Tips On Handling The Nursing Interview Process
Author: Rosemarie Eccleston – Senior Vice President, Nursing Services
In the old days, there were standard questions asked during an interview. The classic question, “Where do you want to be in five years?”, though not usually blatantly asked, is still around in some form or another.
The modern interview is a bit more unnerving in that there are many more components to a job, not the least being electronic. Today’s job candidate is expected to be not only polished, savvy, well put together, well dressed and articulate, but knowledgeable about how to access and manage electronic information. It is not uncommon for an interviewer to ask which social media sites the candidate follows (many companies will ask for this information in order to peruse what the candidate has posted on these sites).
One candidate told me she was asked about her cell phone – did she have a smartphone and if so, was she aware of all its features and how clever was she in utilizing these features? Other questions revolved around her ability to navigate sites, upload critical information, find/use appropriate applications (apps) and store/retrieve the information discovered.
Interviewers may seek unorthodox ways to ferret out information that might not be disclosed in a conventional manner. Candidates’ personal tastes, interest in extracurricular activities and hobbies might be ascertained from the apps on their cell phones. For example, in a seemingly innocuous conversation, a candidate’s penchant for wine might be disclosed.
The rule of thumb for handling questions during an interview is to carefully consider the question asked for a moment instead of blurting out the first thing that comes to mind. Answer the question as honestly, directly and succinctly as possible. Once the question is answered, close your mouth and let your answers register. Do not feel that you must fill any silence with chatter. Sit quietly with your hands in your lap and wait for the interviewer to make the next move.
If a question appears ambiguous, don’t be afraid to ask for clarification. Some interviewers may try to throw a left curve into the interview process to see how well you react to and handle the unexpected. Remain composed, wait to hear the clarification, then formulate an answer. Be sure to make eye contact when answering questions, relax as much as is possible during an interview and remember that the interviewer once sat in your chair (figuratively).
In addition to cleverly answering questions, a sure sign of an intelligent mind is illustrated by the questions you ask the interviewer. Take the time to research the company with whom you’re seeking a position and formulate several questions that demonstrate your interest in the company. Plan to ask at least three solid, relevant questions and listen carefully to the answers. Interviewers tend to remember candidates who ask intelligent questions, are enthusiastic and appear to really want the position for which they are interviewing.
Keeping these few tips in mind might make the difference between receiving a job offer and the letter that starts, “unfortunately…….”