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How to Ace a Job Interview – Essential Tips for Nurses

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Newbies and even well-practised nursing interviewees need to conduct thorough research and preparation to guarantee the success of an interview.

Attempting to improvise your answers and coming unprepared will only result in awkward silence, horrible first impression, and a lost job opportunity.

To help you hit the mark, we’ve gathered some essential nursing job interview tips that you can use.

Start by knowing what you should prepare for.

Learn more about the company

Find out as much as you can about the employer by checking the following details:

  • Is the organisation private or NHS-owned?
  • How much funding do they get?
  • What is their field of specialisation?
  • How big is the organisation? How many employees do they currently have?
  • Who are the key players behind the company?
  • What do they value most?
  • What is the mission and vision of the company?
  • What are the latest news and issues about them?

By researching the company, you can understand what they expect from their applicants. It will also allow you to think of possible questions that the interviewer might ask you.

Aside from knowing more about your target company, you also need to know if you fit the vacant position.

Match your skills and background with the position provided

Preparing and attending an interview requires time and money. To avoid wasting your time and resources, read and double check the provided job description. Make sure that you match the description before you send out your application.  

Don’t forget to consider the personal specification provided by the employer too. They may be looking for a specific type of person for the job.

Wait for a phone interview

If the HR deems you worthy for the position, they will schedule you for a phone interview. A typical phone interview lasts for a couple of minutes.

This step is usually done to weed out the applicants so they can find the most suitable applicants for the in-person interview. Expect the interviewer to ask short and straightforward queries about your application.

He/she will ask you questions about:

  • Your personal information
  • Current employment status
  • Job experience
  • Short-term and long-term goals

When you’re scheduled for a phone interview, you must ensure that you don’t miss the interviewer’s call. You should also take the call in a quiet room and avoid rambling when the interviewer asks you a question.

Just answer the question honestly and clearly.

If you qualify for the in-person interview, you should start brushing up on your nursing knowledge.

Review care and medication cases

Nursing interviewers commonly ask questions based on specific scenarios to determine how well you can respond to a certain condition. It also helps the interview determine if you have up-to-date knowledge, training and background.

Have a list of questions prepared about the position

Naturally, as you research about a company or listen to the discussion with the interviewer, you would like to clarify certain matters.

Take note of these questions and ask them when you get the chance.

It will help you determine if they’re a good fit for you. Additionally, it will demonstrate your alertness and sincere interest in the position.

Don’t be afraid to inquire about remuneration

Applicants often get confused if they should or shouldn’t ask about the salary of the position. Our recommendation is to go ahead and ask about it.  

Unless they ask you to provide feedback about their published rate, it’s better not to comment. Wait until they offer the position to you before you tell them that you’re not too keen on the rates provided.

Make sure to arrive on the designated schedule

Arriving late is a big no-no in every type of interview. If your designated interview schedule is set at 9 in the morning, be sure to get on the bus or train two to three hours before the schedule.

Take into consideration traffic jams, parades, road delays, or accidents when you adjust your travel time.

By arriving ahead of time, you can relax and wait until your interview starts.

Never. Ever. Lie.

Making up stories or providing false information will certainly result in trouble. When asked a question, do your best to answer as honestly as you can.

Also, if you do like the job, tell them. Avoid flattery and just be truthful about the position.

Dress smartly

You don’t need to turn up in your work uniform when you apply for a job. In most cases, employers don’t expect interviewees to wear a scrub suit. They do, however, require applicants to dress smartly.

Here are some key tips in choosing your outfit for a nursing work interview:

  • Your outfit should be well pressed and free from tear or runs.
  • If you’re applying for an entry-level nursing position, you can wear a neat shirt, tie and dress pants or a tailored skirt if you’re a woman.
  • Keep your accessories to a bare minimum
  • Avoid wearing religious icons like crosses.
  • Keep your nails trimmed and your hair neatly combed.
  • If you want to wear a blazer or jacket, choose one that fits you nicely.
  • Clean and polish your shoes.

Mind your body language

Make eye contact when you talk with the interviewer. This will help you establish rapport.

Second, you must work on how you answer. Avoid fidgeting and stammering by practising a day before the interview. You must look confident and sure all throughout the job interview.

Avoid explaining too much when they ask you about a medication or situation-based scenario. They certainly don’t need a thesis-like explanation for the question. Focus on answering the question as clearly and precisely as you can.

Lastly, smile. Don’t wear a long face even if you have to travel far for the job interview.


With the bills you have to settle each month and the expenses you need to pay to sustain your lifestyle, landing a stable and good-paying job becomes very crucial.

Start looking for a job today! Read through the job description to determine if you satisfy the qualifications needed.

If you’re 100 percent sure that you fit the job, you should complete the required documents, create your cover letter and prepare your CV. Send out your application and wait for the schedule of your interview.

Surely, you will find a vacant position to fill in your city, most especially because of the high number of nursing job vacancies in the UK.

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