Will You Be Asked Clinical Questions in a NP Job Interview?

Easing job interview angst 

Sweaty palms, shifting in your seat - anxiety levels are high when interviewing for a nurse practitioner position. Whether you’re a new graduate, an NP seeking a specialty transition, or an experienced provider looking for a new employer, the unknowns that come with job interviews are worrisome. One question I often receive from job-seeking nurse practitioners centers around what a prospective employer will ask in the interview, specifically “will I be asked clinical questions in a nurse practitioner job interview?”. 

The prospect of a clinical quiz in a job interview is understandably frightening, even for the most experienced NP. Clinics all seem to have different processes and preferences when it comes to patient care. Without an understanding of the norms in your potential new workplace and a heads up as to what clinical content you should prepare to explain, the possibility of clinical questions in a job interview understandably makes NPs squirm. So, can you expect to address clinical questions in a job interview?

In my experience, and the experience of the overwhelming majority of nurse practitioners I talk with, job interviews do not include a a clinical quiz. So, put away your anatomy flashcards and treatment algorithms, and focus on professionalism for the big day. 

When it comes to your clinical abilities, while you won’t be expected to name the bones in the hand or draw a lab testing algorithm for the diagnosis of celiac disease, however you should expect questions about your previous experience and abilities. You may be asked, for example, how comfortable you are treating patients with certain diagnoses or performing specific procedures. No anxiety is required when it comes to responding to these inquiries - they are simply a reflection of your professional experience. 

Honesty is key when you respond to questions about your clinical ability in a nurse practitioner job interview. If you do land the job, you want your employer to have an accurate representation of your skill level. This ensures that you will receive training to help overcome any gaps in your knowledge. Misrepresenting yourself to secure a job is never a good idea. If you don’t have the clinical know-how for a nurse practitioner position and the employer in question isn’t prepared or willing to train you, then you’ve landed yourself in a bad spot and the job most likely won’t work out. Honestly prevents you from blighting your resume with a botched nurse practitioner job, and ensures success in your new position. 

Rest assured job-seeking nurse practitioners. You aren’t facing national boards part II in your next job interview. Rather, come prepared to answer general questions about your clinical expertise and respond with an accurate representation of yourself. 

 

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