Hi there, Welcome to yet another exciting and informative OR Nurse Interview Questions article!

If you’re planning on bagging an Operating Room(OR) nursing job anytime soon, you better start preparing for the interview.

By the end of this article, you’ll know the common OR Room Nurse Interview Questions and their answers.

In this article, we will focus on the following critical areas:

  • Common nursing interview questions and answers
  • OR nursing interview questions tips
  • Where to get sample OR Nurse interview questions

Additionally, the OR Nurse Interview Questions help the recruiters understand the candidate’s personality, character, and temperament.

Let’s get started!

OR Nurse Interview Questions and Sample Answers

OR Nurse Interview Questions and Sample Answers

Hiring managers use OR Nurse Interview Questions to establish the candidate’s education, skills, certifications, and experience.

Read along for common OR Nurse Interview Questions.

This section will provide a definitive list of common nursing interview questions and answers.

Behavioral interview questions

Behavioral OR Nurse Interview Questions focus on your actions and reactions to different stressful situations when discharging your professional duties.

Hiring Managers uses behavioral/ scenario-based questions to gauge your professionalism, teamwork, adaptability, problem-solving, critical thinking, and patient care skills.

Here are some typical behavioral Operating Room Nurse Interview Questions and their answers:

1. How do you deal with difficult patients?

This question tests your ability to work under pressure, communication, and problem-solving skills.


Dealing with an uncooperative or difficult patient is a common occurrence in the healthcare profession.

To effectively deal with difficult patients as an OR Nurse, I will:

  • Understand the cause of the patient’s anxiety, fear, or anger
  • Politely describe the medical procedures that will take place
  • Show empathy and compassion at all times
  • Make the patients comfortable

2. How do you deal with an uncooperative co-worker

How well you interact with your workmates and management shows your interpersonal and conflict resolution skills.


I will highlight the importance of being a team player and why working together will help in delivering high-quality nursing services to the patients.

If the uncooperative behavior continues, I will escalate the matter to management.

3. How do you handle aggressive family members?

A patient’s family members are usually significantly affected by the medical conditions of their loved ones and may turn quite aggressive.

Dealing with a patient’s relatives requires calmness and effective communication skills.


As an Operating Room Nurse, I understand the emotional distress of family members.

I will politely explain the medical procedures and treatments the family member receives.

Additionally, I will firmly reassure them that the family member is in qualified medical hands.

4. How do you confront a senior with poor time management habits?

Hiring managers often use this question to gauge your communication and problem-solving skills.

When answering this question, ensure that you provide a practical answer that leads to a positive outcome.

Sample answer

As a healthcare professional, I understand that proper time management is the difference between life and death.

I will politely but firmly explain to my superior the adverse effects of poor time management on the patient treatment process.

I will also propose some changes in our work schedule to ensure that we work in harmony and maximize our productivity.

If the time problem persists, I will then escalate the issue to management or HR.

5. What would you do if you found a co-worker sexually molesting a patient?

Sexual abuse questions test your professionalism, civic duty, and adherence to the nursing code.

Any physical or verbal sexual abuse is criminal and is strongly prohibited.


As a Registered Nurse who follows the professional nursing code of conduct, I will immediately intervene in the situation to protect the patient.

After securing the patient’s safety, I will immediately escalate the issue to management and participate in any follow-up investigation if required.

General perioperative nursing interview questions

Open-ended questions don’t have a simple yes or no answer and can be answered in numerous ways.

Here are a few open-ended interview questions for nursing jobs:

1. Tell me about yourself?

When asked to describe yourself, the interviewer is interested in getting a glimpse into your life.

Consider sharing professional and personal information relevant to the nursing vacancy.

Give a brief but comprehensive professional introduction.

Avoid getting too personal, restating your whole resume, giving a long answer, or bragging.

Sample answer 

My name is Hellen Jones, a Perioperative Nurse with sixteen years of nursing experience.

I hold a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) and a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) from Northpoint and Southwest university.

My career path has allowed me to work in different nursing disciplines and settings, improving my appreciation for the nursing profession.

I am passionate about delivering high-quality healthcare services and enjoy health thrillers.

2. Where do you see yourself in the next five years?

This Surgical Nurse interview question establishes your loyalty, long-term planning, and nursing career goals.

Consider providing an answer that shows your commitment to the organization and highlights a few reasons why you will stay.

Avoid answers that can be misinterpreted as being disloyal, overambitious, or not aligning with the organization’s mission and vision.

Sample answer

As a career-oriented Perioperative Nurse, I see myself as a Charge Nurse or Nurse Practitioner in this organization in the next five years.

I am currently upgrading my BSN to an MSN, which will allow me to take up more senior nursing roles.

Your institution’s favorable education policies and incentives are key reasons I want to work with you.

3. What is your greatest skill as a surgical nurse?

This perioperative nursing question is a great way to market yourself and help you stand out from the competition.

The best answer to this question should highlight the core traits and skills that make you an effective Nurse.

Sample answer

My greatest nursing skill is my excellent communication skills. 

Effective communication enables me to better understand the patient’s medical condition, make correct diagnoses and improve collaboration with my healthcare team.

Having excellent communication skills also reduces medical errors, improves the patient’s confidence, and enhances service delivery.

4. Why do you want to be an OR Nurse?

Why you chose the OR specialty will always pop up during any job interview.

Most recruiters use this question to gauge your motivation and dedication to the nursing profession.

Ensure that your answer uses words that portray your seriousness, dedication, and interest in the job.

Sample answer

I have always been interested in solving people’s problems and making their lives better.

The nursing career allows me to impact the lives of sick people positively.

Additionally, the stable nature and excellent job satisfaction in the nursing career are solid reasons I chose to be a Perioperative Nurse.

5. What is your greatest weakness as a Nurse

You should always expect this question when attending a nursing job interview.

When conducting perioperative nursing interviews, HR managers are always interested in knowing if self-evaluation is one of your character traits.

Please note that weakness doesn’t have to be a negative thing altogether.

Positive weaknesses include being meticulous, thorough, and a stickler for rules.

What is your greatest weakness in nursing example answer

I have had instances where my coworkers complain that I pay too much attention to details which sometimes disrupts the workflow.

And while this may be a weakness, my work speaks for itself, as my treatment logs and patient notes are thorough with all the required information.

I am improving my speed and efficiency without sacrificing the quality of patient care that I deliver.

Role/job-specific nursing interview questions

Role-specific questions focus on your technical, educational, and nursing training.

Recruiters use job-specific questions to gauge your level of nursing skills and training

Here are a few job-specific perioperative nursing interview questions and answers:

1. What’s a break in the sterile technique?

Nursing protocols in the operating room are critical as any deviation from the prescribed nursing sequence may cause unforeseen complications.

Perioperative Nurses follow a particular sequence when discharging their duties.

This question tests the OR Nurse’s technical understanding of OR procedures.

Sample answer

A break in the sterile techniques refers to a deviation in the prescribed sequence of events before and after an invasive surgical procedure that may lead to a hospital-acquired infection.

A good example is when I inserted a patient’s catheter, and my gloved hand mistakenly touched an unsterile object resulting in a sterility break.

I immediately informed my coworkers of the sterility break, changed my gloves, and prepared a  new sterile setup.

2. How do you care for patients with latex allergies?

Patient care is a crucial nursing principle that all employers seek from their Nurses.

Recruiters will often throw in these treatment types of questions to gauge your nursing and patient care skills.

The best way to answer these questions is to use an example to drive the point home properly.

Sample answer

As a Perioperative Nurse who always dons latex rubber gloves, I am always on the lookout to identify patients with latex allergies even before I start the treatment process.

Patients with latex allergy react negatively when in close contact with latex gloves or latex materials.

When treating patients with latex allergies, I use latex-free gloves and equipment and provide antihistamines in case of exposure and adrenaline in emergencies.

3. Is charting important to an OR Nurse?

Nursing procedures and documentation are integral to the functioning of a Perioperative Nurse.

During your Operating Nurse interview, expect to meet questions that will test you on the various documentation processes.

Recruiters asking this question seek to gauge your understanding of the core duties of a Perioperative Nurse.

Sample answer

As an OR Nurse, charting is essential for my daily professional routine.

Charting a patient’s treatment and medical service log is critical in providing comprehensive and high-quality nursing care.

Effective charting:

  • Minimizes medical errors
  • Improves service delivery
  • Reduces wastage of time and resources
  • Protect healthcare teams from litigation

4. What would you do for a patient suffering from severe anesthesia side effects?

This PACU scenario question allows the recruiter to test your PACU nursing knowledge and reaction to stressful situations.

Ensure that your answer is medically sound and contains the correct nursing terminologies and sequence.

Sample answer

As a Post Anesthesia Care Unit (PACU) Nurse, managing post-anesthesia treatment is one of my core duties.

In case a patient is experiencing an adverse anesthesia reaction, I will:

  • Inform the Anesthetists of the patient’s condition
  • Monitor and record patients’ vitals
  • Administer pain medication, fluids, and other post-anesthesia treatment
  • Update patient’s medical charts with the post-anesthesia medication

5. What’s a surgical safety checklist, and is it important?

OR Nurses extensively use surgical safety checklists before surgery.

A hiring manager may pose this question to gauge your surgical experience and adherence to proper surgical protocol.

Sample answer

A surgical checklist is an essential communication tool that OR Nurses and surgical healthcare team members use to guarantee patient safety during surgical operations.

Surgical teams minimize errors, streamline surgery and reduce complications using a safety checklist.

Continue reading to get practical tips that will help you ace the OR interview.

Tips for answering OR interview questions

Tips for answering OR interview questions

Answering interview questions and convincing recruiters that you’re the best choice is a skill that most Perioperative Nurses lack.

Fortunately, this section will provide actionable tips to make the interview process more manageable and aid your job search.

1. Use the STAR technique

The STAR technique is widely used to provide structured responses to nursing interview questions.

Using the STAR technique allows you to provide logical answers that reduce errors and doubts.

Here is how the STAR technique works:

  • Situation – describe the situation around the question, ex How do you deal with an aggressive patient
  • Task – Describe your nursing duty in this instance
  • Action – Briefly describe the action you’ve taken to address the situation
  • Response – What was the feedback after applying the action

2. Use examples

Examples are a great way to pass the message and help the interviewer visualize and recreate your answers in their minds.

By using an example you:

  • Provide practical feedback to question
  • Improve your credibility with the interviewer
  • Provide actionable data
  • Reduce confusion in your response

3. Focus on the patient and employer

When answering a perioperative nursing interview question, focus on the employer’s point of view.3. Focus on the patient and employerWhen answering a perioperative nursing interview question, focus on the employer’s point of view.

Every time a recruiter asks a question, they are trying to gauge how your response will benefit their organization and patients.

Focus your replies on the people that matter, the patient and employers.

4. Provide brief but detailed answers

Nursing interviews usually take less than 30 minutes, with ten questions per interview session translating to three minutes per question.

Therefore provide brief but detailed answers to questions.

Long answers often confuse and distract interviewers, which is counterproductive for you.

5. Understand the question before answering

Ensure that you clearly understand the question before attempting to answer.

Understanding the question ensures that you provide satisfactory answers that impress the interviewing panel.

Providing half-baked or inconclusive answers portrays you as a Nurse with poor communication and comprehension skills.

Always seek clarification if the question isn’t clear enough.

Where to get OR interview questions

Where to get OR interview questions

Here are a few places where you can glean potential questions that may appear during the OR nursing interview:

Job descriptions

The job description is a great place to collect information about what your interviewers want.

Keenly study the job description and note the keywords and the general theme of the job description.

Prepare yourself around these key highlights as your interview questions are likely to revolve around these sections.

Human Resource sites

Many online job boards and HR sites prepare high-quality samples OR nursing interview questions.

Consider using these free online resources to prepare for your OR interview.

Popular HR sites and job boards include Indeed.com, Ziprecruiter, and Linkedin.

Nursing blogs and other online media

Nursing blogs contain a treasure trove of OR interview nursing questions.

Consider using reputable nursing blogs with a sizeable following to get the best results.

Reputable blogs and nursing sites also ensure that you get the latest tips and strategies to help you in your nursing interview.

Youtube also contains excellent tutorials and videos that will aid your interview preparations in a big way.


Conclusion on OR Nurse Interview Questions

The interview stage is arguably the most critical step of your employment journey.

And while this step seems simple enough, most interviewees fail due to a lack of exposure to the structure, format, and type of nursing interview questions.

By actively seeking and practicing potential perioperative nursing interview questions, you improve your chances of success during the interview.

Also, consider going through nursing youtube tutorials and blogs to sharpen your interview preparations.

We hope that this comprehensive guide has provided enough information on OR interview questions to help you pass your interview.

Please continue reading to get answers to our reader’s frequently asked questions.



What questions will I be asked in a nursing job interview

Typical questions include:
– Describe a situation you displayed leadership skills?
– What are your professional goals?
– How well do you communicate with patients and coworkers?
– What is your most outstanding professional achievement?
– Are you the right person for the job?
– Are you a team player?

How do I prepare for an Operating Room Nursing Interview?

You should:
– Practice common nursing interview questions
– Refresh your technical nursing knowledge
– Research about the healthcare institution.
– Dress professionally in comfortable-fitting clothes
– Arrive for the interview early
– Eat a healthy and balanced diet
– Get enough sleep before the interview day

How do I stand out in a nursing interview?

You should:
– Dress for success
– Provide detailed and specific answers
– Provide a detailed cover letter and resume 
– Be enthusiastic and upbeat during the interview
– Display your technical nursing ability and training
– Engage positively with the recruiters
– Be courteous and respectful

How do I pass a nursing interview?

Tips to ace your nursing interview:
– Only answer questions that you correctly understand
– Give detailed explanations
– Practice with sample questions
– Speak slowly and clearly
– Be courteous and respectful
– Dress smartly and appropriately
– Brush up your nursing education
– Research your potential employer

What is the role of an OR Nurse?

They are responsible for:
– Providing pre and post-operative patient care
– Preparing and arranging sterile surgery equipment
– Provide support to surgeons and other medical staff.
– Perform simple surgical procedures
– Performing physical examinations and recording vital patient medical data
– Preparing and administering nutrition and medication

What are the most common Surgical Nurse Interview Questions?

These are the most common interview questions for Nurses:
– Tell us more about yourself
– What is your greatest strength/ weakness as a Nurse
– What do you love about nursing
– How did you hear about us
– Where do you see yourself in the next five years

What are some interview questions for OR Nurse

They include:
– Why do you want to be an OR Nurse
– Why did you leave your previous job
– Are you a good team player
– How do you deal with conflict in the workplace
– What is your greatest strength/weakness
– Why do you want to work with us

PACU Nurse interview questions

Typical PACU Nurse Interview Questions:
– Why did you choose the PACU unit?
– Is your work schedule rigid or flexible
– What would you do if your patient’s blood pressure does not stabilize
– How do you deal with late coworkers
– What most excites you about your job?







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