Create a free account to share with and learn from Incredible Health's nurse community.

Ask a question or provide answers of your own.

Interview Question Advice: "Tell me about a time you failed. How did you handle it?"

October 3rd, 2021

Everyone fails. I knew a patient was going to code and when they finally did circumstances were not in my favor. I was alone, with my overhead phone dead so no way to call for help besides the call light and started cpr on my own continuously until a coworker finally walked by and saw me. You make the best of what you have and my doctor said that was the best ran code he ever saw regardless of the results.

November 28th, 2021

It is never easy to lose a patient, I have worked in hospice and letting people know that their loved one is in the last chapter of their lives is very hard. I just had a family whose mom was passing she was young 52 and they could not let go I spent a lot of time trying to work with than working with the patient who knew she was passing

December 18th, 2021

I've been a DON in a hospital and am currently a DON at a hospice agency. This is one of the questions I always ask. I really don't like it when people can't give me an answer of how they have failed. We all have failed. So this should be an interview question that you have thought about ahead of time, so you have a ready answer. The answer should include the circumstances around the failure. The how you dealt with it part is the most important part of your answer.

For instance if a nurse applicant tells me about her failure and then goes on to explain that she didn't tell anyone, but that it turned out the patient was OK, so all was good. I would not be happy with that answer. The answer we want to hear is that you owned your failure and took responsibility for it. So the right answer would be to honestly say that you told your charge nurse/nurse manager what had happened, you notified the doctor, you filled out an incident report. And maybe that you even went a little farther than that because you were concerned that other nurses might make the same mistake that you did. For instance you did some research around your mistake and developed a 10 minute in-service to provide training to your coworkers.