I will keep this page short and to the point. Here’s what I have for you today:
In the eBook, you will find multiple great answers to each of the following questions:
- Why do you want to work as a Mental Health Nurse (Psychiatric Nurse)?
- What do you want to accomplish in this job?
- How do you imagine a typical day in work in our hospital (psychiatric intensive care unit, prison, other setting)?
- What do you consider your biggest weakness as a nurse?
- What are your favorite therapy methods?
- What do you consider the major causes of mental health issues nowadays, especially when we speak about people in our hospital/clinic/prison/other setting?
- It’s 1am, a patient is crying hard, and other people in the ward can not sleep. The pressure is escalating, and you happen to be the only nurse on shift (for some reason). What would you do?
- What do you consider the most difficult aspect of this job?
- Imagine that one of the patients fell in love with you. They are very sensitive and your refusal could have fatal effects on their mental health condition. What would you do?
- How do you plan to build trust with the clients?
- How do you feel about administering electroconvulsive (electric shock) therapy (or help when it is administered)?
- Violence is increasing in our society, including fatal incidents. What can you do about it as a mental health nurse?
- What do you expect from psychiatrists and other healthcare professional who share the workplace with you?
- Describe a time when you experienced a conflict of your personal and professional interests. How did you get over it?
- Describe a time when you struggled to communicate something to your patient. How did you manage to get your message over?
- … and ten other tough questions you may face in your mental health nurse interview.
Check the sample to see how this book can help you:
Sample from the eBook
Question: How do you imagine a typical day in work in our hospital (psychiatric intensive care unit, prison, other setting)?
Hint: The key is to show the interviewers that you see the complexity of this role, and all things it encompasses.
Mental health nursing isn’t only about administering drugs, and watching whether patients do not fight each other in the ward. It’s much more than that.
Say that you plan to talk to patients, trying to understand their physical, social, and emotional needs, and provide assistance whenever you can.
Say that you plan to visit the rooms regularly, and won’t just sit in your comfy office waiting for a buzzer to ring.
Reading the job description should also help you to understand your typical day in work. In certain settings distributing meals and helping patients with personal hygiene also belongs to the working duties of a nurse. Job description should help you understand if it’s the case.
– I prefer proactive approach to work. Of course, each psychiatric ward has strict routines we have to observe, such as times for distributing drugs and meals, visiting hours, and so on. But I want to do more than just following a schedule.
I plan to talk to patients, listen to them, try to understand their physical, social, and emotional needs while on the shift, and provide assistance whenever I can. I am also aware that we may face different challenges and tricky situations, and certainly days won’t resemble each other. So it is hard to speak about a typical day in a psychiatric ward.
– I imagine taking care mostly of the following duties:
- Assessing a client’s health.
- Encouraging patients to take part in role play, art and discussion as therapies.
- Physical care, if the patient is too old or ill to look after themselves.
- Giving medication and helping with meal distribution.
- Communicating with clients’ families, if needed.
- Helping to identify roadblocks to recovery and progress.
- Helping clients with new skills/behaviors to cope with situations they struggle to cope with.
- Referring clients to additional resources.
- And doing everything else I can do to help the patients, or my colleagues at this place.
Of course the year is long, and I think that days won’t resemble each other. But I am sure that after initial orientation and work, I will have a decent plan for each day, and will follow it with enthusiasm.
Question: What do you consider the major causes of mental health issues nowadays, especially when we speak about people in our hospital/facility?
Hint: This is a tough question and you should not get caught in a trap.
There are as many causes of mental health issues as there are people, and you should always stress your individual approach to each client.
Surely, you can mention a few issues, depending on your future place of work (the causes are different for people in prison, in school, for various demographic groups), but the interviewers should in no way get an impression that you start each session with prejudice in your mind.
– We can definitely agree on one point—that we live in difficult times. Many people experience adversity, every second family is broken or non-functional, and the demands on people are high both in schools and jobs. Add a virus pandemic to the mix, and you have a “perfect” setting for developing mental health issues.
Having said all of it, I do not approach any meeting with prejudice. I do not have in my mind some ideas before hearing the client out. Everyone lives a different life, and the causes of mental health issues are often very complex. It’s our job to build trust with the patients, to help them express themselves, to help them find the causes, in each individual case. At least that’s how I see my profession.
– Since we are in prison, we can perhaps point out several causes. Drastic change of a typical daily routine, extremely limited living space, lack of purpose, isolation, broken ties with the loved ones, abstaining from illegal substances, conflicts with other prisoners, etc.
But even in place like prison one has to approach each client without prejudice. It’s not our job to judge people—others are paid for doing that. Our job is to listen, to try to understand, and just then devise a strategy or choose the most appropriate therapy to help them get back on track, or at least to somehow endure their time behind bars.
Therefore I prefer not to have in my mind any particular causes of mental health issues. I prefer to try to discover them while working with the prisoners.
End of the sample
These are just two questions. You will find 25 in the eBook, including difficult behavioral questions. But that’s not all.
To ensure you will get the job, I included in the book six principles you need to understand before you can ace this interview.
Without talking too much about them, let me show you another sample from the book:
Sample no. 2
Principle no. 4: Leave your pink glasses at home
It is nice to be idealistic—I have always been, and I will likely always remain an idealist. Once in a job interview, however, you should show them that you see the complexity of the role.
You should see the good things, but also the bad things.
You should not expect to help everyone get back on track, because that’s just not how it works in this world.
Sometimes you will have big problems communicating with your clients, some patients won’t make any improvements whatsoever, for years, and you may even experience someone committing suicide (of course not in your office, though I heard about such a case).
One can easily lose motivation or feel discouraged once these things happen.
What’s more, you may even be obliged to do things which you do not want to do (such as administering electric shock therapy, helping patients with bathing, or give someone drugs which you do not consider useful).
And you will still have to do these things, because you have to follow the rules, because sometimes you arrive to the point when you have to admit that you did your best, and now it’s for another healthcare professional to decide about the next steps with the patient.
Do not get me wrong though. Mental health nursing is a great job. But it is not an easy one.
And it is absolutely crucial to show the interviewers that you understand the difficulties, and count with experiencing some in your work.
Anytime they ask you about your expectations, try to mention something negative as well. Show them that you do not wear pink glasses, and won’t get discouraged after a few weeks in work. Show them that you see the job (and what you can achieve in it) realistically—with all the good and bad things that belong to this profession. That’s the way to succeed in your interview……
End of the sample
So that’s it. I do not want to waste your time with lengthy sales pages, and imaginary discounts or fake reviews, like other people do on their websites, while trying to sell you something.
You have read the samples, you know what the eBook is about, and surely you can tell whether it will help you or not.
I sincerely believe it will help you in your interview. It will help you a lot. And you can read it easily in two or three hours, it’s 13,000 words. Only things that truly matter, no secondary content.
Plus, of course, like with everything else we sell here on InterviewPenguin.com, you have a risk free sixty days money back guarantee.
If you don’t like this eBook for any reason, or no reason at all, just let me know (email me at matthew[at]interviewpenguin[dot]com) within 60 days and we will give you a full refund.
- Brilliant answers to twenty-five difficult questions you may get in your interview for a mental health (psychiatric) nurse job.
- Published in 2020, updated in 2022.
- Several sample answers to each question, so you can always choose one that reflects your values and experience.
- Six principles of acing the interview, things you simply need to know and understand, in order to make the right impression on your interviewers.
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That’s it. Your interview does not have to be stressful, or difficult. You can interview with confidence, and give brilliant answers to all tough questions. Download the guide today, and succeed in your interview for a job of a mental health (psychiatric) nurse.
Your personal job interview coach
P.S. Feel free to send me a message if you have any questions about the guide, or about anything else. I try my best to answer all messages within twelve hours (matthew[at]interviewpenguin[dot]com).