Certifified Nursing Assistant (CNA)
Interview Questions

As you embark on the process of hiring a Certified Nursing Assistant (CNA), crafting insightful interview questions is pivotal to identifying candidates with both technical expertise and interpersonal skills crucial in healthcare. The following questions have been carefully curated to assess various facets of a candidate’s capabilities in providing compassionate and effective patient care.

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1. Can you provide an overview of your experience as a CNA, highlighting key responsibilities and achievements in your previous roles?

  • Assessing the candidate’s depth of experience, this question allows them to showcase their technical proficiency, achievements, and contributions in past CNA positions.

2. What motivated you to become a CNA, and how has your passion for healthcare influenced your career choices?

  • This question delves into the candidate’s intrinsic motivation, providing insights into their commitment, passion for healthcare, and the factors shaping their career decisions.

3. How do you ensure patient privacy and confidentiality? Can you provide an example from your past experience?

  • By probing the candidate’s understanding and application of patient privacy regulations, this question assesses their practical knowledge and commitment to maintaining confidentiality in healthcare settings.

4. Describe a challenging situation you faced in your previous role as a CNA. How did you handle it, and what was the outcome?

  • This question explores the candidate’s problem-solving abilities, resilience, and the outcomes of their actions in navigating challenging situations within a healthcare context.

5. Communication is crucial in healthcare. How do you effectively communicate with patients, their families, and other healthcare professionals?

  • Evaluating the candidate’s communication skills, this question aims to uncover their ability to convey information clearly and empathetically, which is essential for collaborative and patient-centered care.

6. How do you stay updated on the latest healthcare regulations and best practices in your field?

  • This query gauges the candidate’s commitment to professional development, highlighting their proactive approach to staying informed about evolving healthcare standards and best practices.

7. Can you discuss a time when you had to work with a difficult or uncooperative patient? How did you approach the situation?

  • Assessing interpersonal skills, this question explores the candidate’s ability to navigate challenging patient interactions with empathy, patience, and effective communication.

8. How do you prioritize tasks and ensure timely and accurate patient care in a fast-paced healthcare environment?

  • Evaluating organizational skills, this question delves into the candidate’s strategies for managing tasks efficiently, ensuring that patient care remains timely and of high quality in a dynamic healthcare setting.

9. Describe your approach to emotional support for patients and their families. Can you share a specific example?

  • This question assesses the candidate’s empathy and ability to provide emotional support, encouraging them to share a specific instance where they demonstrated compassion, fostering a patient-centered approach to care.

10. How do you ensure infection control and maintain a clean and safe patient environment?

  • Focusing on patient safety, this question evaluates the candidate’s knowledge of infection control protocols and their commitment to maintaining a hygienic and safe environment for patients.

11. How do you handle a situation where a patient or family member expresses dissatisfaction with the care they are receiving?

  • Assessing conflict resolution skills, this question gauges the candidate’s ability to diplomatically address concerns, ensuring patient and family satisfaction through effective communication and resolution.

12. Can you share a scenario where you had to collaborate with other team members to provide comprehensive patient care?

  • This question explores teamwork and collaboration, allowing the candidate to showcase instances where they effectively collaborated with colleagues to deliver comprehensive and coordinated patient care.

13. What strategies do you use to adapt to changes in patient conditions or unexpected situations in a healthcare setting?

  • Assessing adaptability, this question probes the candidate’s ability to navigate unexpected challenges in patient care, showcasing their strategies for adjusting to evolving patient conditions or unforeseen circumstances.

14. Describe a time when you had to follow a specific protocol or procedure to ensure patient safety. How did you ensure compliance?

  • Focusing on adherence to protocols, this question evaluates the candidate’s commitment to patient safety by exploring a specific instance where they followed established procedures, ensuring compliance and maintaining a safe environment.

15. How do you handle stress and pressure in a demanding healthcare environment, and how do you prevent burnout?

  • Assessing stress management and self-care, this question allows the candidate to share their coping mechanisms, demonstrating an awareness of the demanding nature of healthcare and their strategies for maintaining resilience and preventing burnout.

Additional and Alternative Questions

Every organization and hiring initiative is unique. The questions above are designed to help you find and hire an excellent candidate, but there may be additional or alternative questions that better suit your needs. Here are some ideas to help you round out your interviews. 

  • What motivated you to become a Certified Nursing Assistant?
  • Can you describe your experience working with patients who have dementia or other mental health conditions?
  • How do you prioritize tasks when caring for multiple patients at once?
  • Can you tell us about a difficult situation you encountered at work and how you handled it?
  • How do you ensure patient confidentiality and privacy?
  • Can you share a time when you went above and beyond for a patient?
  • How do you handle conflicts or disagreements with fellow healthcare team members?
  • Can you describe your experience working with electronic medical records?
  • How do you handle a patient who refuses to comply with their treatment plan?
  • What do you think is the most critical quality for a Certified Nursing Assistant to possess?


We hope the questions outlined here will serve you as a guide during the hiring process. Tailored to assess technical and interpersonal skills, these questions aim to identify passionate, adaptable, and skilled Certified Nursing Assistant candidates capable of delivering compassionate, patient-centered care in dynamic healthcare environments.

While these questions are often helpful, tailoring them to your organization’s needs and culture can further enhance the hiring process. We wish you luck throughout your hiring process!

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