The biggest mistake in interviewing is not being fully prepared. Understand that interviewing is a skill; as with all skills, preparation and practice enhance the quality of that skill. Preparation can make the difference between being successful at interview or not. Every interview is a learning experience, so learning that takes place during the preparation and actual interview process is useful for future interviews.
Initial preparation requires recent assessment of skills, interests, values and accomplishments; a re – assessment and updating of one’s CV; and research on the targeted company/organisation and position.
Preparation Before Interview Process
Self-Assessment: Reassess current skills, talents, abilities, strengths, weaknesses and interests. In addition, re-examine accomplishments and achievements, particularly those that may be relevant to a prospective employer.
Update Your CV: Remove all irrelevant information. Use functional headings to help focus the reader on
what you have done and what you can do for the prospective employer. Be absolutely certain it is error- free.
Prepare possible answers to questions that may be asked: Demonstrate your competence, experience, knowledge and abilities. Make a list of all your past significant achievements – expand on the ones you have highlighted in your CV.
Research, Research, Research: Depending on available time, use every possible means to learn all you can about the Hospital and the position. Go online to the Hospital’s Website. Find out as much as possible about the job you are applying for within the hospital. This will help you decide if the job is right for you and will make you more confident in the interview.
Other research options can include:
- Contact the informal contact person on the advertisement and discuss the job with them. Try to organise a visit of the proposed area you wish to be working in only if possible. This will give you valuable insight about the job and give you a chance to familiarise yourself with how the relevant department is run.
- When confirming your interview, ask who the interview panel will be and their positions as this will give you guidance as to the specific areas of interest.
How to Succeed At Interview
It is important to try to develop a rapport with your interviewer – help put them at their ease. The more comfortable the interviewer feels with you, the better the interview will go. Be aware of the following:
- Have a firm handshake
- be alert and upright – and relax!
- Look enthusiastic and interested
- Speak clearly
- Maintain plenty of eye contact
- Let the interviewer lead
- Don’t go on too much – watch for any signs of boredom on behalf of the interviewer
- Avoid jargon
- Don’t fidget (with your hair, with a pen etc.)
- Illustrate answers with real experiences – examples
- Think replies out before answering
- Ask questions
- Clarify details of the next stage
- Leave with a smile!
At the interview, be positive and enthusiastic about the job, even if you decide you are no longer interested in the position. Enthusiasm can sometimes compensate for not possessing quite the right experience.
Good Topics To Ask About The Employer Include:
1. How has the hospital/department grown/developed over the past few years?
2. How does the hospital/department plan to grow in the next few years?
3. What is the reporting structure in the department, and to whom will you report?
4. Ask for more details about the job e.g. location of department, hours of work etc
5. Ask about the working environment and department culture, i.e. is it team based?, dynamic?
When Asked If You Have Any Questions About The Position, Ask Some Of The Following
1. What are the position’s main goals and responsibilities?
2. How are these goals measured and what resources are available to ensure they are met?
3. What are the computer / business systems used for the position?
4. How many people will you be working with in the unit/department?
Knowing The Job And Organisation
For many of our interviews the skills/qualities required will be published in the job description and or website advertisement. Usually each skill/quality will be described in two three lines or a short paragraph. It is important that you read this carefully and understand what is required under each skill/quality.
Skills/quality descriptions are usually carefully worded and contain a number of key words, which should give you an insight into what the employer sees as key to this role. Try to make sure you use these as a cross check against the experiences etc you want to talk to the interview board about.
Getting There on Time
Sounds simple but you would be surprised the number of candidates who do not arrive on time for their interview.
Please ensure you know the exact time and place of the interview, how you are going to get there and how long it will take.
If you are unsure of the location, telephone the HR contact person, who requested you attend for interview and ask for directions.
If appropriate, check regarding parking spaces in the vicinity. Ensure you are in plenty of time for the interview!
Skype – Do and Don’t
- Verify your internet connection before the interview – call a friend to say “Hi” and make sure he hears you perfectly.
- Verify your webcam before the interview – make a video-call with a friend and make sure he can see and hear you perfectly.
- Have headphones nearby so you can pay attention only to the interviewer – make sure you say “yes” if they ask you if the interview can start and not “yes, mom, I can have breakfast in a bit”.
- Make your own list of questions – sure they want to interview you and know about you, but you also need to know some things about them. Don’t stare and look while you wonder what to ask. Be prepared.
- Look at the webcam so they know you can make eye contact – of course your house is very nice but you should leave that for after the interview.
- Don’t read from a script – we give you guidelines to get prepared for the interview but it’s to study before the interview, not to take with you. You’re a nurse, not an actor.
- Don’t use casual wear – sure the interview can be made from the comfort of your home but it’s important that you keep it as formal as possible. You will have plenty of time to use scrubs and jeans.
- Don’t let your pets in the room – no matter how beautiful your dog is, for the time being let’s focus on you and don’t allow them to participate in the interview.
- The same goes to the family and friends – it’s a job interview, not a family event.
- Don’t use the Google translator, or other translations tools, during the interview. – Your future depends on your knowledge and skills, don’t ruin it with a tool.
- Don’t interrupt the interviewers – you will have plenty of time to talk, so make sure you hear them attentively so you know what the question was and what to answer.