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Nursingdegrees > Nursing Blog > Answers to Your Nursing Career Questions

15 Interview Tips for that Nursing Job

October 11th, 2010 by – Marijke Durning

Well, this is it. You’ve graduated and are now the proud holder of your very own nursing license. You’ve applied for jobs and now you’ve got yourself an interview. So, why are you panicking? There’s no need to panic – if you follow some simple rules, the interview should go just fine.

1- Wear decent clothes

Whether the hospital, clinic, or doctor’s office seems casual or everyone wears uniforms, you’re there to prove you’re a professional and you can do the job. This means dressing professionally.  Clothes don’t have to be expensive, but they should fit you well, be pressed and clean. Keep the jewelry and make up to a minimum. If you have tattoos, you may want to know what the hiring policy is about tattoos before you make them visible.

2- Be early

You don’t have to be a half hour early for your interview, but give yourself plenty of time just in case you get hit with traffic or something happens to hold you back. You don’t want to be late.

3- Have interviewer contact information

It’s always a good idea to have the contact number of the person who will be interviewing you in case something happens to prevent you from showing up or if you will be late, despite precautions. A quick call to apologize or to explain may allow you a second chance rather than you not showing up.

4- Be on your best behavior even before you get to the interview

You never know who you are going to meet on your travels. That person you cut off in the parking lot? That could be the person about to interview you. The person who came behind you in the door and had it close in his face? That could have been the nurse manager whose floor you’re being considered for. The point is that you should be polite to anyone and everyone, not only because it can come back to bite you if you’re not, it’s the right thing to do.

5- Go to the bathroom

Needing to void while you’re interviewing is extremely uncomfortable! Make sure to make a pit stop on  your way to the office.

6- Turn off any electronic gadgets

No-one is important enough to have to answer a cell phone during an interview. Turn it off. Don’t just ignore it as the ring tones can be annoying. Put it in silent mode or turn it off.

7- Bring your nursing information with you

Bring your license and an updated resume with you even if you have already filled out an application. Sometimes the interviewer doesn’t have the up-to-date application information in front of her.

8- Be prepared

Know about the place you want employing you. Do a bit of research to know how big the place is, what type of nursing they do, what kinds of patients they have, and so on.

9- Be confident

- Do stand tall and smile when you are called into the office.

- Do have a good, firm handshake.

- Do speak clearly and address the interviewer by name.

- Do make eye contact.

- Don’t sit until the seat is offered or the interviewer sits.

- Don’t fidget.

- Don’t slouch.

10- Ask questions

When the interviewer says, “do you have any questions,” have at least one. Prepare ahead of time to ask something related to nursing and the hospital, whether it’s if the nurses work 8- or 12-hour shifts, how many units of what type of specialty, and so on.

11- After the interview, ask for the job

Thank the interviewer for her time and be sure to tell her you want the job (if you do!). Many people don’t say it; they feel it’s assumed. And while it is assumed, the people who directly say they want the job have a bit of an advantage over those who don’t.

12- Thank you card

A thank you card goes a long way. Send one (paper) either by mail or by dropping it off the next day at the reception desk. A thank you is a way to help the interviewer remember who you are. It may seem gimmicky, but thank you cards to make a difference.

13- Relax

Once the interview is done, there’s not much you can do about it. You have to remember though, that not everyone can get the job. The interviewer may be seeing two nurses or she may be seeing 25. Whatever the number, only one of them be offered the job.

14- Stay in touch

If you don’t get the job, be sure to let the interviewer know that you are still interested in working at the facility. Sometimes the first people hired for jobs are not the right people or they don’t want to stay. If you made a good impression and stayed in touch, you could be the lucky one to get the call.

15- Learn from  your experience.

Every time you interview, think back to how it went. Think about questions you weren’t sure about or things that may have happened that maybe shouldn’t have happened. Use every interview to hone your interview technique and, eventually, you will be landing one of those coveted jobs.

Good luck!

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Posted in Work-Life Balance

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The material on this site is for informational purposes only, and is intended as a supplement, not as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment provided by a qualified health care provider.