One of the most exciting aspects of your nursing job search is receiving an invitation to interview. You impressed the hiring manager with your resume and cover letter. Now it’s time to impress them during your job interview.
Job interviews are nerve-racking for sure. But you can calm some of your anxiety by doing these four things before your interview.
1. Company Research
Reading through the job posting isn’t enough to prepare for an interview. Dig deeper and read through the organization’s website and any social media pages they have. Spend some time perusing their press releases to learn about new initiatives the company is working on.
Some companies also have an HR section on their website where they publish their employee benefits information and employee handbook. These documents will give you insight to help you determine if the company is a good fit for you.
Finally, be sure to read their annual reports from the past several years if they are posted online. These reports will give you a glimpse into the company’s financial health as well as key milestones achieved throughout the year.
2. Review Potential Questions
Don’t “wing it” when it comes to preparing for any job interview. It will pay off to spend some time thinking through the possible questions you will be asked as well as how you will answer them.
Be sure you can answer questions about:
- Your education and work experience
- Your strengths and weaknesses
- Your patient care philosophy
- Work/school challenges you have faced and how you worked through them
- Your short and long-term career goals
- Why you want to work for this company/organization
3. Prepare Your Questions
There will usually come a time during your interview when you will have the chance to ask some questions of your own. Be smart and have a few questions prepared. It shows that you’re invested in learning more about the job and company.
These questions will get you started:
- What is the training/orientation process?
- What is the nurse-to-patient ratio?
- What shift(s) will I likely work?
- How long do most nurses work on this unit?
- What career growth opportunities do nurses have?
- Describe your management style and/or management philosophy.
One warning: Don’t ask questions about salary or benefits during your interview. Save those questions for after you receive a job offer. At that point you know they want you for the position and you’ll be in a much stronger position to negotiate your starting salary and benefits.
4. Do a Test Run
One of the worst first impressions you can make is to be late for your interview. Mitigate the risk of being late by asking for directions to the interview site, including parking instructions. It’s wise to also do a test run a day or two before the interview so that you can gauge the time it takes to get there and park.
These tips will save you some stress and help you shine during your next job interview.