Reducing Anxiety: Panel Interviews

  1. Hello all,

    My issue is this: I am able to secure interviews with hospitals, but when it comes down to interviews, I freeze up! I feel that even when I prepare for the questions, in the moment I forget some of things I knew I wanted to express.
    I have a few interviews for new grad programs coming up next month and I have already had one of my first panel interviews. My problem is that I get very anxious when I'm in front of the panel (almost like public speaking), and during my first interview I was able to answer each question correctly but I could feel my voice shaking! I tried to give eye contact to all the members of the panel, but I also felt that they were scrutinizing me, as only one gave me a smile. Otherwise, I felt like I was back in nursing school getting grilled/marked in skills checks with their questions/clinical scenarios and after answering getting no sign of acknowledgement/only straight faces throughout the interview
    I love to talk to others outside in general and I am usually able to express my thoughts, but being in front of a panel is nerve-wracking, and I found myself not being able to express all that I was thinking without becoming anxious!
    Has anyone had a similar experience during panel interviews, or ways they have overcome this? I don't want my weakness of interviewing preventing me from getting that first job as a new graduate!
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  2. 1 Comments

  3. by   Ruby Vee
    OK, I hate panel interviews too. I hate it has the applicant, I hate it as a member of the panel. These things are rarely planned well (or at all). Often what happens is that the manager runs through the unit just before the interview, dragging any nurse she can find in to comprise the "panel." ARRRRGH!

    The thing to remember is that the panel is just trying to find someone they like and want to work with. You're not there to show how smart you are; you're there to show that you're teachable, that you'll be a good co-worker (show up for work when you're supposed to, stay until you're relieved and pay attention to work while AT work) and not too much of a pain in the posterior to them. They're looking for obvious things to disqualify you: the applicant who was sure that everyone who had sex before marriage was going to hell (don't ask me how THAT came up because I really don't know!), the applicant who was resistent to working nights, weekends and holidays because she "had a life," the applicant who applied for 12 hour shifts but needed four hours off every Tuesday from 10-2 to coach soccer, the applicant who came in wearing one black shoe and one brown one who swore up and down he had great attention to detail, the applicant who argued . . . you get the drift. Come in neat, clean and reasonably well put together and you'll look positively stellar compared to some of the applicants I've seen get past HR!

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