Job interviews are no walk in the park, and nursing interviews, with their blend of technical and interpersonal queries, can be particularly challenging.

Let’s dive into how to tackle a common stumbling block: answering questions about “conflict resolution”.

How to Answer Nursing Interview Questions “Conflict Resolution”

Understanding the Conflict

First things first, understanding what conflict is, is as essential as knowing how to read a patient’s chart.

Conflicts can spring up like weeds in a garden, from disagreements between colleagues to challenges in patient care.

Knowing the types of conflicts that can occur in a nursing environment is the first step to resolving them.

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Why is “Conflict Resolution” Important?

In the hustle and bustle of a healthcare setting, friction can be as common as a common cold.

Whether it’s a clash of personalities, differing views on treatment, or simply high-stress situations, conflicts are part and parcel of the job.

Being adept at conflict resolution is a valuable skill, showing that you can maintain a cool head and effective communication even in heated situations.

The Structure of Your Answer

So, how should you structure your answer when faced with the question of conflict resolution?

Think of it as a three-act play: the situation, the action, and the result.

This is commonly known as the ‘STAR’ method – Situation, Task, Action, and Result.

Situation and Task

Describe the situation and your specific role or task. Be as specific as you can, but remember, no need to write a novel. Keep it short and snappy.


Next, describe the actions you took to resolve the conflict. Remember to focus on what you did, not the team or someone else.


Finally, discuss the result of your actions. It’s a good idea to highlight how your actions led to a positive outcome, and what you learned from the experience.

Sample Answer to “Conflict Resolution” Question

Let’s bring it all together. Here’s a sample response using the STAR method:

Situation & Task:

“In my previous role as an ER nurse, a conflict arose between a fellow nurse and myself over the treatment plan for a patient. We both had the patient’s best interest at heart, but disagreed on the best course of action.”


“I asked the nurse if we could step aside and discuss the situation. I listened to her perspective, expressed my own, and then suggested we consult with the attending physician to get further insight.”


“We ended up presenting both options to the doctor, who suggested a blended approach that incorporated both our ideas. This experience taught me the value of open communication and collaboration in resolving conflicts.”

Find Your Next Nursing Job
Use the NurseMoneyTalk job board to look for and apply to great nursing jobs near you.

Tips for Answering Conflict Resolution Questions

Now that you’ve got the structure down, let’s dive into some tips to make your answer shine like a freshly sterilized scalpel.

Stay Positive

Even when discussing conflicts, aim to keep your tone positive. Focus on the resolution, not just the conflict.

Use Real Examples

Where possible, use real examples from your experiences.

Be Specific

Specificity is the spice of life, and it’s the same for your answers. The more specific you are about the situation and your actions, the better the interviewer can assess your skills.

Show Empathy

Empathy is the cornerstone of nursing. Show that you understand and respect others’ perspectives, even when you disagree.

Demonstrate Growth

Every conflict is a chance to grow. Be sure to highlight what you learned from the situation and how it’s shaped your approach to conflict resolution.

Practicing Your Answers

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “Practice makes perfect”, right? Well, in this case, practice makes confident.

Spend time reviewing common nursing interview questions and practice your responses.

Remember, it’s not about memorizing a script, but being comfortable with the structure of your answer and your key points.

Common “Conflict Resolution” Questions in Nursing Interviews

Here’s a list of some common nursing interview questions related to conflict resolution.

For more questions, along with example answers, check out the linked article:

  1. Can you provide an example of a time when you resolved a conflict with a coworker?
  2. How do you handle disagreements with doctors regarding patient care?
  3. Describe a situation where you had a conflict with a patient or their family. How did you resolve it?
  4. How do you manage stress in high-conflict situations?
  5. Can you tell me about a time when you helped to resolve a conflict within your team?
Find Your Next Nursing Job
Use the NurseMoneyTalk job board to look for and apply to great nursing jobs near you.

Key Takeaways on Answering Nursing Interview Questions “Conflict Resolution”

At the end of the day, answering nursing interview questions on “conflict resolution” boils down to demonstrating your ability to effectively communicate, empathize with others, and problem-solve in stressful situations.

Use the STAR method, keep your tone positive, and provide specific examples from your experiences.

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Frequently Asked Questions

That’s perfectly fine! You can talk about minor disagreements or conflicts from other areas of your life, such as school or volunteer work. The key is to show how you handle and resolve conflicts.

While it’s important to provide context, your focus should be on the resolution. This is your opportunity to showcase your problem-solving and interpersonal skills.

In real life, not every conflict is neatly resolved. It’s okay to share examples where the outcome wasn’t ideal. The important thing is to demonstrate what you learned from the experience and how you would handle a similar situation differently in the future.

While professional examples are ideal, non-professional examples can be used as a last resort. If you decide to use a non-professional example, make sure it’s relevant and showcases your ability to resolve conflicts effectively.

Sometimes, conflicts remain unresolved despite our best efforts. If you choose to share such an example, focus on your actions and what you learned from the experience.

The ‘STAR’ method is a structured way of responding to behavioral interview questions. It stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. It’s a way to tell a story about your experiences clearly and effectively.

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