Here at Innovative Nurse we often talk about entrepreneurship, however we also recognize that this path isn’t always a good fit for everyone. There’s nothing wrong with being an employee. My advice however is to make sure you’re working your passion and your potential. If this isn’t the case, then brush off that resume and get ready to rock that job interview.
As I’m sure you are aware, job interviews are stressful even during the best of times. You have to look presentable, talk passionately about why you want a job that you hope is the right fit and cast yourself in the best possible light, all while the person sitting across the desk silently judges you. Plus, there’s the crushing blow to your confidence that comes if you don’t actually get hired. So, here are a few tips on how to do the absolute best at any upcoming job interview.
Often people get caught up in ensuring they know as much about the position as possible while forgetting to learn about the company they are going to be working for. One of the simplest questions to mess up in an interview is the one asking about what the company actually does. On the flip side it’s also the easiest to do well in.
A simple Google search will suffice. Make sure to know what the company sells and know who owns it, or if it has been recently taken over. Crucially, find out how it sees itself, not how the outside world views it. If the company has some outstanding achievement, certainly don’t hesitate to tell them that this is an obvious draw for you.
Prepare your answers beforehand
Some people still don’t think they can really prepare for a job interview and that you just can’t predict what the questions will be beforehand. Well, the simple answer is that you can easily prepare for these upcoming questions. There are many resources and sites out there that post general employment questions, and you may even find nuggets to build your own responses.
For instance, most interviewers will ask about your strengths or weaknesses, about a time you have excelled at something and perhaps about a time you have failed. When it comes to a clinical position, expect questions about how you would deal with a particularly challenging patient who may have received stellar care from you, but for some reason just didn’t feel as if they were receiving adequate services.
After re-reviewing you delivery of care, did you notify a manager or liaison to assist you with providing additional supports to the patient? Prepare as much as you can and always give examples. Most job interviewers are looking for specifics, not just general statement.
Be prepared for a group or panel interview
Gone are the days when you could be certain that the interview will be a one-on-one encounter. Increasingly, companies are going down the group interview route. This is somewhat understandable as it offers a look at your personality rather than your ability to recite medical jargon we’re all so used to rattling off. It makes sense to us as clinicians, and we certainly want to work with competent professionals, however we also want to feel a connection. You are of course going to be spending a lot of time together.
In a group interview expect the unexpected. You’ll more than likely be asked about your work style both in a team capacity and on your own. This is your cue to give those previous examples that you’ve already prepared. Here you’re being evaluated on your ability to get along with your future co-workers. Give examples that play to your strengths, but also include the collaborative component that help you achieve the goal.
Always ask questions
When given the option at the end of the interview, always ask questions. I’ve interviewed many perspective employees and something that really sticks out to an interviewer is when there are no questions asked of the hiring manager. Asking questions gives the impression you are interested in the role and it also makes you seem more assertive.
You can ask about future company goals and then round it out with a response about how you’d appreciate the opportunity to help them in this area. Also, don’t be afraid to ask about employee benefits, holiday and sick pay, work-life balance, or the potential for promotion in the company.
Do be honest; just be careful in framing your response
Everyone has probably told a few white lies in an interview at some point. Honesty, though, can be your friend when it comes to winning your dream job. Interviewers will often ask: “What do you think the company can improve on?” Okay, this might be a trick question. Some light, constructive criticism can go a long way, and you can do this without coming across as insulting. It shows an employer that you could be a valuable member of the team with good ideas for promoting safe patient care while at the same time helping the image of the organization.
So, for instance, if you’re being interviewed for a management role and you know the organization has a tremendous reputation when it comes to patient care, however you may have heard that families don’t feel involved in the patient’s plan of care, maybe suggest starting a committee to research this and implement a support system. Maybe you’ve already done this at your current place of employment. You can approach the conversation without being too critical. Offer suggestions and keep the dialogue open for a mutual exchange. You may just prove why you’re right for the job.
Dress the Part
For a clinical position you may wear scrubs on the job, but for all intents and purposes I always recommend wearing a suit for any interview whether man or woman. Schedule your interview so that you’re not coming right from your current job. You may think that you’ll never need that suit again, however it’s a very small investment for the job you want.
Basic grooming needs are also a given. No flashy nail polish, keep the body jewelry to a minimum, and if you color your hair (preferably a natural color), just make sure you’ve gotten a touch up on that color and a trim. I’m not old fashioned or anything. I used to look like a front man for a metal band with hair down to my waist, but hey, evolution occurs on every level. I ended up donating those long strands to Locks of Love. You just have to keep in mind that you’re going to be a representative of that organization, one of the many faces of the company. Be the part.
Now go out and rock that interview! Good luck.