Can I tell a personal story during an interview?

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Dear Nurse Beth,

Someday, I would like to apply to work in a cardiology clinic as a FNP (currently attending master's program for FNP). I was diagnosed with an arrhythmia a few years ago, had it treated, and was inspired by this experience. If I ever get an opportunity to interview for such a position, is it acceptable to bring up this personal health story during an interview as one of the reasons why I want to work in cardiology or at that specific clinic?

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Specializes in Tele, ICU, Staff Development.

Dear Inspired,

Absolutely. It's smart to strategically include personal, relevant stories in an interview.

Stories are remembered-which makes you memorable. One day after a grueling, day-long session of panel/team interviewing new grads, we were ranking the applicants. I realized I couldn't recall Ashley from Megan, despite my notes. Until someone said, "Ashley- you know, the one with the dragonfly necklace." Right away, I remembered not only Ashley but a lot of what she said. In your case, you probably won't be competing against dozens of candidates, but you can be memorable, in a good way.

Stories are active, not passive- a good rule to follow for both your resume and your interviews. An example of how you were inspired is far more engaging than saying, "I was inspired." Likewise, use active words on your resume.

Stories are personal. Being sincere and authentic is always appropriate. 

Good luck in your studies and beyond,

Nurse Beth

Specializes in EMS, ED, Trauma, CEN, CPEN, TCRN.

Yes! I did, during an interview. I was asked why I wanted to work for this certain insurance company, and I told my interviewers about developing peripartum cardiomyopathy when I was 11 days postpartum, and that they had been my insurance provider at the time. After being discharged from the hospital I received calls from insurance case managers and they were so helpful and so reassuring, and it just left such a positive impression. I don't think there's anything wrong with bringing your heart (literal/figurative) into your interactions.