Many things can happen in your nursing school interview, and you can face a variety of questions. From simple personal questions such as “Tell me about yourself” and “What are your goals” in a typical panel interview, to tricky scenario-based questions in an MMI setting. Regardless of the setting, however, and the number of interviewers, they will almost always ask you about your strengths and weaknesses.
Let’s have a look at 7 sample answers to the question. You will find in my selection some typical choices, things most students say, but also some unconventional answers, interview responses that can help you stand out and make a special impression on the admission committee members. Do not forget to read also my notes below the answers, in order to avoid some mistakes many students make in their interviews.
7 sample answers to “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” in a nursing school interview
- I would say that my greatest strength is my dedication and persistence. If I make up my mind about something–for example about getting to a nursing school, and becoming one of the best students, you can be sure I will do everything to make it happen. My attitude helps me to get over some tricky periods, such as the exam period, and also to overcome any crisis of motivation I may face, for whatever reason. From my weaknesses I would pick getting emotional at times, for example when facing a conflict with someone. I am aware that I cannot afford it in the future, once I work as a nurse, and definitely want to work on my weakness while still studying.
- Communication skills are my greatest strength. I have good understanding for feelings and emotions of other people, and do not find it hard to strike a conversation with a complete stranger. My friends say that I am a great listener, and I hope I can benefit from this in my nursing career. But I struggle with Math. I just wasn’t gifted the right brain cells for the subject it seems. Anyway, I know that Math plays some role in the nursing studies, and I will definitely try my best to prepare for the exams and pass them.
* Do not forget to check also: Nursing interview questions – What does nursing mean to you?
- To be honest, I cannot really tell. I try to stay humble, and always work on my skills, in all important areas. Some people may say that I am clever, and some may say that I am impatient. Nevertheless, I am not complacent, and do not want to be. Constantly working on my empathy, communication skills, understanding of nursing, time management, and other skills, I simply try to become the best classmate I can be, and eventually a great nurse.
- My prejudice is my biggest weakness. I’ve been raised in a strongly religious family, and often find it hard to accept other views on life and death. Having said that, I realize that I will belong to a diverse group of students here, and later, in my nursing practice, I will care for patients from all sorts of cultural and religious background. I know I have to get over my prejudice, and perhaps this school, and living away from home, is my best chance of doing so. Other than that, I believe to have what it takes to become an excellent nurse in the future.
- Communication skills and honest desire to help people to feel better are perhaps my greatest “strengths”. Motivation to give them more than medication—emotional support and words of encouragement—that’s what I want to do. What I can improve on, however, are my computer skills. I struggle to work with some software applications, which is not good, since most things are digitized in healthcare nowadays. I hope to improve on my computer skills while studying at the university. Going over your curriculum, I know I will get a chance to do so.
- To be honest, I see a room for improvement in everything I do. I believe I can become a great nurse one day, but I still lack theoretical knowledge as well as experience. But that’s the reason why I am applying to study here. You have a great reputation, I know some nurses and doctors who studied here, and they now do a great job. I have the motivation, and I want to learn. That’s the most important thing, and I hope to improve on everything related to nursing while studying here.
- My weakness is that I trust people too easily. This has backfired a couple of times in my life, and I paid the price. I still think it is a great attitude to life–to expect the best from other people, but sometimes you pay the price, and I am not sure if I can afford this attitude while working as a nurse. Talking about strengths, I would pick attention to detail, time management, and ability to focus on a task for a long time, limiting all distractions. I honestly believe my skills will help me both in my studies and later in the job. Let’s see what I can do about my weaknesses…
Your desire to improve is the most important thing for the admission committee members
Each of us has some strengths and weaknesses, and it would be a mistake to claim you have no weaknesses, in your nursing school interview. Admit that you can improve on something–perhaps on everything, and ensure them that you will try your best to make it happen. That’s the attitude they seek in a perfect student for the study program.
What is more, you can talk also about improving on your strengths. Maybe you find yourself a great communicator, an excellent listener, or someone with fantastic time management. Still, you do not want to stop there. You want to continue working on your skills, at least while at school.
* May also help you succeed: How to dress for an interview. Crucial things to remember when choosing your clothes.
Show confidence in your ability to become a great nurse
Humility can do wonders for you in the interviews. At the same time, however, you should show confidence that one day in the future, despite all weaknesses you have right now, and admit in an interview, you can become an excellent nurse, with everything that belongs to the professions.
You can also explain how you want to make it happen. Do you struggle with Math? For sure you will improve, with the excellent courses you’ll have during the first year of your nursing studies. Do you find it hard talking to people, to strangers? Sure enough, a nursing school is an excellent opportunity to get over your shyness, interact with a variety of people, and improve your communication skills in general.
Regardless of your starting position, you believe you have in you what it takes to become an excellent nurse down the road. That’s the attitude they seek in the very best applicants for the study program.
Final thoughts, answers to all tricky questions for your nursing school interview
Question about your strengths and weaknesses is very common in nursing school interviews, but it isn’t the only question you will face while trying to secure the coveted spot in the study program. They will ask you about your goals, how you want to handle the difficult studies, how you plan to finance your studies, and you may get also some tricky scenario based questions, such as:
An eighteen year-old female arrives in the emergency room with a profound nosebleed. You are the nurse, and you have stopped the bleeding. She is now in a coma from blood loss and will die without a transfusion. You find a recent signed card from Jehovah’s Witnesses Church in the patient’s purse refusing blood transfusions under any circumstance. What would you do?
If you would like to learn how to answer this question and all other questions, have a look at an eBook I wrote for you, the Nursing School Interview Made Easy. Multiple brilliant answers to all questions will help you impress the admission committee members and secure your spot in the study program. Thank you for checking it out, and I wish you best of luck in the interviews!
May also interest you:
- Why do you want to be a nurse? – Another question you may get both in nursing school interview and while interviewing for the actual nursing job. Check 7 sample answers and pick one that resonates with your values.
- How to overcome interview nerves – Simple guide on how to get rid of interview anxiety and show your very best when it matters the most.
- 15 most common interview questions – Learn how to answer questions you may face in every single interview.