As some of you may have read in a previous blog post, I am graduating with my BSN in May 2016. Just last week I had my first interview for a Critical Care Fellowship that I hope to start 2 months after graduation. I think my interview went very well and I want to pass on some tips that helped me prepare and feel confident.
- Do your research on the institution you are interviewing with. See how you can incorporate their mission statement and goals into your nursing mission and goals. It looks really good when you can speak about the institution and their mission statement during an interview, it shows you are interested enough to do some research and reading.
- Be resourceful. Use google to search for common nursing interview questions and proper ways to answer them. I had done this the night before, and I am glad I did. Typical questions include: Tell me a strength and a weakness about you, tell me a time you had to deal with a difficult customer and what you did to solve it, tell me a time you had to make a difficult decision in your life, etc. Practice, practice, practice, your answers.
- Make sure you have a few folders with copies of your resume, reference letters, and anything else you are bringing to the interview. I wasn’t sure if I was going to be interviewing with more than one person, so I brought 3 folders with my resume (printed on nice resume paper), 2 references (also printed on resume paper), and my official transcripts (Only 1 copy for one folder, you could get 3 if you feel like spending 30 dollars, I didn’t). Luckily, I only interviewed with one person, but I am happy I was over- prepared than unprepared.
- For most of you (including me), this will be your first REAL professional interview. Of course you will be nervous. But, if you take the time to do the steps above, do your research and be prepared, this will help you feel more confident. Also, make sure you dress to impress. I wore a full suit with a tie (obviously different for women, not sure what would be the equivalent, maybe a women suit?). I looked the part, I felt the part, and I interviewed the part.
My only other advice is to remember, you went to school for years, hundreds of hours studying, countless hours in clinical. You know what you can do and what you want. Go out there, feel confident, look confident, and get the job you’ve always wanted.