A CNA (certified nursing assistant) is a person who has received program to help patients under the close supervision of a licensed practical nurse or a registered nurse. Just after qualifying the competency exam, you will want to do the best preparations for the interview, in order to get hold of your dream job. You can expect standard as well as industry specific questions from the interviewer. During interview, the interviewer judges your knowledge and skills by asking questions on different aspects like about your program, weakness, strength, your experience with the previous employer, your future goals, etc. Listed below are a few questions which you may come across in an interview.
1. Why have you chosen nursing assistant as a career?
Here the interviewer wants to know how determined you are to work in this field and whether or not you have a clear picture of all the challenges that are associated with the job. Tell them about the qualities and skills you have that will help you perform well in the job.
2. Tell us more about yourself.
Many interviewees make the mistake of giving a chronological history of their studies and work. Instead of this you should focus more on your strengths and how they affect your role as nursing assistant. Your aim, at this point, is to portray a positive picture of yourself by highlighting a few moments from past experiences.
The interviewer wants to determine how you deal with various challenges associated with the job. Tell them about any past experience that you faced in your pervious job as a CNA.
4. What would you do if a patient falls?
Patients (especially the elderly) do fall down and as a nursing assistant it is your responsibility to help them and assess the situation to determine whether or not to call for help.
5. What would you do if a patient is agitated and refuses care?
This question will help the interviewer determine how you handle stressful situations. Asking for help from a stranger can be very difficult for many people and so they may resist help and become uncooperative, while others may refuse to follow the instructions. In such a case, the nursing assistant has to be persuasive and remain calm at the same time. Tell the interviewer of similar past experience and how you used cajoling methods to help your patient.
While answering this question, you must remember to draw attention to your positive characteristics by giving the interviewer some examples.
7. What would you do if your superior asks you to do a task that is uncomfortable for you to perform?
Being a nursing assistant, you have to follow the orders of your superiors as quickly as possible in emergency situations.
8. What would you do if you notice a superior or a colleague is not doing his/her job properly?
Many a times, people abuse the patients and do not do what is expected of them. As a nursing assistant, your first priority is patient. Therefore, if you notice anything wrong, you first have to find out if any harm was caused to the patient and then act accordingly. The interviewer needs to know whether or not you have the patient’s interest at heart.
9. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
This is a tricky question, especially when it comes to stating your weaknesses. So be careful what you say. Your aim, when answering this question, is to put a positive twist on a negative point, but your answer must not be banal. Answer by giving the interviewer an example of a past experience where you learned how to overcome your weaknesses.
The interviewer will try to determine how serious you are about working for their organization. Therefore, you should not answer by saying something like “at your position/designation.” Your aim is to show them how motivated you are, so answer by saying, “I hope to gain experience from your reputable organization so that I can further pursue my goal of becoming a LPN at your firm.”
11. Why do you want to leave your current job/ why did you leave your last job?
Do not badmouth your previous employer. Instead, say something like, “I have learnt a lot from my previous job and now looking for a more challenging job that will enable me to use my knowledge and experience to help patients.”
12. What are your salary expectations?
A very tricky question because if you tell your expected salary figures you will most definitely lose out. Therefore, instead of saying, “I was paid $40,000 in my previous job and so I expect something close to $45,000;” say something like, “I would like to be paid the applicable salary, based on my previous work experience.”
13. What would you do if a dementia patient tells you that he or she can see something in their room, which is actually not there?
The best answer to this would be, “I would go along with what the patient is saying. If the patient is disturbed I would calm them down and then I would speak to my supervisor.”
14. Did you undertake any program in the specialized field?
If you received any special program in your previous job this would be the right time to mention it, as CNAs can specialize in different areas such as working with the elderly people, terminally ill, in-patient services or even in the accident and emergency ward at a hospital.
The best way to answer this question is to recapitulate your qualifications and experience. Do not forget to mention what makes you different from the competition.
16. How will you keep yourself emotionally stable while dealing with the patients?
When you spend time with people, you tend to get emotionally attached to them, which is fine till you part. You can answer something like, “during my program and also in my previous job I have learnt how to detach myself from my patients.”
17. What would you do when you are done with all your tasks, but have a few minutes spare before completing your shift?
You can answer this question like this- “I’ll review the files of the patients so as to refresh their treatment plans in my mind. This will also help me explain the things to the nurse aide who is going to resume the duty for the next shift.”
18. Tell me about the moment when you were most satisfied with your job.
While answering this question you must keep in mind that you are here to prove that you are the right person for this job. Therefore, grab this opportunity and share with them your interests and enthusiasm about the same.
19. What are the 2 things that you like and dislike about being a CNA?
While answering this question pay more attention to the positive aspects of the job and even when you mention the negative ones, do it in a positive manner.
Research about the company before the interview, as it will help you answer this better. Many candidates would answer by saying something like, “it’s always been my dream to work for your organization.” Although there is nothing wrong with the answer, but it sounds cliché. You should, therefore, say something like, “your organization has a good reputation and I would feel proud to be part of a team that aims to help others.”
These are just a few samples of questions which you may encounter during an interview. Remain truthful and use common sense to answer all the questions put forward. Remember you must portray that you have a passion and desire to help others. Apart from answering the questions properly, you must present yourself in a professional manner. You need to dress properly, arrive on time and answer the questions confidently.