Nursing interview tips

Your career as a nurse will often see you moving to different locations, more senior roles, and towards specialised fields of expertise. Each transition will require you to pass an interview, so we’ve shared some advice below to help you secure the job you want.

Provide a Well-Organised Portfolio

Before you attend your interview, make sure you prepare a portfolio containing a copy of your resume and cover letter, letters of recommendation, training certifications, and qualification documents. Ensure that the latter are photocopies so that they can be left with the interviewing team if necessary. Your portfolio should be properly organised and secured.

It is also a good idea to bring a pen and pad of paper so that you can write down any relevant information. Nothing creates a worse impression than having to contact your interviewer for information which you forgot to note down.

Research the Facility

Take the time to properly research the facility, hospital, or ward to which you are applying. Learn about their goals, organisation, patient base, and the demands of the job. If possible, visit the location prior to your interview. This will allow you to familiarise yourself with the facility and develop an understanding of how you could fit into their structure. It will also give you an opportunity to make a good impression during the interview, allowing you to display your knowledge, attention to detail and willingness to go the extra mile. This is especially important in clinical settings since you will need to remain up to date on current procedures and regulations.

Prepare Your Answers

While it’s impossible to know exactly what you’ll be asked, most interviews for nursing positions will require you to provide information concerning your:

  • Training and qualifications
  • Previous experience
  • Core skills
  • Reasons for applying

This information should have been provided in your cover letter or CV, but you must be able to deliver it without referring to those documents. Be particularly thorough when asked why you’re applying for the position. You should be able to say why this particular role and facility would be a good fit for your experience, expertise, and goals.

You will usually be asked open questions – with interviewers often prompting you to describe situations in which particular skills were used. First, describe the situation, then outline how you reacted to it, which abilities were required, and how it informed your professional goals and motivations.

Dress Professionally

Even though you’ll usually be working in uniform, it’s crucial to dress for success during the interview stage. You don’t need to select anything too fancy, but a nice suit or shirt and tie goes a long way towards creating a good impression. Arrive early to reduce your chances of feeling flustered.