How to Prepare for CNA Interview Questions (With Examples)

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You have likely just passed your Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA) Exam and received your certification. Now, it’s time to prepare for CNA interview questions from prospective employers. Your interviewer will likely ask you standard and industry relevant questions as well as questions about your program and future goals. Here is how to prepare for CNA interview questions as well as some sample answers.

1. Research the Facility

The first thing before going on the job interview is to know who your potential employer will be. You will want to find out who the owner is, the type of residents that will be under your care, as well as the company’s mission and values.

By having a clear understanding of where you will be working, you will be able to provide more thoughtful responses during the interviewing process. For example, your answers will likely vary if you are interviewing at a hospital, a nursing home, or for a home health care position.

2. Review Your Skills

The hiring manager may ask CNA candidates to demonstrate their abilities during the interview. If you have recently finished your program, be sure to identify your strengths and weaknesses. For instance, if you did well taking vital signs as well as caring for elderly patients with daily living activities, you should talk about these skills with your recruiter.

3. Review Answers to CNA Interview Questions

The Southern Careers Institute of Texas states that CNAs have numerous employment opportunities, such as working as a caregiver/caretaker, a hospice aid, a patient care technician, a personal care attendant, or in nursing and rehabilitation centers. Because the functions of these facilities vary greatly, your questions will also.

See below for a few universal CNA interview questions.


Because you will be working with patients that cannot care for themselves, you will need to be confident, competent, patient, and passionate about your work. Click To Tweet

4. Rehearse Out Loud

Because you will be working with patients that cannot care for themselves, you will need to be confident, competent, patient, and passionate about your work. It’s probably best not to fidget during the interview and always answer in a calm and confident tone. You will need to practice your answers aloud.

Consider a service that evaluates your tone allows you to see your body language. Interview School can help you rehearse real interview questions that incorporate AI technology that scores your response.


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5. Dress for the Interview

While your work uniform in the medical field may require wearing medical scrubs, do not wear this to the interview. Instead, Nurse Careers Guide recommends dressing professionally in a suit jacket with dress slacks or a skirt.

Sample CNA Interview Questions and Answers

Why do you want to be a CNA?

The interview wants to know what drives you in this field. While the generic answers may be for money or to help people, you should add a more personal touch. You’ll also get bonus points if you have an anecdote ready.

Sample Answer: When my uncle was very ill, I observed the amount of time and care that the doctors and nurses provided. I saw how important their roles were to my family and I decided that I wanted to do that for other people. I also appreciate the different daily challenges and variety of work involved.

Describe a time when you dealt with a difficult patient or client.

Remember, every negative situation should result in a positive outcome. You will need to recall a situation that you cared for a difficult patient and show how you succeeded.

Sample Answer: I once had a patient that was extremely agitated and refused my care. The first thing I did was to remain calm and watch my language to avoid escalating the situation. I listened carefully to the patient and tried to uncover and resolve the issue at hand.

I told the patient what his options were in a non-threatening manner. Additionally, because the care was not urgent, I gave the patient some time and tried again a bit later. We were then able to move forward as a team.

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What are the common challenges you’ll face as a CNA?

The interviewer wants to know that you are aware of the realities of the job because you have already experienced them first-hand. Like all challenges and adverse situations, be ready to show how you overcame them.

Sample Answer: Working as a CNA is not an easy job. A few common challenges are managing night shifts, enduring high-stress situations and avoiding conflicts with co-workers. That is why I try to maintain a healthy lifestyle to prevent burning out between shifts as well as maintaining proper energy levels and outlook. To improve relationships with co-workers and be a team player, I always attempt to enhance communication first.

Where do you see yourself in five years?

This is a tricky question. You should not be in a rush to say that your future goals are to immediately go back to school and leave your job to become a Registered Nurse. Instead, the company wants to see that you are a long term prospect that is interested in additional training.

Sample Answer: I am dedicated to providing care to my patients. I want to continue working in the healthcare field. Therefore, my goal is to gain experience here so that I can pursue my goal of becoming an RN at your organization.

Why did you leave your last job?

Always avoid badmouthing your previous employer. Instead of complaining about the limitations of your previous job, focus on the positives of a new position.

Sample Answer: I learned many skills from my previous position. However, I feel that my abilities and expertise are better suited here. I am seeking a more challenging job that will help me grow in a new capacity.

What qualities do you possess that will help you in this position?

This is when your research about the facility and your skills come in handy. You should have already identified what your interviewer is looking for and what makes a fantastic CNA. Be sure to use the STAR method to show, not just identify, essential qualities for this position.

Sample Answers: I pay a lot of attention to details. This quality is indispensable in the medical field because it helps me observe my patients carefully. For instance, in my previous position, I observed a minute change in my patients breathing and heartbeat. I was able to inform the supervising nurse and assist in the patient diagnosis.

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Author: Kimberly Ellis
Kimberly is a researcher, content generator, and language lover. With over 15 years in the professional workplace, a Bachelors in Education, and a passion for accuracy, Kimberly is uniquely qualified to help others overcome the many struggles that come when pursuing new employment. Her mantra is, "May your coffee be strong, your lashes be long, and your Monday’s be short."