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5 Interview Tips for a CNA

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So you’ve completed training, the CNA exam, and applied for a job as a certified nursing assistant and they’d like you to come in for an interview? Great! That’s splendid news, but how can you ace that interview? Sending in your resume and cover letter was just half of the battle, the next step is to impress an employer and land that job! Obviously, preparation is the most important element; a person that isn’t properly prepared for an interview has less chance of getting the job than someone who knows their stuff well. So, with that being said, here are 5 interview tips for a CNA.

5 Interview Tips for a CNA

I. What to Wear

Proper attire is crucial for a successful interview, sure, but it shouldn’t be your main priority. The goal of attire is to look as professional as possible without being too distracting. Simply put, don’t go in for your interview looking like you don’t care. Dressing professionally is important for first impressions–an employer that sees a candidate dressed nicely knows that they are taking the interview seriously–but it doesn’t matter all that much after that. So don’t be frantically worried about your appearance after you’ve made the initial encounter. What to wear can differ depending on whether you are a woman or a man, and there’s already tons of good guides that show you how to dress well. Remember, don’t focus too much on what you’re wearing, just be sure to look professional. You should be spending more time on your answers to possible questions instead. For advice on attire, refer to this guide if you’re a woman and this guide if you’re a man.

interview tips for a cna - preparing for a cna interview

  II. Preparing for the Interview

You’ve probably heard it before, confidence is key to impressing employers, and the only way to be confident is to prepare how you are going to present yourself beforehand. So, as well as appearing professional, you must act professional as well. Eye contact, attitude, and personality are just a few of the mental things to keep in mind. You should also be able to demonstrate that you are reliable when it comes to work ethics, attendance, and attentiveness. And when it comes to your field, make sure you know everything about certified nurse assisting, or at least, more than the last person. Things you should bring to the interview:

  • Copies of your cover letter and resume
  • Folder (for all your papers)
  • Your state approved CNA certification
  • CPR card (if state required)
  • Any letters of recommendation
  • Pen/pencil and a notepad (write down important info/things you want to say)
  • Your pride

III. CNA Interview Questions

Just like with any other interview, there will be questions to answer. So of course, with a CNA interview, you can expect CNA interview questions that will be asked. This is probably the most important part of the interview to nail, as this will determine whether you would fit in the workplace or not. So before you give out any ol’ answer in your interview, familiarize yourself with typical questions that may be asked and prepare yourself for them. You should be spending the most time on preparing these answers, as employers are looking for a specific type of CNA. You should also answer questions as honestly and as best as you can. Some possible CNA interview questions may include:

  • Do you like to work alone, or as part of a team?
  • What are some conflicts you’ve encountered in the past and how did you handle it?
  • How would you describe your tolerance of other people?
  • Any conflicts in the workplace? If so, how did you handle it?
  • What made you choose certified nurse assisting as a career?
  • What was your previous job and why did you leave?
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • What do you expect working here?
  • Are you open to learning new skills?
  • How well do you handle stress?
  • Has there ever been a time when you were late for your job?
  • How would you describe your customer service skills?
  • Any examples of when you went above and beyond for a patient/customer?
  • Any examples of when you collaborated together with a team?
  • How easy do you find it to share what you’re thinking?
  • What is your desired salary?
  • What is your greatest weakness?
  • What frightens you most about this job?
  • What does it mean to take care of a patient?
  • Where do you see yourself 6 months from now? A year? 5 years?

Along with questions that are typically structured like these, be prepared for questions that will test your critical thinking and prioritization skills, such as example situations and how you would deal with it. For more CNA interview questions, you can visit this page.

interview tips for a cna - cna interview questions

IV. The Art of Standing Out

Among all the other potential candidates, you can easily be lost in the crowd if you don’t stand out. So, what’s the best way to do that? We figure, show that you are actually interested in working at the hospital/nursing care facility. Sure, being a CNA isn’t all fun and games, there’s a lot of work involved, but there are actually CNAs out there that love every minute of it, and it’s probably why they got and still have their jobs. So, don’t spend an excessive amount of time telling an employer how perfect you’d be for the job, show them that you’re actually interested! And the best way to do that is by asking questions. And since you’ve already answered their CNA interview questions, it’s your turn to ask the questions now, which should concern you as well as the workplace. Some questions you can possibly ask are:

  • What is it like on a typical day/week in this position?
  • How long is orientation?
  • Are there any opportunities for growth and advancement?
  • How many staff/patients are there?
  • How are they like?
  • How satisfied are patients?
  • Is there a set staff to patient ratio?
  • Can we take a look around?

Take some time and come up with your own questions that can be general or more specific to the workplace you are applying for.

V. What Employers Look For

It’d be difficult to say what specific employers look for in potential candidates, but for the most part, the most sought after qualities can be boiled down to a few things. They are: being a team player, being able to adapt, and being able to provide great customer service skills.

A. Team player – As a certified nursing assistant, it will be your role to help out as much as you can in the workplace. That means working well with LPNs, RNs, other CNAs, etc. You should be able to get along with other nurses and communicate easily, and that means you need to be friendly, caring, selfless, and empathetic.

B. Able to adapt – No two days will be the same, and no two patients will be the same. As a CNA, you need to constantly adapt to the demands of the workplace. That means, forget any expectations of what it’ll be like, you need to be prepared for any possible situation that can come up. You should also be open to growth, being able to learn new skills as needed.

C. Great customer service skills – As a certified nurse assistant, your role is to keep patients happy. That means you need to know how to take care of patients, so having previous experience with customer service is a plus. You should also stay positive and upbeat as much as you can, as that positivity radiates around you.

*Written with the help of this thread