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7 Nursing Interview Tips To Help You Land Your Dream Job

Published on: Jul 27, 2018

With the current job market, Canada will have a shortage of 60,000 nurses by 2022.

With numbers like that, it won't be hard to find an interview. But one bad interview stands between you and your dream job.

There is an abundance of interview tips available online but few cater to the nursing field.

Read below for seven nursing interview tips to help you snag the right job for you.

1. Highlight Your Education

You spend years receiving the required education to become a registered nurse. Share your educational journey during your interview. Be sure to mention all the practical skills you learned and which subjects you excelled in.

This is also a great time to talk about your clinical experience. Sharing the variety of clinical experience you've will show your wide-spread skill set.

Whether you started as a medical assistant and worked your way to your LPN or went straight to your RN, your education is a crucial part of your nursing career. If you put in the work to achieve a high GPA don't leave that out.

2. Bring Essential Documents

Being a nurse means that you have gathered a lot of certifications and documents along the way. Your future employer wants to see all of your qualifications. Try to bring copies of the following items to your nursing interviews:

  • Immunization records
  • CPR certification
  • Nursing license
  • Proof of passing board scores
  • Advanced training program certificates

You should bring copies of your resume, cover letter, and letter of recommendations. Use a high-quality paper and keep your materials in a portfolio for professionalism. There are a variety of examples available online to help you create your own.

3. Anticipate Possible Interview Questions

One of the best ways to prepare for an interview is to have a friend ask you possible RN interview questions. Review your answers so you don't end up stuttering or drawing a blank at the wrong time.

Here are a few examples to get you started:

  • What made you want to become an RN
  • Do you work best alone or as a team
  • Tell me about a challenging experience that you overcame
  • How do you handle difficult patients
  • What motivates you
  • What are some of your weaknesses and strengths

4. Research the Potential Employer

One of the biggest mistakes you can make when preparing for a nursing interview is forgetting to research the potential employer. It's important to learn the names of the people interviewing you and top names at the company.

Explore the employer's website and find out what makes them unique. Bringing up a few unique aspects will show that you are interested in the company and have done your homework.

A great way to learn more about your future employer is to talk to people you know who work there. Ask specifically about the staff, culture, and the working environment.

5. Show Professionalism

Professionalism is one of the most important characteristics of a nurse. Showing professionalism in your interview lets your future employer know that they can count on your professionalism in the future.

There are eight known attributes to professionalism in nursing.

  • Knowledge - having a wide variety of nursing knowledge along with the ability to apply that knowledge.
  • Spirit of inquiry - make sure you're open-minded and ask questions that expand your knowledge of the job.
  • Accountability - Using a code of ethics to deliver the necessary care to your patients.
  • Autonomy - being able to work independently and efficiently when needed.
  • Advocacy - knowing the client's needs and working towards meeting these needs.
  • Innovation and visionary - continue to look for more effective ways to solve problems and come up with new ideas.
  • Collegiality and collaboration - developing professional relationships and be a mentor towards others.
  • Ethics and values - applying nursing ethics and values to your everyday decisions.

Take a moment to learn more about these eight attributes and how to portray them.

6. Dress the Part

If you show up to your interview underdressed, your future employer will immediately think less of you. Start off on the right foot by dressing in professional business attire for your future job.

Tips for men:

  • A suit in a solid color
  • A button-down collared shirt that coordinates with your suit
  • A belt that matches your shoes, leather is a safe option
  • Avoid patterns and bright colors

Tips for women:

  • A pant or skirt suit
  • All skirts should fall at or below the knee
  • Coordinated blouse, avoid patterns
  • Conservative shoes
  • Limited jewelry

Both men and women should make sure they have a neat haircut for the day of their interview. It's also important to make sure your nails are manicured and your clothing is wrinkle-free. Don't forget to use a breath mint right before your interview.

7. Follow Up After the Interview

Make sure your future employer knows how interested you are after the interview by following up. Thank them for their time and express your interest in the position. It can also be beneficial to mention a specific talking point from your interview.

The best way to do this is with a hand-written card. Sending an email or making a phone call are also options. Whatever method you choose, make sure it gets to the employee you conducted the interview with and doesn't get lost with a receptionist or in a voicemail box.

Once you've followed up you should let the employer make the next point of contact to make sure you aren't taking up too much of their time.

More Nursing Interview Tips

If you follow these nursing interview tips, you should be able to land a nursing job of your dreams.

If you don't land the first job, don't fret. It can take some time to find the right fit for you. Know's a good time to find the right job for you with the abundance of nursing positions.

During the process, it's essential to keep up to date with the latest job openings. Sign up for our job alerts. These alerts will send you tailored job openings based on your location and position preferences.