6 Tips for Acing your Nursing Interview

Nursing interview tips

It’s normal to have feelings of nervousness before an interview. For many, it’s a high-pressure situation, and the constant worry of how to respond to each question can be frustrating. But there are plenty of ways to maneuver through interviews effectively. Take a look at these tips that include common nursing job interview questions and other advice.

#6. Prepare your credentials before the interview

Every nurse should have a professional resume that highlights your education, any clinical experience and nursing career highlights. Make sure to list all of the credentials you hold, as well as immunization and identification documents. You should also have a record of your nursing license and of passing your boards.

#5. Have strong letters from references

A major goal of your interview is showing your interviewer that you will fit in with the rest of the team. References offer a window into how your colleagues perceive you. If they can paint a picture of you that employers like, you are far more likely to land the job. Even if they are not directly requested, it doesn’t hurt to bring them. They can only help your prospective employer better understand how you work. If you do not have any letters, bring contact information for your references.

#4. Develop an answer for this important and common question

“Tell me a little about yourself.”

This is among the most common questions in any interview and is usually one of the first. This question is not about your personal life; instead, it’s your first and best chance to give evidence on why you are right for this opportunity. Showcase your talents, skills and attitudes that you will bring to this nursing team.

#3. Don’t be afraid to be a little negative about yourself, but paint in a positive light.

You aren’t perfect, but nobody is. Employers understand this and want to know about your weaknesses. Do not be afraid to talk about a mistake you may have made, but immediately explain how you learned from it. Be sure to explain how you have overcome adversity in previous employment. However, do not speak negatively about a previous employer, manager or co-worker. You don’t want to look like someone who blames issues on someone else.

#2. Set up a practice interview

Setting up a practice interview is a great opportunity to sharpen your interview skills. Take it seriously by dressing professionally and coming prepared. The more you treat this like a real interview, the better the experience will be. Make sure your mock interviewer asks some of the following interview questions for nurses

  • How would others describe your skills as a team player?
  • Why did you select nursing as a career?
  • What is your approach for getting along with difficult staff members (i.e., nurses and doctors)?
  • How do you handle problems with patients and families?
  • Describe how you contribute to your patients’ recovery.
  • How do you stay up to date with medical research and industry changes and trends?
  • What do you do to meet your patients’ needs when your unit is short staffed?
  • How do you give a treatment that you have never administered before?
  • How do you handle emergency admissions at shift change?

And most importantly…

#1. Relax

If you’re prepared for the interview it will be easier to relax. It’s also important to remember that no matter what happens, the result will not make or break your career. Be sure to get plenty of sleep the night before the interview. Take your mind off the interview afterward, but be sure to email anyone you interviewed with and thank them for their time.

Gaining the credentials for landing your job

At Notre Dame College Online, both our RN to BSN and MSN programs will prepare you for success in this growing career.

For more information on how Notre Dame College can advance your career in nursing, visit our online nursing program page today.