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Be in the nursing know: how to make an impression at interviews


Few things impress potential employers more than knowing your subject inside out. But how can you polish your nursing know-how ready for interview?


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Without a crystal ball handy, it’s impossible to predict the exact questions you’re going to face in the interview room. But there are areas that it pays to research before you sit in the hot seat. Let us help you out …

1. Be specific to the job

It’s important to concentrate on the kind of information you’ll be expected to know if you do get the job. So if you’re being interviewed for a position on an Accident & Emergency unit – have a read around topics affecting A&E nurses.

Looking for a role in critical care? Take a look at what issues are currently affecting critical care nurses.

No matter what job you’re after, you’ll be able to find tailored practice and news on every nursing specialism here.

2. Research relevant evidence-based practice

It is always important to be up-to-date with the current evidence base, irrespective of the job you’re applying for. Do you know what the latest published practice guidelines, e.g. NICE or Cochrane, say about the area you’re applying for? Are you up-to-date with why nurses use certain practices over others?

Have a look at the current evidence base and make sure you know what the guidelines are saying.

You can check out Nursing Times’ latest evidence-based practice articles here. We also have a weekly ‘behind the rituals’ and ‘putting it into practice’ blog that may come in handy. Use these to slip in a few words about best evidence-based practice, and you’re onto a winner.

3. Gem up on topical nursing issues

Good interview candidates read the news, and understand it. On the days coming up to your interview, take a look at what’s happening in the news. Sign up to some email alerts and follow relevant nursing channels on twitter.


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Have there been any recent dramatic changes that you should be aware of? Changes in legislation can have a big impact on nursing practice; so showing that you’re ahead of the game will demonstrate that you already know what the job entails and can adapt to change.

4. Continue your education

Continuing professional development shows your commitment to your career and demonstrates to your interviewer that you’re prepared to work hard to better yourself. But it can be hard to find the time and the funding to really demonstrate your enthusiasm.

Online CPD can give your knowledge a boost as well as improve your portfolio. Nursing Times Learning has a whole suite of online learning modules that could help, do any of these take your fancy?

Good luck!

Be confident. You already have the knowledge to work as a nurse, as you’ve sucessfully completed your training and become registered, well done. But with best practice changing so quickly, it’s easy to get left behind and really important that you show your interviewers how willing you are to keep up to date.


Readers' comments (3)

  • Very useful interview tips here and anyone looking for a new job should definitely check this out.

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  • Thanks very much for another set of excellent tips. Also find out about what values your organisation are focussing on, and their aims and objectives for patient care and where they are going in the near future.
    Good luck and try to relax at the interview, its also an excellent opportunity for you to find out more about them.

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  • I wonder if it is usual not to get interviews before being successful as I find rejections effect my self esteem

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