If you are getting ready to interview for your first nursing position, you’ve picked a great time. Nurses from the Baby Boom generation are rapidly retiring, creating openings in many cities around the country. While it’s important not to get your hopes up about the first institution that calls you in for an interview, there are several things that you can do to ensure that you’ll make a great first impression.
Preparing for the Interview
Plan Your Responses
Although you can never be exactly certain about what you’ll be asked during a nursing interview, you can make some educated guesses. Think about what you’ll say if you’re asked why you decided to become a nurse or why you’d like to work for that institution in particular. Use a pen and paper to visualize the responses you’ll provide to the most likely questions.
Practice With Colleagues
Do you have friends who are also in the process of interviewing for nursing positions?
Practice interviewing one another. When you imagine yourself in the interviewer’s position, you’ll probably come up with some possible questions that you hadn’t thought of previously. When your friend takes the interviewer’s role, ask for honest feedback about the quality and confidence level of your responses.
Prepare Your Paperwork
Did you obtain a letter of recommendation from one of your professors in the process of earning your degree? Before your interview, make a copy of the letter along with any other references and certifications that you’ll want to present during the interview. You should also have your nursing license and resume handy.
Select Your Wardrobe
Although you might feel very comfortable in your trusty scrubs, you should probably leave them at home when you interview for a nursing position. Wear business attire instead. Since clothing makers usually sell business suits in sets, you won’t need to worry about selecting matching clothing.
Acing Your Nursing Interview
If you feel a little nervous during your nursing interview, don’t worry; all of the other candidates are nervous, too. If you’ve followed all of our suggestions when preparing for your interview, you’ve already done more than most other job seekers. Take a deep breath and relax. Let your skills and personality shine.
An interviewer loves to know that you haven’t just sent your resume out in an effort to get a job with any institution that will hire you. Show your interest in that position by speaking actively. Don’t just answer questions — ask questions illustrating your interest in the institution.
Are you happy to have been contacted for an interview? Follow up by writing a letter to the interviewer thanking him or her for the opportunity. In the letter, take a moment to remind him or her that you are the ideal candidate for the position. You can also use this opportunity to correct or provide further detail about some of the answers that you gave during the interview.
Continue the Hunt
Even if you ace a nursing interview, there’s no guarantee that the institution will offer you a position. In the end, the institution may decide that someone else is a better fit. Don’t stop hunting for a job until you have a firm offer. If you’re feeling great about a recent interview, continue inquiring about open nursing positions in other institutions with the same level of enthusiasm. Your confidence will make you a more attractive candidate.
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