News Ticker

5 Essential Nurse Interview PREP Tips

5 Essential Nurse Interview PREP Tips

Finally Laura got the phone call! After weeks of waiting and silence, St. Mary’s Regional Center called her for an interview. Not just any interview, although she’d be grateful for anything at this point. But an interview for an ED new grad residency position in the hospital of her choice.

She knows how important it is to make a good, no, an outstanding impression, and move on to the next round of interviews. So Laura frantically started studying up on ED knowledge to prep. But is that the best approach?

Laura would be far better off to follow these 5 essential nurse interview tips.

Skip the Cramming

Laura needs to know she shouldn’t try to recall everything she learned about emergency nursing. An interview is not the NCLEX  and  novice candidates are not expected to possess expertise.

What Laura needs to know is….they are interviewing several equally qualified novice candidates searching for the one or two who are teachable, safe, and will fit in. That’s what she needs to keep in mind as she preps. Here’s the other key tips:

But Do Prepare

Do prepare by having your answers/examples ready for questions such as “Tell Us About Yourself” and what never to say when asked

 “What is Your Greatest Weakness?” These and the Top Interview Questions are going to be asked in some form, and it’s important to prepare.

Plan the Outfit

Get out all pieces of the outfit the day before, in good light, and inspect for stains, stray threads, loose buttons. Do a dress rehearsal, including the best supportive underclothing and accessories. A memorable piece of jewelery, such as a pin or necklace, can work to your advantage by making you memorable. Overall, strive for a conservative look.

Print several copies of your resume as they may or may not provide them. Print more than you think is needed, because additional people can be called to the panel interview at the last minute. Read What to Bring to Your Interview .

Do a Dry Rehearsal 

Drive to the facility around the same time of day as your appointment to get a feel for traffic and parking. Time yourself and then add in extra  time for traffic and delays. Make sure you know how to find your interview room and which elevator you’ll be taking. Check to find out where the nearest bathroom is.

Be Confident

Prepare to be confident. Don’t feel confident? It’s OK, you can still smile, give a firm handshake and appear confident. All things being equal, confident candidates land jobs. Confidence in nursing is seen as a value. Timid applicants do themselves no favor. Some hiring managers will doubt your ability to fit into a group of big personalities typical of some speciality units if you are overly shy or guarded.

Remember they are already impressed with you; they selected you above others to interview. Actually, they are rooting for you to succeed.

Be open and warm. They will love it when you show your genuine self.

5 essential nursing interview tips

THE BOOK EVERYONE IS TALKING ABOUT! Insider tips written by me

For all the best tips in one place, be sure and read  Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job It’s the ultimate guide to landing your nursing job- everything you need from resumes to  interviewing. 


Best wishes,

Nurse Beth

Come visit me at Ask Nurse Beth  career column at for all kinds of  entertaining and informative career questions and answers, and to submit your own question :) 





About Beth Hawkes (146 Articles)
Nice to meet you! I'm a Nursing Professional Development Specialist in acute care, a writer, speaker and career columnist.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: