Doing well in a nursing job interview is as much about mental preparation as anything else. A person who comes into an interview composed, relaxed and sharp is more likely to get the job than someone who comes into the interview nervous, tense and fidgety, even if they have a better nursing resume.
I should know, I've been to a few nursing job interviews myself in the past 20+ years as a nurse.
So here are five ways to mentally prepare for your job interview that have worked for me.
Try one or two of these tips and see what happens.
Get Some Exercise Beforehand
I have found that taking a brisk walk before an interview helps calm me down. Exercise gets the blood flowing through the body and burns up a lot of the anxiety you may be holding in. It releases endorphins, which further relieves stress. Try whatever works for you.
By doing some quick exercising (not a full blown workout) you will relax your muscles and can create a sense of aliveness and vitality, helping you create the impression that you'll bring a lot of energy to your new nursing job.
Write Down the Hardest to Answer Questions
Create a list of nursing interview questions that you think would be difficult for you to answer.
For example, if you have gaps in your interview, write down several questions that your interviewer might ask you. For me, the hardest questions to answer are – “What are you weaknesses and strengths?”
Then, construct the perfect answers to those questions. The idea isn't to rehearse specific lines, but to mentally prepare yourself to release whatever insecurities you have about those hard to answer questions.
Write Down Why You're the Perfect Candidate
You don't just need to sell the interviewer that you're the perfect candidate; you need to sell yourself as well.
You need to be able to look in your interviewer's eyes and know for a fact that they're going to be better off hiring you than anyone else.
Write down why this is the case and reinforce that belief in you first, before trying to convince anyone else. Remember, if you don’t believe in yourself than why should anyone else believe in you, so bring your confidence with you!
Dress for Success
Dress sharp and professional for your interview. Look at yourself in the mirror and give yourself a nod of approval.
Going into an interview knowing that you look good and look professional can make a big difference in how you hold yourself and present yourself. Go shopping and buy a new outfit that makes you feel and look great!
Mentally Prepare Through Imagination
I love this one; I do this in situations where I am having anxiety or difficulty with a situation and lack confidence.
In his book "psycho-cybernetics," Dr. Maxwell Maltz invented a technique where one visualizes themselves succeeding in whatever it is they want to do.
He's perhaps the first person to invent this kind of systematic visualization. Since then, thousands of coaches have taken up this kind of success visualization.
Here's how it works: Visualize yourself in the first person in the interview. Feel yourself relaxed and confident. Imagine yourself hitting it off with the interviewer and getting the job.
Do this daily throughout the week leading up to the nursing job interview. By the time you actually do the interview, it'll be like you've already been through the process before. These five tips should help you get in the right mindset so you can blow your interviewers away.