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Interview Tips for the Job-Seeking Nurse

Patricia Ratliff, RN

When job hunting in today’s competitive job market, getting your foot in the door, having your resume reviewed and being invited for an interview are feats in and of themselves. Make every job opportunity count by presenting yourself — in person and on paper — in the best manner possible. Here are some simple guidelines to help get you noticed — in a good way.

Details, Details, Details – A resume can be a reflection of a person’s character and introduces prospective employers to a nurse. Invest time in a quality resume. Several Web sites offer examples to follow. Keep it simple — and accurate. Do not exaggerate your experience.

Buy a binder or portfolio for your resume and documentation. Include in it any documents that show clinical expertise or achievement.

Ask several nursing and clinical instructors to write letters of recommendation, and place these documents in sheet protectors.

Include a list of clinical sites at which you’ve worked, and document pertinent clinical experiences.

Take the Time to Prepare – Before you start the interview process, research the organization. Most facilities have a Web site, so start there. Have several questions prepared to ask the interviewer. Ask about scheduling, the patient-to-nurse ratio, patient population and training programs. Asking questions shows a definite interest in the position.

Prepare answers to typical interview questions. Eliminate slang responses and watch for nervous gestures while practicing.

The interview may include clinical questions. Review lab values, common diagnosis and procedures. (Hint: Remember your ABCs — Airway, Breathing and Circulation).

D-Day – Arrive professionally dressed 10 to 15 minutes early, bring extra resumes and remain calm. Too much nervous energy can make a person appear “out of control.”

During the interview, introduce yourself and shake hands. Take a moment to organize your thoughts before you answer a question. If you don’t understand the question, ask for clarification. Use professional language and complete sentences and answer honestly.

Be professional and courteous to everyone during the interview process. Thank the interviewer(s) for their time. Ask when a decision regarding the position will be made. Write a brief thank you letter or e-mail within two days post-interview.


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By | 2020-04-15T14:29:49-04:00 February 8th, 2010|Categories: Regional, South|0 Comments

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