Tips for CNA Job Interview

by Maria Pavel on April 12, 2011

Once you’ve completed your Certified Nursing Assistant training and have become licensed, it’s time to go job hunting. Even though there’s a high demand for CNAs, it’s still necessary to be prepared for your job interview.

There’s a list of things that you should be ready for. These include:

• The location, date, and time of the interview.
• The name and title of the person conducting your interview.
• Having copies of your current state nursing assistant certification.
• A current résumé.
• List of your current vaccinations and results of a recent tuberculosis test.
• Personal and professional references.
• Recommendations from patients or their families.
• A copy of the job listing if you have it.

Don’t forget about your appearance. When you go in for your CNA interview, you should be neat and clean, dressed in “business casual” clothes and NOT scrubs. Men need to wear a clean collared shirt and trousers. Women should wear either trousers or a skirt with an appropriate shirt, or a dress. Have neatly groomed hair. Tattoos and piercings should be minimized. Wear simple jewelry.

When applying at a hospital or nursing home, you’ll probably meet the director of nurses along with the director of human resources. Part of the interview will consist of a tour of the facility and the unit that you’re interviewing to work in. Take notice of the staff’s behavior as well as the condition of the facility.

Questions that you’ll be asked during your interview will include:

• Why should we hire you?
• What do you like about being a CNA?
• What don’t you like about being a CNA?
• Are you skilled in taking vital signs?
• May we contact your current (or past) employer?
• Have you worked in a facility like this before?
• Have you ever been fired or disciplined from a CNA job? If so, what happened?
• Why did you leave your last job?
• Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?

Be ready to give honest answers to these questions.

Some questions that you’re allowed to ask include:

• Approximately how many patients will you be caring for per shift?
• Will other staff members be working with you, and how many?
• What opportunities for advancement are there?
• How many facilities are you required to work at?
• What’s the probation or training period?

Do NOT ask:

• What the time-off policies are as well as vacation or pay amounts. These will be gone over during the interview. If you ask about them, you’ll appear selfish instead of as a team player.
• What the race or gender of patients and staff is.

You need to come off as professional and ready to work.

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