10 Essential CNA Interview Questions and Answers | Chegg Careermatch (2023)

Are you naturally caring and compassionate? Do you want to help people who can’t help themselves and make a real difference in someone’s life?

As a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), your job will be to provide basic care to patients and assist with daily living activities, dress wounds, administer medications, and collect information from patients. You’ll work with registered nurses and other medical staff to improve the quality of life for people with short- and long-term medical conditions.

Throughout your interview, the interviewer will be looking for examples of your strengths, how you deal with and overcome challenges, and what makes you the best candidate for the position of CNA.

Read on to learn what interviewers are looking for and get some useful interview tips on how to emphasize your strengths during a CNA interview.

Table of Contents:

  1. Tell us about yourself.
  2. Why do you want to be a CNA?
  3. Tell us about a time when you had to do something difficult. How did you handle that, and how can that help you as a CNA?
  4. What are your strengths and how will they help as a CNA?
  5. What are your weaknesses?
  6. As a CNA, what do you bring to the company that sets you apart from others?
  7. How would you handle it if a patient refused care?
  8. Where do you see yourself in five years?
  9. What do you do when entering a patient’s room?
  10. Do you have any questions about the position or company?

1. Tell us about yourself.

Share something unique about yourself that will make the interviewer want to know more about you. Portray a positive picture of yourself by providing information about accomplishments, how you’ve helped other people, how you’ve succeeded in life, and any challenges you’ve overcome:

“I come from a family of attorneys. When I was younger, I volunteered at the local shelter. People had a lot of issues, and I’d help them with almost anything they’d need. I’ve been hooked on helping people since. It’s extremely rewarding to help someone. I enjoy running and have done some 5K’s, and I volunteer with the Special Olympics.”

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Read more about answering the “Tell me about yourself” interview question here.

2. Why do you want to be a CNA?

This question allows you to demonstrate the depth of your knowledge of what the position entails and what will be expected of you. It’s important to show that you’re up for challenges and willing and able to perform the tasks proficiently with care. This is an opportunity to show the interviewer what knowledge you have about being a CNA and how your strengths will help you tackle the challenges of the role.

Here’s an example:

“When I was 18, my dad was in an accident and broke his leg. He couldn’t walk, and while my mom was at work, I took care of him. I realized that while helping the homeless was great, it was so much more satisfying to nurse people back to health. I started volunteering at a retirement home and had a lot of different experiences. I know being a CNA will be challenging, but I really believe the rewards outweigh any negatives.”

3. Tell us about a time when you had to do something difficult. How did you handle that, and how can that help you as a CNA?

Your answer will allow you to explain how you overcame a challenge and how you deal with problems. Use the STAR method to think of any challenges you faced during your time as a college student. Did you have concerns about paying for college? Was there a certain class that challenged you? An interviewer isn’t always looking for a common answer, so improvise when needed.

Try to craft something along these lines:

“I’ve always wanted to learn a second language. I started taking Spanish classes when I was in high school and wanted to continue that in college. Turns out in college, things were a lot more difficult than high school. I was struggling with the language, so the summer of my sophomore year I went to Mexico and worked at a restaurant. I learned that if you want something badly enough, you can always find a way to make it happen. I bring the same attitude to my work.”

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4. What are your strengths and how will they help as a CNA?

It’s important to highlight your strengths and especially how they can help the employer. Don’t make comments about “tooting your own horn” or “not to brag” because those make the interviewer think that’s exactly what you’re doing. Tell them your strengths, but be humble about them. Focus on good organization skills, reliability, attention to detail, quick thinking skills, communication skills, a strong work ethic, and how well you get along with others:

“My main strength is my ability to communicate with people from all walks of life. By being able to communicate effectively, I am able to more clearly understand not only what patients are needing, but how I can effectively assist them. This ensures I do the right thing the first time and there are no miscommunication problems.”

5. What are your weaknesses?

This is one question that you should always have an answer ready to provide prior to the interview. It may be difficult to think of a weakness when you’re trying to focus so much on the positives. It’s important to show that you’re aware of any weaknesses you possess and that you’re actively working to improve yourself and turn those weaknesses into successes.

Try focusing on a real weakness that you can turn into a positive like this:

“I have a hard time watching people struggle with things, so I tend to help others when I see them struggling. I have to always remind myself to ask people if they need help and that gives them the opportunity to decide if they actually want my help. Taking a step back has taught me to be more patient and understanding of people.

6. As a CNA, what do you bring to the company that sets you apart from others?

This question allows you the chance to share more about why you believe this job is right for you and what will separate you from the other candidates. If your education allowed you to specialize in a specific type of care, share the details. Let the employer know you offer expertise that someone else may not possess like this:

“As a new graduate, my skills are the most current that you’ll find. I’ve done a lot of training on-site. I’ve trained in hospitals, residential centers, and in homes. I’ve studied a lot of psychology and have learned how to not only physically help people, but how to react to people’s mental state and read them.”

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7. How would you handle it if a patient refused care?

This question will allow the interviewer to see how you handle conflict. It’s important to show that you can not only handle conflict but can turn it into something positive to help both yourself and the patient. Be sure to have an answer to a possible follow-up question along the lines of, “What if that doesn’t work?”

Explain that communication is key and that you would ensure the patient understands what they’re refusing and what the consequences are for refusing. Make it clear you would use this event as a learning opportunity to help the patient understand more about what your job is and that you’re there to help them. This sample answer incorporates these themes:

“If a patient refused care, I’d find out why. I’d take the time to talk to them, to make sure they realize I’m there to help them, and that I only want what’s best for them. I’ve found that treating people with respect and dignity goes a long way in earning trust. Once they trust you, they will listen to you.”

8. Where do you see yourself in five years?

If you comment about wanting to move up and away from the company, they will likely hesitate to hire you because they want to know that you will stay with them. Even if you stay and move up, the key is staying. It’s not usually wise to say you want the interviewer’s job as that could put them on the defensive and question whether they want to hire someone who is after their job.

If your goal is to continue your education, say so. Especially if you can mention your plan is to continue working and go to school at the same time. This will show you have aspirations and are motivated to achieve them.

Give something like this a try:

“I love working in the medical field and have no intention of leaving. I’ve considered going to nursing school, so I’m glad to hear you have a tuition reimbursement program. But, I’m really looking to be the best CNA I can be and someday move up in a company like yours.”

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Read more about answering the “Where do you see yourself in 5 years” interview question here.

9. What do you do when entering a patient’s room?

This is a good question for the interviewer to determine if you humanize your patients and see them as more than a task. This is an opportunity to show the interviewer that you’re friendly, thoughtful, and capable. Don’t forget to tell the interviewer you’ll be smiling the whole time. A friendly face can make a huge difference:

“First, I knock to let the patient know I’m at the door. Initially, I’d introduce myself and try to find something in common with the patient so we can get to know each other. I always greet the patient and ask if they need anything, even if they aren’t capable of responding.”

10. Do you have any questions about the position or company?

If you don’t ask a question, you’ll appear uninterested in the position. This is an excellent opportunity to get more in-depth knowledge about the position. Do not ask about benefits, vacations, days off, etc. Save these discussions for once an offer is made. Instead, try a question like one of these:

“What is it you like about working for this company?”
“What do you dislike?”
“Is there a lot of turnover, and if so, why do you think that is?”

Remember, it’s important to be friendly, show you are capable, and that you’re interested in the position. Prepare yourself in advance, and your interview will prove you’re a shining star who is ready to succeed as a CNA.

FAQs

What are the 10 most common interview questions and answers nursing? ›

Common nursing interview questions
  • Do you work well with other nurses, doctors and staff? ...
  • How would you handle a difficult patient? ...
  • How do you handle workplace stress? ...
  • What do you do if your replacement does not arrive? ...
  • How would you handle a disagreement with a doctor? ...
  • Describe how you manage a busy workload.

How do you introduce yourself in a CNA interview? ›

Paint a positive picture of yourself by detailing your relevant accomplishments, showing your passion for the role, and focusing on how you've helped others in the past. Share something unique about yourself to ensure the interviewer remembers you, and end on an upbeat note that connects your response to this job.

What is your greatest strength as a CNA? ›

Anything that makes you great at caring for patients, working in a healthcare facility environment, or even working as part of a team would be a good answer. My greatest strength as a CNA is my ability to stay calm under pressure.

What are the 10 most common interview questions and answers for experienced? ›

50+ most common job interview questions
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • Walk me through your resume.
  • How did you hear about this position?
  • Why do you want to work at this company?
  • Why do you want this job?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What can you bring to the company?
  • What are your greatest strengths?
2 Sept 2022

How do you handle difficult patients? ›

7 Tips for Handling Difficult Patients
  1. Don't Get Defensive. ...
  2. Watch Your Body Language. ...
  3. Let Them Tell Their Story and Listen Quietly. ...
  4. Acknowledge the Situation. ...
  5. Set Boundaries. ...
  6. Administer Patient Satisfaction Surveys. ...
  7. Be Proactive.
8 Jul 2019

What to say in Tell me about yourself? ›

A simple formula for answering “Tell me about yourself”

Present: Talk a little bit about what your current role is, the scope of it, and perhaps a big recent accomplishment. Past: Tell the interviewer how you got there and/or mention previous experience that's relevant to the job and company you're applying for.

What is your weakness best answer? ›

Answer “what is your greatest weakness” by choosing a skill that is not essential to the job you're applying to and by stressing exactly how you're practically addressing your weakness. Some skills that you can use as weaknesses include impatience, multitasking, self-criticism, and procrastination.

How can I introduce myself in 1 minute in interview? ›

The initial few minutes of greeting each other let the interviewer get an idea of how confident you are. First, greet the interviewer with a big smile and go for a handshake. Describe yourself stating your full name and a brief introduction. Just give a small detail about your family.

How do you answer to why should we hire you? ›

Explanation: By highlighting your experience with a particular skill that the position requires, describe in detail what that experience looks like and how you have used it previously. This gives the hiring manager the chance to see some of your work and determine if it fits what they are looking for in a candidate.

What makes you stand out as a CNA? ›

Perfect attendance, or near perfect at least, will make you standout since so many aids call out on a regular basis. As long as you are not vomiting, running a fever, or been told by a doctor that you are contagious, you should be at work.

How do you handle stress pressure? ›

Common stress management strategies include:
  1. Staying positive.
  2. Using stress as a motivator.
  3. Accepting what you can't control.
  4. Practicing relaxation methods, like yoga or meditation.
  5. Choosing healthy habits.
  6. Learning how to manage time better.
  7. Making time for your personal life.
29 Jun 2021

What is a strength you will bring to this position? ›

Good with detail. Pick out a skill from the job description, ie “With my strong web design, creative writing, phone skills, etc” , then expand on this strength. Problem Solver. Able to juggle more than one task at a time.

How do you calm an angry patient? ›

Let's look at the “Steps for Defusing Angry Patients”:
  1. Do not take it personally. ...
  2. Be proactive. ...
  3. Calm yourself before you respond. ...
  4. Listen for the real message. ...
  5. Reassure and respect. ...
  6. Restate their concerns. ...
  7. Respond to their problem. ...
  8. Restart.
1 May 2010

How do you stay calm with an angry patient? ›

7 Tips for Handling an Angry Patient
  1. Invest some time. Sometimes a patient's anger is really a cry for help or attention. ...
  2. Dial up the empathy. ...
  3. Keep your cool. ...
  4. Mind your body language. ...
  5. Physically protect yourself. ...
  6. Legally protect yourself. ...
  7. Try to end the conversation on a positive note.
17 Jun 2016

How do you calm an aggressive patient? ›

Dealing with an aggressive patient takes care, judgement and self-control.
  1. Remain calm, listen to what they are saying, ask open-ended questions.
  2. Reassure them and acknowledge their grievances.
  3. Provide them with an opportunity to explain what has angered them. ...
  4. Maintain eye contact, but not prolonged.
22 Jan 2015

What are the six principles of CNA? ›

The six principles of care listed by the American Red Cross / CNA in their training materials are dignity, infection control, safety, communication, independence, and privacy.

What are 3 common nursing assistant duties? ›

Some of their responsibilities include:
  • Turning or moving patients.
  • Gathering medical supplies.
  • Bathing patients.
  • Grooming patients by brushing their hair, teeth, shaving them, etc.
  • Feeding patients and documenting their food and liquid intake.
  • Checking vital signs such as blood pressure and heart rate.
17 Aug 2020

What are the 4 nursing assistant responsibilities? ›

Nursing Assistant duties and responsibilities

Clean and bathe patients or residents. Maintain patients' hygiene and change bedding. Turn, reposition and move patients between wheelchairs, seats and beds. Serve meals and help patients eat their food.

Why do you want this job? ›

Focus on the job at hand

'I want this job because I have clear skills that will help me achieve...' 'This role will give me the opportunity to combine both my skills in [skill 1] and [skill 2] to achieve...' 'I love [job role specific task] and my last job took me away from that.

Why are you interested in this position? ›

“Why are you interested in this position?” asks you to describe your existing skills, what you value in the company, and your knowledge about the company and its goals as they relate to this specific role.

What motivate you for this job? ›

Good answers to the question 'what motivates you? '
  • meeting deadlines, targets or goals.
  • mentoring and coaching others.
  • learning new things.
  • coming up with creative ideas to improve something, or make something new.
  • analysing complex data in order to draw clear and simple conclusions.
  • working well as part of a team.

What are 3 examples of weaknesses? ›

Examples of Weaknesses.
  • Self-criticism.
  • Shyness.
  • Lack of knowledge of particular software.
  • Public speaking.
  • Taking criticism.
  • Lack of experience.
  • Inability to delegate.
  • Lack of confidence.

What are 3 good weaknesses in a job interview? ›

Examples of weaknesses on the job
  • Inexperience with specific software or a non-essential skill.
  • Tendency to take on too much responsibility.
  • Nervousness about public speaking.
  • Hesitancy about delegating tasks.
  • Discomfort taking big risks.
  • Impatience with bureaucracies.
13 Dec 2021

What are your 5 Weaknesses? ›

Here are some weaknesses that you might select from for your response: Self-critical. Insecure. Disorganized.
...
The following examples can help you formulate your response.
  • Self-criticism. ...
  • Fear of public speaking. ...
  • Procrastination. ...
  • Issues with delegating tasks. ...
  • Lack of experience with skill or software.
16 Aug 2022

How can I introduce myself easily? ›

You can use the below phrases to introduce yourself:
  1. I don't think we've met (before).
  2. I think we've already met.
  3. My name is ...
  4. I'm ...
  5. Nice to meet you; I'm ...
  6. Pleased to meet you; I'm ...
  7. Let me introduce myself; I'm ...
  8. I'd like to introduce myself; I'm ...
1 Sept 2021

What to say in an interview to stand out? ›

Creative Ways to Stand Out in a Job Interview
  • Be Intentional About Your Virtual Background. ...
  • Show Some Professional Levity. ...
  • Ask Meaningful Questions. ...
  • Promote Your Unique Skills. ...
  • Reiterate Your Interest, and Leave a Tangible “Takeaway”

How do I tell something interesting about myself? ›

What Are Examples of Interesting Things About Yourself?
  1. An interesting hobby.
  2. A less common instrument you play.
  3. A weird sport you practice.
  4. An interesting language you're learning.
  5. Your biggest achievement at work.
  6. Your biggest achievement outside of work.
  7. A unique life experience.
  8. A hidden talent.
23 Aug 2022

What are three qualities you feel are important for a CNA to have? ›

What 5 Qualities Make a Good Nursing Assistant?
  • Observance. It's extremely important for nursing assistants to have the ability to pay attention to small details. ...
  • Emotional Stability. ...
  • Patience. ...
  • Communication Skills. ...
  • Compassion and Empathy.
3 Mar 2021

Why should we hire you as nursing assistant? ›

Good nurse needs right attitude, empathy, and also a strong mind, to manage to handle and process all they see in the job. But I believe to have all these things in me, plus my extensive experience. Perhaps it makes from me the best candidate for the job. You should hire me because of my attitude to this work.

How do you prioritize patient care? ›

Nurses should apply the concept of ABCs to each patient situation. Prioritization begins with determining immediate threats to life as part of the initial assessment and is based on the ABC pneumonic focusing on the airway as priority, moving to breathing, and circulation (Ignatavicius et al., 2018).

What can you bring to the company? ›

Think about: your enthusiasm for the profession and the employer and your desire to make your mark. your personal qualities, such as your drive and willingness to learn. the skills the employer seeks and how you have demonstrated them in the past – your answer should show why you would be competent in the job.

What are 5 examples of strengths? ›

Some examples of strengths you might mention include:
  • Enthusiasm.
  • Trustworthiness.
  • Creativity.
  • Discipline.
  • Patience.
  • Respectfulness.
  • Determination.
  • Dedication.

Can you work under pressure best answer? ›

Short Answers

"I work well under pressure because I use the pressure to help me work more efficiently." "I enjoy working under pressure because I believe it helps me grow. In my previous experience, I always worked well during deadlines, and I always learned how to work more efficiently afterwards."

How do you answer tell me about a stressful situation? ›

You can follow these steps to answer interview questions about stress effectively:
  1. Think about how you usually handle stress. ...
  2. Use a story or specific examples. ...
  3. Focus on how you overcame the challenge. ...
  4. Talk about the results of your approach. ...
  5. Be prepared for additional questions.

How would you describe yourself in three words? ›

Example answers for "Describe yourself in 3 words"
  • "I'd describe myself as driven, communicative and reliable. ...
  • "I'm organized, patient and helpful. ...
  • "First, I'm passionate. ...
  • "The first word I'd use to describe myself is approachable. ...
  • "Enthusiastic, confident and friendly are three words I'd pick to describe myself.
3 Jan 2022

What will you bring to the team? ›

Express your enthusiasm for working in teams

Express your enthusiasm for working as part of a team to show an employer that you're a dedicated and motivated team player. As you connect your experience and skills to previous jobs, describe what you liked about working with your team.

What are 3 areas of improvement? ›

17 areas of improvement examples that you may have overlooked
  • Integrity. Integrity involves being honest and upholding strong ethics and morals. ...
  • Initiative. Initiative refers to a person's ability to take action without goading. ...
  • Ambition. ...
  • Time management. ...
  • Leadership. ...
  • Delegation. ...
  • Communication. ...
  • Teamwork and collaboration.

What are the 6 C's of nursing? ›

The 6Cs of nursing are:
  • Care.
  • Compassion.
  • Competence.
  • Communication.
  • Courage.
  • Commitment.

What are 4 key skills that a nurse needs for effective interviewing? ›

They include:
  • Active listening. Nurses must do more than simply listen when conducting a health history assessment—they must actively listen. ...
  • Adaptive questioning. ...
  • Nonverbal communication.

What is the hardest part of nursing interview question? ›

The hardest part of being a nurse is seeing a patient in pain or unhappy and being limited in the extent I can comfort them. The reality is that as a professional I can only do so much. However, I realize this helps me so that I do not become too emotionally invested in my patients."

How do I pass my nursing interview? ›

Nursing Interview Tips
  1. Know where you're going. Healthcare facilities are often big and confusing. ...
  2. Dress professionally. Professional attire tells interviewers you take them and the job seriously.
  3. Rehearse your nursing interview questions. Don't just prep answers. ...
  4. Pamper yourself. ...
  5. Listen and take notes.
25 Oct 2022

What are the 4ps in nursing? ›

It's structured around four themes – prioritise people, practise effectively, preserve safety and promote professionalism and trust.

How do nurses handle conflict? ›

Strategies to resolve conflict
  1. Recognize conflict early. Recognizing the early warning signs of conflict is the first step toward resolution. ...
  2. Be proactive. Address the issue of concern at an early stage. ...
  3. Actively listen. Focus your attention on the speaker. ...
  4. Remain calm. ...
  5. Define the problem. ...
  6. Seek a solution.

What are the 5 priorities of nursing care? ›

The five priorities focus on: recognising that someone is dying; communicating sensitively with them and their family; involving them in decisions; supporting them and their family; and creating an individual plan of care that includes adequate nutrition and hydration.

What are 5 keys to interviewing? ›

  • 5 KEYS TO INTERVIEWS.
  • Non Leading / Fair / Neutral.
  • Provide opportunity to tell their story & what they remember.
  • Solidify all details.
  • Explore corroborating evidence.
  • Be open & accommodating.

What are five key roles nursing? ›

The nurse embodies the role of an educator as they inform the patient on different aspects of their care and health.
  • Caregiver. As a caregiver, a nurse provides hands-on care to patients in a variety of settings. ...
  • Decision Maker. ...
  • Communicator. ...
  • Manager of Care. ...
  • Patient Advocate.
21 Jan 2022

What is your strongest nursing skill? ›

Having empathy to interact with the patient and their family and helping them to cope with problems is very important in a nursing position. Having the ability to understand and share those feelings with the patient and their loved ones is an essential strength for a nurse.

What are the 2 most difficult questions for you to answer in an interview? ›

Here are some of the best answers to tough interview questions when it comes to your personality:
  • Are you willing to fail? ...
  • How do you handle stress? ...
  • What is your biggest weakness? ...
  • Do you have any regrets? ...
  • If you could relive the last 10 years of your life, what would you do? ...
  • Are you lucky?
14 Oct 2022

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