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Nursingdegrees > Nursing Blog > Answers to Your Nursing Career Questions

8 Tips for Nailing that Nursing Job Interview, Part 1

May 24th, 2010 by – Marijke Durning

Job interviews are not usually on the top of the favorite to-do lists for many people, but they’re a necessary part of life if you are looking for work. You know your stuff, you know you would make a great nurse, so how can you increase your chances of landing that job? Here are eight tips that can help you convince the employer that you are the one for them.

1- Appearance is almost everything.

Whether you are applying for a job as a CNA or in management, you have to look like someone who should be hired. Dressing up scares some people; they feel they can’t pull it off, particularly if they wear uniforms most of the time. It really isn’t difficult to look presentable and put together though.

- Clean and neat hair. If you have trouble controlling your hair, consider putting it back in a pony tail or a get shorter cut. For men, make sure your facial hair, if any, is neat and trimmed.

- Clean, pressed, well-fitting clothes. Clothes should look professional (skirt or dress slacks, blouse, jacket or cardigan). If you don’t own these, ask friends or family for items you can borrow, prowl the second-hand shops, or check out department stores that sell brand name clothing for less than the brand stores.

- Clean, appropriate shoes. They don’t have to be new but make sure they’re shined up if they need to be. Leave the platform shoes at home – this is the time to look professional.

- Minimal make-up and jewelry. Of course, use both if you like, just remember that you are working for a professional look.

2- Be on time.

It’s surprising how many people are late for important meetings like interviews. Spend time before the interview figuring out how you will get to the facility and how long it should take.

- Take a trial run a few days before the interview at approximately the same time of day of your appointment. Note how long it takes and any alternate routes you may need.

- Have a contingency plan in case of problems with your original plan.

-Have the interviewer’s phone number in case you will be late to inform them.

3- Be polite to everyone.

Have you ever heard a story of a driver who cut off a car in the parking lot, gave the other driver the finger, only to show up in the president’s office for an interview and the other driver was either the president’s assistant or the president herself?

Moral of the story: you never know who will have input in the decision to hire you. Be polite and considerate of everyone.

4- Know what you are going there for – or “be prepared.”

A surprising number of job candidates don’t know anything about the facility where they are interviewing or the type of job they will be expected to do. While you may not be able to find out the corporate numbers or secrets, do some basic research so you call the facility by the right name, you know how long it’s been in existence, and you know what type of clientele they care for, at the very least. The more you know, the better it will help you.

5- Answer honestly.

Don’t ever lie – this can come back to haunt you. Don’t try to bluff your way through an answer you don’t know. Saying “I don’t know” is sometimes the best answer.

6- Express an interest in the job.

Tell the interviewer why you are the best candidate. Explain that you want the job and what you can – and will – bring to it.

7- Thank the interviewer.

Whether you feel the interview went well or not, thank the interviewer for her time and be genuine about it.

8- Follow-up with a thank you card.

This part seems to be falling out of style, but if you ask anyone who interviews, they will tell you that the thank you cards to stand out. If it’s a tight decision between you and one other person, it may be that card that tips the job in your favor.

Next week, tips on what to ask the interviewer when you are looking for a job.

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Posted in Work-Life Balance

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