Acing an interview: It’s all about how you respond to questions
A strong resume, sent to the right hospitals, practices, or clinics–healthcare employers that you’ve researched online and scored tips from other nurses who work or have worked there–is step one in getting the job you want.
Nurse recruiters, hiring managers, and HR staff, who review your resume, are looking for far more than just making a skill set match. Step two is convincing them that you aren’t just qualified for the position you’ve applied for–you are the position’s best candidate! And, while your resume gets you the face-to-face job interview, it’s the rapport you establish the moment you sit down in front of the interviewer that will land you that job offer. They want to know:
- How you communicate your capabilities, experience, achievements, and skills and your expectations about the position for which you are interviewing; and
- How you respond (and react) to the questions and situations pitched at you during the interview.
Employers are concerned with three basic questions
According to Mary M. Somers, author of The Complete Guide to Successful Interviewing for Nursing Students, most interview questions come from an employer’s concern with three basic questions:
- What can you do for us?
- Why do you want to work with us?
- What are you like once we’ve gotten to know you?
Knowing how to respond to the questions you’ll be fielding during an interview–some predictable, some challenging, and some with no “right” answer–doesn’t just position you as a confident and prepared interviewee, it puts you ahead of the competition, too.
Practice answering job interview questions
Ask friends and colleagues about their job interview experiences to get an idea of what questions to expect. Practice answering the questions by consciously thinking about how you will answer them and about personal situations and experiences that will enhance your responses. Below is a list of other useful job interview sources for nurses.
- 65 Interview Questions For Nurses
- Interview Questions & Answers For Nurses
- Pre-Interview Prep
- Prepare For A Behavioral Interview…Then Ace It!
- Sample Interview Questions For Nurses
- Sample Nursing Interview Questions & Tips
What to avoid during the job interview
According to career expert Somers, exhibiting the following traits, characteristics, and actions during an interview will decrease your chances of getting a job offer.
- Overbearing presence
- Inability to express yourself clearly
- Lack of planning for career
- Lack of interest and enthusiasm
- Lack of confidence and poise
- Failure to participate in activities
- Overemphasis on money
- Poor scholastic record
- Lack of tact
- Lack of maturity
- Lack of courtesy
- Condemnation of past employers
- Lack of vitality
- Failure to maintain eye contact
- Little sense of humor
- Lack of knowledge in field of specialization
- No interest in company or in industry
- Narrow interests
- Inability to accept criticism
- Radical ideas
- Lack of familiarity with company
© Health Callings, Dice Holdings Inc., 2014