Four Essential Interview Tips for Nurses

NursingFebruary 13, 2014

You've gotten the call, and you have an interview! Get ready to nail it with these interview tips for nurses.

Tip #1: Do Your Homework

You may have graduated from nursing school and successfully passed the NCLEX, but your homework is not finished. You need to check out the facility where you are interviewing via their website. Most hospitals and many home health agencies will post basic facts about their facilities, the number of patients they care for and the type of care offered, in addition to their mission statements and core values. During an interview, it is very likely that, there will be some talk about the values of their facility. If you didn't check out the website, you will be stammering and searching for an answer. This is an easy way for a Human Resource representative to determine who is willing to put in the effort and who is not.

Tip #2: Be Confident

Nursing is a job where confidence is key. A patient is looking for a strong, assured person to care for them because this helps them build trust in the nurse. Have this confidence when you are being interviewed, and your new bosses will feel the same way. Also, keep in mind that you made it past the nameless stack of resumes; they want to meet you! This is your chance to personally sell them on you as an employee. So, smile, give a firm handshake, take up space in the room, act like you belong there and don't be afraid to ask questions. Your mantra should be, "I will be a valuable asset anywhere I go, and these people will be lucky to have me." Act like it's true, get the job and then make it a reality.

Tip #3: Prepare to Tell Some Stories

A new trend in nursing interview is the "Give me an example of a time when...," or a behavioral interview. This style of interviewing requires you to dig deep from your life experiences to illustrate your skills and potential. Questions about a time that you demonstrated leadership, had an ethical dilemma or when you prioritized a patient are typical. They can ask you for all kinds of things, so look around on the Internet for examples of behavioral interview questions. Try to keep your examples relevant to nursing, but other relevant work experience will do. As a new graduate, try to work in your clinical experiences, so that the interviewer can see how you behave as a nurse.

Tip#4: Follow Instructions

Of all the interview tips for nurses, this is the most basic: follow all instructions to a T. Be there when you are supposed to be there, and do everything that they ask you to do. It will prevent you from being eliminated from consideration just because you didn't follow simple directions. A lack of attention to detail sends a message that you are not taking the job seriously, and that is not the message you want to send.

Best of luck to you in your nursing career, and happy interviewing!

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons