Whether you’re a newly qualified nurse or an experienced nurse, interviews remain daunting process. As experts in recruiting for nursing jobs across the UK, we’ve created this interview preparation guide to help you increase your chances of landing the perfect nursing job role.
Read on for our top tips to help you sail through your nursing interview, and secure that nursing job.
Research the nursing organisation and your job description
The first step to acing your nursing interview is to research the organisation and the job description of the role you’ve applied to. Often, employers will ask questions relating to their own organisation and the job description to test how much you have read up about them and to determine your level of interest in the role.
What should nurses be researching about the organisation?
- History of the institution
- Research the institution has been involved in
- Important nursing staff members and potential colleagues
- Policies and recent policy changes
- Social media channels
Make sure you read up on all areas of the job description to help identify where you meet the criteria and where you don’t. For areas where you lack experience, we advise you to research them so that you at least have theoretical knowledge to apply in your answers.
Be ready to provide examples of how you have met each criteria in the job description, as this will help to demonstrate your competence for the job.
Research the nursing industry you’re in
Quoting any current research or studies that affect the nursing industry, the NHS, or your role, will almost certainly impress the employer. Doing so will show that you are intuitive and can apply academia and current affairs to practical situations. It will also highlight your passion for the industry as you are showing that you are continuing to develop your knowledge outside of the workplace.
Check out the websites below to keep up with the latest research in the nursing industry.
- Nursing Times
- Medical Research Council
- National Institute for Health and Care Excellence
- The Queen’s Nursing Institute
Find out about your nursing interview structure
Not every organisation will follow the same structure.
For example, some nursing organisations may ask you to complete an arithmetic test to check your medication competencies before you reach the interview stage.
Some may conduct one-to-one interviews, whilst others may have a panel of interviewers. These panels may consist of managers, peers, service users or family members. Make sure you research the people on your panel beforehand as you may be asked to reveal what you know about them. To help with this, we suggest checking their social media profiles and searching PubMed for any research they may have carried out.
Be sure to contact your Search nursing recruitment consultant for information on the interview process for your organisation-we’ll be more than happy to help!
Practice your interview questions
As a nurse, you will be asked a range of interview questions, from common interview questions to scenario and competency-based interview questions surrounding your nursing job.
Generally, scenario interview questions surround safeguarding patients and members of staff, emergency situations or violent family members and friends.
Competency-based interview questions are designed to test your skills and how you will meet the core competencies of being a nurse. Many of our nurses have said they struggle with this, so to help you understand and answer these questions, check out our how to answer competency based interview questions using the STAR Technique blog.
Tip: Understanding the principles of safeguarding is a frequently asked question, so make sure you are aware of the industry’s expectations on escalating information, making referrals, confidentiality and whistleblowing. Check the websites listed earlier for more information.
Make sure your relevant documents are up to date
For nurses, making sure your licences, certificates and registrations are current and factually correct is vital as any lapses in your deadlines could result in you being unable to practice nursing in the UK.
When you are invited to an interview, you may also be asked to bring other items with you too including forms of identification, a personal portfolio and physical confirmations of your qualifications or right to practice. Make sure you pack these the night before as you don’t want to make a wrong impression before the interview has started.
Prepare a list of questions to ask your interviewer
At the end of the interview, you will often be given the opportunity to ask your employer questions to find out more about your role or organisation. We recommend preparing a list of at least five questions in advance. You could ask about career development opportunities, training support, or contract lengths.
What’s next for you as a nurse?
If you would like further information about how to prepare for a nursing job interview, simply download our ultimate interview preparation guide.
Or if you are looking to land your next nursing job interview, check out our nursing jobs and apply today!