PNP Job Interview – Questions to Ask

Questions to Ask During the Interview

A PNP job interview is a two-way conversation. You are there to sell yourself, and to evaluate the position, hospital or clinic, and culture. Be prepared to ask questions. Usually the interviewer will invite you to ask questions. Use your research and experience or contacts to ask appropriate questions, but stay clear of questions that are easily answered by your PNP job research.

Employers look for candidates that show enthusiasm and initiative, so you need to demonstrate these qualities by formulating questions to ask during the interview. Asking relevant questions about the position and the organization will show the interviewer that you are interested in the position and that you are well-prepared. Your questions should reflect the research you have done on the organization.

Ideally, your interview will be similar to a dialog and you will have opportunities to ask questions as you go along.  However, interviewers who are talking to many candidates may have a formula that they follow and may tell you that you will have an opportunity to ask questions at the end of the PNP job interview.  To help give you a head start, we have developed a brief list of questions you may want to consider. Specific questions about the position or the organization will give the best impression, but having even some general questions to ask the interviewer will help you avoid giving the impression of being unprepared for the interview.

Sample questions you might ask during a PNP job interview:

  • Have your professional and support staffs worked with PNPs before?
  • How many patients do you expect the PNP to see in a day?
  • Are administrative duties required? If so, what types (i.e. email care coordination, phone calls)? How much time is allotted for this vs. seeing patients?
  • What are some of the other responsibilities of this job?
  • Are there any specific education/certification requirements (i.e. PALS, ACLS, suturing)? If so will the employer provide them to the PNP as necessary?
  • What percentage of patients is referred to specialists?
  • What are the hours?  Are evenings, weekends or call part of the requirements?
  • With whom will I be working most often?
  • Is there a need to be bilingual?
  • Who is the collaborating physician (if appropriate)? How many PNPs are with that person? How long have they been in that role?
  • Are there established protocols for the practice? How often are they updated and how?
  • Do you have written personnel policies?
  • What are the short and long term strategic goals for the organization? For the department?
  • Can you tell me about the performance evaluations used by your organization?
  • How would you measure success?
  • Do you anticipate significant changes for the organization in the near future?
  • Is there any travel involved? Is it overnight travel? Are PNPs reimbursed for this?
  • Does the practice offer benefits such as paying malpractice premiums, health/life/disability insurance, paid vacations, time off to pursue CE, CE reimbursement, and moving expenses?
  • Does the practice have money delegated towards professional enrichment, such as reimbursement for membership fees to an organization or attending national conferences?

For a PNP job in a specialty area:

  • Can you describe the patient population in more detail?
  • Where are patients located (i.e. ICU, floor, ED)?
  • What is the most common age or age range of patients?
  • What is/are the most common diagnoses and how many times per year is the average patient seen?
  • What is the split between inpatient and outpatient time? If there is more than one PNP, how are those roles divided? Describe each role in detail. For example, inpatient (rounding, documenting clinical notes, teaching, multidisciplinary care), Outpatient (phone calls, care coordination, clinic management)
  • How much of the practice is autonomous?
  • Who are the members of the team (i.e. attending, fellow, chief, residents, students) and how often do they rotate? (this will give you an idea of turnover)
  • If at a teaching hospital, how is the PNP role different from residents or fellow? What is the PNP’s role in education of residents and fellows?
  • Who will I work with the most? Who will I be learning from the most?
  • What are my learning resources? (i.e. weekly lectures, journal clubs, hospital meetings)
  • Do the PNPs in the hospital have meetings? Is there a director of professional practice?
  • What does the orientation process look like? Is it structured? Is there opportunity to shadow in different areas?
  • If there is a more senior PNP in the practice, how is his or her role different than when he or she first started?


Interview Notes

  • Write important notes right away so you don’t forget critical details.
  • Write thank you notecards on your trip home. (Bring notecards to the interview to write afterwards.) Hand written notes are preferred, but if your schedule does not allow it then send emails.
  • Ask each person you speak with for a business card and keep track of them. You can write notes on them immediately after the interview and use them to write thank you notes.