How to Nail Your Next Nursing Job Interview

So, you are on the hunt for a new nursing job. Or maybe, you recently graduated from nursing school, and are ready to enter the job market. Either way, it is time to show up and do your best. You want to rock the interview, get offered a job, and start out in a fresh and exciting nursing career. 

Well, before you start working as a professional nurse, you are going to have to go on a nursing job interview. Or two or three or four.

Even though we read about a nursing shortage and that attrition rates in nursing are high, we still are entering a competitive field and there are other knowledgeable and well-prepared candidates vying for the job.

How do you prepare? What must you do in order to be fully ready for the next job interview?

Here are 3 Tactics to Help You Nail Your Next Nursing Job Interview

1. Do your homework.

Find out everything you can about your upcoming job interview. Research the organization’s website, reading through every page. Learn about their vision, mission, values, and strategic goals. By knowing what is important to the organization, you can weave that into your responses during the interview questions.

If possible, look up the person who you will be interviewing with on LinkedIn. See if you can find any similarities or shared interests. Maybe they went to the same nursing school as you or are part of a professional organization that you would like to join. It is super helpful to bring up commonalities during the conversation.

2. Be yourself.

Sure, we want to be our best self during a nursing job interview. However, that does not mean that we are not true to who we are as individuals.

Before going into the interview, reflect upon your strengths, accomplishments, and even those things you are not the best at. While you will certainly be asked questions related to what you bring to a team- you will also likely be asked about a time that you struggled, failed, or did not do your very best.

Instead of rambling on during that question, realize that every situation you have experienced is an opportunity to learn and grow. As you respond to a question related to your “weaknesses”- turn that into an answer related to the transformation and professional growth you encountered.

Also, realize that tooting your own horn in a job interview is necessary. Again, you are going up against other professional candidates who are putting their best forward. Know what you are good at and enjoy the most about being a professional nurse- and don’t be afraid to speak to it!

3. Rest up. 

A job interview is going to be stressful, no matter how prepared and confident you are. A stranger (for the most part) is going to be asking you difficult questions that are designed to make you think on your feet. The last thing you want to do is come across as unclear or unfocused.

Prepare for the nursing job interview well ahead of time- not the night before. By the week of the interview, be wrapping up the final touches on your prepared responses. Know as much as you can about the organization. And then put the interview obsession to rest!

That’s right. Let it go. The day before the job interview, do something fun. Treat yourself to a massage or other self-care activity. That night, eat a healthy meal and relax with a breathing exercise or some other form of mindful practice. Finally, get a good night’s sleep and know that you are going to do the best that you can.

Showing up as yourself, preparing ahead of time, and feeling confident in who you are will help you rock the job interview! Now get out there and make it happen.

Let’s hear from you! What has helped you prepare for a nursing job interview? Be sure to tweet me @ElizabethScala to let me know. Thanks for reading!




Elizabeth Scala

Keynote speaker and bestselling author, Elizabeth Scala MSN/MBA, RN, partners with hospitals, nursing schools, and nurse associations to transform the field of nursing from the inside out. As the host of the Nurse’s Week ‘Art of Nursing’ program, Elizabeth guides nurses and nursing students to a change in perspective, helping them make the inner shift needed to better maneuver the sometimes challenging realities of being a caregiver.Elizabeth received her dual master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University. She is also a certified coach and Reiki Master Teacher. Elizabeth lives in Maryland with her supportive husband and a playful pit bull.