Advice from a new grad for your first interview.

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    One thing most of my nursing class has discovered is that it is becoming harder to get a job right out of school. More and more places are wanting some kind of experience. At graduation in December, out of 36 people, only about 10 had jobs secured. I have only had two calls for interviews out of the 20 or so positions I applied for at various hospitals. Knowing this, it is very important to make sure your interview goes as well as it possibly can. These are some of the things I learned.

    My first interview, I did not prepare. I never had to for any other job interview in the past, so why for this one? Mistake. Nursing interviews are unlike any other job interview, and when you aren’t prepared it shows, and it comes off as a lack of interest. I didn’t get an RN job in a hospital I already work for solely because of my interview for their new grad position.

    Before your interview, do a Google search for interview questions for new grad nurses. Read as many as you can, and think of answers you can give before your interview. This way the answer flows and shows you’ve put some thought into it. Look up information about the hospital you’re interviewing for, and WRITE DOWN some questions about their policies and procedures, take it with you to your interview. Also Google questions to ask during your interview and do not be afraid to pull out that list in the interview. It only shows that you prepared before hand and really put some thought and effort into the interview.

    Take several copies of your resume’ even if you submitted one online. For my interview at a different hospital, the HR lady had the online copy, but the clinical manager wanted a “hard copy” and it looked good that I had one with me. If you haven’t taken NCLEX yet, take a copy of your transcript or HESI scores. It gives them something reassuring that you are a good bet to pass NCLEX.

    The manager answered all my questions, and encouraged me to email her if I thought of more. A lot of people will tell you don’t email them after the interview no matter what, but I am telling you if the interviewer themselves tells you it’s ok, do it. Don’t email everyday, but a few days after your interview, email some more questions. It shows you’re not afraid to ask questions, and that you are interested in the job.

    I did all of these things at my second job interview, and got the job, in the area I wanted all along. I also sent a thank you card to the two people I interviewed with a couple days post interview to keep me on their mind. And when I passed NCLEX, you bet I sent an email to the clinical manager to “update her on a change in my status” and to assure her I was now licensed to practice nursing. She CALLED me the next day to say she was glad I emailed her that, and that it showed I really wanted the job, and I was on her short list. Two days later I got the job offer.

    Show interest, show enthusiasm, show a desire to continue education by getting certified in whatever field you are applying for. These are the things managers are looking for, things that I did not show very well in my first interview. Good luck, you got this!

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