Proven Tips to Land That Nursing Job

Whether you’re a graduate nurse on your first interview or a seasoned nurse with years of experience, interviews and first impressions are important! Of course, you’ve learned the interview standards such as being on time and bringing an extra copy of your resume, but here are a few tips from Jennifer Burden, vice president of human resources, and Pat Price, administrative critical care director, on how to shine in your interview.

Prior to the Interview

Resume: In a sea of resumes, one piece of paper really tells your story. Ensure your resume is current and provides insight into what you’ve done to enhance your nursing skills. Experience around customer service, mission work and clinical experience show dedication to the nursing profession. It’s important to include certifications and education.  Be cautious on making the resume too busy; keep it brief and to the point.  

The Day of the Interview

Appearance: Nursing is a profession and unless you are asked to wear scrubs, please consider considering wearing a suit. Dress should be neat, clean, non-wrinkled, preferably with a jacket. Avoid low cut shirts and shoes you may struggle walking in.  Jewelry should be kept to a minimum (remove all facial piercings), ensure tattoos are covered up, and present with natural colored hair.   

Confidence:  Be confident, but sensitive to the fact you may have some learning about the company, the specialty or the unit. A strong handshake and eye contact during the interview process is important.  

Passion: The nursing profession is a calling for many. We want to understand your personal passion and reason you chose nursing; why you chose this specialty; and how have you made a difference in the outcome of a patient.

Goals: We are here to support your career development and want to provide nurses the tools to successfully reach their career goals. Share your short and long-term goals with transparency during the interview. If you are looking for experience in a particular specialty for a stepping stone, share your expectations with the leader during the interview. This helps them prepare a path for success for you.

Patients: Research the hospital’s quality outcomes and patient satisfaction scores. Speak to your knowledge and understanding of the scores. Even if it’s limited understanding, patients and quality are why we are here.

After the interview

A good interviewer will generally close with next steps of the process. If not, please be sure to ask and have a clear understanding of the process. Once you are home, send a thank you note (emails are okay, too!) thanking the interviewer for their time and expressing interest. Showing appreciation and interest goes a long way.   

Learn more about the application process for our Nurse Residency Program.