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The 5 Best Things You Can Do to prepare for a Nursing Job Interview

One of the biggest questions we get asked is ‘how do I prepare for a nurse job interview?’. Below we have set out 5 points to help you not only get through the interview but pass with flying colours!

1. Do your ‘homework’ and arrive prepared

Rather than just turning up to an interview and trying to ‘wing it’, you should try and spend a little bit of time researching the organisation or nurse recruitment agency you’ll be working for so you know everything about your potential employer. Start with ‘Google’ and visit their website and social media accounts such as Facebook and Instagram. The content of the interview will be different depending on whether it is an NHS nurse Job or a Private Healthcare Nurse Job.

This will not only give you confidence in your answers but also allow you to incorporate some of the values that the organisation holds into your answers and it will also leave a good impression with the interviewer. Try and pick out any features from the nurse job description and role requirements and use these to your advantage during the interview by maybe referring back to previous jobs you’ve had with similar requirements showing you’re capable of doing the nursing job.

2. Come across as being confident  

Everyone knows that interviews are hard and can be stressful for candidates but if you are able to exert confidence then you are demonstrating your capability to the interviewer. You can help yourself here by following our advice in being prepared for the interview (see the point made above).

There is a balance of course - you don’t want to come across as over-confident or arrogant but by exuding confidence, you will feel less nervous and give yourself the best chance for demonstrating your passion and interest in the nursing or healthcare job role.

3. Demonstrate your passion and interest in nursing

Your interviewer will be able to pick up whether you have  a genuine passion for nursing by the way you provide your answers. You really need to demonstrate your enthusiasm for the job by explaining your previous experiences and also by giving some of your own insights into the role at hand.

You don’t want to come across as just doing the job as a means of getting paid but because you are genuinely interested in the role and the opportunities it provides. Again, if you have researched the role being interviewed for, then this will become much easier as you will show how your passion and interest in nursing will be a real asset for the employer.

4. Build a rapport and good relationship with the interviewer

Remember that interviewers are human! They’re just people and if you can establish a rapport and get along with them then the interview will go much better for both of you. Try and relax a little if possible and treat the interview as less of an ‘interrogation’ and more of an open discussion between 2 people. If you have something in common then don’t be afraid to talk about it - it might be a shared interest outside of work such as running or music … or anything!

This will again help with your confidence during the nurse job interview but, again, you need to make sure you remain professional at all times and you don’t want to become over-familiar or too friendly during the interview. Remember that this is not the same as going down to the pub with a friend - you need to still be focused on the end goal of trying to secure that nurse job!

5. Prepare a few of your own appropriate questions for the interviewer

At the end of most interviews, the interviewer will very likely ask if you have any questions. You should certainly have a few questions already prepared to ask. Try and make these questions ‘open’ rather than ‘closed’ - i.e. not just yes or no answers. They should also be the sort of questions which provoke a conversation and not lead to single word answers.

A good example might be ‘What are the day-to-day responsibilities of the nursing job role’  or ‘what are the opportunities for ongoing professional development’. A bad example would be ‘When is lunch?’.

Think of questions which would leave a good impression. Remember that as they will usually be asked at the end of the interview, this will be the impression that the interviewer will be left with about you so don’t undo all your good work which has gone before!