GIFTED Reports: How to Nail your Interview

Talking to nurse managers and CNO’s can be a nerve wracking experience. Even for nurses with excellent bedside manner, interviews require specific preparation. Whether you’re a recent graduate or seasoned professional, here are some tips and tricks from the hiring staff at GIFTED.

Show Your Interest

The easiest way to make your interview stand out is to show your passion for the profession. Easier said than done, right? One thing nurse managers and CNOs are looking for is motivation. Are you looking for quick extra shifts to pick up, or are you serious about finding the best spot for your career? Being able to talk about your long-term goals as a nurse is a great way to show dedication. Have you had any specialized training or experience with a specific area? Talking about past learning experiences or what inspires you in nursing will grab the attention of anyone listening.

Keep it Positive

Maybe your last manager consistently understaffed your unit but venting during an interview makes you appear unprofessional. If your previous workplaces have been less than stellar, write down a few positive things you recall from your experience. Did you build strong relationships with patients? Did you learn any new specialties or techniques? Were you compassionate and helpful to co-workers through challenging situations? Focus on these stories when discussing past experiences. This way, you show an enthusiasm for new opportunities that better meet your needs.

Keep Licenses Current and Available

Surprise! Being a nurse requires a LOT of training, but you knew that already. At the end of the day, the last thing most people want to do is deal with paperwork. But for nursing professionals in the job market, having documents and your licensure on hand can make a difference. Many times, if a nurse can’t produce the right credentials, they can’t get hired and have to retake continuing education hours. Nobody’s got time for that. Make sure your paperwork is readily available and current. The last thing you want is to find the perfect job, only to realize your license expired two weeks ago.

Ask Questions

Any good interview allows you to ask a lot of questions. This is another great way to show your interest, letting you know more about the culture of the facility and how you can expect to be treated in a professional setting. Not sure where to start? Well I’m glad you asked! Here are some questions you can bring up in your next interview:

  • What are some qualities required to be successful in this role?
  • What are some challenges nurses will face in this role?
  • How would you describe the culture of your department?
  • What should I expect day-to-day?
  • What are the hours of the position?
  • Are there opportunities for professional development in this role?

Show Your Best Self

Interviews are your time to shine. Be truthful when describing your accomplishments, but really focus on what makes you unique. Are you incredibly reliable and rarely call out? Can you handle even the most challenging situations with a smile? Do you excel at communicating with your team? Find what you are best at and think of a few anecdotes from your experiences that demonstrate that. You don’t need discuss your exact weaknesses. Everyone has things they’re less good at. Use the interview to highlight what makes you better than the next nurse looking for this job.

Check Your Phone

Being the talented nurse you are, everyone wants to hire you so don’t delay that process because you didn’t check your email or voicemail for four days. Respond right away to requests, positive or negative. If there is an opportunity that doesn’t work for you, it’s okay to pass, but communicate. If you continually pass on opportunities or don’t respond, recruiters may think you’re no longer interested. By communicating, you are telling them that you’re reliable and can handle the needs of professional communication. If you slip up or life happens, that’s not a deal breaker. Reach out, explain the situation in professional terms and express your renewed interested ASAP. Communication can be flexible; nurse staffing is a person to person job. If you can respond quickly and communicate your needs, you will have no problem.

Be Polite to anyone on the other side of the phone!

This might seem like a little thing, but you never know when you’re being evaluated in a job context. Smile when speaking with someone. Say please and thank you. This alone won’t get you a job, but it makes you look a lot better than someone who doesn’t. Whenever you’re interacting with anyone at an agency, act like they could be the hiring manager. Put your best foot forward and be the type of person someone would love to have as a coworker. Even if this doesn’t lead to a direct hire, worst case scenario, you make someone’s day a little nicer. Best case, you land the job of your dreams.


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