position within the chain of command?

Job Performance

  • Tell me about an experience in which you advocated for a patient to a physician who did not respond. What action did you then take to ensure the patient received the further examination or treatment you felt was required? What was the outcome?
  • Tell me about a time in which a nurse under your supervision did not, in your opinion, properly utilize the advocation or chain of command reporting process to the advantage of a patient. How did you come to this conclusion, what action did you take, and what was the outcome?
  • Describe an experience during training or orientation when you suspected that a talented nurse or nurses might feel that asking for help up the chain of command is a failure or weakness. Why did you feel this and what did you do in response? What was the outcome?
  • Describe an experience in which the family members of a patient become upset or angry, to the confusion of nursing staff. How did you intervene, absorb the problem, and respond? What was the outcome?
  • Tell me about a time you felt that patient issues were occuring due to patient-staff interactions not being performed appropriately by one or more nurses. How did you come to this conclusion, how did you respond, and what was the outcome?

Intelligence & Capacity for Learning

  • Describe an experience in which changes or updates to hospital, company or government policies, regulations, best practices or other had to be absorbed by you, processed through administration, and taught to all those under your supervision. How did you go about this?
  • Tell me about a time during a hectic period when you had to decide what would be the appropriate allocation of staff per shift across units. How did you come to this decision?
  • Describe an experience in which the planning and organization of patient care activities for nursing staff was difficult for you. Why was this, how did you deal with it, and what was the outcome?
  • Tell me about a time when making an informed decision and taking decisive action on, for example, a decision to further train or dismiss a nurse, was required. How did you go about assessing this situation and what action did you take? Do you stand by it today?
  • Describe an experience in which the completion or processing of technical and/or administrative tasks brought up new things, such as new software, for example, that you had to adapt to quickly. How did you go about achieving this?

Time Management

  • Tell me about a time when your duties interfacing between nursing staff, patients and families, hospital physicians and more required urgent prioritization. What was the situation, how did you cope with it, and what was the outcome?
  • Tell me about a time when you had to quickly reorganize your team due to an emergency situation. How did you organize the team so that it would operate at its best? And what hands-on role, if any, did you play? What was the outcome?
  • Describe an experience in which the need to listen deeply to patients and/or nursing staff before making an informed decision was challenged by many other pressing duties. What did you choose to do and what was the outcome? What, if anything, did you learn?
  • Tell me about a time when tasks such as, for example, planning and organizing activities, orientation and training, and administrative-based duties, were such that an open-door policy for your nurses, or hands-on approach for patients, seemed too much. What did you do?
  • Describe an experience that you feel best illustrates your underlying commitment to patients, nurses and all your related duties, despite the constant time pressures and the potential consequences of mismanaging them. Why does this experience stand out in your mind?

Communication Skills

  • Describe an experience in which effective communication between a patient/patient family and yourself made the difference between a positive and potentially extremely negative outcome. What was this situation, how did you approach it, and what was the outcome?
  • Tell me about a time when you felt it necessary to explain to nurses the difference between wanting to appear able to handle situations and patient advocation, including formal chain of command reporting. What had happened to make you feel this was needed, and how do you feel about it now?
  • Describe an experience early in your career when you learned the importance of following up on communications, to ensure any message was clearly understood. What happened and what was the result?
  • Tell me about a time when you were essentially the go-between for an upset patient or patient family members and higher management. How did you communicate between both sets of people while maintaining an objective position? What was the outcome?
  • Describe a communication experience with nursing staff that you feel combines clear communication of potentially unwelcome information with an attempt to maintain team morale. Do you feel you succeeded in your objective?

Leadership

  • Tell me about a time you were confronted with complaints by a patient about a nurse under your supervision, along with denials by the nurse. How did you react, who did you speak to, what conclusions did you come to, and what did you do?
  • Tell me about a time you had to decide if the source of an issue was based in a failure within the chain of command, a team member or members, or policy and procedures on reporting protocols. How did you go about discovering the source of the issue and how did you respond?
  • Tell me about a time when, outside of training, you took a hands-on approach in order to lead by example. What was this decision in response to, and how effective was it?
  • Describe an experience in which your nursing team were understaffed. How did you ensure that the care provided to patients by your team was both appropriate and comprehensive?
  • Describe an experience in which you had to make an urgent, on-the-spot judgement in a patient care situation. How did you come to your decision and what was the outcome?

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