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Interview Questions for an Infection Control Nurse

by Ellie Williams, studioD

An infection control nurse works to prevent the spread of disease in a hospital or other medical facility. She instructs staff members on the appropriate safety and hygiene protocols, in addition to investigating outbreaks and determining how to control them. If you’re preparing to interview for a job in this field, expect to answer questions regarding your clinical skills, experience, personality and motivations.

Specialized Knowledge

Your interviewer will likely quiz you on infection control practices and the latest developments within this specialization. For example, she might ask you how you keep your skills and knowledge current. She might also ask you to describe what you see as the biggest challenges facing nurses in your field. In addition, she might ask you to describe what infection control practices you feel are most important or what you’d do first if it appeared there was an infection spreading through your hospital.

Behavioral Questions

Nursing recruiters often rely on behavioral questions to help them more effectively evaluate how you’ll respond to situations typically encountered on the job. With this type of question, interviewers describe a situation and ask for an example of how you’ve responded to similar circumstances at previous jobs. For example, infection control nurses oversee sanitary and hygiene measures, such as hand washing. A recruiter might ask you if you’ve ever witnessed a nurse, doctor, or other member of the health care team giving care to a patient without following the hospital’s safety protocols and how you handled the situation.

Personality Questions

Nursing is a team effort, so it’s crucial that everyone on the hospital’s nursing staff can work together regardless of their personal feelings for each other. Your interviewer will likely ask you questions to assess your personality so she can determine if you’ll fit in with the rest of the team. Interviewers often begin with the tried-and-true “Tell me about yourself.” They don’t want your life history, however. Instead, they want an overview of key qualifications such as experience, skills and achievements. They might also ask how your supervisors or colleagues would describe you. They will likely want to know your greatest strengths and weaknesses, too.

Interest and Motivation

Recruiters often want to know why you want the job and why you want to work for their facility. They’ll likely ask how much you know about the hospital, why you want to work there and why you chose infection control over other nursing specialties. They might also ask what you most like and dislike about the field. They want evidence that you’re committed to this branch of nursing and that you chose this job -- and their hospital -- because it matched your goals and interests.

About the Author

Ellie Williams has been a journalist since 2001. Her work has been recognized by her state's press association and by her local chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists. Williams graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in mass communications and humanities, with minors in French and theater.