Preparing for an interview as a rehabilitation nurse can be stressful.

To help you prepare, we developed this guide that includes example questions and model answers that may be asked during the interview. 

Rehab Nursing Interview Questions

1. What inspired you to become a rehabilitation nurse?

Interviewers need to ensure you fit into their company culture and meet the requirements for the job.

To find that out, they ask many open-ended questions like this one that lets them get to know you better.

Your answer should reflect the main reason why you are interested in pursuing a career in rehabilitation nursing.

Let the interviewer know you have the necessary insight and dedication to the field and their patients.

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“I love working in a rehabilitation center because I can see the difference it makes to the lives of patients suffering debilitating injuries or illnesses.

I can help them improve their independence and quality of life. It is very rewarding work.”

2. What types of injuries and illnesses have you worked with?

The interviewer needs to assess whether you have the necessary skill and experience to treat patients with various disabilities.

They also want to know that you can handle challenges and provide compassionate patient care. 


“I have worked in a rehabilitation center for five years and have treated patients with many types of disabilities.

I approach each patient as unique and adjust my approach and care based on their needs.

For example, some patients may be depressed after suffering a debilitating accident.

I encourage them to put effort into treatment to get back to living a full life, no matter their physical difficulties.

I care for their physical and psychological needs by providing the best care.”

3. What would you do if a patient refused to cooperate with their treatment plan?

Patients in a rehabilitation center are often difficult and may refuse to participate in the rehabilitation treatment.

Your answer should demonstrate that you have the necessary interpersonal skills and knowledge of treatment methods to manage the situation while maintaining a positive relationship with the patient. 


“In my previous role, I experienced working with patients who resisted or refused treatment.

Sometimes patients resist physical therapy because they feel pain during exercise.

I work with them to develop alternative exercise plans or talk to the medical practitioner about whether their pain medication can be changed to reduce the amount of pain they feel.

If patients refuse to take their prescribed medication, I will talk to them about the reasons for their refusal. Sometimes, patients won’t take their medication because of the side effects.

In such cases, I discuss how the medication is helping their condition and provide additional resources to manage the side effects.”

4. How would you document patient care and progress?

This question is designed to understand how you organize and prioritize your work.

In your answer, highlight your attention to detail, organizational skills, and ability to meet patient outcomes.


“I am familiar with using care management systems for entering all my notes, assessments, and treatment plans.

In my previous position, I managed the documentation for our whole department, so I am familiar with several different software systems.

When working with patients, it’s important to keep track of all you do, so I find the notes section most useful.

I make short notes throughout the day to help me write accurate, detailed reports toward the end of my shift.

This way, I don’t forget to chart any important information for the next shift.”

5. Give an example of a time you had to advocate for a patient.

When dealing with patients who cannot advocate for themselves, the rehabilitation nurse needs to put the patient’s needs first.

Your answer should demonstrate how you stood up for patients in the past and how well you can effectively communicate your ideas. 


“In my previous role, I looked after a patient recovering from a stroke.

The patient’s family wanted to move him to another facility, yet the patient indicated he wanted to stay with us.

I discussed the issue with the family, asking them why they wanted the transfer. They answered that they felt the patient was not progressing in our care.

I explained to them the patient’s condition and deficits he was experiencing and what we were doing for him. I also told the family patient’s wishes to stay with us.

I reassured them that his progress was going according to schedule and explained what they could expect the recovery to look like.

I let them ask questions and voice all their concerns during the meeting.

Ultimately, the family decided to go with the patient’s wishes and let him stay with us.”

6. If a patient experiences negative side effects from a new treatment, how would you handle it?

The interviewer may ask this question to understand how you respond to challenges and react in emergencies.

Your answer should include examples from your experience when you helped a patient overcome the negative side effects to treatment or medication and highlight your ability to remain calm under pressure.

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


“In my previous role, I had a patient experiencing severe side effects from their prescribed medications.

The patient refused to take the medication and asked for a replacement.

Unfortunately, there were no alternatives. The patient became quite angry when he heard that.

I explained to him why the doctor prescribed the medication and discussed alternatives on what could be done to lessen the severity of the side effects.

After hearing about how we can reduce the side effects, the patient agreed to continue taking the medication.”

7. We want to ensure patients have a positive experience in our facility. How would you make sure that each patient feels well cared for?

When caring for patients over the long term, it is an important part of the rehabilitation nurse’s role to ensure you show respect to patients.

This question was designed to help the interviewer understand how you treat patients and their families.


“I believe that connecting with patients personally makes a difference in how they experience care. Each patient wants to feel valued and respected.

I show my care by being available to answer questions and concerns, show empathy when they are struggling with their physiotherapy exercises, and celebrate with them each milestone they achieve in their recovery process.”

8. What would you say is most important to help patients recover?

The interviewer needs to assess your understanding of the rehabilitation nurse’s role in the patient’s recovery process.

They need to know you can identify the most important aspects of the job to prioritize your time and effort accordingly.

Your answer should demonstrate that you understand what patients need the most and will provide the best possible care.


“The most important tasks rehabilitation nurses can do to help patients recover include providing evidence-based care and assessment.

Develop individualized care plans based on the patient’s needs and goals.

Teach patients about the rehabilitation process and what to expect from their progress—working with other team members, like physical and occupational therapists, speech therapists, and social workers.

And lastly, monitor patients’ progress.

Regular assessments of patients’ progress are necessary to ensure patients get support and encouragement if they struggle with some parts of the treatment plan.”

9. You will have to manage a wide range of patients during your shift. How do you cater to each patient’s needs?

To be a successful rehabilitation nurse, you must have the skills and ability to work with various personalities.

Your answer should show how you managed different types of patients in the past.

Include some of your more challenging or difficult-to-work-with patient stories.


“During my five years as a rehabilitation nurse, I’ve seen many different personality types. Some are reserved and quiet.

Some patients always talk, ask questions, and are very outgoing.

I always think of them as individuals and make sure each one feels comfortable and safe during their treatment.

10. What makes you an ideal candidate for this position? 

This is an opportunity to show the interviewer how you will make a great fit for their facility.

You should highlight that you understand what they are looking for in a candidate and showcase your skills and qualifications related to the job description. 


“I have five years of work experience and feel confident in providing compassionate care to your patients.

I keep up to date with the developments in evidence-based care to provide quality patient care.

I also get on well with people personally and professionally, so I enjoy working with other team members to ensure that the patient gets better and improves their quality of life.”

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

Key Takeaways

No doubt, researching possible interview questions beforehand helps you give better answers during the actual interview.

Most interviews will include questions about your personality, qualifications, skills, and experience to let the interviewer know if you are a good fit for the healthcare facility.

Putting in the work beforehand will increase your chances of getting the job offer.

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  1. I can appreciate the information provided in this article. I have a job interview and have not worked in this field, yet so I was anxious and nervous about questions. Especially since it looks like there will be a panel of important people at my interview ( very tough crowd); so of course I wanted to make sure an be prepared, or be more confident than just walking in blindly. Doing that has often left me in an interview with too long pauses. Gathering thoughts before an answer is important but too long a pause and people see you as too rehearsed or they stop listening. So this helps a lot. Thanks!

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