School Nurse Job Interview Questions, Answers & Tips

by Howard Gerber on May 10, 2020

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nursing interview tipsWorking as a school nurse can be a great career move. You’ll have the chance to work with young people and their families in a setting outside of a hospital. School nurses don’t only provide routine care for minor ailments; they also respond to medical emergencies, such as accidents, asthma attacks, and life-threatening allergies. School nurses also provide health education.

Before you can make a difference as a school nurse, you have to get the job. A big part of landing the job is nailing your interview. Regardless of how much nursing experience you have, interviews can be stressful. But going into an interview prepared and confident will help your strengths and qualifications shine through. Consider some of the following suggestions:

School Nurse Job Interview Questions and Answers

It’s normal to get a little nervous before an interview. But thinking about how you want to answer the questions can help you feel comfortable. Although no one can predict exactly what you’ll be asked, there are some typical interview questions, such as:

  • What makes you a good fit for this school? Use this as an opportunity to showcase your strengths and the unique qualities that you can bring to the table. Think about what you have to offer to this school and how you can make an impact for their students and staff. Showcase experiences and skills in previous roles where you made and impact and created value. Be sure to familiarize yourself with the school’s mission statement ahead of time to further emphasize how you align with what they are looking for.
  • What are your weaknesses? This question is a great opportunity to showcase your self-awareness. The key to this interview question is to take a positive spin. Choose a weakness that is applicable but would not necessarily be critical to the job you’re applying for. Use this as an opportunity to focus on how you are working on and improving those weaknesses. Are you improving yourself through training, better planning/tracking, working with a peer or leader to help with personal growth? Or, are there personal skills that will allow you to challenge the weakness as it applies to your job? Examples include being a quick learner, adaptability or being tech savvy. Explain how you are taking active steps in the area of your weaknesses, while still maintaining thorough and high-quality work.
  • Why did you choose nursing? This is a great opportunity to share the passion behind your work. Your potential employer wants to know if you enjoy the field of work you have chosen and the impact that that will have on your new working environment. They are curious to know how you would overcome challenges in the workplace and what your drive is behind the job. Express the passion behind working with a specific demographic, such as students, and why that passion lead you to choose school nursing as a career path.
  • What are your career goals? Don’t let this question overwhelm you. While you don’t have to spell out an overly specific plan, you should be prepared to have an idea as to what your realistic career goals are. Utilize this question as an opportunity to show your ambition to grow in the field and how it applies to your general career goals.
  • Explain what you would do in a specific scenario. Be prepared for your interviewer to ask how you would respond to real-life situations. This could be anything including how you would implement proactive health initiative for students or how you would respond in the case of a student showing signs of requiring additional medical attention. Also,be ready with real life examples you can recall from your past experiences. Being able to relate these scenarios to things you have already done will allow you to create authentic responses and showcase your skill set.
  • Tell us about yourself. This is a very common interview question and there are certainly answers your interviewer is looking for. This is a perfect time for you to reiterate why you are a perfect fit for this job and why it’s important to you. Don’t use this time to go into personal details but instead showcase the key points about who you are professionally. Emphasize the highlights of your career achievements that you want your employer to know about the most, rather than going through too many resume details.  Be sure to use this as a chance to set a positive tone for the interview, as the interviewer is asking this to not only understand your career achievements but to get to know your personality as well.

You don’t need to have a scripted word for word answer planned. But you should give a little thought to the message you want to convey. Take some time to think about anecdotes or stories that were particularly impactful in your career journey in case an opportunity arrives where you have to recall certain situations. 

4 School Nurse Job Interview Tips

Show some personality

You only have a limited amount of time for a potential employer to get to know whether you’re a good fit for their school. Use that time not only to showcase your skills, but to show a little personality. After all, you’ll be working with teachers, students, and parents. Showing that you’re someone who is easy to get along with and energetic and enthusiastic about the job can go a long way. If an employer asks you to tell them something about yourself, avoid a lengthy chronological history of your work experience. They can get that information from your resume. Instead, make the information a little more personal.

Don’t go overboard

While you want to show personality, you don’t want to go overboard. An interview for a school nurse job is not the place to be the class clown or tell your entire life story. Remember that it’s a balancing act to remain professional while still showing who you are.

Highlight specific skills

Working as a school nurse is different from hospital nursing. Although you need some of the same technical skills, there are also additional skills you should highlight. School nurses need to work well independently and be organized. Talk about your ability to do both. If you have work experience with children, highlight that as well.

Follow-up

After an interview comes the hard part, which is waiting to see if you got the job. While you wait, be sure to follow-up with your interviewer. Send a brief note thanking them for their time. A thank you note is not only polite, but it may help remind an employer who you are and why you should be hired.

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