Are you cut out for a nursing job with us?"
Okay, so as a result of your sparkling cover letter and your fantastic resume, you’ve landed yourself a job interview. Excellent! Now is the time to do a reverse reference check.
Ask around (other nurses, your nursing faculty) about the nurse manager and the hospital administration. If the hospital or organization is not well known to you, call ahead and get an annual report and other material from their public relations office or get it online.
Nearly every single large hospital or health-care system will have a webpage with interesting and helpful information about the institution and its philosophy, programs, and clientele.
A few days before your interview, practice your interviewing technique with a friend. Practice a good handshake (firm, but not bone crushing) if you don’t have one, and ask an honest friend to point out anything you do habitually when you’re nervous – for example, pulling at your left ear, tapping your fingers, or building a tower out of oversized paper clips. This is important because nervous habits can reveal your inner stress and also distract the interviewer.
Of course, you have already been lectured 8,000 times about appearance being important at job interviews. It’s helpful to have a navy-blue suit so boring and formal that you wouldn’t wear it anywhere but a job interview. Always dress professionally even if you are going in to drop off a resume because you never know if you will be asked to interview on the spot.
The backpack you used in school was practical for lugging around the 2 metric tons worth of books nursing students carry. However, it’s a wee bit more professional to show up at a job interview with a bag that doesn’t look as though you’ll be off to hike the Appalachian Trail the moment you leave. If you don’t have a briefcase, borrow one or simply put your papers in a crisp new file folder and carry them in your hand.
When you go to the nursing job interview, always bring along an extra copy of your resume, copies of your license and diploma, and a word-processed list of three to six personal and professional references. Don’t forget a pen to write down any questions that pop into your mind during the interview as they may well come in handy.