3 Interview Tips for Recent Nursing School Grads

April 22, 2013 in Uncategorized

Job Interview

You’ve put in the time, money and long hours of study and are now out of nursing school. The next step is to obviously jump into the search for nursing jobs. But sealing the deal on your dream occupation takes more than submitting an application and an impressive list of credentials and letters of recommendation. It requires passing the almighty interview.

The gist of doing well in an interview include the common sense information like getting plenty of rest the night before, dressing appropriately, showing up early, offering a firm handshake and good eye contact. However, the substance of the conversation held between the interviewer and interviewee is what really determines the outcome.

Nursing candidates have to keep in mind that the career they’re interviewing for isn’t like interviewing for an office job. Working in any medical facility comes with a lot of pressure, multitasking and working with a variety of different people in various departments. Interviewers know this and it will reflect in the types of questions they ask.

Expect Situational Questions

Starting with the phrase “What would you do in a situation where…” or something similar is a definite sign of such a question. The purpose of this is for the interviewer to gauge how your mind processes this type of information. The decisions you offer in the answer also give the interviewer an indication of how you would perform under pressure.

Situations could include explaining how you would deal with prioritizing assigned tasks or the steps you would take to resolve any conflicts in the unit. For situational questions asking how you’d handle working with an unpleasant patient or negative coworker, it is vital to end the answer on a positive note.

Take Advantage of Asking Questions Afterwards

You should never walk away from a nursing interview without asking at least 1-2 questions at the end, if offered the opportunity to do so. One of the best ways to tackle this part of the interview is to ask the interviewer what he/she feels are the most important skills a candidate should possess for the job position.

Based on their answer, follow up by taking the skills they list and using that moment to briefly describe a situation where you applied those exact skills successfully. Bringing things around full circle in this manner is a great way to further persuade the interviewer as to why you’d be the ideal choice.

Ask for a Tour

There’s only so much you can learn about a medical facility or healthcare company from its website and social media profiles. Near the end of the interview, ask if it would be possible to go on a tour of the facilities. This might require coming back at a later date and time or the interviewer might flat out say no. Either way, it doesn’t hurt to ask and in most cases the interviewer could end up being impressed by your initiative.

If you get lucky enough to go on the tour, use this time to observe the unit and people and to ask questions related to the job position.

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