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How To Prepare For A Nursing Interview

13 February
2020

How To Prepare For A Nursing Interview

While a few nurses may be comfortable with job interviews, there are others who might be amazing nurses but are extremely nervous on their big day. If you are anxious or nervous, your overall performance during the job interview may get affected. Therefore, keeping your mind free yet focused can help you shine. It needs to be understood that you will not get completely rid of your anxiety, however by taking small steps, you can calm your nerves and decreases the chances of messing up your interview.

Figure Out Why Are You Nervous?

The first thing to take into consideration when preparing for a job interview is what's causing the nervousness. Below are a few questions that you can ask yourself:

  • Are you nervous as you feel unqualified for the position you've applied for?
  • Is your nervousness due to your lack of confidence as a nurse?
  • Are there certain questions that make you all anxious? What are those questions that make you sweat?
  • Is there something about the job role that makes you uncomfortable or the skills required are not your forte?
  • Is the employer known for asking tough questions?
  • Do you know the person or the panel interviewing you?
  • Are you uncertain about making a strong case regarding your knowledge, skills and expertise?
  • Are you applying for a new nursing specialty or a complex job role?

By writing down your response to these questions, you are likely to overcome your job interview jitters.

Here are twelve tips that will minimize your interview anxiety:

1. Know About The Location

The worse start to a job interview is driving without knowing the exact venue or building for the meeting. Similarly, if you don't have enough money for parking meter, you will again be in a fix. The first thing you need to do is chalk out the fastest route to the interview site.

Drive a day prior and make mental notes regarding parking, if you'd need change for the parking meter and also noting the exact building you will need to be at. If it's possible, visit the building premise and know the exact spot where you'd have to report.

Furthermore, if you have to travel during rush hour, research on how long the commute will take at any instance. Once done, add additional 30-45 minutes to exactly be on time. Before leaving check the estimated time of arrival so that you know when exactly you'd reach.

2. Take Proper Rest

If you lose your sleep pre-interview owing to the anxiety, you will struggle the entire day. Make sure your sleeping pattern is decent for a few days before the interview. Don't consume alcohol and other similar items that may affect the quality of your sleep.

3. Acquire Knowledge Of The Employer

For starters, do as much research as possible regarding the organization or company where you are applying to. This way, you will be able to answer all questions of your employer regarding the organization with confidence. If you are in the dark regarding the organization, your confidence may get affected resulting in poor overall performance.

4. Practice The Difficult Questions

If you are prepared to answer why you lost your last nursing job within a year of appointment, you are less likely to get anxious or nervous while answering the question. Review your resume and practice these questions multiple times in order to be fluent with your answers.

You can also do a mock interview where you can ask your colleague, friend or family member to interview you. Focus on maintaining eye contact and try to answer questions that are the most difficult for you. By practicing these questions you are likely to be less anxious for tough questions.

5. Try Nurturing A Conversation

If you go for an interview with a mindset that you are on trial, you will be nervous. Realizing that it is not a firing squad, rather a two way dialogue. Also, prepare questions for them. Your questions directed towards them will foster a positive image of you altogether.

6. Focus On Your Strengths And Weaknesses

While it may sound cliché, most employers will be interested to know your weaknesses and strength. While this question does not help interviewers gauge much about the person, it is a stock question that is often asked as a filler. Be sure to prepare such questions so that the answers look as fluent as possible. There is a high probability that such questions will be asked so the best thing for you is be prepared.

7. Think Before You Speak

When you are asked a question, make sure you understand that it is normal to be hesitant. Think before you speak and gather your thoughts before you respond. If you want time, taking a sip of water can give you the excess time to think and come up with a response. However, just make sure that you don't use this tactic very frequently otherwise it will be obvious what you are doing.

If you make notes during the interview which is also recommended, you can do so while the question is asked, your note taking will help you buy a few seconds. Moreover, make sure that you don't bury your face in your notebook and maintain steady eye contact. Similarly, you can directly ask them for some time to gather your thoughts.

8. Make notes

As discussed above, taking notes can help you buy some time from the interviewer giving you the margin to come up with a rational response. Similarly, having a notebook and a pen in hand can give you something to fidget with. Just make sure that you don't tap your pen nervously on the notebook or subconsciously click the pen's cover again and again to curb your anxiety.

9. Dress Smartly

You want to dress formally for your interview, while this is certain. However, wearing clothes that are either to tight or revealing will adversely affect your demeanor. Make sure you choose those clothes that fit well and are comfortable on your skin. Your clothing will make you feel confident and impressive. Don't just be over the top formal, rather dress as nicely as possible.

10. Keep Yourself Hydrated Before The Interview

The worst thing you can do to your interview as a nurse is by having a gnawing hunger or thirst. Before an interview, this could be lethal affecting your overall tranquility. If you have your interview in the morning, make sure to stuff yourself with a healthy breakfast to keep you nourished and healthy.

Don't be extremely caffeinated and ensure that your body is also hydrated. Further, your lips shouldn't be dry or chapped. Also make sure to avoid those drink that can make your stomach upset or cause gases. Carbonated drinks are known to cause belching at inappropriate times and you would want to avoid foods that don't agree with you.

11. Breathe

While this may sound something from a medication book, but as per research the meditation helps you maintain your calm, and reduces anxiety and stress. The less stressful you are, the better you will perform during the interview.

12. Focus On Your Body Language

Your body language plays an important role in shaping your confidence and personality. Your body language should be calm and cool in demeanor. If you are fidgety, the best way to go about is practicing your hand gestures in front of a loved one.

You Can Overcome Your Anxiety

Your anxiety towards acing your nursing interview can force you to make aggressive decisions. Planning ahead and strategizing correctly before an important meeting can help you accelerate as a nurse.

Whether you are opting for a new nursing job role, and have an interview at an organization, make sure that you are prepared to perform your best.

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