After spending countless hours refining your resume, filling out job applications and preparing your talking points, it’s finally happened: you have a nursing job interview.
For many nurses, this moment is one filled with excitement and anxiety. While you may have dedicated an immense amount of energy to finding your perfect job, when the time comes for the job interview, it can be a frustratingly anxious time period. After all, there’s a lot riding on your ability to communicate your experience, demonstrate your aptitude and impress a total stranger.
It’s no surprise that job interviews are ranked as one of the most stressful situations in modern life. While there’s no way to completely eliminate these unsavory emotions, it doesn’t mean you’re destined to fumble your way through a forest of HR offices until one feels sorry enough to hire you.
If you’re facing a big nursing job interview, or simply want to prepare for the inevitable excitement laced with nausea that is this situation, continue reading. The following tips are designed to help showcase your professionalism and personality, even for those with severe stage fright.
The Primary Objective of the Job Interview
Are you tired of reading lengthy books and listening to hours of podcasts in an attempt to decipher the secret code of giving a stellar interview? Don’t worry, this isn’t one of those articles.
While some of those tips may actually help, the secret formula of an amazing interview isn’t actually that much of a secret. In fact, you likely already know the ingredients required to make a Good Interview Pie.
The most important element to remember when preparing for an interview is to keep the overall objective clear. You must understand what this objective is and how you can navigate the known and unknown hurdles that will absolutely cross your path.
If you’re invited to interview, which hopefully you were or you run the risk of having a second interview…with the police, it’s because the employer has already deemed you a likely candidate.
Let’s break that down even more.
The employer already envisions you working for them, even if it’s only hypothetical. The primary purpose, or objective, of an interview is to not only discuss your experience, but to get to know you, and to hear about your nursing program and experience. Remember, before now, you were nothing but a name on a resume or a sterile LinkedIn profile picture.
All hiring managers want you to succeed. The objective in their minds is to see if you’re as capable in person as you came across on your resume. Essentially, you play a direct role in helping them reach THEIR goals just as much as they are in helping you achieve YOUR goals.
Think of It as a Conversation
One of the biggest, and most common, blunders nursing interviewees make is forgetting that an interview is actually a conversation. However, it’s easy to fall into this mental trap. Even the word “interview” feels as if you’re placed on the firing line.
Hopefully, you have an interviewer who understands the value of conversation and the actual purpose of this meeting. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case, which means it’s up to you to constantly remember that regardless of attitude and friendliness (or lack thereof), this is a conversation between two people reaching for the same goal: filling the position.
So, what is a conversation? In the most simplistic definition, it’s a moment where two or more individuals come together with the common goal of communicating their thoughts and meeting their unique needs.
The hiring manager needs a capable and professional nurse. You need an employer that not only leverages your skills as a nurse, but also provides room to grow and learn. Even though your goals may seem different, they’re actually built upon the same foundation.
Therefore, it’s important to remember that this is an opportunity for you to evaluate them. It’s important that you don’t forget this. Typically, failed interviews occur because the nurse forgets that this conversation is a two-way street. They fall into the trap of feeling as if they’re being scrutinized, and moreover, that they have no say in the conversation.
Here’s an excellent piece of advice to help keep your conversation fluid and function for both parties. Prior to the interview, thoroughly research the floor or unit you’re interviewing for. Identify not only the average patient population, but also common procedures.
This is important to know before going into the interview as it not only gives you a better sense of what you’re actually interviewing for, but also offers a unique opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge about these expectations. Hiring managers and interviewing nurses love this as it transforms the interview into a peer-to-peer encounter. Do this in your next interview, and you’ll likely find yourself speaking with more confidence and having a more meaningful interaction, regardless of the outcome.
Acing the Telephone Job Interview – Tips for Success
One of the most common trends in today’s hiring world is a pre-screen telephone interview. This offers a unique advantage for both the employer and employee. Instead of scheduling a face-to-face interview, which requires multiple parties to rearrange their schedule and take time away from their job or life, pre-screen phone interviews are a quick, non-intrusive way to see if you and the employer are a potential match.