Congratulations on landing a job interview you’ve worked so hard to get! Now that you have a chance to shine, what do you need to do in that interview to really shine?
Don’t ever walk into a job interview without being prepared – very well prepared. Sure, you know you need to look the part and dress the part, but you need to spend time figuring out why you are a good fit for the company.
How do you do that?
1. Investigate the Company
Do a little digging online to find out about the company. What is their overall mission? What does their corporate hierarchy look like? What do their employees say about working there? Find out what you like about the company and what things you might not like so much.
2. Compare Them to the Competition
How does this organization stack up against the competition? Do they have a better patient satisfaction rate? Do their employees have a great rapport with corporate? Are they leaders in cutting edge technology and practices? Find out what gives this company an edge in performance so you can talk about that in your interview.
3. Hear from the Employees
Do you know anyone who works at this organization? Ask them about working there. You don’t want to put them on the spot. It’s unprofessional to dish the dirt on their own company. But you can ask them what they like about the company. Is he or she happy with working there? Do they think you would be a good fit? Are they aware of any things that might be a problem for new employees or someone who holds a similar position to what you’re seeking?
4. Visualize Yourself Working There
After all you have found out, why do you want to work there and why are you the best person for this particular job in this particular company? You have to be able to answer this question in an interview, so you should really get your thoughts clear before you walk in. Grab a piece of paper and write down everything. Do you want to work there because they have a leading cardiac unit and that’s your area of expertise? Or, in all honestly, are you looking for a shorter commute? Write down all your reasons and then compile them into an answer that is honest (well, skip the shorter commute bit!), to the point, and shows why they should hire you, not the other 50 people interviewing for the position.
5. Remember Why You Are There
You’re there because you want the job. But the organization is interviewing you because they want to know what you can do for them. They don’t want to hear about all the super things you have done unless you can tell them how that will help their organization. This is where your previous investigation into the company comes into play. If you want to talk about your experience with lean practices, link it to the organization’s long-standing commitment to lean or their newly implemented program. How can your skills and expertise make their organization a better place?
A little work before hand makes you a much stronger job candidate and will result in a productive and positive job interview. When you’re done, follow up with a thank you and let them know again how you think your professional qualities would help them.
Graduating with a new nursing degree is one of the most thrilling highlights for anyone just starting out in this career track. A degree represents hours of hard work and lots of sacrifice to achieve this goal. Congratulations to you if you have a new diploma in hand!
Now comes another tough hurdle – finding a job! With waves of new nurses hitting the market after graduation, you want to stand out to potential employers. You know you need a spotless resume and work experience to get a foot in the door, but don’t forget the power of the face-to-face interview. Once you show up, it’s game on and you need to be at the top of your game.
Here are five ways to prepare for an interview and gain confidence, too..
1. Show Up on Time
Honestly, this is so simple and yet so many people fail to do it. Do whatever you have to do, but make it to that interview on time and unruffled. It doesn’t matter if you had to take five detours to get there – when you extend your hand to introduce yourself, your interviewer should only see a cool, calm, and collected candidate. Don’t complain about the hassle, just smile and be positive.
2. Dig a Little Deeper
Being ready for a job interview means bringing several clean copies of your resume, knowing the names and contact information for references, and being ready to answer all the potential questions. But being prepared enough to impress an interviewer means knowing details about the job you are interviewing for – what the unit is like, what work is done, who the patients are, and who’s in charge. This is routine information you can find through a quick web search or a couple of phone calls. Do your homework.
3. Know The Interviewers’ Names
You can call ahead to find out the names of all the people you will be speaking with. If you can’t pronounce the names, ask the person on the phone how to pronounce it correctly and then write it down the way it sounds. When you meet your interviewers, you’ll project confidence by not stumbling over names, and they will appreciate your extra diligence.
4. Show Your Passion
Yes, you are careful about what you say during an interview and being nervous is normal. But it’s important to show your passion about why you want the particular job you are interviewing for, so don’t be afraid to do just that. Why does this job, with this organization, and this manager appeal to you? Why do you want this particular job? If you don’t know the answer, you aren’t prepared for the interview.
5. Say Thank You
When the interview closes, thank anyone who was part of it for taking the time to speak with you. Let them know they have a great organizations and that you would like to work for them. Think of one way you would add to their organization and mention it. Leave them with your enthusiasm and your gratitude and you will honestly say you gave it 100 percent.
Congratulations if you are getting ready for an important job interview! The preparation to make a good impression, form the best answers to questions, and to find out about a new organization can be time consuming and stressful.
Even with all the work, take a few extra minutes the day before your interview to make sure you have these last-minutes tasks checked off. If you can do this on the day before, you can focus on the interview itself the next day.
1. Dress for Success
Nothing makes you stand straighter than looking good. And you don’t have to go buy a new suit to wear, as long as the clothes you have are neat and professional. Get your outfit, and yourself, ready. Check your clothes to make sure they are pressed, stain-free, and ready to go. Make sure you have pantyhose (if you wear them) and a back-up pair, and inspect your shoes for scuffs or dirt. Guys should examine any collared shirts for discoloration and should be sure they have black (not white!) socks to go with their shoes. Everyone should give an outfit the once over for missing buttons or dropped hems.
2. Look the Part
It is much to easy to overlook the little things when you are getting ready for a job interview, but those are the very things an interviewer will notice. Take off any chipped nail polish, decide the neatest way to wear your hair, and make a conscious effort to wear professional (i.e., minimal) makeup. Now is not the time to try a new bright lipstick or wear tons of jewelry. Both men and women should go easy on any perfume or cologne or hair product.
3. Get Your Papers in Order
Instead of searching for your resume just before you are out the door, take the time to assemble a few copies of your resume, a blank notebook, and a couple of pens (you don’t want to be caught unprepared if one runs out of ink!). Jot your questions down ahead of time and go over any potential questions in your head. Know how you might put a positive spin on tricky questions, like what your biggest weakness is. Have a few mints (but no gum) before your appointment to freshen your breath. Just make sure there’s nothing in your mouth when you check in for your interview.
4. Map Your Route
Believe it or not, roads can be closed, a GPS can malfunction, weather can change your route, and traffic delays can force you to find another way to get to your interview. Find a few ways to get to where you are going and print out those directions (and reverse directions for when you leave). Plan to leave in plenty of time in case of unexpected delays. You don’t want to be late to your interview.
5. Think Ahead
Call any references you might use ahead of time. If your interviewer asks for references, you don’t want a company to call them without you saying something first. Check in with them and tell them you have an interview and ask if it would be okay to use them as a reference, if needed. This step makes you look professional to both your references and to the company with whom you are interviewing. And be sure to get the business cards of anyone you interview with so you know exactly where to send a post-interview thank-you note.
6. Take a Deep Breath
With all those tasks out of the way, you can relax a little and feel better knowing you are as prepared as possible. Good luck!
See Our Champions of Nursing Diversity
Sign up now to get your free digital subscription to Minority Nurse