5 Interview Tips For New Graduate Nurses

5 Interview Tips For New Graduate Nurses

If you’re preparing to enter the nursing workforce, you’ve chosen an excellent time. According to employment projections by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, registered nurse tops the list of occupations with excellent job growth potential through 2020. In fact, they expect the number of nurses employed in the U.S. to increase by 26 percent, or about 712,000 positions, over the next eight years. The healthcare industry will need to replace 495,000 retiring nurses during that time as well, bringing the total of new nurses needed to 1.2 million.

New nurses, however, are finding tough competition for jobs, especially when experienced nurses are applying for the same jobs. This means that you need to put your best sensibly shoed foot forward during the interview. Hospitals, doctor’s offices, urgent care clinics and nursing homes are still selective when choosing candidates to fill their open positions. They don’t want just any nurse; they want the best new nurse for the job. If you want to prove that your personality, passion for nursing and solid work ethic make you the candidate they need, consider the following five interview tips for new graduate nurses.

#1 Dress like this is important.

This may sound like plain old common sense, but nurse recruiters are often amazed at the lack of care candidates put into their interview ensembles. Think conservative, neat and professional. This means no street clothes, flip-flops or distracting attire. Dress like a slob and they may view your attitude and work ethic as sloppy as well.

#2 Manage your body language.

Nurses work in high-pressure environments, and an interview is certainly a stressful event. Show you can handle anything by remaining confident, composed and self-assured. Keep your handshake firm and make direct eye contact throughout the meeting. Avoid fidgeting and maintain a relaxed yet alert posture. Smile and speak with enthusiasm.

#3 Do your research.

Would you take a nursing school final exam without studying? We thought not. An interview requires preparation as well. Learn everything you can about the establishment as soon as your meeting is scheduled. This means tracking down articles, pouring over their website and reviewing the job posting. You can use the data you gather to answer common questions such as “Why are you interested in working for our hospital?”

#4 Ask lots of questions.

Remember all that research? You can also use it to formulate your own informed questions. While you may be the best nurse for the job, it might not be the best job for you — and your questions can help you determine this. Ask about their nursing philosophy, the training process and the future of the hospital. While it is acceptable to inquire about details such as scheduling requirements, continuing education, performance evaluations and advancement potential, most interview experts advise against discussing compensation during the interview.

#5 Exit gracefully.

This is your last chance to leave a favorable impression. One way to do so is to leave your recruiter with a copy of your nursing portfolio. It should contain a fresh copy of your resume along with academic, professional and personal references. You may also include letters of recommendation and your training and licensing documentation. Don’t neglect to ask about next steps and when you can expect to hear from the recruiter with a decision.

Despite the growing number of nursing jobs available, you may need to interview with more than one healthcare facility before you find the right fit. Keep these five tips in mind and your efforts will eventually be rewarded with your first role in an exciting nursing career.

As always, you can count on EresumeX as your free job portal.

~Dawn Krovicka