You bring years of experience to the table, but perhaps it’s been a while since you’ve searched for a new job. As a skilled nursing professional, your experience is your greatest asset in any interview. Healthcare recruiters and nursing staffing agencies are looking for proven, skilled professionals. So have confidence in your workplace experience as you begin the process of finding a new employer.
But there are things that can be done to enhance how you present your skills. In general, it helps to think about the interview process as a conversation rather than a one-sided interrogation. Additionally, what you ask your potential future employer as a professional healthcare worker matters as much as what you will be asked. Your questions demonstrate preparedness and interest, but they also help you to discern if the job will be the right fit for you and your needs, as well.
The following is a checklist to help guide you through the process of preparing once again for the interview as an experienced nursing candidate:
1. Your resume should note your credentials, pertinent coursework, clinical experience, licensing and rewards, as well as your responsibilities and accomplishments.
2. Don’t forget to bring your immunization record, BCLS/ACLS card and any advanced training program certificates to the interview. Bring the original documents and some copies of each.
3. Include a current copy of your nursing skills checklist.
4. Bring copies of your references and any reference letters just in case. Make sure your references contain current contact information, of course.
5. Learn as much as you can about your potential future employer (i.e. their work culture, staff and procedures) through their website or current employees who may be acquaintances.
6. Practice for your interview. You may have the skills needed, but it’s been a while since you’ve had to sell them to someone else. Ask a nursing colleague for feedback. Also, remember to prepare for typical interview question: Are you a team player? How would you handle difficult patients, families and/or fellow nurses/doctors? Of course, “Tell me about yourself” is the time to highlight details and skills that qualify you as the best fit for the job you’re seeking. Practice answering these questions with someone who can critique you on your nonverbal delivery.
7. As with any interview, dress in professional business attire that is clean and pressed. Do not wear garish jewelry. A professional-looking watch is about the only accessory you should be sporting. Avoid perfume, as it may offend the interviewer’s senses.
8. Make sure to mention any professional memberships you’ve held or former committee positions. Of course, any research you’ve contributed to and published should also be brought up.
9. Make sure to ask your own questions at the end of the interview: What is the nurse-to-patient ratio? How do you go about scheduling? How much autonomy do you give nurses to decide what’s best for each patient’s care? What makes this facility unique compared to other hospitals/care facilities in the area?
10. Save questions about salary, benefits and financial support for continuing education until after you’ve received a job offer.
General interview reminders: Ask for a tour of the facility to check out the environment and to meet your potential future colleagues. Remember to always send a thank-you note, whether you’ve decided this is the job for you or not. A handwritten note that is mailed following your interview stands out the most.
If you’re thinking of looking for new employment, please visit De Vore Recruiting’s latest job postings. For skilled nursing positions, click here. And if you’re looking to stay informed regarding the latest career opportunities and health news from one of the industry’s leading healthcare recruiters, subscribe to our newsletter today.