My Student Nurse Externship Interview Advice

Hello everyone! As some of you know, this summer I am working as a Nurse Extern with my hometown hospital system. Today I will be sharing the questions from my externship interview. I will not be sharing my exact answers, simply some tips for answering each question as well as some additional tips. If you are interested keep reading!

My Student Nurse Externship Interview Advice.png


Let’s begin with the questions. Here are some examples of common question that may be asked in your nursing internship or even nursing job interview. I have also provided some examples of responses to give.

  • Tell me about yourself.

For this question do not just read off your resume. Tell them a brief synopsis, for example: where you were raised, go to school, and what you do in your free time.

  • Why nursing.

Share your story! Try to keep it short, sweet and to the point, because more than likely your interview slot will be about five to ten minutes.

  • Why externship?

Do not mention resume-building for an answer like this, that will only make things worse. Do not mention a stipend either. Those are big no-nos. Instead, explain your desire for knowledge, growth and experience. Experience is invaluable as a nursing student and will only help you become the best nurse you can be. Show the panel you are there to learn and grow.

Brownie points: If you plan on working with that health system/hospital upon graduation, mention that! That shows you are willing to “give back” and remain committed. Panels love to hear that, because that is their main goal in offering a nurse externship/internship.

  • Tell me about a time where you provided quality patient care.

This question can be tricky, but think back to may be smallest thing you have done for your patient that seemed to make their day. Think back to where you remained calm, observant and understanding with a difficult patient. Another example could be providing care for a patient, despite having a difficult clinical partner (Be careful with this one as not to run the other nursing student into the ground.)

  • Tell me about a time where you displayed teamwork.

Refer back to: a group project and how you supported the group, an example during clinical, an example from your job or extracurriculars. Don’t always be eager to prove you are a leader. A solid team member will observe the group dynamics and understand where they are needed at the time.



  • Arrive early!

They are timing you! This may sound crazy, but they are. When I walked into my interview after signing a couple of papers, I noticed the Chief Nursing Officer as well as the Nurse Managers checking their watches. There is nothing more disrespectful than being late for such a rare opportunity.

  • Business attire.

Do not show up in scrubs, unless you are given specific instructions to do so. A suit, dress or blouse /skirt combo with professional shoes will be best. Keep the color scheme neutral by sticking to black, white and gray.

  • Breathe!

Smile and breathe. It is okay to pause for about ten seconds before you answer a question. Try to stay calm and keep a clear mind. Make sure you are on time, listen to calm music on your drive and then go do something after the interview. I ended up heading to the gym, but if you want to take a walk, stretch, find something!

  • Ask them a question!

At the end of interviews, the panel will typically ask if you have questions for them. Have at least one. A good one is to ask about the work culture/ expectations.

  • Give thanks.

At the beginning of your interview thank the panel for being there and allowing you to be there. After all, they could have selected someone else! Be sure to thank them at the end of the interview as well.


Those are my interviewing tips! Did I miss something? Leave it in the comments!



Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s