We’ve all been to a job interview: we’ve had the sweaty palms, uncontrollable jitters and painted on a smile that borderlines on desperation and fear. Interviews are no fun and seem to bring to mind every insecurity and flaw that we so carefully try to hide. Now that you’ve decided on a career to pursue, it’s almost time to shine those shoes and get your smile whitened.
For nursing students in an RN program, it helps to have a few tips to get you through this nerve wracking experience. NurseZone.com has a great article to help you prepare for an interview. Here are a few tips that you just might want to consider:
1) “Create a professional résumé that profiles important coursework, clinical experience and any early nursing career highlights. List your job positions or clinical rotations, key responsibilities, accomplishments, rewards, recognition, credentials, licensing and education. Ask your nursing advisor or other mentor to review your résumé for content, grammar, format and overall effectiveness. (For tips on preparing your nursing résumé, read more.) Print out multiple copies of your résumé and keep them in a folder with your other documents.”
2) “Make a list and check off all of your credentials, immunization and identification documents. Make sure to include your nursing license, notice of passing board scores (if you have it), BCLS/ACLS card, additional certificates from any advanced training programs, driver’s license, immunization record and social security number. Bring the original documents and two or three copies of each to give to the human resources department and the hiring/interviewing manager.
3) “Bring a current copy of your nursing skills checklist(s) for any departments where you have worked. Be thorough but don’t exaggerate your abilities; these lists demonstrate your clinical competencies and can help employers match you to the right job and training situation to begin your nursing career. If you are working with a staffing company, they can normally provide you with skills checklists that can be completed for your nursing interview.
4) “Have at least two copies of your references available—one to leave with the human resources representative and the other for the hiring manager. Verify and update the names, titles, facility designations, addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses of clinic managers, nursing faculty and personal references. (If you have reference letters, bring them along. Most employers use them as supplemental material, not as a substitute for references.)
5) “Anticipate being asked for permission to conduct a criminal background investigation. The permission form may require you to list all of your prior addresses for the past five to seven years, so keep this information with you.”
6) Anticipate what questions you might be asked and work on the answers. Ask nursing friends about their interviews and learn from their experiences.
With confidence, organization and a strong resume, finding a job that suits you should be achievable. For RN students in the San Francisco Bay Area, invest your time in researching the hospitals and clinics in your area so you can apply to the right employer for you.
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