In a previous post I talked about some Nursing Assistant job interview tips. In this one I thought I’d list questions you may be asked during a CNA interview. These are from a variety of sources and include questions that were asked during real interviews posted on message boards. So these should be a fairly good representative sample. If you prepare for answering all of these questions, it should stand you in good stead for your interview.
How did you fill downtime at your last job?
Tell me about your last performance review. What was mentioned about how you
could improve? Any recurring themes?
Which situations kept you from coming to work on time at your last job? How often did that occur?
Describe a recent problem you had with one of your manager’s decisions. Listen and
then ask, how did you handle it?
What about your character makes you a good candidate for this job? [note: a variant of this is “why do you think we should hire you?”]
Priorities often change suddenly throughout the day. If you are asked to quickly do
another task, how does that affect your mood? What if it’s the third time before noon?
What do you feel is an acceptable amount of days to be absent in a calendar year?
How do you handle situations that could cause you to be tardy or absent?
How have you responded in the past when you found another employee was stealing?
24/7 operations are like relay races where you take the baton, run with it and then
pass it on smoothly. How do you make seamless transitions on shift changes?
How have you responded in the past when your replacement calls in sick and a
substitute will take over an hour to come in?
During the last year, when your replacement hasn’t shown up and your manager
asked you to stay late, what percentage of the time have you stayed late?
Think about the last time your manager critiqued your work. How did you respond?
Give an example of when you did something without being asked. Can you give me
Tell me about your most frustrating experience as a __________ (job title). Listen
and then ask, how did you handle it?
What would you do if a patient or resident fell?
Do you have problems doing personal care for males? (obviously this question is usually asked to females)
Can you work overtime?
What do you think the job of a nursing assistant entails?
You’ve only given me ____ references, do you have any others?
How has your previous work experience and education prepared you to be a CNA?
Why do you want to serve this city/region?
A Certified Nursing Assistant needs to be persuasive. Sometimes patients are unwilling to follow your directions and resist your help. Tell me about a time when you had to deal with an uncooperative patient? How did you persuade the individual to cooperate?
List five qualities required to be a great certified nursing assistant. Which one are you weakest in?
CNA’s must have the willingness and ability to follow orders and work under pressure. How do you think you will handle working under these conditions?
Certified Nursing Assistants must be able to follow orders from doctors and nurses. Tell me about a time when you were asked by your superior to do something that you didn’t believe in. What did you do?
Some of the duties of a nursing assistant involve performing unpleasant tasks like recording the amount of oral intake, measure urinary output, and collecting specimens for tests. How have you prepared yourself for this?
Questions to Ask Employers
It’s important to realize, as noted in the other post, that the interview process goes two ways: You are also interviewing the employer. Here are some sample questions you can ask an employer. You may even want to memorize a set of questions so you are fairly well prepared.
What are this hospital/nursing facility’s strengths and weaknesses compared to its competition?
How important does upper management consider the function of a CNA?
What is the hospital’s plan for the next five years, and how does this department fit in?
Could you explain your organizational structure?
How will my leadership responsibilities and performance be measured? By whom?
What are the day-to-day responsibilities of this job?
What kind of employee does your facility feel are ideal for the position?
What kind of educational or advancement opportunities does the hospital/facility offer. Are there training seminars, workshops, and so on?
Who will review my performance and how often?
How much assistance in setting career goals in provided?
How much opportunity for decision making will I have in the beginning and will this increase as time goes on?
What is the facility’s policy on transfer of employees to other cities?
What recourse do I have as an employee if I experience on the job harassment or unfairness?
What is the turnover rate for CNA’s at the facility?
Why do you think I should accept a job offer from your facility?
How much flexibility is there for changing my schedule?
How much notice do you need if I need to reschedule work hours or if I need to temporarily be out of town?
You can use these or create more along these lines. Remember that you are trying to find a job that’s a good fit, not just take the first job that comes along. So ask questions relevant to what you’d specifically like in a nursing assistant job along with the more general ones. It’s probably best if you go through at least two or three interviews so that you can get a sense of comparison.
Knowledge is power. Run through questions and responses and find out about the facility you are applying for. Be informed and don’t just blindly follow. This mind set is important not only for getting hired, but for getting hired by an institution that you will enjoy, which will give you enough freedom and be a good work environment, and that you can use as an opportunity for advancement.