Prepare: 4 Important Nursing Interview Tips For New Grads
In the first part of a 3 part series specifically for new grads, Nursing Interview Tips has compiled 4 important nursing interview tips you should consider to prepare you for your nursing interview. Preparing for a Nursing interview can be quite confusing and there can be many unknowns. You may not be sure what nursing information you need to bring with you, what you should wear, or what nursing interview questions and answers you should be reviewing. You have come to the right place to learn how to prepare for your interview.
Nursing Interview Tips for New Grads Series
- Part 1: Prepare – 4 Important Nursing Interview Tips For New Grads
- Part 2: Interview Day – 7 Important Nursing Interview Tips for New Grads
- Part 3: Follow up – 3 Important Nursing Interview Tips for New Grads
1. Paperwork, Credentials, Résumés, etc.
If you have not done this already, step number one as a nursing new grad should be creating a professional résumé that lists out important information such as your contact information, the school you attended (or are currently attending), the nursing degree you earned/will earn, potentially your GPA, any clinical experience you have, and past work experience as it relates to nursing. Make sure you include Summer Lifeguarding on there since you should definitely be trained in CPR (that’s assuming you had a lifeguard job in the summer)! Your résumé is how you sell yourself and make yourself stand out from the rest of the other potential nurses applying to the same position. You will want to highlight any rewards or accolades you have acquired.
Many colleges have a Career Resource Center that you can leverage to help build out your résumé. You will want someone that is experienced in writing résumés to help you with grammar, formatting, buzz words or “power” words, that will help your name pop up in online databases and rise to the top of the stack as Human Resources (HR) is sifting through to find potential candidates. Once you have a nursing résumé that has been tweaked to your liking, you will want to get it professionally printed on high quality paper. Go to your nearest Staples, Office Depot, Kinkos, or anywhere else with a Printing Department and have them print out several copies of your résumé. Please, please, please DO NOT print your resume out on your home printer unless it is professional-grade. Your interview may consist of meeting with multiple people, and each one of those people should have their own copy of your résumé.
In addition to your nursing résumé, you will also want to compile a list of references that the Nurse Manager or HR can use to help find out more about you. References can be anywhere from a family friend, to a professor, to a fellow nurse or mentor you know. Your references do not need to be included on the résumé, but have it handy as a second page just in case they ask for a list.
2. Research Nursing Interview Questions
After you have all your paperwork squared away, you should start preparing and researching new grad nursing interview questions and answers. We have compiled a list of the most important nursing interview tips and common nursing interview questions and answers that will more than likely be asked which you can find by clicking on the link above.
To prepare for the interview, you should review all the questions you can and write down your own open-ended answers to them. Interviewers do not want one word answers, they want you to show them you have really put some thought into your answers and that you are passionate. You may come across a question where the interviewer will ask you to focus on something negative (like a weakness); you should be able to turn the negative into a positive, but still be able to acknowledge your weakness. Nobody is perfect and everyone knows that.
Not only should you be reviewing interview questions, but you should also be researching the facility you will be interviewing at. If it is a hospital, find out as much as you can about the hospital. Are they part of a network or larger parent company? Have they earned any rewards or recognition in the last year? When did it first open? Do they have any sister hospitals? The answers to these questions will show the interviewer that you’ve done your homework and haven’t passed off the interview as something not-so-important. It will also show you truly care about the facility you will be potentially working at.
3. Practice Makes Perfect
Once you have all your nursing paperwork and credentials lined up, and after you’ve studied up on your nursing interview questions, the next thing you should be doing are mock interviews. Grab one of your parents, siblings, a friend, or a fellow nurse you may know and sit down with them for a mock interview. Print out the list of nursing interview questions that you reviewed and have your interview partner read off your questions and you will answer them out loud. Reading them out loud will allow you to catch any mistakes or tweak your wording to something you like better. You want to be cool, calm, and collected during your real interview and preparing mock interviews is the best way to walk in with confidence. You will also want to tell your interview partner to make it as real as they can. They should not let you simply read off your scripted answers. They should be asking you to go into more detail and ask further related questions so you can cover all of your bases.
4. What To Wear
This should go without saying, but there is no such thing as overdressing for an interview. The last thing you want to do is walk in with a polo and someone else is wearing a suit. Men: You should be wearing a suit for any interview you go on. Women: A nice jacket/blazer with dress pants and heels or a business casual dress is fine. Even though you will be probably be working in scrubs 99% of the time, you want to impress your interviewer because you don’t get a second chance at making a first impression.
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