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Operating Room Nurse Interview Questions

When being interviewed for a position as an operating room nurse, a candidate may encounter varied interview approaches. Some interviewers ask multiple questions, seeking potential contradictions or discrepancies. Others may play psychologist, attempting to discern hidden meanings from you responses. Occasionally, you may encounter an interviewer who immediate takes a liking to you and fails to ask you deep or thoughtful ones. Whatever the approach, there are some standard questions you should expect in any interview.

Why OR Nursing?

Among the most common and most obvious questions a candidate for an operating room nurse position is: “Why do you want to be (or why are you) an operating room nurse?” This is an opportunity for a thoughtful and well-constructed reply, pointing out your strengths, your certifications and your understanding of the role and duties expected of an OR nurse.

Your Future

Another common question is “Where do you see yourself in five or 10 years?” Be prepared to give an honest answer. Do you see yourself as an OR manger or perhaps a department head? Whatever path you foresee, you should share it with the interviewer, keeping in mind, of course, that you do not want to say something that casts doubt on your dedication to OR nursing.

OR Nurse Skills

The interviewer will undoubtedly probe your knowledge of OR responsibilities by asking about the capabilities and skills an OR nurse should process. Again, this requires an answer to which you have given some thought. If you have OR experience, you can base your answer on what you have observed and learned as well as any theoretical information you find valuable. If you do not have OR experience, you should talk with OR nurses and managers and ask them about the competencies and skills required of an OR nurse.

Strengths and Weaknesses

A question that virtually ever interviewee faces is to be asked to discuss your strengths and weaknesses. It’s a good idea to ponder this question before the interview and honestly appraise yourself. Ask trusted colleagues to assess your strengths and weaknesses. For example, if you have excellent interpersonal skills and an ability interact with many different kinds of people, but you tend to occasionally be too emotional, tell them that in a honest, straightforward response.

Other Questions

Of course, there are many other questions that an interviewer can ask. Such opening questions as “Tell me about yourself.” and “Why are you a nurse?” are common. You may be asked to describe a challenging, stressful situation you have faced and how you handled it or perhaps how you deal with stress after your shift. “If you were not a nurse, what would you be?” is a question that may crop up as is “What nurse duties or tasks do you dislike the most?” Think about you experiences in nursing, considering both good and bad situations and the good and not so good people with whom you’ve worked and honestly assess yourself. So armed, the answers you give the interviewer will ring true.


Douglas Hawk has been freelance writing since 1983. He has had articles appear in numerous Colorado newspapers and in a wide variety of national magazines. Hawk has sold three novels and one short story, which won an award from the Colorado Authors' League. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from Adams State College and master's degree in mass communications from the University of Denver.