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The demand for nursing assistants is growing as people are now living longer. However, many people are sick, obese and can’t take care of themselves as they get older. As the population is getting older, the demand for CNA certifications and nursing homes are growing. CNA stands for Certified Nursing Assistant and they are the people that provide comfort, compassion and care to patients in long-term care facilities, rehab centers, hospitals, retirement homes and adult daycares. To get this job, however, you need to properly answer the CNA interview questions.

There are at least 15 important CNA interview questions you need to know in order to get the CNA certification and get the job. Here are the questions and good sample answers for each of them.

1) Why Do You Want to Become a CNA?

This is one of the common first interview questions that are asked by hiring managers to anyone interested in a CNA job. Your answer will show your interviewers how committed you are to the post. To answer this question, you can start with a story that shows you like caring for people and give examples where you’ve acted as a caregiver.  Your ability to communicate effectively with patients makes a huge difference in giving them adequate care.

2) How Do You Handle Difficult Patients?

This is one of the interview questions that the hiring managers ask to see if you can stay calm if a patient refused care. Nurses usually meet uncooperative patients in the course of their work and you should have the ability to deal with the situation in a positive way. You should answer this question by letting them know that difficult patients are part of the job and that you understand this. You can also go ahead and tell of a situation where you’ve handled a difficult patient, it could be a relative or friend you helped to care for.

3) What Should You Do When Entering a Patient’s Room for the First Time?

This is a question that wants to learn if you can help patients maintain their dignity. Your answer to this question will let the hiring managers know more about your bedside manners. To answer this question, you have to walk through your actions when entering a room and explain how you show empathy to the sick person. You should also explain that you can show professionalism while dealing with the person.

4) What Is a CNA Responsible For?

The interviewers ask you this question because they want to know if you understand what the job entails. You should answer well to show that you are willing to do what it takes to get the job done. In answering this question, you let the interviewers know that the patient is your number one priority. You should also list all the tasks need for a certified nursing assistant and any tasks that were listed in the job posting. Explain to the interviewer that you understand how the chain of command works in the job interview.

5) As a CNA, Are There Some Tasks You Are Not Willing to Perform?

This job interview question wants to make sure that you understand the job description and all that the job requires. The interviewers want to know if you understand the unpleasant areas of the job and if you are willing to do what it takes as a CNA. To answer this question, you will first acknowledge that you understand the unpleasant tasks involved but then they are part of the job. You should let them know that you have some experience in these types of tasks and assure them that you will do everything that is required of you as a CNA.

6) How Would You Decide Who to Attend to First When Handling Several Patients?

This is a job interview question that is asked to see what you will do in certain situations. The hiring managers want to know if you can handle multiple tasks at the same time, and be very organized. To answer this question, you let the interviewers know that you can shuffle different tasks and still stay calm. Make an emphasis that a CNA always bases their priorities based on a patients health and so the one with the most priority among your patients will be handled first. You should also talk about how your education has prepared you for this type of job and will help identify urgent health situations. You can also give an example where you have handled many tasks and stayed organized and composed through it all.

7) Did You Enjoy Your CNA Classes? (What Did You Like Most?)

Many times, the CNA certification can be completed in a few weeks to a month and some can be done completely online. This job interview question wants to know if you enjoyed both the practical and non-practical aspects of the training. In answering this question, you should list all the major lessons and skills you got during the training. Let them know that you enjoyed the practice with all the good and bad things that belong to certified nursing assistants and that you feel you are ready for the job.

8) Why Do You Want To Work As A CNA Here?

This is one of the interview questions that aim to know why you choose this particular health facility and not others. The employer wants to feel special that you chose them above all else. So in answering this question, don’t tell them that you have applied to so many places with no luck. Rather tell them you visited different health facilities and you made your choice based on their conditions of work there. You can also let them know that their place is close to your house so you won’t have a problem commuting to and fro.

9) Why Haven’t You Enrolled As A Registered Nurse?

For medical professionals, nurses earn more, almost twice as much as CNAs so this question wants to know why you are not going straight for an RN instead of an assistant. To answer this question, you let them know that you understand that nursing jobs pay more in the medical field but that your financial situation at the moment will not allow you to go to a nursing school. Tell them about your family situation, if you have kids and other dependents that you provide for. You can show them that you may consider going for a registered nurse in the future but then, it depends on so many other things.

10) How Do You Feel About Working With People In Bad Physical Condition?

This question is asked to see if you are a person of empathy and can sympathize with people in very bad conditions. Your answer should be in the affirmative. Let them know that you understand that the job of a CNA is to turn patients, bath people, feed patients, clean them up and other aspects of patient care. Tell them that you have a lot of respect for old people and you have done all these duties before so you can comfortable take care of people in need.

11) Where Do You See Yourself Five Years From Now?

Many employers want to hire someone who can stay with them for a long time because the cost of hiring and paying a salary is a lot of expense. That’s why interviewers usually ask this question so they can gauge your loyalty. In answering this question, you should let them know that you love to stay in a place for a long time. Tell them that even if you should become a nurse in the near future, you would love to stay in the same place with your new qualification and same attitude.

12) How Do You Feel About Working Late At Night?

This is another essential question that you will be asked by the interviewers. They are asking you this question to know if you understand that the job involves working night shifts and if you can do it. To answer this question, let them know that you have no problem waking up at night to care for sick people. Tell them you also have some experience being up at night caring for people.

13) What Are Your Strengths And Weaknesses?

Everyone has weaknesses as well as strengths but it is your attitude that the hiring managers want to know. The interviewers ask this question to know whether you can admit to having a weakness and will try to improve on it. So in answering, pick out the relevant strengths you need as a CNA and talk about them. Then talk about your weaknesses that are not essential for your job as a CNA and elaborate on how you are working hard to improve on them.

14) This Is A Difficult And Repetitive Job. What Would Motivate You To Do It Well Every Day?

CNA job is not an easy one. Again, it can be repetitive which can become boring. The hiring managers ask this question to see if you understand the repetitive nature of the job and if you can continue motivating yourself for the work. To answer, let them know that you are aware of what the job entails and you are prepared for it. You can also talk about other jobs like a salesperson in a shop, or an office manager and emphasize that their jobs are mostly repetitive. Then you can add that your need to pay bills is enough motivation for you in your nursing profession.

15) How Would You Describe A Great Colleague?

This question may not be directly related to CNA but it is still a good job question. The hiring managers want to know if you can relate well with your fellow staff as this will affect your job. To answer this question, you can mention some of the qualities of a great colleague like being a good team player, friendly, responsible and someone who is qualified for the job. Let them know that you have all these qualities and you can focus on yourself mostly as you can only control yourself.


Going for a CNA interview is not a critical situation as this is one of the simpler job interviews available. Again you will not be competing with many people for the job, yet you should prepare well for the interview as it could be the start of a great career. For your job search, conduct good research for the place you want to work in, read these CNA interview questions and practice your answers so you can get the job.