Your nursing interview should be a piece of cake. After all, as a nurse, you have qualities-let’s call them superpowers-other people only dream of. You can adapt to nearly any situation, from angry patients, to full bladders that need to be ignored a little longer. You not only still move forward after a busy 12 hour shift, you could almost do it all over again. The fact that you made it through nursing school, and conquered the NCLEX should prove you know a lot about patient care.
Unfortunately, you can’t always make it through your nursing interview based on your “superpowers”. Every care facility is different, and, in order to qualify that you are, in fact, a good fit for the patient care environment, you will need to go through the interview process. Knowing what to expect in advance will help you ace your nursing interview and land the job you want.
Before you go on your next nursing interview, and clinch that coveted position, prepare yourself in every way, so that you’re calm, professional, and show your interviewer that you’re the right nurse for the job. Here are some things you should know before your next nursing interview:
Know Why You’re Nervous
It’s completely normal to have some pre-interview jitters. Everyone does. However, it’s a good idea to examine the reasons for your nervousness and anxiety. Are you unsure of your abilities, or unqualified for the position? Does the facility, or specialty, make me feel uncomfortable, or unskilled?
Your nerves may be telling you something. Maybe you really aren’t ready to make the leap to this position. But, never be afraid of a challenge. Trust in your abilities. You possess the knowledge and skills necessary to be a nurse, let your confidence shine through at your nursing interview.
Know Where You’re Going
Knowing where to go, not just via your GPS, but the specific location of the office where your nursing interview will take place, can help you to feel confident and calm at the time of your interview. Many large medical centers take up a good bit of property. It’s not always easy to navigate and you don’t want to arrive at your nursing interview frazzled and stressed out. Go on a “dry run” if possible so you can figure out things like where to park, and how long it takes to get to the interview office.
If you’re interview is during high-volume traffic times, arrive extra early and take some time to prepare. This will ease your mind immensely on interview day. If you’ll be traveling to get to your interview, don’t hesitate to ask specifics about parking, office location, etc. at the time of your phone interview.
Know Your Potential Employer
Beyond your experience and knowledge, you can impress your interviewer by knowing about the medical facility to which you’re applying. In the age of information this has never been easier. Identify their mission statement, what specialties they’re known for, and the community they serve. This will help not only in your nursing interview, but also after you get hired.
Know Your Strengths and Weaknesses
Whatever form the question takes it’s a mainstay of the nursing interview. Being able to identify the unique skills you carry in your nurses’ toolbox will set you apart from the other interviewees. Also, be candid about those areas you may need to work on and let your interviewer know you’re willing to do what it takes to polish those skills in which you are lacking.
Know How to Dress
This may seem like a no-brainer. After all, you would never wear your favorite old tee-shirt and comfy jeans to a job interview. But, you should be aware of the proper attire for a nursing interview. Don’t wear scrubs! Dress as you would when conducting business, not going out for a night o the town. Try on your interview attire to make sure it fits well, and isn’t too tight or uncomfortable. If need be, go out and splurge on a new suit. It’s an investment in your future!
While it’s impossible to know the questions your interviewer will ask ahead of time, it does help to practice. Ask a classmate, trusted friend, or family member to do a practice interview with you. Anticipate certain questions that may come up and write them down, then write down your well-thought-out answers. You’ll be surprised by how much this helps, even if only to calm your nerves.