The next step after submitting applications... PREPARING TO ACE YOUR INTERVIEWS! As I mentioned in my previous "Accelerated Nursing Simplified" post, some schools have an interview process and some do not. You can check out my post from March 17th for a list of schools I applied to and which had an interview process!
Some schools may require in-person interviews, video/skype interviews, and even may allow for phone interviews if you can't make an in-person one. Most interviews will be one-on-one (or two-on-one) with a faculty member(s)/professor(s).
SIDE NOTE -- I did a phone interview for UPenn -- so don't worry! Doing a phone interview as opposed to an in-person interview will not diminish your chances of getting admitted at all.
And here we go! HOW TO ACE YOUR NURSING SCHOOL INTERVIEW -->
--> Practice, practice, practice! And I don't mean in your head. Actually practice with someone in person. If you are preparing for a phone interview, you can also practice over the phone with a friend! It's soooo important to hear yourself speak. Weird side note... I really liked to practice while I was in the shower. For some reason, I was just able to hear myself a lot better in the shower. I would ask myself practice interview questions, and then respond to them. Haha!
--> Anticipate interview questions! There are a ton of resources out there with sample interview questions. Go with any of those, and you are to a great start. Definitely give your responses a lot of thought and practice your responses so you can be calm and confident during your interview. BUT REMEMBER -- you don't want to come across too rehearsed. There needs to be a good balance between showing your interviewer that you came fully prepared and to not come across completely rehearsed.
--> Dress to impress! (***This is seriously all of my own personal opinion as to what I find clean and professional, so please go with what you feel most comfortable in). Ladies, I would suggest wearing black/navy blue/grey blazer and slacks/skirt. As for shoes, I would suggest either solid color flats (nothing too bright), or closed toe heels with a max height of 2 inches. I would also go with a solid color - black, navy, grey, nude. This is simply my own opinion! Ladies, you want to make sure to keep makeup and accessories minimal, dresses/skirts not too short, hair brushed, nail polish to a plain, nude/pastel color - something not too loud. Gentleman, I would also suggest black/navy blue/grey blazer and slacks, and black dress shoes. A nice ironed dress shirt and a tie with a tie clip will do the trick.
--> Interview day etiquette! When you arrive for your interview, feel free to mingle with the other interviewees! I actually highly suggest it -- these may be your potential peers! :D When you begin to meet faculty, staff, and your interviewers, I like to lean in with a firm handshake and introduce myself. Be respectful to everyone, and TURN YOUR CELL PHONE OFF.. OR ON SILENT!!
-- DURING YOUR INTERVIEW, relax! Take your time when formulating your response, and take your time elaborating on your response. You want to be able to provide them with as much information as possible without rambling. Try not to fidget too much with your hands/feet. Keep a good posture, maintain good eye contact and voice volume, and smize!
--Once you are DONE with your interview, make sure to shake your interview(s) hands and thank them for the opportunity to interview. **If you haven't already, I would also try to get the email addresses of your interview(s) so you can type up a thank you email for later.
MEAGAN'S PERSONAL INTERVIEW PREP -->
Here are the interview questions I prepared myself with going into my interviews, hopefully they help you!
1. TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF
- School, major, minor
- Three organizations I was involved in
- Three skills I developed from each of these organizations
2. WHY nursing/what led you to nursing/why not other health careers?
- I discussed my personal reasons for choosing nursing, so find that personal reason for yourself and make it known! I also connected my reasons to volunteer work I did as an undergraduate to tie it all together.
- I listed three strengths that went along with the three organizations I am focusing on incorporating into my interview responses
- I came up with two weaknesses and, of course mentioned how I was able to work on it through my volunteer work/work/schooling
5. WHAT MAKES A GOOD NURSE
- Decide what characteristics/attributes make a good nurse to you
6. WHY [insert specialty] ?
- I related with a specific specialty based on my involvement with organizations/work
7. HOW WOULD OTHERS DESCRIBE YOU?
8. WHAT ARE SOME CLINICAL RELATED WORK YOU HAVE DONE?
9. HOW DO YOU HANDLE STRESS? / WHAT DO YOU DO FOR FUN?
10. WHY [nursing school] ?
- RESEARCH the school you are about to interview for. You want to know what makes them unique, what you specifically like about the school, and how you can contribute.
11. WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS IN 5 years? 10 years?
12. WHAT CHANGES WOULD YOU MAKE TO CURRENT HEALTHCARE?
Additionally, there may be SITUATIONAL QUESTIONS, so you have to really know yourself and how you would react in the given scenario. I can't stress enough...TAKE YOUR TIME when responding to these types of questions. It's so easy to just blurt something out and then completely forget what the scenario was even about!!
Lastly, at the end of an interview the interviewer(s) will ask if you have any questions for them. BE PREPARED TO ASK THEM QUESTIONS! You don't want to have nothing to ask. You can have pre-thought out questions going into your interview, and can also ask anything else as you think of more.
Here are a couple of QUESTIONS I LIKE TO ASK MY INTERVIEWER -->
1. What types of research opportunities can I participate in?
2. Where do many of your graduates from the program end up? Furthering education? Hospital? Clinic? Public policy? etc.
3. How does the program interact with the city, specifically within [the specialty you applied for or are interested in] ?
GOOD LUCK WITH EVERYTHING! :)