Nursing interviews are easy and stress-free, right? Well, not exactly, but following the tips and techniques below will help create a smoother interview and get you the new position you have been dreaming for.
Just follow the following approach and you will never go wrong.
- Arrive early. Make sure to arrive 15 minutes early. Never arrive late. Remember about first impressions?
- Look the part. Ensure you are dressed appropriately for your interview. Typically, a dress or skirt and blouse for a women and dress pants with shirt and tie for men. Keep make-up and jewelry to a minimum. Stop by the restroom when you arrive to make sure your hair, face, and clothing are clean and in place. Take three deep breaths; tell yourself to ace the interview, and go!
- Smile please. Most people you encounter at the interview location know why you're there! The person greeting you will undoubtedly be asked his/her opinion even though he/she is not interviewing you! Keep this in mind.
- Firm handshake and eye contact in and out. Tell the person greeting you who you are and who your appointment is with. Give a firm handshake on the way in and out. When departing, thank the greeter for his/her time. Good body language is very important to establish the positive impression.
- The grand entrance. When entering the interview, walk tall and exude confidence. Approach the interviewer, make eye contact, give a firm handshake, and introduce yourself.
- Question time. Prepare for questions by anticipating what might be asked. Since there are always job specific questions research the job duties to be prepared. There are many standard questions which includes what are your strengths and weaknesses? Where do you see yourself in 5 years? What will you bring to this job that other candidates won't?
- Be positive. Don't say anything negative about a former job or a former employer. The worst thing you can say is, "I didn't get along with my boss at my previous job." The interviewer will only hear the "I didn't get along with" part! Answer all interview questions with a positive spin. If asked your experience in a certain task, don't say "Never done it. Don't know how." Instead say, "Although I haven't done it before, I have researched and understand the fundamentals. Since I am a quick learner I do not anticipate any problems performing the task."
- You are not a machine gun. You do not have to spit out answers immediately! It is okay to pause to think of the response. My funniest interview moment occurred when I was first asked the question, "What are your strengths?" followed by, "What are you weaknesses?" I had no problem with the strength one, but was thrown off by the weaknesses question. I paused and couldn't think of what to say. So I instinctively smiled and said, "I guess I don't have any!" We both chuckled and I got the job!
- You should ask questions too. Have some well thought out questions to ask the interviewer. Make sure the questions do not revolve around time off or money! Save those for the post-offer call! Questions should reflect sincere interest in the position and demonstrate your research of the position and organization. If you learned the unit you are going to be working on uses a new procedure, bring that procedure up in your questions.
- Grand Exit. Make what I call a "love me" book containing a clean copy of your resume, a list of references, letters of recommendation, and training and licensure documentation. This makes a big impact. At the close of the interview, hand the "love me" book to the interviewer, give a second firm handshake, and thank him or her for the opportunity. At the end of the interview process, not only the notes from your interview remain, but your "love me" book will as well!
- Thanks again. After finishing the interview send a thank you note to the interviewer. Thank him/her for the opportunity and for his/her time at the interview. Mail it out and wait for your offer phone call!