How to Survive a Nursing Interview

How to Survive a Nursing Interview

Forget hectic hospitals and crazy hours. The job interview might be the scariest process you’ll ever experience as a nurse. You're trying to sell yourself for a position that you want, and you have to put your best foot forward while not knowing what the employer is seeking exactly. Being nervous is expected, but you can do yourself a favor by doing a little prep work beforehand. Preparation is key to calming your nerves and boosting your confidence. Here's how you can get started:

Review the Job Description

The dirty secret of most interviews, for any position, is that a number of interviewers simply read from a script. And their script is based verbatim on the job description. That means that you can expect questions like:

  1. Why do you want to work at this facility?
  2. What are the most important aspects of this job (hint, they should be at the top of the description)?
  3. Can you give me an example of how you stay current with the latest techniques?

So, the key is to study the job description in detail and then take advantage by preparing your answers in advance.

The One-Minute Story Test

Since you've got yourself a list of the questions that will likely be asked, you can start taking notes on how you'd like to answer them. You should have two or three notes for each of the questions, ranging from strengths and weaknesses to questions about the facility itself. What's critical is that you time yourself answering these questions.

Too often, nerves mean that you begin to babble (not you, of course, but other people), or that you clam up. So when you share these stories, make sure that you time yourself. Give yourself about a minute or two to answer each question, and then see if you covered the notes you had written down.

By rehearsing these, you'll find that it's easier when you are actually nervous. And even if the questions are slightly different, you'll have practiced similar answers.

Using a video camera to record your practice answers is a good way to review what you’ve said and to test your nervousness.

Calming the Nerves

Nurses can expect to deal with a lot of high-pressure situations, and the nursing interview helps your future supervisor and fellow staff understand how poised and in control you can be.

What's more important is to minimize the risk of fidgeting and stuttering. To help combat this, a trick is to bring along a small notebook to your interview. There are several reasons to do this.

One, you can map out questions and notes on how you want to answer. Don't rely on it, but it can help prompt you if you draw a complete blank.

Second, is that it allows you have something to hold and also to take notes on what the employer says. This helps you by giving you questions to ask your interviewer to show that you have an active interest.

The other reason to bring one is that it's also a good place to write down who all you interviewed with so that you can follow-up with a 'thank-you' note after the interview.

Now You're Ready

There are a number of great nursing jobs in this rapidly expanding industry, but you still want to perform your best at a nursing interview so that you can get the best possible offer from the healthcare system you deserve.