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Operating Room Interview Questions

Are you an operating room nurse looking for a new job?

Whether you've just completed your nursing school program, you’re beginning your job search or you're a veteran nurse looking for a change of scenery, you may be wondering what operating room interview questions you'll encounter during your job search.

Learn about five of the most common operating room interview questions and be right on target with your answers.

1. A question that gauges your interest in surgical nursing

Many nurse managers or supervisors will open the interview by asking why you want to be an OR nurse.

This operating room interview questions helps the hiring manager seek insight into your personal motivations and interests so they can assess your commitment to the specialty and how well you might work with other members of the team.

How to Answer It: Provide a personal anecdote of why you decided to be a nurse in the first place, and then provide specific reasons of why you're drawn to the operating room environment in general.
Focus on mentioning some of your strengths, such as problem-solving skills, the ability to think on your feet and working well with other colleagues.

2. A question that asks about your surgical experience

This is a common lnurse interview question that asks you to summarize your previous work experience, particularly any experience you've had working on surgical teams or in other ORs.

How to Answer It: If you've worked in ORs before, this is the time to summarize your work experience at other hospitals, the skills and knowledge you gained while working there and how those on-the-job skills might apply to this position you're interviewing for.

3. Talk about a time you handled a high-stress situation effectively

Operating rooms are fast-paced environments where quick decision-making skills are often necessary for positive patient outcomes.

This operating room interview question gauges your ability to handle stressful situations in the operating room and whether you can keep your cool under pressure.

How to Answer It: Tell a story that provides an example of a time when you had to keep cool under pressure — focus on what happened, your role and what you learned from it.

4. A nurse interview question that asks about your ability to be a team player

In the operating room, everyone has a role to play — from the doctor to the scrub nurses and assistants, everyone must be able to do their job well while getting along with others for each surgery to be a successful one.

How to Answer It: Reiterate that being a team player is definitely important as a nurse, and that it's even more important in the operating room.

Mention that while you sometimes need to be able to work autonomously without excessive direction, you also need to be able to communicate effectively with other nurses and doctors.

5. Many operating room interview questions ask about your clinical knowledge

While some nurse interview questions are considered behavioral interview questions — that is, they ask how you'd handle a particular scenario for insight as to how you'd perform on the job, many other operating interview questions will give you an opportunity to demonstrate your clinical knowledge.

Examples might include explaining what you would do if a patient's blood pressure dropped in the middle of a surgery or if a patient began to bleed out.

How to Answer It: Recall knowledge you've gained in other jobs or in nursing school to help you answer these clinical questions.

Focus on how you'd solve the problem and how you'd work with others to help ensure positive patient outcomes.

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