The title of this article is, in one sense, a little misleading. By the time you are approaching the interview stage of the recruitment process, you are already a registered nurse – just an unemployed one! Doing something about that naturally requires that you pass the interview and bag yourself a job. But of course, there is a protracted process leading up to this point, and you can make preparations in order to see success when the interview finally comes along.
Of course, you can – and should – do a bit of networking before you are fully qualified. You will not make any interviews at this stage, but you can certainly signal your interest in a nursing career to several employers and accrue contacts to make use of once you are qualified to make an application. Even though this is not the time for interviews, it is the time to give yourself the edge in future interviews. When the time comes that you are sitting across the table from a potential employer, your chances will be massively improved if they remember you as the budding student who contacted them a couple of years ago.
The Route to Becoming a Registered Nurse
Before going on to some tips about how to ace the nursing interview, it is worth giving a brief overview of how you get to this – already pretty advanced – stage. In order to be in the position to start applying for registered nurse roles, you need to first earn a bachelor’s degree in nursing. After that, you will need to pass an NCLEX-RN to be qualified as a registered nurse. However, you are not finished at that point. Then, it is time to specialize.
Health Jobs, an online jobs board for healthcare positions, says that you should choose your specialty judiciously and with reference to the jobs that are currently available. In most cases, there will not be any chance of a job dearth for any particular specialized nurse (the job market is currently a seekers’ market, with lots of vacancies available) but your specialty will alert you to the jobs that you will eventually apply for. This is why this is the best time to start networking among potential employers and building up contacts, simply because this is the first point at which you will know what kind of job you would like to end up in. After you complete an MSN or DNP degree in your chosen specialty, you are out onto the job market.
Tips for Acing the Interview
With all this preparation behind you, it’s time to step into the interview room. Here are some tips for when that day comes:
Look The Part
This is, of course, nothing more than basic interview advice, but it applies here for sure. Look at the part in order to convince the employer you can fill the part.
Have Information About Yourself at the Ready
Specifically, this means things that you might not have mentioned in your resume. You should have relevant information about your goals and your level of commitment to pull out in response to the inevitable question.
Broadcast Your Keenness
One of the best ways you can do this is to remind the interviewer of all the networking you did before graduating as this will show that you have been steadily working towards becoming a top nurse for some time.
Acing a nursing interview then is as much to do with everything you achieved beforehand as it is to do with how you perform in the interview itself. Know what you are worth – and show it.