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The 5 Best Interview Tips To Land The Nursing Job Of Your Dreams

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Interviewing for a nursing job is exciting, but a little nerve-wracking. Compared to standard business interviews, interviewing for a nursing career focuses on preparation and practice. Being prepared can help ease any fears and tension you might feel. 

When you find the job of your dreams, research it to craft an enticing objective for your resume that you can use to land the interview. The interview process will often start with a recruiter and end by meeting with the manager and peers. These tips will prepare you for every stage of the interview process to help you feel confident, and land your dream job. 

Purpose of an interview 

Most likely, you’re not the only candidate managers are interviewing. Open yourself up for questioning, and ask questions yourself. Interviews are an excellent time for conversations with the management team. They want to see if you’re a good fit for their team, and you need to know if they’re a good fit for you. 

The First Interview 

The first interview will be with a recruiter. The recruiter is the person who weeds out the people who aren’t qualified. 

What to expect in the first interview 

Tip #1 – Don’t miss the call or take it in a busy, loud area 

The recruiter will give you short-ended, straightforward questions. Try to match the tone of the interview with short, specific answers. Remember, this is just to get you to the next step of the interview process. These interviews are commonly done over the phone.  

Tip #2 – Be positive 

When you answer the phone, talk as if you have a smile on your face. It will help you sound more inviting and engaged in the conversation. Recruiters want to hear happy, positive people because they want it to carry over to the job. 

Tip #3 – Ask about next steps 

At the end of the call be ready with your schedule or calendar. Show your interest by asking the recruiter about the next steps in moving forward. Give multiple available days for the next interview time so that it sounds as if you are making it a priority. 

The Second Interview 

The second interview will likely take place with the hiring manager of the department. 

What to expect in the second interview 

A newer trend for the interviewing process is to conduct peer interviews. This means that staff will interview you to see if you will fit well into the team. This has been proven to help with nurse retention. 

Schedule at least one hour for the interview. Don’t set time limits. Give yourself plenty of time to explore the unit, because you never know, you could be hired on the spot! 

Tip #4 – Don’t be late 

This is one of the most important tips. Whatever you do, don’t be late for your interview. It’s the one thing managers will remember, and it won’t start you off on the right foot. A few other etiquette tips include: smiling, being polite, offer a handshake, and try not to fidget or chew gum during the interview. 

Bring a pen and paper to ask questions and jot down the answers. Ask about hours and staffing. Don’t ask about pay, unless they ask about your salary requirements. 

If you’re wondering about the pay, do your research beforehand. Look at reputable websites to find salary details. Look at the social media presence of the facility to see if they have a good reputation. You may also want to do your own social media audit to make sure you don’t have anything inappropriate on your profiles (even if it’s private). 

Tip #5 – Be a STAR – tell your story 

The last tip is to provide storytelling. Be ready to answer questions about your past work experiences and how you might problem solve realistic nursing situations. 

The acronym STAR can help you: 

  • Situation – Talk about an exact situation you experienced 
  • Task – Explain why you were involved 
  • Action – Discuss the actionable steps you used to solve the problem 
  • Results – Provide the results and lessons learned from the situation (good or bad) 

These five tips can help you land, and enjoy the nursing job of your dreams. Be cautious and make sure you enjoy the area of work you’re doing, and manage areas of stress and burnout as much as you can.

The 5 Best Interview Tips To Land The Nursing Job Of Your Dreams
Janine Kelbach

Janine Kelbach, RNC-OB is a freelance writer and owner of WriteRN.net.

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