- 13 September 2023
- 16 min read
Community Nursing Interview Questions And How To Answer ThemSubscribe To Advice
In this helpful video, Lillie gives her excellent advice for answering Community Nurse interview questions using her own recent experience with a successful application.
Hello, my name is Lillie, and I am a final year Student Nurse from Newcastle. Today I'm going to spend some time talking to you about community nursing interview questions and some ways to answer them.
I recently had a Band 5 Community Nurse interview, and I got offered the job. I also received lots of positive feedback, so I'd love to share how to best answer interview style questions that will show how passionate and informed you are about community nursing.
Preparing For Your Interview
Firstly, having an interview is really stressful, but there are some techniques that can help calm your nerves. The best way to feel more like yourself on the day is to prepare before your interview, this allows you to feel confident and at ease. Research the trust and their values, any social economic long term plans they have and make sure to recognise and be aware of your own skills.
On the day of your interview, if you’re feeling anxious, remember to take deep breaths and focus on simple things around you, such as the colour of the walls or objects around you. I find that this technique helps give your brain a rest and conserves your energy. Next, I’m going to talk about some of the questions that you may be asked during your interview.
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1) Tell Me About Yourself
This question usually is one of the first questions that you may be asked. It’s used as an ice breaker and to let the interviewer know a little bit more about your personality and past work experience. This question can be quite daunting, due to it being so broad! But, if you are well prepared, it is a great opportunity to say who you are, why you’d love the job and what experience you have. For my interview, this is how I answered this question.
Firstly, I introduced myself, said my age and where I live. And I went on to say “I’m currently a final year Student Nurse, but before I started my training, I was a chocolatier and pastry chef. In my first job as a chocolatier, I developed my hands on practical skills and learnt fundamental pastry recipes. I then moved to London and worked for a French wholesale chocolate company where I honed my team working skills.”
“I then decided to start my own small chocolate company in 2018. This is where I learnt how to work efficiently under pressure and communication skills when talking to customers. I also worked in a bakery at the same time, where I baked croissants and cake. I worked within a small team, and this is where I learnt how to delegate tasks to colleagues.”
“It wasn’t until 2019 when my nanna was receiving end of life care at home when I was inspired to be a nurse. The nurses were great, really caring and treated my nanna and family with dignity and respect. This is when I decided that I wanted to offer the same quality care for other people and applied to study nursing. I’ve really enjoyed my nurse training and have developed a range of clinical and communication skills throughout my time as a student. I’ve received good feedback from both my academic essays and practice placements. I’m really looking forward to supporting other student nurses in the future.”
“And finally, during my time at university I have also worked part time at a Covid-19 vaccination centre as a healthcare assistant. It was my role to support patients who were nervous and to respond to adverse reactions. I worked with a diverse multidisciplinary team and respected every person’s role. I feel that both the clinical and interpersonal skills that I have developed during my time as a student nurse will allow me to a competent passionate Newly Qualified Nurse.”
So, to break down my answer, I introduced myself and talked about a brief employment history whilst intertwining any transferable skills. After this I talked about my personal influences for deciding to pursue nursing. I think this is a really important piece of your story as it lets the interviewer know that you are passionate about nursing and what kind of nurse you thrive to be.
I then went on to discuss any experience in my current role, again this reinforces why you are qualified for the job. Make sure to have a look at the job description for the job you’re going for and make sure to mention any skills you have that are mentioned in it. For example, on the job description for my job, it mentioned being able to work well in the multidisciplinary team, so I made sure that I mentioned when I had to do this in a previous job.
And finally, you want to finish your answer by saying that you personally feel that you have the skills and values needed for this job through the experience you have.
After this icebreaker, the interviewer may then go on to ask you some scenario-based questions. This is when it’s important to have prepared before your interview because it’s hard to think of scenarios you’ve been in on the spot. Have a look at your trust values and note down some scenarios you’ve been in where you’ve upheld these values.
With your answers you want to show that you have a realistic view of the duties of a Community Nurse.
2) Dignity And Respect
You may be asked about a scenario when you’ve upheld the dignity and respect of a patient. Upholding a service user’s dignity and treating people with respect is part of the NHS constitution, therefore it is likely to come up in your interview.
For this question, I discussed a scenario where I was changing a patient’s catheter and they were really anxious about the procedure. I explained some therapeutic communication techniques I used, such as open-ended questions, using silence and paraphrasing. I explained how I took the time to discuss the procedure and gain informed consent, and also ensured that the patient felt at ease during the procedure.
I finished the answer off by saying how it was vital to uphold a patient’s dignity and respect as it crucial to providing high quality care. I also ensured that I mentioned the outcome of my scenario, for example, after the patient had the catheter put in, they thanked me and expressed that they were happy with the care provided.
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3) Tell Me About A Time You Have Had To Be Creative To Meet The Needs Of A Patient?
I got a bit stuck on this question, but I just asked the interviewer if I could have a minute to think about my answer. This is totally fine to do, make sure you take your time in thinking of the best answer. I wasn’t expecting to get a question like this, but luckily, I managed to think of a time where I had to think outside the box to support a patient.
I talked about a time where I was looking after a patient who was really anxious about using the toilet. She used to get really upset and scared because she had fallen off the toilet in the past and was developing a bit of fear of falling. After helping the patient on to the toilet, she began to get anxious and overwhelmed. I quickly thought of things she loved and remembered that she was a big fan of the queen. So, to distract her from being on the toilet, I began to sing the national anthem. Straight away the patient began to sing the rest of the song, which was lucky because I barely knew any of the lyrics! The patient was then more at ease, and she was able to successfully use the toilet.
Going forwards, the patient now had a coping mechanism for when she needed the toilet. This not only helped the patient’s anxiety, but also the rest of the team as it freed up more time for other duties. Although it was a really obscure scenario, the interviewers seemed to like the answer. It’s important to focus your answer on how you helped the patient and how this benefitted the wider team if possible.
4) What Can You Personally Bring To The Team?
I think that this a great question to really illustrate the skills you have and any parts of your personality which help you be a great nurse. For myself personally, I would say something along the lines of:
“As a previous business owner, I feel like I can bring a lot of the skills I developed over that period in my life into nursing. Because I was a sole trader, I worked on my own, so I had to learn how to work efficiently, and have therefore honed my organisational skills when having to prioritise tasks and how to multitask. This means that now as a nurse I don’t get overwhelmed and know how to manage my workload.”
“Alongside working well on my own, I also have strengthened my interpersonal skills through a number of practice placements, meaning that I can work well with colleagues and patients to provide high quality care. And finally, being creative is a big part of my personality. I love to paint and bake. I think that bringing creativity to any place of work promotes problem solving and fresh thoughts. I also use creativity as part of self-care, therefore I am able to self for myself, so I can then care for others long term.”
I think it is important to not be too generic with your answer for this particular question, really try and make it personal to you. When you make your answer interesting, it will help the interviewer remember you.
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5) What Is The Role Of A Community Nurse And Why Do You Want To Become One?
This question is actually two questions, so to make it easier for you to process and structure your answer, I would firstly answer them separately. So, I would start with what is the role of a Community Nurse? With this answer you want to show that you have a realistic view of the duties of a Community Nurse.
For example, you could say something along the lines of, the role of a Community Nurse is very varied and diverse. Community Nurses offer wound care, advice and support, end of life care and assisting with medications. I’m particularly interested in community nursing as I feel you can build up a very strong therapeutic relationship with patients going into their home daily.
Just try and remember, they invited you to come for the interview, they are interested in getting to know the real you.
Finally, some tips to help you ace your interview. Firstly, try and relax! I know it is hard but try and relax into the interview. If your interviewer is good, they should try and put you at ease. If you are really nervous, just let the interviewer know and they should help you ease into the interview process.
Next, try and be yourself! By being relaxed, you are more likely to show the real you. Just try and remember, they invited you to come for the interview, they are interested in getting to know the real you.
And finally, if you get lost during one of your answers, try and link it back to the Six Cs of Nursing and why it is important to you.
I hope you enjoyed my video on community nursing interview questions; with any luck it has provided you an insight into how to structure your interview answers! Thanks for watching.