So, you landed an NP interview. Congrats! That’s big news. Now it’s time to prepare to crush it and hopefully get your dream job. There are many important aspects to preparing for a nurse practitioner interview. Most often, we spend lots of time preparing our responses to common interview questions. However, an important component to interview preparation that is often forgotten, is what questions YOU should ask during the interview. This is not just an interview of you by the company. It is also an interview of the company by you. You both need to ensure that it will be a good fit for everyone, if you are offered the position. I have listed some of the most important questions for nurse practitioners to ask during interviews below. I hope you find it helpful!
1)     How is success measured in this role?
This question is crucial in determining what is important to the interview panel and the company as a whole. For example, if the answer to this question involves a certain number of patients seen per day, you can anticipate a heavy patient load in this role. Furthermore, if the answer involves an amount of generated revenue, you can anticipate high pressure to bill in this role. Asking this question can give you a glimpse into what is valued by the company, what your day-to-day might look like in this position, and how you can be successful in the role, if offered the position. 
2)     Who will be in charge of my training and how long will the training period last?
It is going to be important to get specific answers here. Clarify how long the training period will be, what you will be doing, who will be training you, and if it will be a structured or informal orientation. Nurse practitioner orientation can honestly make or break an NPs experience and preparedness at a specific clinic or hospital. If you are not given a proper orientation, you may not be able to perform to the best of your abilities or achieve what you otherwise could in that role. 
3)     Will I be expected to mentor/ precept new employees or students?
This is especially important if you do not have a lot of experience as a nurse practitioner. It is crucial to determine if, and in how long, you will be expected to provide leadership and coaching in your new role. It is also important to determine if there will be sufficient clinical support in the office or hospital, if you are a less-experienced NP. There is nothing more stress-provoking than being a new provider, in a new role, without sufficient support, and expected to provide mentoring to other clinical staff. 
4)     Why is the last NP leaving or why are you hiring an NP for the first time?
Understanding why the last nurse practitioner left the position might help you better understand the culture of the office or the expectations that might accompany the position. While the reason for the previous NP leaving might be purely personal, it could also possibly be due to demanding daily responsibilities, lack of available support, or a toxic work environment. Hopefully, it isn’t any of those things, but it’s important to ask. If the clinic you are applying to work at has never employed an NP, that will also be important to address. Why are they looking to hire an NP now? Are they expanding? Are they unable to keep up with the current patient load? This is important to understand, even if it feels uncomfortable to ask in the moment. 
5)     How would you describe the office culture?
Finding the right culture for you will be crucial to your happiness in your new position. Every office is different, and every nurse practitioner is different. You need to determine what is important to you relating to the people you surround yourself with and the environment you spend your time in. While asking this question to the interviewer can be very informative, nothing will be more helpful than simply spending a few minutes in the office, interacting with the other staff. Seeing if you mesh well with the people in the office or hospital will be crucial to your happiness in your new role. 
6)     What are your concerns about my background or abilities to be successful in the position? 
If you ask this question, you will most likely receive valuable information that you can use when you explain to the interviewer why you are the best candidate for the position. However, if you ask this question, you also MUST be willing to receive it in a professional manner. It is important to show the interviewer that you are teachable and willing to grow as a nurse practitioner. Remember to take notes! Not only will this help you remember the things they said, but it will also convey to the interviewer that you are prepared and engaged. 
7)     What is the typical patient load that I can expect?
The importance of this question cannot be overstated, even more so if you are a new grad or a newer nurse practitioner. Make sure that you clarify if the office is “fast-paced” or “slower-paced” and then inquire about what that means, specifically. How many patients will you be required to see per hour? Per day? Will there be extra time for certain visits or certain patients? The workload that is expected from you in your role can make a huge difference in your job satisfaction and your ability to provide high-quality patient care. Make sure that you have realistic expectations of patient load before you accept a position. 
8)     Are licensure, certification, and CE expenses reimbursed?
Licenses, certifications, and continuing education expenses can add up very quickly and have the potential to cause financial strain. Some companies, depending on their policies, will pay for or reimburse a certain amount for these expenses. These perks can often be negotiated into the contract during the hiring process. Don’t forget to advocate for yourself!
9)     What traits, qualifications, and experience are necessary to be successful in this role? 
While the goal of the interview should be to receive a job offer, you don’t want to end up in a role that you are not a good fit for. Accordingly, it is important to ask about the traits that are necessary to be successful in the role you are applying for. In addition, asking this question might be useful in determining which skills you should improve upon to be successful in your role, if offered the position. 
10)   What benefits/ bonuses are offered? 
The benefits that are offered (or not offered) can be a deal-breaker for certain nurse practitioners. If you or your family are dependent on you to provide benefits, taking a job that does not offer benefits may not be an option. It is important to clarify before signing a contract what kinds of benefits will be offered while in the position. Further, inquire about the opportunity to receive bonuses in this position. Negotiating better benefits or bonuses is a good way to increase compensation in a way that is not a salary increase.  
The questions you ask in your next NP interview are important for so many reasons. First, they show the interview panel that you are thorough, prepared, and forward-thinking. But most of all, these questions are important because they help you determine if this is the right job for you. You are valuable and you deserve to work in the perfect environment for you. Best of luck in your interviews! I know your preparation will pay off. 

About the Author

Madeleine Skousen, MSN, FNP-C

Madeleine has been an APPAA contributor since 2020. Madeleine received her family nurse practitioner degree from Georgetown University.