by Jared Klein, Director of Organizational Development at TriStar Health
Jared Klein

How to Get Organized In Your Job Search

Graduating from nursing school can be an exciting and frightening time. Of course, you are extremely excited to start your career, but you have a daunting task ahead of you.

You have to find a comfortable working environment where you can give your all each day.

While you’re sending out resumes, applying to nurse residency programs and getting letters of recommendation from your professors, you also have to prepare for what comes after you get that exciting phone call saying “We would love to have you in for an interview.”

The process can be overwhelming! Here are some tips to help you get organized and prepare to take the next step in your search for a nursing job.

"You have to find a comfortable working environment where you can give your all each day."

Know your Game Plan

Do your research and identify which nurse residency programs you’re interested in and find out deadlines and eligibility.

Just like your college search, you’ll want to decide on your top choice and pursue it! Ask yourself, what type of hospital do I want to work in? Rural? Urban? What type of care area do I want to specialize in? What are the opportunities for professional development in the program?

Answering all of these questions will guide you to the next step as you prepare for the application process and interviews.

Know the Company and the Audience

After you’ve sent your applications, spend a few hours learning everything you can about the hospital.  Who are the leaders of that hospital? What do other people say about working there?  Check social media and other websites (Facebook, Twitter, Glassdoor, HCAHPS results are excellent resources) 

It’s so important to have an understanding of the culture to make sure you’re a good fit. Make sure you get a list of people you’ll be interviewing with, so you can send follow-up thank you notes.

Know the Logistics

When you get the interview, map out where you are going and get there at least 5-10 minutes early.  Make sure you know who to ask for when you arrive.

 Ask the recruiter or HR contact about interview format.  Some companies like to use scenario based questioning while others like to use behavioral based questions. It’s important that you know what to expect so you can prepare accordingly. Begin thinking about good examples of your experience from your student clinical rotations.

Know your Stuff

If you’re worried about the actual interview questions, there are a lot of resources to help you practice.  HERE, HERE and HERE are examples of common interview questions.  Make sure you practice answering them to the best of your ability.

Take it a step further and have a friend or family member ask you the questions and give feedback. Practicing in front of a mirror can also help you gain confidence.

Check out our best tips to make a good impression during your interview.

If you follow the process, you’ll have no problem finding the perfect nurse residency job and nailing the interview!