cna interview questions

15 Commonly Asked CNA Interview Questions

You are a caregiver. You are passionate about serving others. You can perform excellently in high-stress situations. At times, your job asks you to do the impossible — landing your next job should not be. Read these commonly asked CNA questions to prepare for an excellent job interview, and check our current job openings here. You’ll definitely be ready for our interview!

1. Briefly Describe What You Understand the Duties of a CNA to Be

Get an understanding of the job description, responsibilities, and requirements and then try to draw parallels between the job requirements and your talents and experiences. Note the basics: direct care of patients including, dressing, changing, bathing, and eating. The CNA is typically the first line of defense and charged with keeping patients safe and comfortable. 

How comfortable are you with these duties? What experiences have prepared you to serve well? Also, tailor your answer to the type of facility you’ll be working in. An extended care facility will have slightly different duties than an intensive care floor. 

2. Are You Interested in Pursuing Education to Become an LPN or RN?

Often a career as a CNA leads an individual to desire an advanced nursing degree. Working as a CNA can give you your first taste of working in the medical field. You might gain inspiration to continue the exploration and a more in-depth understanding of the medical world. 

It’s OK to share this desire with your interviewer. It shows your dedication to the field and a willingness to learn. Try to include a working timeline. Reassure your interviewer that you are a safe hire. 

3. Tell Me About the Various Stages of a Pressure Sore.

The majority of the time, CNAs have more contact with a patient than doctors or the lead nurse. For this reason, you might be the first to discover various complications. Be prepared for a question that checks your knowledge — it might not be pressure sores — but refresh your memory regarding the basics of bedside care. 

If you don’t know the answer, don’t guess! Be genuine with your response and explain your desire to learn. Interviewers understand that experience levels are differing — your honest response will go a long way.

4. Are You a Team Player?

A certified nursing assistant will report to the lead nurse. Are you able to easily and quickly follow orders? Do you take instructions eagerly? Can you follow a chain of command? 

Teamwork is necessary between all parties: nurses, patients, and doctors, so you’ll need to maintain effective communication and encourage positive patient outcomes. Your boss may ask you to care for a patient that isn’t yours or complete tasks that are not necessarily in your realm of responsibility. The mindset of teamwork will benefit your career as a CNA more than anything else.

5. What Are Your Strengths?

Use this as your chance to let the employer know your best qualities. Don’t shy from being honest; however, strive to remain humble. Are you an excellent prioritizer? Are you reliable to a fault? Can you organize? 

Try to select one of your shared strengths and offer a brief narration of how it has specifically helped you on the job. When asked to list your strengths, your interviewer is seeking more information than a list of your skills. Consider mentioning your ability to collaborate, that you’re a natural leader, and you’re organized. As you list these, explain how they help you complete your duties as a CNA.

6. What Coping Strategies Have You Used with Difficult Patients?

Dealing with difficult patients might be a daily occurrence for a CNA. As an employee, how will that impact your day? Will struggling with a challenging patient change your care for others? 

Share a time when you’ve dealt with a difficult patient in the past — what did you do to help them cope?

7. Are There Any Duties You Are Not Willing to Perform?

Honestly, the interviewer is merely vetting your willingness to complete tasks that are not always pleasant. As a CNA, you provide special care to patients of all varieties. The job is emotionally and physically demanding. 

Can you perform excellent care despite the simplicity or complexity of the request? Certainly, answer this question with energy and confirmation that you are down for the challenge.  

8. What Unique Skills Can You Bring to this Position?

You can bet that there will be others interviewing for this position that have similar work experience and skills to yours. What can you share that will make you stand out? 

Now would be an appropriate time to remind your interviewer of some of the skills you’ve learned recently or perhaps a unique training that would benefit your team. Note your desire to share your expertise with others. If this happens to be an interview for your first job, be sure to mention your dedication to growth and eagerness to absorb all that you can by doing and observing.  

9. Why Do You Want to Work Here?

Hopefully, you’ve done your homework! Do a bit of research on the organization’s website. What is their mission statement? What are the current happenings within the organization?  

If you know current employees – reach out and ask a few general questions. What do they enjoy about their work culture? How can you benefit the mission of the organization?

10. How Would You Handle a Patient Refusing Care?

Try answering this question with a detailed example of a time when you’ve successfully cared for a difficult patient. Did you show patience and gentleness? Were you empathic to the needs of the patient? 

Strive to share specific ways that you handled the situation. For example, you noticed that an elderly patient was aggressively acting out due to her loneliness. At the end of your shift, you decided to leave her a card with an encouraging note and pictures your children drew to brighten her mood.

11. How Well Do You Manage Stress and Practice Self-Care?

Being a caregiver is a tasking job. It is difficult on your mind, body, and emotions. What daily habits help you manage stress? 

If you are in the situation to do so, mention the importance of staying healthy. Your daily activity level, water intake, healthy eating habits, etc. are all factors in your ability to manage high-stress, face-paced environments.

12. Why Did You Leave Your Last Place of Employment?

Many would cringe when asked this question; however, you can prepare for this. While the topic might be uncomfortable or sensitive — it is a question you should expect. 

Keep your answer brief and focus on the future. What is something great about your previous place of employment? What lessons or skills did you gain? Share something you respect as well.

13. What Is the Most Rewarding Part of Being a CNA?

The interviewer is seeking to establish your connection and dedication to nursing with this question. Is it just a job to you? Do you thrive on the opportunity to provide care to others? Can you connect and show compassion to those in your care? Are you motivated by the chance to aid physicians in navigating the healing process? 

Take this opportunity to show that being a CNA is more than earning a paycheck. If you have an experience that illustrates the joy nursing brings to you — share it!

14. How Do You Prioritize Which Patient to Attend to First When Managing Several Patients?

The interviewer is seeking information regarding several areas by asking this question. Are you organized? Can you manage a heavy workload? Are you able to prioritize successfully? 

To answer this question effectively, you’ll want to focus your comments on time management and safety. Also, note that your duties are not just a list of errands — you are working with real people with real medical concerns.

15. Do You Have Any Questions for Us?

Of course, you have questions! Consider asking about the job orientation process or opportunities for professional growth. Keep money out of the equation. The interviewer might touch on this throughout the meeting; however, if not – refrain from asking. You can always ask in a second interview or if offered the job. 

Asking intelligent questions shows that you are interested in the opportunity and motivated to impress. It is appropriate to ask for a brief description of what might happen next in the interview process.

Ready for Your Interview?

Be sure to show up to your interview early, dress professionally, and bring copies of your resume. If providing references, include individuals that can attest to both your work ethic and temperament. First impressions are nearly impossible to reverse — you’ll want to make a good one! 

Do your best to speak clearly and confidently. If you lack experience or work history, that is OK. Strive to win the interviewers over with your enthusiasm, humility, and commitment to the career choice.

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