In one of my last blog posts I wrote about how to nail a virtual interview. As we approach the end of this month and hopefully soon, the end of this pandemic, I wanted to give some tips for nurses to nail their next in person interview. I’ll also go over some great resume resources, this will help put your best foot forward and stand apart from the competition.  

1. Study Common Nursing Interview Questions and Answers

Whether you’re applying for a job at a hospital or clinic, chances are management will be asking you similar questions in the interview.

One of the best interviewing tips for nurses is to study these questions in advance and prepare your answers. Some questions that might come your way include:

  • What is the most difficult part of being a nurse?
  • Do you like working alone or with a team?
  • What would you do if a patient was constantly complaining about pain?
  • What are your top skills/weaknesses?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • Why do you want this job?

2. Dress the Part

Always, always, make sure you dress the part. Clothing plays a big role in your confidence and self-esteem, meaning that one of the biggest interview tips for nurses is taking your outfit seriously.

I am all for personal style and expression. For the initial interview it is best to wear something more business formal. Make sure you feel comfortable. When you feel good about how you look it’ll boost your confidence and you will be ready to take on anything that comes your way. 

3. Know your resume front and back!

If you don’t know what is on your resume , you may become nervous and tend to glance down at your resume to verify your job history and education when they ask. The interviewer will pick up on your nervousness if you keep glancing down to verify your job history and education. Its always best to memorize all the details so you come off as cool and collected when asked about yourself.

Its best to walk into the interview with both your cover letter and resume. When writing your cover letter, try to remember the following :

  • Avoid “To whom it may concern.” Know the name of the person who does the hiring.
  • Tailor your letter to the employer. Mention their mission statement and how your goals match. Tell a brief personal story that illustrates why you want to work in a particular area, and list any unique skills pertinent to the position.
  • Thank the reader for his/her time, and include your phone number.

Your success will largely depend on how you present yourself in your nursing resume. Listed below are a few pointers to remember: 

  • DO use the chronological format for your work experience. List jobs starting with the most recent. If experience is limited, focus on skills, special activities, volunteering and association with professional organizations.
  • DO use good quality paper without designs or borders. Use 1-inch margins, 12-point type, and an uncluttered look. Use bullet points.
  • DON’T include a photo or list health, hobbies, marital status, family information or your GPA. “Recruiters tell us that …you can have a high GPA, but that doesn’t make you a good clinical nurse,” Cardillo says.
  • DON’T list references or say “References available upon request.” This is understood.
  • Always bring a hard copy

4. Ask Questions

Never feel uncomfortable about asking questions. Always remember to ask questions. The interview isn’t just for the interviewee to learn more about you. 

Asking questions will put you in a position to learn more about the position, where you will be working, and whether or not it’s right for your personal and professional needs. By all means ask whatever you think will help you, such as the work culture, job responsibilities and overtime pay.

5. Research the Facility

Always research the facility ahead of time. This will eliminate a potentially embarrassing situation of asking a question in the interview that could have easily been looked up online. This potentially could come off as not being prepared. 

6.  Be Yourself

Everything above is crucial, but at the end of the day, its important to be yourself. If you get hired, the persona presented during the interview. As a nurse you already possess such great qualities. Allow that to come through during the interview, if you are authentic, it will come off as such. 

You got into nursing because you love helping people – not because you love interviewing.

Even for the most experienced nurses, Interviews can be tough. Try to keep these points in mind when you go for your next interview. The goal is to help you calm your nerves, play it cool, and walk away with your ideal nursing job.

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