Congratulations, graduate nurses!! With an unwavering nursing shortage worldwide, your first job is just waiting for you. Historically, new graduates were required to work at least a year in a medical/surgical unit before specializing. These days, you can (with a little help) start in virtually any specialty area. While a nursing interview is often times just a formality, here are just a few tips to getting a job in your dream unit.
Polish Your Resume
You have likely already drafted a resume at some point in nursing school. While your nursing experience may be minimal, perhaps you have worked as a nurse’s aid during school. Be sure to include this or any other medical related experience on your resume. It helps if you have already completed your BLS or ACLS certification or any other unit specific certification. If you were part of your student nursing union, include this in your extracurricular activities. Include any awards while a nursing student as well.
It is important to walk into your interview feeling confident. Set aside any doubt you may have. Think of your most positive qualities that you can contribute to the unit and why your potential employer would be lucky to hire you. That said, do not try to compensate for any nervousness by appearing overly confident. Be yourself. It is normal to be nervous. Stay humble and let your potential employer know that you are teachable.
No matter what you are feeling the day of your interview, replace it with a positive and enthusiastic attitude. Walk in smiling and happy. You are as worthy as anyone else for this job. Tell yourself this, then repeat.
Know the Hospital
Why would YOU rather work at this hospital versus their competitor? What qualities stand-out in particular to you? Are they a leader in research? Are they actively involved in your community? Is there a particular personal story that draws you to this hospital? Share it with your interviewer.
Know the Unit
Do your research before arriving. What is it about the particular unit that makes you want to work there? Is this your dream job, dream unit? If so, convey your enthusiasm to your interviewer.
Prepare, prepare, prepare. Have your references accessible and be sure to attach any letters of recommendation from a nursing professor or current employer. You made it through nursing school which means you already have what it takes to succeed. The interview is just a way of the employer to judge if you are a fit for the hospital/unit. You got this!! Best of luck to you in finding your dream position and in a rewarding and enriching career!!!
Lori is a travel nurse that has made her way to Sweden. She is also a Yoga Alliance Certified Yoga Teacher. Follow her adventures working and traveling through Europe in her blog, Neonurse, or on Instagram.