Occupational Health Nurse Interview Questions (And Examples)

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 19 November 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

An occupational health nurse (OHN) is likely to be asked questions that help a recruiting manager understand their background, education and experience in healthcare. A successful interview could lead to gaining the position you desired at the facility of your choice. If you're pursuing a career as an OHN, you may benefit from considering some potential interview questions to increase your chances of gaining a position. In this article, we discuss potential occupational health nurse interview questions and provide some questions with example answers to help you prepare for your interview.

Related: How to Introduce Yourself Professionally

14 general occupational health nurse interview questions

A recruiting manager may ask general occupational health nurse interview questions to determine your interpersonal qualities and personality traits. This helps them determine if you're likely to align with the work environment and culture of the hiring organisation. These questions may focus on the specific role of an OHN or be general questions about your personality. The following are some general interview questions an OHN may experience:

  1. Can you tell me about yourself?

  2. What inspired you to become an OHN?

  3. What makes you the most suitable candidate?

  4. What do you find inspiring about this organisation?

  5. What do you believe you can contribute to this organisation?

  6. What's your greatest achievement outside of being an OHN?

  7. Do you think you have the skills to be an OHN with this organisation?

  8. How do you respond if you disagree with a colleague?

  9. How do you cope with working under pressure?

  10. What's your biggest weakness? How do you overcome it?

  11. What's your biggest strength? How does it support your nursing abilities?

  12. If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?

  13. What methods do you adopt to manage your time effectively?

  14. Where do you see yourself in five years?

Related: What Is an Occupational Health Nurse? (And How to Become One)

15 interview questions about experience

Many recruiting managers are likely to ask questions about your experience and background for an OHN position. These questions can help them understand your competency for the role. The recruiting manager may focus these questions on your OHN or related experience. The following are some questions about experience and background that an OHN may encounter:

  1. How would your previous colleagues describe you?

  2. How have you responded to negative feedback?

  3. What skills did you develop in your previous role?

  4. Can you describe a time you identified a mistake at work?

  5. Tell me about a time you've worked with a patient you suspected had an infectious disease.

  6. Have you worked with patients suffering from mental health conditions?

  7. What has been your greatest achievement as an OHN?

  8. What's your favourite aspect of being an OHN?

  9. Have you ever had a patient disagree with you? How did you address it?

  10. Do you find it easy to form professional relationships with your patients?

  11. What working environment are you most experienced in?

  12. What's your understanding of asbestos?

  13. Has most of your experience been in a team environment or autonomous working environment?

  14. Can you describe a professional goal that you achieved?

  15. Why did you leave your previous employment?

Related: 10 Interview Hacks to Help You Prepare for a Job Interview

15 in-depth interview questions

A recruiting manager may ask in-depth interview questions for an OHN role because it allows them to determine how you may benefit the organisation. They often design these questions to understand how you can contribute to the organisation productively. These questions provide you with the opportunity to elaborate on previous answers, ensure the recruiting manager understands who you are and confirm your career goals. The following are some in-depth interview questions an OHN may experience:

  1. Can you explain the importance of self-motivation as an OHN?

  2. Which one of your skills is the most beneficial as an OHN?

  3. What techniques do you practise to remain organised and on time?

  4. What do you believe to be the daily responsibilities in this OHN role?

  5. What's the most important responsibility of an OHN?

  6. What are some challenges you expect to encounter in this role?

  7. What's your capacity for patients in a single day?

  8. Why are interpersonal qualities important as an OHN?

  9. What area of this role do you feel most passionate about?

  10. Can you explain the importance of following up with patients?

  11. How do you adapt to new environments?

  12. What do you do if you experience an incorrect diagnosis?

  13. How important is patient safety to you?

  14. How do you plan to continue your education and training as an OHN?

  15. What would you change in this organisation if you were a successful candidate?

Related: How to Prepare for a Mock Interview (With Tips and Examples)

3 example interview questions with answers

Answering interview questions often requires you to be clear and concise with your response. You can achieve this by using the STAR response method. This involves sharing context around the situation you faced, describing your task in the situation, explaining your actions and describing the results. Using this method can ensure you fully address the question while emphasising your skills and achievements. Reviewing example answers to OHN interview questions can help you prepare and feel confident about your interview. The following are some OHN interview questions with example answers:

1. What are 5 traits you believe are important for an OHN to have?

This question may help the recruiting manager determine how much knowledge you have of the position. To prepare for this type of question, ensure you have a thorough understanding of the requirements and specific skills listed in the job advertisement. Then, you can use a previous scenario to explain how you've used those skills and why they're important. You may try to focus your answer on how these skills have been valuable to your career development and how they can benefit a new employer.

Example answer: 'I believe five important traits of an OHN are interpersonal skills, organisation, problem-solving skills, patience and a detail-oriented mindset. Throughout my career as an OHN, these five traits have helped me overcome various challenges, including long shifts, conflict resolution, exposure to illnesses and legislation changes. I believe this organisation could benefit from these traits because they've allowed me to provide a high quality of care to patients continually. I'm proud to embody these key traits that may help me move into a leadership role'.

Related: How to Use the STAR Interview Response Technique

2. Do you feel you work more effectively with a certain type of patient?

This question aims to determine whether an OHN can work effectively with a range of people. If an interviewer asks this question, it may be important to emphasise your compassion for patients from different backgrounds. When answering this question, try to describe a time you've worked with patients from various backgrounds, emphasising your ability to meet their needs. You can explain the benefits of your approach and the outcome.

Example answer: 'I have experience providing care to patients from various religious and cultural backgrounds. I feel passionate about my ability to offer the same level of care for each patient, regardless of their background. In my previous role, I worked with many people who the company employed on working visas, so many of the employees had very minimal English skills. I incorporated various tools in my office to assist with interpretation and ensure we understood each other. This gave me the ability to provide them with appropriate advice and care'.

Related: How to Describe Yourself in a Job Interview

3. What would you do if a patient refuses your care plan?

This question may help a recruiting manager understand your interpersonal skills and knowledge of patient rights. It can help them determine if you've ever handled this type of encounter previously and how you addressed it. When answering this question, you can describe a time you've had a patient refuse your care, how you handled it and what the outcome was.

Example answer: 'I've had a patient refuse my suggested care plan. I explained to them they could refuse the care but also reassured them about what it could do to help them. I reminded them my support would be consistent regardless of their choice.

The patient returned to me once they processed the information and requested that we pursue the care plan. It can be challenging when a patient refuses care that's likely to help them. Yet, I always remember they have their own reasons for refusing care and ensure they have all the knowledge to make an informed decision'.

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