8 Ways to Prepare for an Interview for the Mid-Career Nurse

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    Mid-career nurses have special needs when it comes to finding new jobs. Preparing for interviews can be stressful and confusing. This article gives 8 ways to prepare for an interview for the mid-career nurse.

    8 Ways to Prepare for an Interview for the Mid-Career Nurse

    Midlife and Mid-career can be an exciting time for nurses. You know your skills, values, and worth. You have experience that goes beyond the bedside and you are ready to use it for a new employer.

    But, do they value the skills you have? Can their budget support the dollar amount you have in your head as you interview for new opportunities? Job search and interviewing can feel a bit different when you are in the midlife years. The hiring manager may be younger than you expected. The company may have a mission, vision, or values that are different than your own.

    How do you prepare for these situations? Let's explore 8 ways to prepare for interviews for the mid-career nurse:

    1. Identify Your Priorities: Before you ever begin the job search, know what you want in a new job opportunity. If weekends and night shifts no longer work for your family, mind, or body, don't entertain jobs with those responsibilities.

    Know what you are looking for and where your areas of flexibility lie. This will help you communicate honestly during the interview. Create your resume to reflect your skills and priorities for your next nursing adventure.

    2. Do Your Homework: Research the company. Understand what they do and how you can fit into their mission, vision, and values. Study the job posting and know the core responsibilities. Consider how your skills will help you meet the job duties.

    Even if your skills are not an exact fit, show your flexibility and willingness to learn by understanding the business even before they offer you the job.

    3. Practice the Hard Questions: Why are you looking for a new opportunity? Do you really want to make this big of a career change? When will you retire?

    Consider hard questions before you sit down in front of the interviewer. Have an idea of how you will answer these questions to showcase your skills, experience, and goals for the future.

    4. Prepare Your Own Questions: Interviews are a great opportunity for you to find out if the company is the right fit for you. Be sure to ask questions. Prepare 2-5 questions to take with you. During the interview, take notes and write down other questions as they come to your mind.

    Ask some tough questions of the hiring manager. Some possible questions for you to ask are below:
    • Do you feel I am a good fit for this job?
    • How do you think I would fit in with the other people in this department?
    • What is the culture of the company, department, or unit?
    • What career growth and development opportunities will be available to me?

    5. Consider the Age of the Hiring Manager: If you are in the mid-career years, you are probably in the mid-life years too! This means, there is a good chance the hiring manager will be younger than you. Younger managers value innovation, technology, and problem-solving. Be ready to answer questions about your computer skills and innovative approaches to workplace problems.

    6. Prepare Your Resume: Many people believe that showing up with a resume that shows what you were doing 30 years ago is irrelevant. This is simply not true. While you don't have to put every job ever held on your resume, you also don't want to ignore an entire decade of your work.

    Write a paragraph to summarize your job experiences that are older than 15 years. Focus on your skills and successes. You have probably been through acquisitions, multiple management styles, and business changes. Capitalize on these experiences and how they have contributed to your success as a nurse.

    7. Consider Your Age an Asset: Many people feel that having a little age and experience can be a liability when entering a job interview. Don't place biases on others before you have ever met them.

    Be sure to discuss your energy and ability to stay current with trends and technologies. Discuss how your experiences add value to your job performance. Age can equate to wisdom and others may appreciate what you bring to the table.

    8. SoMe: If this acronym confused you, you may need to do a little research before you start interviewing. Social Media (SoMe) is a huge part of getting hired and being successful at interviews these days.
    You need to be on LinkedIn and understand the basics of your profile, InMail and messaging.

    Recruiters and hiring managers love LinkedIn. It can be a valuable place to find new job opportunities too. Understanding the basics of LinkedIn and having a profile shows that you are in touch with the high tech times of today.

    Age and experience bring wisdom. Be yourself because you are great! Are you a midlife nurse looking for new opportunities? Have you been to a job interview lately and were surprised by the questions, feel of the interview, or how you felt afterwards? Share your story in the comments, we would love to hear about your experiences.
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    Melissa Mills is a nurse who is on a journey of exploration and entrepreneurship. She is a healthcare writer who specializes in case management and leadership. When she is not in front of a computer, Melissa is busy with her husband, 3 kids, 2 dogs and a fat cat named Little Dude.

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    4 Comments

  3. by   1sttime
    Good advice- as someone who took a sabbatical from Nursing and recently re-entered the profession I was shocked by how things have changed in 3 years. I am also in mid-life, I had always gotten any job I applied for in the past- I found this time around was much more difficult to land an interview- and even then I had difficulty getting a job offer.

    Behavioral Interviews- good to read a book on how to answer these questions. I was unprepared and made all sorts of mistakes during my first interview. The process feels more academic now, instead of skills based.

    You also have to find an employer who is the right fit- one hospital system in town is stabilized- they are looking for very specific personality types. Growing hospital systems are more tolerant of different personalities. I was a better fit with the latter.

    There is also career trajectory- work/life balance to consider. I decided to forgo the management job for something that really connected with me- even though its apparently a "career killer", but it fits in with my plans for my MSN and teaching for the last part of my career. Sure I won't be a Director of Nursing, but at the end of the day I will be happy.

    My advice is to prepare the resume and practice interview skills- and keep an open mind to what setting you will thrive in- I applied for anything remotely interesting- and through the interview process had some frustrations, but ultimately ended up with the right employer- and they got a fantastic Nurse.
  4. by   BassCatchingNurse
    I enjoyed the article. I would definitely suggest to practice behavior interview questions. Have the scenario in mind and wait for the question. I hate this type of question, but one should be prepared for them. They will be asked.
    Examples:
    1) Tell me about a time you demonstrated leadership.
    2) Tell me about a time that you had to deal with a difficult patient.
    3) What is your greatest weakness?
    4) Tell me about a time when you had to make a decision without all the information.
    5) Tell me about a time that your day did not go as planned.
    6) Tell me a time when you failed.
    The list could go on and on. They are asked in multiple forms; so, have a scenario for demonstrated leadership, a weakness, a mistake made, a bad day, a conflict/difficult (coworker, boss, and patient), an achieved goal, a day you made a difference, used critical thinking, and an organizational skill. This will help prepare you for the most common interview questions. Having prepared before hand, will allow you to walk into the interview more confident.

    Again, I enjoyed the article. It is sure to help those of us that are mid-career nurses looking for the greener grass!
  5. by   melissa.mills1117
    [QUOTE=1sttime;9779662]Good advice- as someone who took a sabbatical from Nursing and recently re-entered the profession I was shocked by how things have changed in 3 years. I am also in mid-life, I had always gotten any job I applied for in the past- I found this time around was much more difficult to land an interview- and even then I had difficulty getting a job offer...........

    Dear 1sttime - What a GREAT story and way to look at interviewing during this time of our lives! Thank you so much for sharing. You add some awesome tips and other things to consider as well. Congrats on your job and best of luck to you as you crush this second half of your career. ~Melissa
  6. by   melissa.mills1117
    [QUOTE=BassCatchingNurse;9780120]I enjoyed the article. I would definitely suggest to practice behavior interview questions. Have the scenario in mind and wait for the question. I hate this type of question, but one should be prepared for them. They will be asked..............

    Bass Catching Nurse - Thanks for your comments! Yes, these questions will be asked and can really make your brain tired. You must be able to think on the go and really connect your thoughts and words quickly, which as I get older, that is skill that can be challenging some days.

    Thanks again for you comments and your additions. ~Melissa

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