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Interview skills to secure your next nursing job

Published on: 28 May 2020

How to perform to the best of your ability in an interview and secure your next nursing job.

Interview skills

Look at the facts It can be easy when you really want a job to get carried away with what you think it entails, but your interview will revolve around the job description and the qualities listed in the candidate specification, so make sure you read these carefully

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Before the interview

Watch yourself
Ask a friend or colleague to video you during a mock interview. Pay attention to your body language, tone of voice and rate of speech. How can you improve?

Be systematic
Plan responses to questions using the STAR approach – Situation, Task, Action, Results

Stay balanced
Getting in touch with your passion and purpose will help show your enthusiasm for the role, but make sure to balance this with objectivity

Don’t overload your brain
Plan your interview preparation – don’t leave it until the last minute – and try to do something relaxing the night before, such as having a warm bath or reading a book

During the interview

Take your time
It is important that you answer the question being asked, not one you want to answer. Don’t rush headlong into an answer – take a sip of water to give you time if necessary and ask the interviewer to repeat the question if you need to. Think of your STAR responses.

Stay positive
Try to stay calm – if you don’t answer one question well, take a deep breath, re-focus and start afresh on the next one.

Be honest
If your mind goes blank, say so. If you can revisit the question later try to do so, but don’t dwell on it if that isn’t possible.

After the interview

Get feedback
Regardless of the outcome, make sure you get constructive feedback. This will help you identify what you need to work on

Move on
It’s okay to be upset if you aren’t successful, but don’t beat yourself up. Use reflection and any feedback you receive to help you see what you could do better next time

By Mandy Day-Calder, a life/health coach with a nursing background, who runs a healthcare training company.

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This is an abridged version of the article Interview skills: what to do when your mind goes blank that was first published on Nursing Standard.

Read more careers articles on Nursing Standard