Date Published: February 23, 2017
If the end of nursing school is in sight, congratulations! Now it’s time to apply for nursing jobs. This is an exciting time in any new nurse’s life, but it can also be a bit nerve-wracking. We want to help ease your nerves by sharing our best tips for acing your nursing job interview.
Always be Prepared
Every interviewer wants to see that you have done your homework. When it comes to an interview for a nursing job, your homework is to prepare. We recommend that you are able to speak to the following topics:
- Your Goals: Be able to articulate where you see yourself as a nurse, how you want to grow, and where you want to be in one year, five years, etc.
- Experiences and Skills to Contribute: While you are looking for a position that suits you, the interview is looking for a candidate that suits them. Be able to share how you can
- Research: Another thing that the interviewer will be looking for is that you have done your research. Reference information that you discovered on their website or facts that you uncovered on their social networks.
Make a Good Impression
Besides your resume and thank you note (…but we will get to that), the only impression that you will make on the interviewer will be in those few hours. Like your mother always told you, “Be on your best behavior.” Keep these tips in mind:
- Be on time, better yet be 10 minutes early.
- Make eye contact. According to a Forbes article on eye contact, too little eye contact can paint a picture that you are feeling uneasy, unprepared, and insincere.
- Smile! This will not only make you feel better but will also make you seem more engaged in your conversation.
- Remember the names of the individuals that you meet. Using one’s name is courteous and a sign of showing respect.
- Dress to impress. No, we don’t mean a tuxedo or ball gown, however, it is important to dress well. Check out these tips from Johnson + Johnson.
- Follow up promptly. Be sure to send a follow-up email and a handwritten thank you within 24 hours of your interview.
The Power of a Question
The bulk of any interview, of course, will be centered around questions. These questions will be focused around you, your skills, and your experiences. Be sure to include any unique differentiator that will make you stand out as the best candidate for the position. An interview is the rare occasion where it is okay to brag about yourself. Don’t forget to bring a handful of questions to ask the interviewer as well. Below are a few sample questions to get you started!
Sample Interview Questions
- Tell me about yourself.
- Why did you choose nursing for your career?
- Why would you like to work for our organization?
- Describe a challenge you have experience with a patient and how you handled the situation.
- Describe a challenge you have experience with a doctor and how you handled the situation.
Sample Questions to Ask Interviewer
- What does a typical day on the job look like?
- Describe your ideal candidate for this role.
- What are the primary tasks of this position?
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