Certified nursing assistants (CNAs) are one of the most integral parts of the healthcare system, providing direct patient care and overseeing their residents under the supervision of a registered nurse (RN) or licensed practical nurse (LPN).
CNAs share a close bond with their patients as they are the main caretakers who help them complete daily activities of living such as eating, monitoring blood pressure, dressing, and bathing.
The career outlook for CNAs is promising with long-term stability and room for growth, especially if the CNA is interested in continuing training to become a licensed practical nurse (LPN) or a registered nurse (RN).
Are you interested in working at The Kensington as a certified nursing assistant (CNA)? Check The Kensington’s career page to explore our opportunities!
Common CNA interview questions and how to answer them
Let’s discuss the most frequently asked questions for CNA interviews to help you secure the job.
The interview questions and answers are meant to show your compassion and willingness to help people, which are the top values for any CNA.
Why do you want to be a CNA?
For this question, we want to understand what made you want to enter the healthcare field.
Did you have a relative who was a nurse or a nurse’s aide? Perhaps there was a time when a nurse’s aide provided you with compassionate care that inspired you to help other people.
The most important answer that job interviewers are looking for here is that you’re a compassionate person who truly enjoys helping other people.
Because the position can be challenging at times, it’s good to show that your personal character is loving, patient, and respectful.
Showing a willingness to serve and a passion for excellence goes a long way when interviewing for a CNA role!
Are you a team player?
Working as a CNA means being part of a larger healthcare team that involves doctors, RNs, LPNs, and other healthcare professionals.
Asking “Are you a team player?” is meant to gauge your ability and willingness to communicate well with others.
Because CNAs are under the supervision of registered nurses (RN) or licensed practical nurses (LPN), it’s important that you’re able to take direction and follow through on tasks assigned to you.
To answer this question, share an example of a time when you worked in a larger team to contribute to a successful outcome.
What is your favorite part of supporting clients with care?
Many people who enter the healthcare field as CNAs are sociable people who truly enjoy supporting and caring for others.
If you’ve had previous experience caring for people, please use this question as an opportunity to share a story of how caring for people has impacted you.
Many CNAs’ favorite parts of their job can include:
- Socializing with a large team of residents and staff members
- Solving daily challenges and problem-solving
- Seeing a smile on their residents’ faces
- Knowing they’re making a difference in another person’s life
What is something you have learned as a CNA that you find is applicable to every part of your life?
Working in the challenging and dynamic role of a CNA is rewarding in many ways. It’s a fulfilling career path that will teach you many life lessons that will extend outside of the workplace.
Use this question as an opportunity to share important lessons you’ve learned while working as a CNA or caregiver for another person.
For example, you may have learned these important lessons:
- You are more grateful for what you have
- You’ve learned to cherish life and not take anything for granted
- Working as a caregiver has deepened your empathy and compassion
- You’ve become more observant and responsible in other areas of your life
- You’ve overcome challenging or uncomfortable situations because of your CNA training
Do you have an interest in becoming an LPN or RN nurse?
Starting your career as a certified nursing assistant (CNA) is a natural first step for many aspiring registered nurses (RNs) and licensed practical nurses (LPN).
In a CNA interview, the employer wants to know your dedication to the healthcare field and also figure out possible scheduling information, such as accommodating your schedule for additional nursing school.
If you’re interested in becoming a CNA but don’t want to become an RN, that’s okay. Don’t feel as if you need to become an RN, as there is always a need for certified nursing assistant positions!
If you do choose to pursue an LPN or RN path, that’s great! It shows dedication to the medical field, and can potentially help you move into a new career at the same company, down the road.
Please briefly describe your expectations of the role of a CNA
Many times, the job posting you found will list the roles and responsibilities of the position.
However, this question is to confirm that the interviewee fully understands their role and expectations, as the role can be very dynamic.
The best way you can answer this question is by studying the job posting and researching the role of a CNA.
Typically, CNAs are responsible for these important healthcare roles:
- Direct patient care
- Helping patients eat
- Taking patient’s vitals (temperature, blood pressure, pulse, oxygen)
- Showering and bathing patients
- Changing linens
- Changing briefs
- Help patients walk and get out of bed
- Take patient’s weight and height
- Turning patients over in their beds
- Interacting with patient’s family members
What unique skills can you bring to this position?
The best qualities for CNAs to have include patience, tolerance, compassion, stamina, energy, and strong communication skills. Hiring managers will want to assure that you can handle a difficult patient or situation.
Try to share a story that incorporates these values. Perhaps there was a time when you were caretaking for one of your own family members, or maybe you were the oldest child of your family and had to take care of your younger siblings.
The important part of answering this question is showing that you have experience in taking care of other people, even in challenging times, and that you were still able to provide outstanding care and compassion to those around you.
How do you enter a patient’s room for the first time?
Being a CNA requires you to conduct yourself professionally and delicately in sensitive health-related duties, and this question is meant to gauge your professionalism in taking on the role.
Because CNAs are more involved with patients than other healthcare providers, it’s important to show that you can show respect and privacy to the patients you’ll be taking care of.
To answer this question, make sure to communicate that you will:
- Knock on the patient’s door first before entering and wait until they’re ready before entering
- Introduce yourself to your patient
- Make friendly small talk
- Begin your daily duties
- Ask your patient if they need any additional services or other questions
Apply for a CNA job at The Kensington Reston and become a part of a team that feels like family
The Kensington Reston is a senior living community that loves and cares for its residents as they would their own family members.
Our community is growing and needs compassionate and loving caretakers to join our team.