Preparing for Your Graduate Nursing Interview

It is important to prepare well for your nursing interview as a new graduate to effectively demonstrate your knowledge and skills to your interviewers.

Here are a few steps you may take to prepare for your interview with helpful tips:

Research: It is highly advisable that you take the time to research the organisations, and the specific departments, vision and mission statements, as well as their values, and incorporate these into your interview answers.

Review possible interview questions: Research potential interview questions you may be asked, write them down and take notes on what you could say to answer these questions.

Practice mock interviews: You may try asking a trusted friend, mentor or family member to help you conduct a practice interview so you can practice body language and tone. Have your mock interviewer provide you with feedback and points you may have missed.

Plan your outfit: Find out your chosen healthcare facilities’ dress codes and try to choose clothing that follows their guidelines. Selecting appropriate interview attire demonstrates your seriousness about the job you are interviewing for.

Prepare any letters of reference or nursing transcripts: Nursing interviews may require letters of reference from professionals in the field or college professors. Try selecting a letter of reference from someone you worked under while you were interning.

Example Interview Questions:

What interested you in pursuing a career in nursing?

Every prospective nurse will have their own reasons for entering the medical field as a nurse, so try to make your answer personal. You may want to add specific situations or people that inspired you to pursue a nursing career.

How have your clinical placements prepared you for a career in nursing?

This question is a good opportunity for you to describe your experience during your nursing degree. Be specific about skills you may have built and processes you have learned to do in clinical rotations.

What do you feel is your greatest skill as a nurse?

If you research the position first and the key skills that the healthcare institution is looking for then you will be able to choose a skill that is in line with what the interviewer is looking for. Interviewers want to see how well you will fit within the organisation.

As part of Graduate Nursing Interviews, you will be asked to answer behavioural style questions, which will provide a real-life example of how you handled a certain situation during your clinical placements. These types of questions need to be answered using the STAR Method- Situation, Task, Action and Result. Some examples of these include:

How would you handle a difficult patient?

A question like this is used to gain a general idea of what your temperament is. Tell the interviewer a story about a time where you dealt with a difficult patient in a clinical placement and explain how you deescalated or remedied the situation.

What happens if your shift replacement did not arrive on time or at all?

This type of question is given so that interviewer can get an idea of how flexible you are, as unexpected situations often arise in healthcare facilities.

How would you deal with a family member who is not pleased with your care of a patient?

As a nurse, you need to know how to respond to a family’s concerns and try to remedy the situation before it escalates. This type of question will be asked to see how you handle yourself when dealing with aspects of communication and negotiation.

How would you handle conflict or a medical mistake?

It is likely that you will be asked to describe a situation that involved conflict or someone making a medical mistake. Think about what happened, how you handled it and what you reflected on following the situation.

Some basic tips that you should always abide by, regardless of the type of role you are interviewing for, include being respectful, being on time, keeping your phone out of sight and on silent, and addressing the interviewer and thanking them for their time and the opportunity.

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