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Tips to Ace Your Next Nursing Interview

Tips to Ace Your Next Nursing Interview

The nursing profession is one of the most important in the medical field. Nurses play a vital role in patient care and are in high demand. With the right preparation, you can ace your next nursing interview and land the job of your dreams. Here are some tips to help you during your next nursing interview:
Do Your Research
Before your interview, research the hospital, clinic or care provider where you’re interviewing. Find out what it is like to work there, who the Managers are and how long he or she has been employed by the company. You may even want to read recent news articles on the company to get a feel for what they are doing and how they are viewed by the public. It’s important to know as much as possible ahead of time.
Get There Early
Arriving early for your interview will show the interviewer that you are on time, responsible and prepared. Also, arriving early allows you to decompress before your interview. This will ease your nerves and help you relax for your big day.
Dress Professionally
First impressions are everything. Dress appropriately and conservatively for your interview. You do not want to stand out in a negative way, but you also don’t want to blend in too much with the crowd. Dress in a way that shows your personality and professionalism. Avoid wearing anything that is too trendy or flashy. You want to look sharp, professional and organized. Make sure your clothes fit you well and are relatively wrinkle free. 
Ask Questions
You should have at least three questions prepared to ask the interviewer. These should be well thought out and relevant to the position you are interviewing for. You should try to ask questions that show your interest in the company, and your desire to learn more about it. Here are a few good questions you may want to pick from:
  1. What are the main responsibilities of the position?
  2. What are the shift patterns?
  3. What is the patient population?
  4. What is the ratio of staff to patients?
  5. What training and support do you provide?
  6. Can I speak with a current employee?
  7. What are the salary ranges for this position?
  8. What are the employer’s expectations of me as an employee?
  9. What kind of written documentation do you keep on staff?
  10. Do you provide training to improve my skills and knowledge?
  11. What do I need to do to be successful at this job?
  12. What kind of training do you provide?
  13. Are there any problems or concerns that you feel I should be aware of before accepting this position?
  14. What makes this position better than others I am considering?
Just Be Yourself
Interviewers will often ask you what your own personal strengths are. Although you might be tempted to say something like, “I have great interpersonal skills” or “I work well in a team environment”, however these are not strengths. Strengths are things that you actually have, such as I am a hard worker, I am detail-oriented or I am creative. Your strengths should be relevant to the job for which you are applying. 
Confidence is Key
You are not only selling yourself to the employer, but you are also selling your skills and knowledge. You will want to be very clear about your abilities and experience, and answer their questions in a straightforward manner, so that the employer will understand exactly what you bring to the table. Be ready to explain why you would be a good fit for the position and company. 
Have a Positive Attitude
The interview is not a time to complain or criticize previous employers or supervisors. Instead, you want to be positive about your previous jobs. You will want to be able to talk about your job experience in a way that shows you have learned from it. Show the employer that you have moved forward and have grown as a person, so focus on your skills and emphasize your strengths and abilities. This is a good time to share accomplishments that show how you add value to the company.
Be Professional
Your appearance and behavior speak volumes about you. A job interview is not a time to be casual. Instead, you want to dress smartly, speak clearly and behave professionally. In the interview, avoid slang or profanity, or appearing arrogant or rude. You will want to answer questions directly and politely. Remember that the employer is making assumptions about you based on the way you look, dress and behave. Your goal is to show them that you are a good fit for the job and company.
There may be several people in the room during the interview, but it is important that you are able to focus on the one person who is asking questions. It is important to listen carefully, and answer the questions asked without going off on a tangent. When you are asked a question, ask for clarification or an example if you need it. Make sure that your answers are clear and concise. Keep eye contact with the person who is asking you questions. This will demonstrate confidence, and show that you are paying attention to the interview.
Don’t Keep Talking
Try to keep your answers to a few sentences instead of rambling on. Make sure that you have a brief answer for each question and then move on to the next one. If you go off on a tangent or rambling, the interviewer will have a hard time following what you are saying. You don’t want to lose them, because they may not be interested in getting back on track. If you can’t answer the question, say so and ask for clarification.
Following these tips should help you to ace your next nursing interview. Be sure to do your research, dress for success, and be prepared to answer common questions. Most importantly, relax and be yourself. The interviewers are looking for someone who will be a good fit for the job and the workplace, so let your personality shine through.