Any job interview can be stressful, but going for your first nursing interview after graduation can be extremely stressful. Even though you are ready with resume in hand, there is much more to going through the interview process.
Make a Good Impression
While not always accurate, people are often judged by the first impression they give. It is important to make sure the first impression you give is a good one. Don't be late. Arrive at least 15 minutes prior to your interview. This gives you time to check in and stop by a restroom to freshen up. Make sure you are dressed neatly and appropriately for your interview. Avoid being excessive with your jewelry, make-up or hairstyle. Don’t forget to smile, have a firm handshake and make eye contact during your appointment.
Have Paperwork in Order
As with other interviews, make sure you bring:
- Proof of identity
- Social Security card
- Green card if applicable
- NCLEX scores
- Immunization records
- Reference letters
Even if you've previously sent a resume, make sure to bring a copy that you can refer to if needed during your interview. Bring copies of your certifications, licenses, and as a recent graduate, your school transcripts. Prepare a list of your clinical rotations, including your instructor’s name, where the clinical took place, and the area of specialty to refer to during your interview.
Questions to Be Ready For
There are always the standard questions at interviews, including "What are your strengths and weaknesses?" or "Where do you see yourself in five years?" but you also may be asked questions about past jobs and bosses, or be asked to explain gaps in employment. Make sure to respond to these questions in a positive manner.
Other questions to prepare for include:
- Can you tell me about yourself?
- Why do you want to be a nurse?
- How would you deal with difficult team members?
- Why should we hire you?
Don’t forget to get a good night’s sleep before your interview. Being prepared before you go for your nursing interview may mean the difference between acing and bombing your interview.