Since graduating nursing school I have been working in geriatrics. I have spent the last couple of years as a quality assurance, workplace safety coordinator, wound care, and charge nurse. Yes, all at the same time! A little over a month ago I was contacted by another local long term care/skilled nursing facility. They had an opening for a co-director of clinical services (aka director of nursing). This position would oversee the skilled unit as well as quality assurance and infection control. Stay tuned as I will go into more detail about my position in a later post. I set up the interview and it went great; I was offered the position a few days later and accepted it! I start this Wednesday, I am equal parts nervous and excited. Nursing has so many opportunities and specialties that it is not uncommon for nurses to switch specialties or jobs, so along with that comes job interviews. Interviews can induce some anxiety so I have put together a list of top 5 tips for your next nurse interview.
- Do your homework. Research the company. Research the specialty. Head into the interview knowing what you can about the company, the specialty, and the position.
- Mock Interview. Research common nursing interview questions. Using a word document type the question and then come up with your own answers. Have a mock interview and go over the questions and answers, you can do this by yourself. Basically study this, that way you won’t draw a blank during the interview.
- Dress Professionally. The majority of nurses spend their time in scrubs but when it comes to the interview it is best to dress in professional business clothes. Black dress pants, shoes, and blazer with a colored or patterned shirt underneath always looks great and professional.
- Know statistics. Know basic facts and statistics related to your job. For example if you work in quality assurance know your current re-hospitalization rate, for infection control know your infection rate. If you’re working the floor brush up on latest trends and findings related to your specialty.
- Be prepared. Bring copies of your resume, references, nursing license, and relevant certifications to the interview. Also bring a pen, one you have made sure works. Put these in a nice black leather padfolio, that way you will have paper to take notes on or write down questions. Many interviews these days include a panel of people not just one person, in my experience there will be anywhere from 1-5 interviewers. You should have that many copies of your resume with you.