How to Prepare for Nursing Interviews

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These eight tips will teach you how to prepare for nursing interviews. Strategies for landing your first nursing job include preparing your resume, mastering your elevator pitch, practicing common questions, carrying yourself with confidence, using eye contact, coming with questions, and showing gratitude.

person sitting at desk typing on laptop

After earning your Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree, you’re ready to begin your career as a registered nurse. But before you’re hired, you’ll need to interview with prospective employers. Knowing how to prepare for nursing interviews will set you up for success in landing that first job. What are some interview tips for nurses?

At Felician University, the Accelerated Bachelor of Science in Nursing (ABSN) program will prepare you to launch into a successful career. But first, you’ll need to implement effective interviewing skills to get the job of your dreams. This post will discuss eight strategies for putting your best foot forward in a nursing job interview.

1. Prepare Your Resume

The first step in how to prepare for nursing job interviews is creating and polishing your resume. Your resume is your interviewer’s first impression of you. On your resume, be sure to include the following:

  • Educational history
  • Prior healthcare and patient care experiences
  • Nursing school clinical experience
  • Patient care skills
  • Other recent or relevant professional experiences
  • Volunteer work

You’ll also want to include a cover letter that’s specific to the job you’re applying for. Before finalizing your resume and cover letter, it’s smart to have a few peers or mentors review them and offer feedback. This way, you can ensure it is error-free and puts you in the best light for potential employers.

person handing over resume in interview

2. Master Your Elevator Pitch

One of the first prompts to expect in any job interview is, “Tell me about yourself.” When you’re asked to describe yourself in an interview, it’s best to have a clear answer ready to share. This is an important question, and your answer matters because it provides a high-level view of what you bring to the role.

Focus on covering a few highlights about yourself with the interviewer. Avoid discussing your resume word for word or going through your life chronologically. Instead, focus on three essential qualities or strengths you want the interviewer to know about you. Then offer evidence or share a story that shows those strengths. This will help the interviewer see the real you, the version they can’t glean from simply looking at your resume.

nurse in NICU holding baby

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3. Practice Answering Common Interview Questions

Another great strategy for how to prepare for nursing interviews is to practice answering nursing job interview questions ahead of time. This will help you easily respond when you hear these questions in an interview.

Common Nursing Job Interview Questions

As you practice answering questions, focus mainly on the challenging or in-depth questions and how you would answer them, such as:

  • What is your greatest weakness?
  • Can you give an example of a time you worked through conflict in the workplace?
  • Tell me about a time when you overcame an obstacle.
  • What are your long-term nursing career goals?
  • How would you handle stress during a nursing shift?
  • Why did you choose nursing?
  • Why are you interested in working in this particular role?
smiling nurse with stethoscope

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4. Carry Yourself with Confidence

When you begin your interview, whether it’s an in-person or video interview, enter with confidence. As a graduate of Felician’s accelerated nursing program, you are baccalaureate-prepared and ready to start an incredible career in nursing. Remember that all the coursework, labs, and clinicals have paid off, making you a skilled, competent, and compassionate nurse.

5. Make Eye Contact

During an interview, remember to maintain eye contact with the interviewer. Refrain from gazing off into the corner or looking down. Not only does eye contact display confidence, but it also creates a connection with the interviewer. Additionally, it shows your interest in the position and helps affirm you as a top-quality candidate.

6. Make a Personal Connection

An often-overlooked strategy for nursing job interviews is to make a connection that causes you to stand out in the interviewer’s mind. The best conversationalists always find a way to minimize the separation between them and the other person. This allows the other person to feel like you have something in common, and it can be beneficial to form that personal connection during a job interview.

For example, if you notice a sports poster on the wall in their office, and you also cheer for that team, you can bond over your shared interest. Or if you know someone who attended their alma mater, use that to spark conversation. Making connections brings out your humanity and helps the interviewer see you as more than a stranger.

7. Come with Questions

At the end of nearly every interview, the interviewer will close by asking, “Do you have any questions for me?” The worst thing you can do is not have any questions. Instead, a great strategy for how to prepare for nursing interviews is to know what you’re going to ask. A few targeted, high-quality questions show the interviewer that you’re interested in the role. It also signals that you researched the position ahead of time.

Not to mention, asking thoughtful questions provides valuable information about the job that will help you decide whether it’s right for you. So, before the interview, prepare three to four questions, write them down, and bring them along.

Felician nursing student standing by wall

8. Show Gratitude

Finally, before leaving the interview, shake your interviewer’s hand and thank them for their time and consideration. Then after the interview, send them an email expressing your gratitude and sharing how excited you are to learn more about the opportunity. Not only is expressing gratitude the right thing to do, but it also shows your genuine and kindhearted nature, essential qualities of the best nurses.

Launch Your Nursing Career at Felician University!

If you’re ready to step into the nursing field but haven’t yet earned your nursing degree, now is the time to begin. Through Felician University’s ABSN program, students with a non-nursing bachelor’s degree or at least 60 non-nursing college credits can earn a BSN in as few as 16 months or 18 months. We offer multiple start dates each year and both a hybrid and on-ground option.

Felician ABSN student smiling in lab

What is the difference between the hybrid and on-ground programs? It’s all about online versus traditional nursing coursework. Here’s an in-depth look at these two ABSN options.

The ABSN program prepares students to rise to the top in their clinical careers. Students receive a well-rounded nursing education through our rigorous nursing courses, onsite nursing labs, and clinical rotations at top regional healthcare facilities.

Contact our admissions counselors to learn more about starting your nursing journey at Felician. There’s never been a better time to begin a new and rewarding nursing career.