How To Ace Your Next Nursing Job Interview

April 25, 2023

Jamal Ali


Smiling nurse smiles at her interviewer

For many, it can be both exciting and nerve-wracking to go on a job hunt, no matter how much experience you have. But remember, a job interview is a two-way conversation where both you and the medical facility are learning more about each other to assess whether the employment relationship will be a good fit. Here are some helpful hints to not only find your next dream job, but to ace the interview.

1. Know your audience. Do your homework before the interview to learn about the position and organization you’re applying for. The “why us and why this role” question is likely to come up, and you want to be prepared. Discover their core values, and if the practice has had any issues recently, talk about how your involvement with the team would be an asset. Being able to explain your strengths in relation to the company’s goals and mission can go a long way to securing your job.

2. Be enthusiastic! No one likes a laissez-faire attitude during a job interview. Instead, employers want to see candidates that are eager to work with them. Stay positive and upbeat, showcase your desire to be an active member of the team and smile. The attitude you’re presenting can be just as influential as your skillset.

3. Dress for success. If you land the job, your uniform may be a comfy set of scrubs, but for your first meeting with a potential employer, dress sharply. This may look like a full suit or a blazer with dress slacks, but make sure you look well-kept and put together. By wearing business attire, you send the message to your future employers that you act just as professionally as you are dressed.

4. Present a polished resume. Create a one-page resume that highlights your education, skills, work history and leadership experience. In leadership and administrative positions, a two-page resume is acceptable, but keep all the pertinent details on the first page. Anything beyond the first page should be used to explain your experience.  

5. Stand out from the crowd. Many nursing positions are similar, and many nurses have the same skills and experience. Make sure you outline exactly how you are different. Many nurses have  experience in leadership, mentorship, quality initiatives and programs (QAPI), and budgeting and utilization. You can set yourself apart from other candidates by sharing specific examples. Think about how you can prove your experience and qualities.

6. Talk about the technical. Any specialty areas, whether in nursing or technology, will catch your interviewer’s attention. In today’s market, computer skills such as informatics, electronic records management and telemetry are highly valued. Placing these skills prominently on your resume and discussing them in the interview can help solidify your status as a successful candidate for the job.  

Interviews will always be a high-energy event for most, but with these tips, you can walk into your next one with confidence. Take your time preparing and practicing and you may very well be on the path to your next dream job!

Gain the skills and credentials employers most want to see on your resume. Explore American College of Education’s fully online nursing programs.

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of American College of Education.
Jamal Ali
Jamal Ali, MSN

Jamal is a Registered Nurse and the director of healthcare services for Briarwood Home Health and Interim Hospice. He is pursuing his master's in nursing from ACE, with a focus in nursing administration.

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