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What to Expect During Your Nurse Leadership Interview

What to Expect During Your Nurse Leadership Interview

You have worked hard to get to where you are today. Now, you may be ready to take the next step and advance to a leadership role. In order to secure a leadership position, you will need to have a nursing leadership interview with your current or potential employer. Knowing what to expect at this important meeting will increase your chances of success.

Questions to Anticipate

Perhaps, you have gone to interviews for non-leadership nursing positions before, but the questions in a nursing leadership interview are more in-depth, and they focus on leadership. With preparation, the questions will be more familiar and you can have well-thought-out answers. Here are some typical questions you might hear in a leadership interview:

  • What is your leadership style?
  • What are some of your leadership strengths and weaknesses?
  • Has there been a situation during your career when you made a communication error? If so, how did you resolve it?
  • How would you resolve a conflict with a coworker, patient or physician? What specific steps would you take?
  • How do you manage stress at work?
  • What do you believe is leadership’s role in fostering a healthy workplace?
  • Have you completed an MSN program, or are you interested in doing so?

You will likely encounter at least one question that you had not anticipated, so just be flexible and realize that you cannot prepare for every possible question. Be ready to honestly and clearly answer a variety of questions that thoroughly assess your nursing management abilities.

Getting Prepared

Now that you know some of the questions you might hear at your nursing leadership interview, it is time for a mock interview. Before the interview, practice by having a nursing manager, family member or friend ask you some or all of the potential questions. Respond as though you are at the real interview. Ask your practice interviewer to give you honest feedback on how you are doing. As you rehearse, you will begin to memorize some of the responses you will give to the various questions. That can help you relax and maintain poise.

Other Preparations and Expectations

Leadership interviews are different in some ways from other nursing interviews, so you will need to follow a different strategy to prepare. Be ready for the possibility that your potential employer will ask you to interview with several key people at the organization, Interviews with key personnel may be scheduled as a group interview or in multiple individual sessions. Before the first interview, research your potential employer as thoroughly as possible by reading their website, particularly information about the services they provide, their mission and any relevant news. Also ask the company for the position description and details about the planned interview structure. Doing this legwork will help you know what to expect.

Being prepared and knowing what to expect is important in any situation. You can prepare for everything that comes your way in your nursing career, including that all-important job interview. With this information on hand, you increase your chances of being able to walk confidently into your nursing leadership interviews with great expectations and high hopes, ready to put your best foot forward.

Learn about the UT Arlington online MSN in Nursing Administration program.


Sherman, R. O. (2016, April 18). Preparing for a Leadership Interview. Emerging RN Leader

15 Toughest Interview Questions (and Answers!). (n.d.). NursingLink

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