You have chosen one of the most rewarding careers in the world. You get to help sick, elderly, disabled and injured patients heal and, in addition, you get an opportunity to bond with them and help make their lives more pleasant. Your role is to be both a caregiver and a friend, and you get paid to do it. Amazing. You should feel great about yourself.
Now you need to find employment with a hospital or private organization in order to actually provide the care that your NCLEX certificate says you can provide. Below is information on what you can and should do to improve your chances of starting your nursing career.
Learn About the Hospital/Department
Different hospitals and different departments cater to different types of patients. The ICU is much different than Maternity. Also, a VA hospital in Harlem is going to have different patients than a private hospital in the Hamptons. It is a good idea to familiarize yourself with the population you will be working with in order to prepare better answers.
Research Position Tasks
Each nursing position also has different roles. Working in critical care requires action, quick thinking, and the ability to handle high stress environments. Working in a pediatric unit with children that simply have the flu is going to be a much different experience. It is important to familiarize yourself with what the role will entail in order to adjust your interview expectations.
During your interview, you want to showcase that you have good people skills and can help people feel relaxed and cared for. The sales/go-getter harsh attitude may not work as well during your nursing interview, because patients need someone that can show compassion, and if you show too harsh of a personality, the interviewer may feel you are too dominant for the job.
Prepare to Explain Your Choices
No matter what, you are going to be asked about the decisions you have made in your work life. Why you have decided to apply for a job working at that hospital and with that population, and why you decided to go into the medical field in the first place. You may also need to explain why you feel you will be able to handle the difficult tasks that you are about to undertake.
Overall, these interviews are not too different than your standard job interview, but all jobs in healthcare have different expectations than corporate jobs. Prepare thoroughly and use the information you have gleaned throughout your education to ace the nursing interview.
Take Away Interview Tips
- Do a lot of company and department research.
- Show that you can be caring and gentle.