During occupational health nurse interviews, interviewers seek candidates with a strong understanding of health and safety regulations, enthusiasm for the role, and effective teaching abilities.

Here are ten potential questions you might encounter in an occupational health nursing interview.

Occupational Health Nursing Interview Questions with Example Answers

1. Are You Certified As An Occupational Health Nurse?

Occupational health nurses usually hold a master’s degree and certification.

Let the interviewer know if you are already certified, or if not, let them know what steps you are taking to become certified.


“I am certified as an occupational health nurse. I have a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree from X University, and a master’s in occupational health from the same university.

Additionally, I am a member of the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses (AAOHN).

2. What Are 5 Traits You Believe Occupational Health Nurses Should Have?

smiling nurse

How you answer this question will help the interviewer assess the depth of your knowledge about the position.

You can use your top personal skills that relate to the job description and explain how those skills have helped you in your career development.

You can also add how those skills can benefit your employer.


“All occupational health nurses should have good interpersonal skills, organization, problem-solving skills, patience, and a detail-oriented mindset.

Those traits can help the nurse overcome work challenges like long shifts, conflict resolution, illness exposure, and legislation changes.

I believe those traits are important because they allowed me to provide high-quality patient care.”

3. What Would You Do If A Patient Refuses To Follow Your Care Plan?

angry patient

To succeed in their job, occupational health nurses must have good interpersonal skills to help them deal with challenges.

Your answer here will demonstrate to the interviewer if you have experienced refusal of treatment before, how you handled it, and what the outcome was.


“When a patient refuses to follow the suggested treatment plan, I explain that I cannot force them to follow it.

At the same time, I reassure them that this is the best course of action to improve their health status.

I try to explore their reasons for refusing during a conversation and remind them that I will support them regardless of their choice.

Sometimes patients are shocked by their diagnosis and take time to understand how to deal with their health problems.

Once the patient processed the information, they returned and requested the treatment suggested before.

It is important that I leave the patient with all the necessary information for them to make their own informed decision without feeling pressured into following my advice.”

4. Provide An Example Of A Time When You Identified A Risk In A Workplace And Developed A Strategy To Mitigate It.

One of the tasks of an occupational health nurse is to assess and identify risks in the workplace and develop strategies for preventing them.

Use an example from your previous work experience to demonstrate to the interviewer where you identified risks, developed plans to mitigate those risks, and implemented the plan successfully.


“In my previous employment in an industrial workplace, I identified a risk in how employees handled hazardous materials.

My strategy to reduce the risk was implementing safety protocols and providing employee training on handling hazardous materials safely.

I developed detailed instructions on how the materials should be stored, their handling, and ways of disposal for employees to follow.

Each employee was issued with protective equipment and was taught emergency response plans to prepare them in case of an accident.

Together with management, we conducted regular inspections to ensure compliance. We also held regular review meetings to discuss areas where improvement could be made.

This way, the work environment became safer for everyone.”

5. If A Patient Develops a Severe Reaction To A Chemical, How Would You Respond?

a nurse and a patient talking

Injury on duty can happen at any time. Occupational health nurse needs to be prepared to treat all types of injuries.

In your answer, show the interviewer how you made quick decisions under pressure to provide medical care to this patient by using critical thinking skills.


“If a patient had a severe reaction to a chemical, I would ensure that the patient is in a safe place away from further exposure.

If needed, I would assess the patient and administer appropriate medication and oxygen therapy.

If the patient developed serious symptoms, I would call for medical assistance and transfer the patient by ambulance to a medical facility.

I would document all the relevant information about the incident, including the type of chemical involved, the patient’s symptoms, and any treatments administered.

By taking these steps, I can help ensure the patient’s safety while providing an accurate record for future reference.”

6. What Strategies Can An Organization Take To Improve Its Workplace Safety Record? What Would You Do To Implement New Safety Procedures And Educate Employees About Best Practices?

The interviewer asks this question to determine whether you can function as an advanced-level practitioner.

If you have experienced this challenge before, you can recount your experience.

If you have never been in this situation, think about what your occupational health nursing textbooks recommend you do in such a situation.


“To help an organization improve its safety record, I must draft and implement a new set of safety procedures.

To do that, I would need to comprehensively assess the current safety policies, practices, and processes in place. I would evaluate any existing employee training programs and identify any gaps or weaknesses in the system.

After an assessment, I would create new safety guidelines, train workers, and introduce incentives for following the new safety procedures.

I would work with management to implement new safety protocols based on best practices and standards.

I would develop educational materials like posters, handouts, and videos to inform the workers about the new safety protocols.

Finally, I would set up a review schedule to ensure the new safety procedures are effective and adjust as needed.”

7. What Challenges Have You Faced While Working As An Occupational Health Nurse?

black nurse recording data

This question can help the interviewer gain insight into your problem-solving ability and adaptability to challenging situations.

Your answer should highlight a specific challenge you faced in your previous role and how you overcame it.


“My biggest challenge to date was ensuring employees receive appropriate care for their work-related injuries.

It is a challenge because each case needs to be considered individually to ensure the best possible outcome for the employee and the employer.

I need to manage competing demands. Workers want to be allowed sufficient time for full recovery before returning to work, while employers want the worker back as quickly as possible.

I need to balance those interests to ensure everyone is satisfied.”

8. Describe A Time When You Had To Handle A Difficult Situation Involving Multiple Stakeholders.

As an occupational health nurse, you may need to work with others and manage conflict in the workplace.

The interviewer needs to assess your communication skills and problem-solving abilities. Demonstrate your abilities in those skills in your answer.


“Recently, I had a case of injury on duty. The employee, their supervisor, and the safety manager were all involved in the incident.

First, I assessed the employee’s injury and provided medical care.

Then I worked with the supervisor to ensure all protocols were followed and the employee received the time off needed to recover.

Finally, I worked with the safety manager to identify the hazards that contributed to the accident and develop strategies to prevent similar incidents from occurring.”

9. What Strategies Do You Use To Ensure That Employees Follow Safety Protocols?

nurses talking

An occupational health nurse needs to ensure that employees follow safety protocols. It can be difficult at times and needs good teaching and leadership skills.

Show the interviewer where you helped employees understand the importance of following safety protocols and how it benefited them in their work environment.


“I believe the most effective way to ensure employee cooperation in following safety protocols is through education and training.

Creating a place where employees feel comfortable voicing their concerns and asking questions about safety protocols ensures safety is on everyone’s mind.

I also conduct periodic inspections to identify potential hazards in the workplace and take corrective action to ensure everyone follows safety protocols.”

10. What Would You Say Makes A Successful Workplace Safety Program?

An interviewer may ask this question to gain insight into the depth of your occupational health knowledge.

Your answer should include how you would contribute to the success of their workplace safety program.


“A successful workplace safety program protects employees from work-related hazards. It should include safety policies and procedures based on best practices and standards.

Employees should be trained on how to use all the equipment safely.

They should also be issued appropriate personal protective equipment.

The workplace safety program must include a medical component where employees can receive medical advice and support.

It also should have an effective system for reporting all workplace accidents and incidents.”

Key Takeaways

The above model answers must be personalized by adapting them to your circumstances.

Preparing for how you answer the interview questions beforehand will make you appear more confident during the real interview.

Confident answers build credibility in you as a candidate and increase your chances of getting the job offer. Let’s hope you will get it.

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