Getting your first job as a nurse is the first accomplishment that you will make after passing the licensure examination. The way aspiring nurses are interviewed is a bit different from the interview process that other professionals undergo.
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To help you prepare for your job interview, here are the best job interview tips for aspiring nurses:
1. Evaluate yourself beforehand.
Among the most common things that you will encounter in the interview is the dreaded “Tell me about yourself” question.
Although you can easily describe your educational attainment and professional experience, remember that the interviewer also wanted to know your personality and career goals in life. This information will help them decide whether you have what it takes to survive life in the hospital setting.
2. Know the hospital or clinic you are applying for.
Knowing a simple background information is usually not enough; you also need to research for the hospital’s history, policies and other important information.
Study like you are sure that you will be a part of this institution. By knowing the hospital that you’re applying for, you will be able to impress the interviewer and prove that you are dedicated to get this job.
3. Be prepared with scenario type of questions.
These include questions like “Imagine arguing with your supervisor about the staffing released for your unit…” and “Tell me about a time when you disagreed with your head nurse and explain how you handled it”.
Through these questions, HR managers are able to assess the applicant’s critical thinking skills, problem-solving skills, and the potential to thrive in a specific hospital setting.
4. Bring your nursing license and relevant certificates.
Your BCLS/ACLS card, driver’s license, social security number and immunization record are just some of the things you should bring.
If you have certificates in other advanced training programs related to nursing, you should bring them as well.
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5. List down some questions to ask to your interviewer.
The interviewer will assess how smart you are through the questions that you will ask in return. You can ask about the training programs offered for the position you’re applying for or the next steps you need to take after the interview.
6. Even if asked, never give any negative comments about your previous work.
Issues with your previous employer or workplace may be misconstrued as failure on your part. You can simply tell the interviewer that your decision to move out is for your own professional growth.
7. Prove that you can be part of the hospital’s solution to existing problems.
You can do this the moment you are asked about the reasons why they should they hire you. Show proof by citing instances in your previous job when you showcased your leadership and problem-solving skills. Remember, qualifications won’t be enough if you can’t bring results.
8. Be honest about your weaknesses but mention them in a positive way.
It is good to be honest about your weaknesses as nurses are known problem-solvers in the ward. Prove them that you can compensate with what you lack by maximizing the things you are really good at.
Also Read: 10 Best Online Job Sites for Nurses
One more tip – never bring up topics about the salary and work schedule in the job being applied unless you are asked. Asking those questions will cause the interviewer to have a negative impression on you, especially if it’s your first job as a nurse.
Do you know other job interview tips for nurses that you’d like to share? We’d love to hear from you!
About the Author: Je Abarra is a nurse by profession and a freelance writer by passion. She is working as a staff nurse in the pediatric ward of a private city hospital for more than two years. During her free time, she usually writes about her fascinations in health and nursing. She loves to provide tips and fun facts about nursing and healthy living.