Job interviews can strike fear in the hearts of many nurses, and we’ve likely all had both positive and negative interview experiences during our nursing careers. How do you ace your job interviews?
Being Prepared is Key
One of the most important keys to job interview success is preparation. This may seem like a no-brainer, but some people are less aware than others in terms of how to prepare for an interview. What does preparation look like?
- Have questions at the ready: Being prepared with your own questions is important. When asked if you have questions, be able to ask intelligent, meaningful questions about aspects of the position or facility that truly interest you.
- Do your homework: Walking into an interview and not knowing anything about the facility or agency to which you’re applying is a recipe for disaster, or at least a lackluster performance. Do your due diligence, research the facility or company, and understand their mission, core values, history, and other details and facts that may come up in the course of the conversation. Be ready to refer to some of the things you learned in order to demonstrate that you did your homework and indeed really understand what they’re all about.
- Dress and groom for success: Nothing says more about you than how you look when you arrive to the interview, so look your best. Dress well, groom well, and look sharp. Professionalism is key!
- Practice: Practicing answering the more difficult questions is important, especially if you’re likely to get nervous during interviews. Look online for lists of common difficult interview questions, and have a friend, colleague, or loved one do a mock interview with you. Have them critique your responses and your delivery.
- Follow up: Always send a typed thank you note via regular mail to follow up after an interview. Most people don’t bother with this step, and it can truly make you stand out as a thoughtful professional. Reflect on the conversation, be positive and upbeat, offer authentic praise or flattery, express your interest in the position, and reiterate in fresh language why you feel you’re the best candidate for the job.
Interviews Can Be Fun
Interviews can be fun, so do your best to relax, release your anxiety and fear, and be your best self. Be comfortable in your own skin, practice the harder questions, dress well, be prepared, do your homework, and remember that every interview is research, development, and great practice for your professional nursing career.