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A student nurse looking at charts working on a patient doll

Tips and advice to help you through your student nurse interview
Bradford Life Blog

  • By Kirsten Swain

Having to do a nursing interview can be daunting, but don't worry, student nurse Kirsten has some tips and advice to help you prepare.

If you’re reading this, you've probably got to the interview stage of your student nursing journey, so congratulations! Your interview will likely be with an academic from the nursing cohort, so remember, they want you to succeed.

Dress to impress

The interview has been conducted online and in person in the past, either way, what you wear matters.

Smart clothes, short nails, and minimal makeup is expected in practice, so showing you can follow this is a good idea. You'll spend the next three to four years - and likely the rest of your career - representing the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC), so try to present yourself in this manner at the interview.

Two people shaking hands at a desk

So, what questions might you get asked in your interview?

There is no set question list when interviewing for nursing, so it can feel impossible to prepare for. But, conducting it this way makes sense, because lots of scenarios in practice are unpredictable and require resilience. There are, however, some common themes in the questions that previous students have been asked.

The biggest question and likely the easiest to answer is: Why do you want to be a nurse?

When answering this, it's important to let your passion and personality shine through. Becoming a nurse can be challenging. The role requires passion for the career and commitment to everyone you care for and their loved ones.

Make sure your answers are field-specific. If you’re enrolling in a dual qualification, talk about both areas with equal enthusiasm. Make sure you show your understanding of their importance as a pair.

Previous example questions

There are many other questions that may crop up in your interview, and I've listed previous examples below to help guide you in your preparation.

Questions covering the 6 Cs:

You should ensure you can give examples of these rather than just list them off.

Any experience relating to the role:

This doesn't have to be direct healthcare experience, it could be as simple as supporting a family member or friend.

Career aspirations and goals:

Make it field-specific, it’s likely that the interviewer wants to know you have a true understanding of the expectations of a nurse.

Why you chose this university:

This can be any reason, you just need to have one. Reasons could be course rankings, social opportunities, or even recommendations.

Your hobbies and interests:

It's always positive to be able to show a good work/life balance. The career you have chosen can be consuming, so it is vital to look after yourself and do things you enjoy.

Education and work history:

Mention any professional and personal experiences that have helped build your knowledge of the role. This can evidence your ability to understand and perform the role of a nurse.

Weaknesses and areas for development:

A lot of your first year focuses on professionalism and personal development, and once you qualify this theme continues. As nurses, it is understood that mistakes may be made. You should act with honesty and integrity when this occurs, and learn from them. In your interview, make sure to acknowledge what you don't know, and skills you are yet to learn.

Real life scenarios

Most importantly, have a ‘real life’ scenario for anything you discuss. It’s great to understand the theory behind something, but often that’s what university is for. The best way to show your understanding of something is to explain how it would be/is experienced in a practical situation. 

Words of wisdom

Before I leave you to go shine in your nursing interview, some of our current students wanted to share their words of wisdom.

“Let your passion shine through”,

“You get out what you put into your studies”,

and my absolute favourite:

“There is no such thing as a perfect nurse”.

Nursing student looking at medication in the simulation ward

I hope this piece makes you feel more prepared for your interview with the University of Bradford. Good luck and I hope to see you all someday in your qualified role.