How to Succeed: RN Job Interview

If you are reading this because you are going on your first job interview as a RN and you have some questions, you have come to the right place.
I have experience with hospital related job interviews, but going on a RN job interview is on a whole other level. I learned these tips over the years and I have put them to the test and they have never steered me wrong. 

So here are some (of what I think) of the most important ones. 

"Daisy Duke" doesn't need to show up: Wear a suit. If you don't have one, go and buy one. You can either wear a pants suit or a skirt. If you wear a skirt make sure it isn't too tight and hits at or in the middle of your knee. Do not show any cleavage, it is NOT a good look. Have your hair neatly done, if it is too short to pin up make sure it's pulled away from your face and not bothersome. 
Men, make sure your hair is freshly cut and you are neatly shaved. Do not wear too much perfume/cologne, this may affect the patients and some people are sensitive to strong scents. Minimal to moderate makeup is preferred. Wear closed toe shoes with a moderate heal so you don't look awkward walking in heals, if you are not used to them. NO flip flops, short shorts, tank tops, or noisy jewelry. 

If you are on time, you are late: If your interview is scheduled for 11:00am, be there at 10:30am. This helps to decrease anxiety, if there is traffic or if you are not sure where to go, you have extra time to get where you need to be. Also go to sleep at a decent time night before, so you are not yawning throughout the interview. Set at least two alarm clocks, just in case one fails to go off. 

Be engaged: Have eye contact, smile and be aware of your nonverbal language. Sit up right, cross your legs or not and have your hands folded on the table or on your lap. Also, remember when you meet up with either the nurse recruiter or nurse manager, shake their hands firmly upon arriving and leaving.

Do your research: Make sure to research the facility you are interested in. Information like this will probably be under a link named " About Us" on their website. You probably gained this information while completing your cover letter, but during the interview you will win them over if you know specifics about the facility. Know their motto and values. Be knowledgeable on different activities that occur in the hospital or things you would love to be involved in. This will show your deep interest in working there. 

Practice makes perfect: Do a test run of what you are planning on saying with someone you know the night before your interview. When they ask you questions about yourself and about why you love nursing you want to have an idea of what you want to say. Doing a test run will help to decrease the "buts" and "ums" that can happen if you can't remember what to say. Just remember, it IS okay to ask the interviewers if you can start over. 

Copies of your resume and cover letter: Bring a copy or two of your resume and cover letter to hand give to the interviewers. Make sure you print them out on resume paper, either white or off white. NO colored paper (such as pink, purple or scented) or fancy fonts, stay with Times New Roman sized at 12. Buy a folder or if you want to be fancy, a leather portfolio, to hold your papers. 
If you want, you can add any awards or certifications you are proud of. This may seem like you are showing off, but this displays your accomplishments and actually impresses them.

Follow-up: Either if you do or don't get the position always remember to thank them for the opportunity for the interview. You can either send them a personalized card or an email. If you are unsure of what to write, the internet has a vast amount of Thank- You letter templates. They will appreciate this gratuitous gesture and may keep you in mind for future positions.

Some questions they may ask:

  • Tell me about yourself: First question they ask when the interview starts. 
  • How did you deal with past challenges/difficulties? Co-workers? Bosses?
  • What are your weaknesses?: Most places will ask this question. Some people have a problem with answering this question but there is a trick to it. Let's say you are perfectionist. Some people see this as a negative attribute, but you can flip it and say that this helps to make sure you accurately complete all tasks, care for your patients, and you are careful in the way you do things.
  • What are you strengths?
  • Ask questions: Make sure you are prepared with questions to ask the interviewers. They will see that you are interested in them and you are thinking. If necessary, write the questions down on a separate sheet of paper just in case you are nervous and forget. 

And ALWAYS remember:
Absolutely NO gum and do not bring a bottle of water inside the interview. I have heard that bringing a bottle of water to an interview can actually ruin your chances from the start. 
Leave your handbag (if you a girl) and phone in the car. The last thing you need is for your phone to ring or vibrate during the interview.

Well I really hoped this helped and good luck on your interview!


My First RN Job!!!

So I finally got my first job interview, after nearly two months of being an official RN. At first I was very hesitant about the hospital because it is a smaller community hospital and the managers told me some things that I wasn't particularly pleased with.
A few issues I had was that they still have paper charting...and I am pretty sure in 2014 or so all hospitals are supposed to switch over to computerized charting. They told me I may have to be the only nurse on the floor (after orientation of course) and that scared me. It is a small hospital so census cannot be that bad. They also told me I will have to take care of babies/children if I am floated to a different floor.
Now, let me say that I did put myself in this situation because I applied for the women's center but I only expected it to be maternity. I love kids, but sick kids are a no-no. What is funny is that when I was younger it was my dream to take care of babies or children. But as have I gotten older and had more experience working in hospitals I realized that babies/children aren't for me. And the killer is that I will have to be an aid and a clerk, because they don't utilize them........yeah. Talk about Primary Nursing, huh?
But long story short, they offered me a position in Pediatrics. I nearly fell off the chair when I heard that. I would have preferred something in maternity but I really think this is where God wants me to be. Also this is the ONLY hospital to call me and offer me a position. But more than anything, 6 months after graduation you become "unused" goods. No one wants a new grad that has been out of school for so long. And for me 6 months is June. I think I will kick myself in the booty if I don't take this position, even though it isn't my first choice, but it is my ONLY choice. And my huge school loans are going to start coming in and I need to have an income to start paying them. 
So I will be a Pediatric nurse for a while. I still want to work with adults in the ICU/Critical Care setting but I will do this for now until something else pops up.
I start orientation on the 23 of April and I am excited and scared/nervous at the same time. I will be working nights!! But as a new grad that is what you get. I will update you all on what happens in the upcoming weeks.

Wish me luck!