Top 7 LPN Interview Questions to Ask

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Written by Alexa Davidson, MSN, RN Content Writer, IntelyCare
A job candidate shakes the hiring manager's hand before being asked LPN interview questions.

The budget’s approved and the positions are posted. Now all you need to do is to find the right LPN to join your staff. As a hiring manager, you know that hiring a nurse means more than just getting someone in for an interview. You also want to be sure your candidate is the right fit for your facility and will stick around for a while.

We’ll share the most effective LPN interview questions to help you land the perfect match. Use this guide to fix staffing shortages and prevent future turnover.

Why Hire an LPN?

Licensed practical nurses (LPNs) and licensed vocational nurses (LVNs) provide basic nursing care to patients. They assume full care of patients in the long-term care setting and may provide care with restrictions in the acute care setting.

Many healthcare facilities have turned to a team nursing care model in response to staffing shortages, which creates a shared responsibility between RNs and LPNs. With a reduced number of RNs at the bedside, team nursing allows patients to get more direct care. It’s a major patient safety plus — shown to reduce metrics like pain scores and restraint usage.

In the next decade, employment is expected to grow by 6% for LPNs. Stay ahead of the trend by adding a valuable nurse to your team today.

7 LPN Interview Questions and What the Answers Say

Attracting candidates for your opening starts by creating the perfect LPN job description. After receiving plenty of applicants, it’s time to start interviewing.

Here are the most effective LPN interview questions to find the right nurse for your facility.

1. Why are you interested in working here?

As a hiring manager, you want to know which aspects of the role appeal to the nurse. This question gives the candidate a chance to explain how their skill set aligns with the job duties and why they’re a fit.

It also gives you a sense of their commitment to the role. Are they looking for the next workplace to call home? Avoid turnover by hiring a nurse who has a genuine interest in joining your staff.

If you’re interviewing a new grad, LPN interview questions of this type give them a chance to provide insight into their passion for nursing and their career goals.

2. Tell me about yourself.

Asking “tell me about yourself” in an LPN interview is a good way to get to know your candidate. Remember, you’re hiring someone with a life outside of nursing. Encourage your candidate to expand on their personal life rather than listing items from their resume.

A word of caution: Getting too personal may reveal information that the candidate wants to keep private or could expose you to employment discrimination risks. Avoid crossing the line by asking questions like “what hobbies help you relax outside of work?”

3. What are your long-term career goals?

It’s important to hire nurses who are goal-oriented and consider their career outlooks. This question gives nurses the chance to discuss their vision of a successful nursing career. As the interviewer, be ready to give feedback on how you can help them meet their goals.

4. Tell me about a time when you were under stress on the job. How did you handle it?

Scenario-based LPN interview questions allow candidates to share their experiences from past situations. This gives the nurse an opportunity to reflect on their problem-solving skills. Encourage new grads to use an example from nursing school or another job if they get stuck on this question.

5. Describe a time you did something at work without being asked. What was the outcome?

Nurses are faced with many decisions each shift — ones that affect patients’ lives. Find out whether your candidate is prepared to think independently and follow the chain of command when needed.

This is an example of a situational interview question. It helps you dig into a nurse’s soft skills like initiative and communication. It’s important to choose interview questions for LPNs that give you a sense of their clinical judgment in addition to hands-on nursing skills.

6. How would you handle complaints from a patient’s family about the care you provide?

Nurses care for families almost as much as their patients. As a hiring manager, you want to be sure your candidate is prepared for family interactions.

Encourage the nurse to give examples of how they’ve resolved conflict with families in the past. This interview question gives you an idea of the nurse’s emotional intelligence and conflict resolution abilities.

7. Why should we hire you?

This open-ended question is a final opportunity to learn something new about the candidate. It gives the nurse a chance to mention any strengths they’d like to highlight. What unique skills do they bring to the team?

Preparing to Interview an LPN

As you prepare to interview a nurse, remember to be prepared to answer questions yourself! As the interviewer, you may be asked specific questions about your management style and the facility.

In interviews, LPNs may ask you questions like:

  • What are my job duties in this role?
  • Who will I be reporting to?
  • How long is orientation?
  • What is the nurse-to-patient ratio?
  • Are there opportunities for career growth in this role?

The interview process is a good time to clarify expectations for both the hiring manager and the candidate. Remember to cover expectations about scheduling requirements, pay, and unit-based policies.

Fill Your Shifts With LPNs Today

Are you too busy running a unit to manage a hiring process and prepare LPN interview questions? As a staffing partner, IntelyCare can get you direct access to trained and qualified nursing professionals, when you need them. Find out more today.