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How to Crack a Nursing Job Interview

Dec 28, 2007
Whether you are an experienced nurse looking to move ahead in your career or a fresh graduate out of the nursing school, the job interview is of the highest importance in your job hunt. For a successful interview these are a few guidelines.

Pre-interview preparation is very important. You have to be prepared with copies of your resume and other credentials. Also it is advisable to have complete copies of all references and previous managers. Familiarize yourself with the mission statement and history of the hospital. You could refer the hospital website for it. It will allow you appear genuine about you interest in the hospital.

Be prepared for the questions that may be asked. You do not want to seem clumsy or unsure throughout the interview. The following questions are commonly asked:

Tell me more about yourself.

Why did you leave the previous position?

What do you know about this hospital and why should we hire you?

What are your strengths and weaknesses and your achievements?

Do you work well in a team?

How will you deal with difficult patients and their families or any unexpected situations?

In case you are fresh graduate nurse then the answers should be based on the assumption that the previous position was your nursing school and describe your strengths and weaknesses based on that experience.

Have a list of questions ready for the interviewer. There will be a point when the interviewer asks you if you have any questions. Having at least two relevant questions, which have not been answered during the interview, is an indicator of your interest in the job. These questions would generally be related to career growth opportunities.

Future opportunities that show you interest in the job for a longer term and not just as a job but a career.

Interest in bettering education. Question about the professional development opportunities available.

About the nurse-to-patient ratio.

Question about the support staff to assist nurses.

About the input the nurses have regarding the systems, equipment and the care environment.

Employers prefer to hire those candidates who indicate an interest in long-term employment and their willingness to take up new positions.

Leave early so as to avoid being late for any reason. Check your appearance again once you reach the place. Dressing up professionally tells the interviewer about your character and attributes. An interviewer would interpret your appearance as evidence to your being mature, responsible and attentive to detail.

When you meet the interviewer your handshake should be firm and short. Make eye contact and have a smile during the handshake. Speak clearly and confidently. Try to be relaxed and remember to smile. Avoid fiddling, as it means that you are nervous. Do not chew gum while talking it is distracting and disrespectful.

When an interviewer asks a question, answer directly, and have the question clarified in case of any confusion. When an opportunity is given, ask questions which are relevant to you and have not been answered in the course of the interview. They could be related to salary, growth opportunities, benefits and work conditions.

Maintain a positive attitude. Even phrase everything in a positive manner. Politeness counts. Thank the interviewers personally at the beginning as well as at the end for the opportunity given. Ask them about whom to contact to check on how your application is proceeding.

After the interview, follow up with a thank you letter. Be sure to put a in few details about the interview and reiterate a few reasons why you feel you are suited for the job.

By following the above tips you can make your interview a success and obtain the nursing job you desire.
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