Top 20 Mental Health Nursing Interview Questions & Answers 2024

Editorial Team

Interview Questions for Mental Health Nursing

Mental health nursing, also known as psychiatric nursing, is a nursing practice specialization that involves treating and caring for people with mental disorders. These nurses help such individuals to recover and also improve their quality of life. There are some questions that you will be asked in a mental health nursing interview. Keep in mind that most of these questions revolve around a particular practice, and therefore, you need vast knowledge in this field. 

1.     Why Are You Interested In This Role? 

Tip 1: The interviewer would like to know what sparked your interest in this role.  

Tip 2: You can mention a personal story. 

Answer: I have always wanted to make a change in society in any possible way. I wanted to help people live better life and contribute to social campaigns that would make this world a better place. This job has given me a chance to actualize this. I believe that your company will even make me more fulfilled as I go about the assigned roles. I will also use the experiences that I have gained for the betterment of your institution. 

2.      What Are The Roles Of a Mental Health Nurse? 

Tip 1: The interviewer wants to know if you understand what this role entails. 

Tip 2: Mention the roles that you think a Mental health Nurse performs. 

Answer: A mental health nurse is charged with assessing and talking to patients about the issues and problems they are suffering, planning the best possible way to give them care and attention, building strong ties with the patients and boosting their trust, and also listening and attending to their needs and wants. 

3.      What Are The Qualities That a Mental Health Nurse Should Possess To Be Effective?

Tip 1: The interviewer wants to know if you are a perfect fit for this role.

Tip 2: Mention the qualities that you have and can deliver for better performance. 

Answer: A mental health nurse needs several qualities owing to the nature of the job. He/ she should have the following: 

– problem-solving skills

– good judgment 

– Ability to offer quality advice

– observational skills

– interpersonal communication 

– resilience 

– compassion 

4.      What Major Challenges Did You Face During Your Last Role? How Did You Handle It? 

Tip 1:The interviewer wants to know what you consider challenging.  

Tip 2: Highlight that challenges make you work harder and improve in dispensing your role

Answer: I have faced several challenges while dispensing my roles as a mental health nurse. During my last position, I worked in a mental institution, and most of the patients got violent at times. It was quite scary, and I had to call security all the time. I learned that even though one should be free when dealing with such patients, safety should be prioritized. 

5.      Describe Your Daily Routine As A Mental Health Nurse?

Tip 1: The interviewer wants to know how much work you were doing before

Tip 2: Highlight the days when you achieved the most. The roles you mention should be job-specific. 

Answer: A typical day in the life of a mental health nurse starts early. I report to work on time and check on the patients. I talk to them to assess their needs and identify some of the things that need to be done. I then plan their meeting with the psychiatrist and give them therapeutic and medical care. I ensure that they take their medication and, at times, even administer them myself. 

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6.      Describe Briefly Your Mental Health Nursing Experience? 

Tip 1: The interviewer wants to know your experience in this role 

Tip 2: Convince the interviewer that you are experienced in this particular role. 

Answer: I have managed to work in several nursing homes and mental institutions. I have learned how to deal with all types of patients, including violent ones. I know the best drug combinations to help them relax. I have also attended different workshops in my career and listened to some of the best mental health practitioners who have built me. 

7.      What Kind Of Strategies And Mindset Is Required For This Role? Explain With Example 

Tip 1: The interviewer wants to know if you have what it takes for this role.  

Tip 2: Highlight the mindset that helped you do your job well 

Answer: In this role, I have learned that people deserve to be treated equally despite their mental well-being. The mindset I adopted and has helped me ace this role is accepting all the patients as they are. one of the most functional strategies is first getting familiar with the patient. This fosters understanding. 

8.      What Is The Biggest Challenge That You Foresee In This Job? 

Tip 1: The interviewer would like to know if you conducted proper research about the firm. 

Tip 2: The interviewer wants to know if you will settle into your new role 

Answer: I believe that all mental health workers face the same challenges. This job revolves around helping patients who may at times be violent, physical, and suicidal. Therefore, I cannot say that I have identified a specific challenge but have managed to gain lots of experience. I have been in this industry for a long time, which I believe can help me handle any obstacles. 

9.      How Do You Stay Motivated At Work? 

Tip 1: What keeps you going despite the challenges? 

Tip 2: You need to convince the interviewer that your motivation is non-monetary. 


I love helping people who have been shunned in society. My motivation comes from seeing my patients happy and interested in life once more. This is more than money can ever help me achieve. Therefore, I wake up every day to go and help the patients be better. 

10.  Describe A Time You Failed In This Role And The Lesson You Learned

Tip 1: The interviewer wants to know if you are an accountable person. 

Tip 2: Highlight the times you failed and the lesson you learned. 

Answer: I believe that there is very little space for failure for someone in this role. However, some of these are inevitable and must be faced as they come. I once found myself in a very confusing situation at work when I believed that my patient was well and lowered my guard. He almost strangled me, and I had to undergo therapy for quite some time. I learned to always be careful when attending to patients and not be too trusting. 

11.  What do you prefer? A day or night Shift?

Tip 1: The interviewer wants to know if you are flexible enough

Tip 2: Mention that you are flexible and available whenever needed. 

Answer: I have devoted my life to helping people with mental issues, given that I was raised in a broken home. Therefore, I am okay with whatever shift the institution finds fit. I have both worked night and day shift in my career, and consequently, I can easily handle both. 

12.  Do You Think Teamwork Is Important?

Tip 1: You will be working with others in the given institution. Your answer should be affirmative. 

Tip 2: Show the interviewer that you are ready to work with all kinds of people if you are

Answer: I understand that there will be many occasions when I will be working in a team. I always enjoy teamwork, as it helps me stay more focused in my day at work. Also, you get to learn more about others and practice interpersonal skills. 

13.  What Would You Do to A Crying Patient at 1 am In The Night?

Tip 1: The interviewer wants to know if you are empathetic

Tip 2: Show the interviewer that you have the right skills to carry on this role 

Answer: I know such a situation can be very stressful, but managing it cannot be hard. I will first keep my calm and try my best not to panic. I will calm the patient and determine what is wrong and what I can do to make it better. I will even tell him/ her story to calm her nerves and even offer sedatives to quell him/ her. 

14.  What Will, You Do If Your Patient Doesn’t Take The Dosage?

Tip 1: The interviewer wants to know if you are competent enough.  

Tip 2: Show your skills in managing patients 

Answer: It is part of my job to convince the patient to take his/ her medicine. I understand that some patients may not love their treatment and will try twice as much to avoid them. I will explain to the employee the importance of the drugs and even use specific incentives to take their medicine. 

15.  Do You Believe That Communication Is An Asset for Nurses?

Tip 1: Highlight that communication is key 

Tip 2: You should also tell the interviewer that you need to keep up with your patients.  

Answer: People will only open up with good communication. I believe that communication is essential in every job, and not only in nursing. It can help one understand a patient better and develop better solutions to help him/ her. It can even be impossible to know what is wrong with a patient if there is no communication. 

16.  Are You Able To Solve Issues With Your Colleagues?

Tip 1: The interviewer wants to know if you have good conflict resolution skills. 

Tip 2: Highlight that you can effectively solve issues. 

Answer: I believe that people should always relate well in a job setting. I do not allow team members to carry bitterness in their hearts and try as hard to solve issues before sunset. This has helped me perform my roles well and relate to others with the utmost respect. 

17.  What Are Your Expectations of Fellow Nurses?

Tip 1: The interviewer wants to see if you will work well with other nurses. 

Tip 2: Convince the interviewer that you are a perfect fit for the given position. 

Answer: When many people are working in any department, there must be mutual coordination among them. I expect that my fellow nurses will be accommodating and friendly to focus on our roles as nurses. 

18.  How Do You Handle Stress In the Workplace?

Tip 1: The interviewer wants to see if you handle stress well. 

Tip 2: Convince the interviewer that you can deal with everything that comes along the way. 

Answer: I believe that this area of specialization can be quite stressful. However, I exercise a lot and do some yoga to keep my mind at ease. I also meditate most of the time and read lots of books to take my mind away from stressful situations. 

19.  How Will You Handle A Disagreement With The Respective Doctor?

Tip 1: The interviewer wants to know if you will relate well with others. 

Tip 2: Highlight how you will keep things in control 

Answer: I believe that people should handle disagreements well and maturely. Once, I had to work in the ER in a small hospital. We were quite understaffed on a few nights, and a good number of workers were busy during the days I looked at the prescription chart and saw that it wasn’t right. I informed the supervisor, and the doctor accepted her mistake. We were able to solve the issue on time. 

20.  How Will You Manage A Patient Struggling With Pain Management?

Tip 1: Show the interviewer that you are empathetic. 

Tip 2: The interviewer wants to know if you will be of help to the patients. 

Answer: I understand how stressful such a situation can be, given that I have been in such a case.I will work with the patient to come up with effective combination therapy to help him/ her manage pain.


These are some of the questions that you should expect in a mental health nurse interview. They should help you answer the questions well. Also, ensure that you pay attention to your tone and posture while answering these questions. 

I wish you all the best in your interview. Do not forget to also come up with different responses.  Hopefully, these interview questions on mental health nursing will help you land your next dream job.