Don't fall into the habit of understanding patient assignments in terms of numbers. Focus more on accuity and appropriateness of patient assignments to determine safety, not merely the number of patients you are responsible for.
If it was mentioned during the interview, its likely they told you the higher end of pt ratio to gauge your reaction and confidence. 8:1 is a little high, but I have done it before safely. If all 8 patients are stable, A+O, walkie-talkies; it can be done. If 3 are immediate post-op, 2 total cares on contact precautions, 2 demented/ETOH withdrawal, and one who is crashing from a cardiac event - this ratio could be a BIG problem.
Play it by ear, pay attention to the morale of floor staff. If you are brand new, I am sure (I hope anyway) they will ease you into it and not throw you in a situation that is unsafe. Besides, patients sleep all night anyway so you won't actually be doing a whole lot
For the haters, I work nights and the above was indeed a joke.