Follow These 7 Rs to Prepare for Your Nursing Job Interview

Follow These 7 Rs to Prepare for Your Nursing Job Interview

Yes! The recruiter just emailed or called to schedule an interview with you for a nursing job.

Go ahead, do a little dance, you know you want to.

If the adrenaline from that call is starting to wear off, you might be feeling a little bit of self-doubt. Don’t carry that baggage around too long. After all, they wouldn’t be inviting you to the table at all if you didn’t meet the basic qualifications. 

Now that you have your foot in the door, it’s time to show that hiring committee exactly what you’re made of. 

#1 Research the Organization Before Your First Interview

We’ve all hit that “quick apply” button on a job site without really digging into the organization first. But, now that there’s action on the other end, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the facility you’ve applied at.

People spend most of their time at work. Research what the organization says about themselves online, on their website and in social media. Find out what others are saying about them in online reviews. If you know people who know people that work there, ask them to tell you about their experience.

An organization wants to know that you’ve done your homework and are at least somewhat familiar with their operations, their mission, and their vision. It shows a potential employer that you are legitimately interested in this job and not just sniffing around. 

#2 Review How You Represent Yourself Online

While you’re looking online for information about the organization, don’t overlook the fact that your potential employer is probably doing the same for you. Now is a great time to review what you are saying about yourself online.

  • What have you shared on social media lately?
  • How accessible are your social media accounts to the general public?
  • What does your profile say about you?
  • If you search for yourself on Google, what shows up?

Make sure that your online persona is appropriate, no matter what channels you are using. You never know what platforms your potential employer might investigate, so check them all and imagine viewing yourself from the outside.

#3 Reflect on Your Past Experiences (So You’re Prepared to Address Them)

Most interviews will inquire about your past experiences, both positive and negative, and ask you to share examples of times when you have had a difficult boss, difficult patient, or challenging work environment. 

Your recruiter will probably want to know about your ability to work with a team of people, how you care for patients, your time management skills, how you communicate, and what motivates you.

What stories can you tell from your past job experiences? A common method that can help you shape your stories is the STAR method.  

STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Results.

  • Identify a situation
  • Explain what role you played in the task at hand
  • Share what specific actions you took to address the situation and why you chose that course of action
  • Then communicate what you learned from that experience. What happened as a result of your actions? How did this situation shape you?

#4 Rehearse with a Friend or Family Member

Prior to your interview, ask a family member or a friend to help you rehearse your interview responses. This will give you an opportunity to think through how you want to talk about your past job experiences, why you want the job, and what you bring to the role. It can also help you generate questions you have about the position, which are always helpful to have when you’re going into an interview. 

Practicing for your interview will also help you work on any concerns with body language or communication challenges you might not be aware of—like making eye contact or fidgeting, talking too fast, or saying “umm” or other filler words too much. Give your friend permission to point out any of these issues so that you can work on them. 

#5 Respond Honestly

An interview isn’t like a final exam for a class. An interview is an opportunity to get to know who you are as a person and how you respond to different scenarios. It’s a chance to demonstrate your personality, character, and integrity to a future employer, who, more than anything, wants to know if you are going to be a good culture fit for the organization. This is especially important if you’re interviewing for a leadership position.

If you fib about or inflate your experiences, you’re only setting yourself up for disappointment and failure. Own who you are and what you’ve accomplished so far so that you can start your next role on the right foot with your new employer.

#6 Remember, an Interview Is a Two-Way Street

Interviews are not just about whether your potential employer thinks you are a good fit for their organization; it’s also about whether or not you think the organization is a place you want to work.

Prepare questions about the facility.

  • Ask about work culture.
  • Ask why the last person left.
  • Ask what the biggest challenges are for the organization right now.
  • What are they excited about?
  • Where is the organization heading in the next five years?
  • What is the hardest part about this job?

If you have any concerns about the job, the best time to air them is before you’ve accepted a job offer. 

#7 Reply to Your Interviewers with a Thank You Card or Email

It used to be common practice to receive a physical thank you card, but these days, a thank you card is an unexpected gesture that goes a long way to demonstrate your interest in a position.

At the least, a follow-up email thanking the committee or HR person for the time and reiterating your interest and qualifications further defines who you are and what you might bring to their team.

If you’re ready to show off your skills to a potential employer, Danbury Senior Living is ready to get to know you! Explore our current job openings to see if there’s a role you feel would fit your qualifications and interests. We’re eager to enter into a conversation with you about joining our team.

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