Top 32 Medical surgical nurse interview questions and answers pdf

In this article, let me introduce all of you about top 32 Medical surgical nurse interview questions and other materials for job interview such as types of interview questions, Medical surgical nurse interview tips, Medical surgical nurse interview thank you letter samples… If you need more information about Medical surgical nurse interview questions, please leave your comments.

I. Medical surgical nurse interview questions and answers

As Medical surgical nurse position, pls tell me about yourself?

Where to start? What do they want to know? Should I start in high school, college, first grade? It’s one of the most frequently asked questions in an interview: Tell me about yourself. The way you answer this question will set the tone for the rest of the interview. This can be a challenging question to answer if you are not prepared for it, but it’s really asked as an icebreaker.

Briefly talk about your current employer. Discuss 2-3 of your most significant accomplishments. Talk about a few of your key strengths as they relate to the job for which you are applying and how they can benefit from your strengths. Then discuss how you see yourself fitting into a position at their company.

Related posts: 12 tips to answer question: tell me about yourself?

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? or what are your career goals?

The key is to focus on your achievable objectives and what you are doing to reach those objectives.

For example: “Within five years, I would like to become the very best accountant your company has on staff. I want to work toward becoming the expert that others rely upon. And in doing so, I feel I’ll be fully prepared to take on any greater responsibilities which might be presented in the long term. For example, here is what I’m presently doing to prepare myself…”

Then go on to show by your examples what you are doing to reach your goals and objectives.

Related posts:
10 tips to answer question: what are your career goals
Top 10 career goals examples

What would you do if a family member were unsatisfied with a patient’s care?

This happened to me within the past six months with a patient’s son, and I immediately apologized to the concerned family member. Even though I had done nothing wrong, I still felt it was necessary to validate the person’s feelings and let him know I was taking his feedback seriously. After listening carefully to his feedback, I assured him that top-quality care is always my priority, and empathized with the fact that he wanted his loved one to be well looked after. This conversation resulted in the family member admitting that he had misinterpreted things and saying he felt at ease about me caring for the patient.

Have you ever had to deal with a distraught family member? How did you handle the situation?

It is always very difficult for family members to see someone they love suffering, and I understand that first hand. During my time at the urgent clinic, I dealt with several family members who came in with a patient who required immediate transfer via ambulance to the emergency department. In each of these cases I spoke calmly, clearly and honestly to the individual. I acknowledged the patient’s condition and assured the family that the medical team would strive to provide the best possible care for their loved one.

What drew you to the nursing profession?

Some nurse managers might ask this common nursing interview question in place of the one about values, or as a follow-up question. It also gives the candidate the opportunity to tell more of their personal story.

The hardest part about answering this nurse interview question is that you want to be honest, without sounding trite.  “I just want to help people” is a phrase that has been heard too often in nurse job interviews.

So think about the real motivators in your own life, practice what you want to say, and keep it relatively short.

Tell me about a time when you inadvertently caused conflict?  

These types of nursing interview questions and answers may make some candidates uncomfortable, but they are asked for a purpose.

“I follow this question up with, ‘What would you do differently if you had to do it over?’” Bryant remarked. “A great answer to this question shows self-reflection and a willingness to improve.”

Describe some specific ways that clinical rotations prepared you for a nursing career?

Sample Answer:
“My time spent learning at [ location ] was invaluable. Rotations allowed me to learn intangibles like bedside manner and actual hands-on experience.”

Describe your ability to handle high-pressure situations.

I have always done well with deadlines and thrive in a fast-paced work environment. During my time at the urgent care clinic, I have helped numerous patients with illnesses, injuries and health crises. One particular day a mother brought in her young child, who had been quite ill. During the intake process, the child became unresponsive and I had to think quickly and act calmly. I immediately began checking the child’s vital signs, sent the other front desk worker to get the doctor and began cardiopulmonary resuscitation, which I continued until a physician took over. The child was ultimately revived and my ability to act quickly using the training I had acquired was an integral part of saving that child’s life.

Why should we hire you as Medical surgical nurse position?

This is another incredibly common question and it gives you a great opportunity to stand out from the crowd and really show the hiring manager how you can help the company.

The key thing to remember here is: be specific.

Leverage your company research and the job description to find exactly why the company is hiring someone for this position. What problem/pain points does the new hire have to solve? You need to show that you are the perfect candidate that can solve those problems/pain points.

We have written an in depth blog post on why should we hire you here.


•    Show the hiring manager that you are uniquely suited to filling this position. Be the candidate that solves their “problems“.
•    Show you know some significant details about the company and their general practices because you have researched the firm and are prepared.
•    Tell a “success story” that highlights how you have the ‘qualities’ needed to fill their specific needs.


•    Don’t get discouraged if the hiring manager mentions that “they have lots of very well qualified candidates…” before they lead into this question. (It’s a common “lead in”)
•    Don’t be too modest. This is your chance to shine. Make it count.
On the flip side don’t go too overboard and sound too arrogant.
•    Don’t be “wishy-washy” or too general with your answer.
•    Don’t answer with “why” you want the job. Answer with “why you are the perfect fit” for the job.

What is the most difficult situation you have had to face and how did you tackle it?

The purpose of this question is to find out what your definition of difficult is and whether you can show a logical approach to problem solving. In order to show yourself in a positive light, select a difficult work situation which was not caused by you and which can be quickly explained in a few sentences. Explain how you defined the problem.

What is your greatest strength as Medical surgical nurse position?

This is a fairly straight forward question to handle. Talk about a “strength” that you know the company puts a lot of value in.

We have written an in depth blog post over at: What are your strengths and weaknesses?


•    Grab hold of the opportunity this question gives you. This question really lets you guide the interview where you want it to go. This your chance to relate your most impressive success story, so take advantage!
•    Highlight a strength that is crucial to the position. (As I mentioned earlier)
•    Find out from your company research and from the job description what strengths the company puts a lot of stock into.


•    Don’t make claims that you can’t illustrate with a brief example or fact.
•    Don’t be overly modest but don’t claim to be Superman or Superwoman either.
•    Don’t name a strength that is irrelevant to the job at hand.

Related post: List of 24 job strengths

Why do you want to work for us as Medical surgical nurse position?

The hiring manager is trying to get at your underlying motivations for wanting this job. Are you here just for a paycheck or do you see yourself becoming an integral part of the company and growing along with it? You need to show them that you want to become “part of the family”.

At the same time however, show how your “wants” coincide with their “needs”.

For a more thorough look at this question, read our “why do you want to work for us” blog post.


•    Talk about specific things you like about the company. Do your homework before and find out the needs of the company and talk about how you’re passionate about “fulfilling those needs”.
•    Be complimentary. Most people enjoy being flattered. (Just don’t go overboard)
•    Show how your strengths perfectly align with the job position and company culture.


•    Don’t come off as a “hired gun” who may be gone in a few months.
•    Don’t say “because I need the money.” (You’d be surprised how many job seekers think this is “cute” and actually answer this way. Don’t.)

What are your weaknesses?

The best “weaknesses” are disguised as strengths, such as “I dislike not being challenged at work”. Another good approach is to mention a weakness that is irrelevent for the job or one that can be overcome with training. Try to keep these to one weakness, explaining why you think it is a weakness and what you are doing to overcome the problem – a well thought out strategy you have developed to deal with the issue will turn this potentially tricky question into a positive.

One common variation on this question is to ask about any problems or failures you’ve encountered in previous positions. In describing problems, pick ones you’ve solved and describe how you overcame it. Show yourself to be a good team player by crediting co-workers for all their contributions. To distance yourself from failure, pick one that occurred earlier in your career when you were still learning. Don’t blame others – simply explain how you analysed your mistake and learned from it.

How would you describe a typical day in your current job?

You are eager to look good but don’t make the common mistake of exaggerating your current position. Mentioning some of the routine tasks in your day adds realism to your description and show that you don’t neglect important details such as paperwork. Put yourself in the interviewer’s place as your answer. When you’ve been doing a job for years it becomes second nature to you, and you must be aware of all the tasks you undertake. You should spend a few days making notes of your activities at work to regain an outsider’s perspective. Try to show that you make good use of your time, that you plan before you begin your work and that you review your achievements at the end of it.

What is your greatest accomplishment?

This is somewhat similar to the “what is your greatest strength?” question and can be handled along the same lines. You want to pick an accomplishment that shows you have the qualities that the company puts value in and that are desirable for the position you’re interviewing for.

The fact is you may have several accomplishments you could pick from. Pick one that will have the most impact.


•    Talk about an accomplishment that exhibits how you will be a perfect fit for the company and for the position you’re interviewing for.
•    Try and show some genuine passion when you’re talking about your accomplishment.


•    Don’t fall into the trap of thinking your accomplishment is “too small”. The fact is, relating a small accomplishment that is inline with “what the company values” can be more powerful than an unrelated accomplishment. (Remember: “It’s not about you, It’s about them.”)

How do you respond to working under pressure?

The interviewer wants to see that you have composure, problem solving skills and can stay focused in difficult conditions. Give an example of a time when you were faced with a stressful situation (not caused by you) and how you handled it with poise. Describe the context, how you approached the situation, the actions you took and the positive outcome. Demonstrate how you remained calm, in control and got the job done.

Why do you wish to leave your present job?

Never say anything negative about your present employer and don’t mention money as a motivator either. The interviewer will reason that if you’re prepared to leave one organisation for money, you might leave his/her company if another waved a bigger pay cheque in front of you. The safest track to take is to indicate a desire for greater responsibility and challenge, or the opportunity to use talents you feel are under-used. Make sure your abilities are relevant.

What sort of salary are you looking for?

When completing your preparations for the interview, always have this question in the back of your mind.

Have a look at the average salary for someone in this industry, area, and who possesses similar skills to yourself, and you should get a basic idea.

But remember: this is only the first interview. You haven’t been offered the job. There’s no need at this stage to be try and begin negotiations. Giving a broad salary range will usually be enough to move on, but be prepared to back it up if you need to.

Just don’t be tempted to sell yourself short. If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at our average salary checker.

Right answer: A broad (but realistic) answer e.g. ‘I‘m looking for a starting salary somewhere between £25,000 and £30,000’

Wrong answer: ‘I’m not sure. How much are you on?’

Related post: 10 tips to get high salary

What questions do you have for me?

Around 75 percent of job seekers will say “Nope, I think that’s everything” to this question. Terrible response.

This question gives you a fantastic opportunity to stand out from the crowd and show your knowledge and passion for the company or organization you are interviewing for. Always have a few questions prepared and have one based around something you found during your company research phase.

Tips to answer this question:

– Focus your questions on the company and what you can do for them.
– Ask about something you’ve discovered in your company research. This will show your passion and knowledge of the company.
– Ask if there is any reason the hiring manager wouldn’t hire you. (This can be a little daunting to ask BUT can really pay off. It allows you to address something they may be thinking in their head but haven’t brought up.)
– Never say “No, I think I’m good.” Always have questions ready!
– Don’t focus your questions on yourself and what you can get from them. (i.e.
– Don’t ask questions that you could easily find the answer to.
– Don’t ask about time off and benefits too early in the process.
– Don’t ask how soon you can start applying for other positions in the company.

Related post: Top 10 questions to ask employer

II. Medical surgical nurse interview tips:

1. Conduct research on the employer, hiring manager, and job opportunity

Success in a job interview starts with a solid foundation of knowledge on the jobseeker’s part. You should understand the employer, the requirements of the job, and the background of the person (or people) interviewing you. The more research you conduct, the more you’ll understand the employer, and the better you’ll be able to answer interview questions. Scour the organization’s website and other published materials, search engines, research tools, and ask questions about the company in your network of contacts. Learn more about job search job interview researching here.

2. Review common interview questions and prepare your responses

Another key to interview success is preparing responses to expected interview questions. First, ask the hiring manager as to the type of interview to expect. Will it be one-on-one or in a group? Will it be with one person, or will you meet several members of the organization? Your goal is to try to determine what you’ll be asked and to compose detailed yet concise responses that focus on specific examples and accomplishments. A good tool for remembering your responses is to put them into a story form that you can tell in the interview. No need to memorize responses (in fact, it’s best not to), but do develop talking points. There are excellent tools available to help you with interview questions and responses. Also, consider using the STAR Interviewing Technique.

3. Dress for Success

Plan out a wardrobe that fits the organization and its culture, striving for the most professional appearance you can accomplish. Remember that it’s always better to be overdressed than under” and to wear clothing that fits and is clean and pressed. Keep accessories and jewelry to a minimum. Try not to smoke or eat right before the interview” and if possible, brush your teeth or use mouthwash.

4: Overcome “job interview nervous“

Job interview nervous is one of the first reasons why you fail in job interviews.

Related post: 10 tips to overcome job-interview nerves

5. Arrive on Time, Relaxed and Prepared for the Interview

There is no excuse ever for arriving late to an interview. Short of a disaster, strive to arrive about 15 minutes before your scheduled interview to complete additional paperwork and allow yourself time to get settled. Arriving a bit early is also a chance to observe the dynamics of the workplace.
The day before the interview, pack up extra copies of your resume or CV and reference list. If you have a portfolio or samples of your work, bring those along too. Finally, remember to pack several pens and a pad of paper to jot notes. Finally, as you get to the offices, shut off your cell phone. (And if you were chewing gum, get rid of it.)

6. Take evidence of your achievements

Any sales person who’s interviewed will wax lyrical about their career achievements. But not everyone will take evidence of this to the interview. Although you’ll want to be careful not to take any information along that is confidential to your existing or previous employers (as this implies carelessness), you could take along sales league tables, references or payslips if they’re appropriate.

7. Focus more on what you can do for the company, rather than what they can do for you

At the beginning of the job interview process, someone has to assume the role of the seller, and someone has to be the buyer.

You’re the seller at this early stage of the process.

As the interview progresses you will eventually be asked: Do you have any questions for us?
It’s a bad idea to say, no, I can’t think of anything. It’s also a bad idea to have a grocery list of interview questions a mile long.

8. Make Good First Impressions

A cardinal rule of interviewing is to be polite and offer warm greetings to everyone you meet” from the parking attendant to the receptionist to the hiring manager. Employers often are curious how job applicants treat staff members” and your job offer could easily be derailed if you’re rude or arrogant to any of the staff. When it’s time for the interview, keep in mind that first impressions” the impression interviewers get in the first few seconds of meeting you” can make or break an interview. Make a strong first impression by dressing well, arriving early, and when greeting your interviewer, stand, smile, make eye contact, and offer a firm“ but not bone-crushing“ handshake. Remember that having a positive attitude and expressing enthusiasm for the job and employer are vital in the initial stages of the interview; studies show that hiring managers make critical decisions about job applicants in the first 20 minutes of the interview.

9. Prep your greatest stories in advance.

It’s hard to think of amazing stories on the fly. So think ahead and prepare your most impactful stories of on-the-job success. What kind of stories, you might ask?

“Write down eight to 10 stories that sum up your experience. People are so much more natural when they’re in storytelling mode Think about CAR: challenge, action, result. What was the challenge that the business was facing? What was the action you specifically took? What was the result of it?” That’s Katie’s advice.

Try telling these stories to friends and family in a practice session so you’re even more natural. You’ll feel confident and ready to showcase your most awesome successes when you walk in the door.

Related posts: 7 secrets to tells about your career stories

10. Bring examples of your work

Use the power of the printed word to your advantage. As an executive recruiter, I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve been called by a hiring manager after an interview, and told how impressed they were with one of my candidates who brought examples of their work.

Most job seekers fail to do this in preparing for a job interview. This one job interview tip alone will set you apart from other candidates.

Idea: Some job seekers bring a copy of their most recent written evaluation to the interview. Obviously, you should only do this if your evaluation is outstanding.

The power of the printed word applies here as well. If you share your strengths with your interviewers, it’s duly noted. If one of your bosses said those same things about you…it’s gospel.
Another great example of your work is any chart or graph that illustrates specifically how you saved the company time or money…or how you made the company money.

Always couch your examples with the following line of logic:

• This was the problem or situation
• Here are the things I specifically did to resolve it
• As a result of these actions, this was the measurable result

11. Remember the Importance of Body Language

While the content of your interview responses is paramount, poor body language can be a distraction at best” or a reason not to hire you at worst. Effective forms of body language include smiling, eye contact, solid posture, active listening, and nodding. Detrimental forms of body language include slouching, looking off in the distance, playing with a pen, fidgeting in a chair, brushing back your hair, touching your face, chewing gum, or mumbling. Read more about perfecting your body language in our article, The Unspoken Secrets of Job Interviewing: How Your Nonverbal Presentation and Behaviors Impact the Impression You Make.

12. Ask insightful questions
Studies continually show that employers make a judgment about an applicant’s interest in the job by whether or not the interviewee asks questions. Thus, even if the hiring manager was thorough in his or her discussions about the job opening and what is expected, you must ask a few questions. This shows that you have done your research and that you are curious. The smart jobseeker prepares questions to ask days before the interview, adding any additional queries that might arise from the interview. For an idea of questions you could ask at the interview, see our article, Questions You Can Ask at the Job Interview, as well as our article, Make a Lasting Impression at Job Interviews Using Questions.

13. Sell yourself and then close the deal

The most qualified applicant is not always the one who is hired; the winning candidate is often the jobseeker who does the best job responding to interview questions and showcasing his or her fit with the job, department, and organization. Some liken the job interview to a sales call. You are the salesperson” and the product you are selling to the employer is your ability to fill the organization’s needs, solve its problems, propel its success.

Finally, as the interview winds down, ask about the next steps in the process and the timetable in which the employer expects to use to make a decision about the position.

14. Thank Interviewer(s) in Person, by Email, or Postal Mail.

Common courtesy and politeness go far in interviewing; thus, the importance of thanking each person who interviews you should come as no surprise. Start the process while at the interview, thanking each person who interviewed you before you leave. Writing thank-you emails and notes shortly after the interview will not get you the job offer, but doing so will certainly give you an edge over any of the other finalists who didn’t bother to send thank-you notes.

15. Follow Up Afterwards

Don’t let your interview be the last they hear from you. If you follow up afterwards, you’ll help them remember who you are, and make sure your resume doesn’t fall into the abyss of the forgotten. Send a thank you note after your interview, and a short email later on to check in if you haven’t heard back. Take into account how you’ve been communicating with them so far, though, as different modes of communication may be more beneficial. If you have a follow up interview, be sure to nail that too.

16. If You Don’t Get Hired, Find Out Why

Not every interview will be a winner, sadly, even if you do everything right. If you don’t get hired, the best thing you can do is find out why and apply that knowledge to your next round of interviews. Look back on your interview and think about what you could have done better, whether it’s avoiding the “overqualification” trap or just simply using better grammar. There are any number of reasons someone might not hire you, and all you can do is use this round as practice for your next interview.

17. Freelancer jobs

If you are not recruited, you do not need to worry because nowadays, there are many online jobs that can bring in income much higher than the income that you worked for the company.

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