Your nursing skills and potentials won’t mean anything if you can’t successfully conquer your nursing interview. If you fail to perform well, it can be very difficult for you to secure a job or go on to the next phase of your career. This isn’t only stressful but can also be devastating, especially if it’s your first time.
Fortunately, preparing for a nursing interview doesn’t always have to be tough. As a guide, here are 6 easy ways to impress your future employers.
1. Know yourself
Assessing yourself is one of the best ways you can ace your interview. If you aren’t totally sure about your reasons for applying for the position, there’s a good chance you won’t be able to convince the panelist why you’re the best person for the job.
Before the actual interview, it’s a good idea to list down a few questions and practice your answers in front of a mirror. You can also ask the help of your relatives and friends.
Some of the most common interview questions related to this tip include:
Why did you choose to be a nurse?
What are your strengths/ weaknesses?
How do you handle pressure?
What makes you the best candidate for the job?
Why should we hire you?
How do you feel about working as part of a team?
Aside from your answers, you should also practice your articulation. Stuttering, for example, can make you look less confident about yourself. Your body language can also say a lot about you. Make sure you aren’t waving your hands too much and that you are looking at your interviewer while answering his questions.
2. Know the institution
Doing a bit of research can put you ahead of the competition. You can get bits of important information about the institution via their website or by paying an actual visit before the day of the interview.
It will also help if you can speak with the people who have had some interaction with the institution and its employees. As much as possible, know its values, mission and goals, too.
You can use all the information you gathered in preparing good answers for the interview. It’s also a good way to check if your own personal and professional values are in line with theirs.
3. Prepare your documents ahead of time
To make sure you don’t miss out on anything, make it a point to prepare all your documents the day before your actual interview. This will give you enough time to do a final check before you leave your home.
Bring a copy of your most updated resume which should be printed on a quality paper. You must also take a copy of your license, ACLS, BLS and other certifications related to the profession with you. If you can secure letters of reference, do so. Take a pen and notepad just in case you’ll need to jot something down.
Compile everything in a folder and make sure to take several packets with you. This way, you’ll be able to hand out extra copies in case there’s going to be more than one interviewer.
4. Look professional
First impressions last so make sure you make an excellent first impression. Dress pants and collared shirts are great options. If you are planning on wearing a skirt, make sure that it’s not higher than your knees. You should also stick with dressing modestly and avoid clothes that are flashy.
Closed toe shoes are good for interviews since they’ll make you look professional. Before heading out for the interview, ensure that they are in top shape, clean and not worn out.
Keep your accessories to a minimum. Your jewelry should be simple, like your wedding ring and stud earrings.
For your hair, it’s more sanitary if you’ll have it pulled back, particularly if you have long hair. Keep your nails short, clean and free from bright polishes. Since you’ll be working in the healthcare industry, it’s best if you can dress appropriately.
To save you time in the morning, you can prepare your attire the night before. This way, you won’t be scrambling to find a good outfit in case you find stains or holes in your first pick.
5. Plan your day
The night before your interview, check the weather forecast for the next day. If it calls for the possibility of rain, make sure to pack an umbrella. You should also pick a bag that’s water resistant to ensure that your documents won’t get wet. Pick an appropriate attire so you won’t feel too self-conscious about the way you look.
Another factor you should consider is the institution’s location. If it is your first time to visit there, take a map with you and plan out the best mode of transportation. Calculate how long it will take for you to get there so you’ll have an idea when to leave your home.
If you are unsure about the route, you can call people who are familiar with the place the night before. The last thing you want to happen before your interview is to find yourself lost in an unfamiliar place.
6. Get some sleep
An interview can be a nerve-wracking experience but don’t let it get the better of you. The more you let it consume you, the less chances you’ll overcome it successfully.
Preparing for a nursing interview should also include getting enough rest and sleep. You need a full eight hours of sleep to ensure your optimum cognitive performance. If you are well-rested, you’ll be able to come up with the best answers for the interview questions.
Get off social media and turn off all screens before bedtime. You can have a cup of tea that’s caffeine-free or a warm bath to help you relax. Another good tip is to practice deep breathing exercises to help calm your nerves. You can do this before you sleep and before you face your interviewer.
Good luck, Nurses!