How to NOT interview for your RN/LPN job!


You are reading page 11 of How to NOT interview for your RN/LPN job!


5 Articles; 4,547 Posts

Specializes in critical care.

(This is a 4-year old thread.)

Make sure your resume does not have misspelled words and poor grammar.

When you come to the interview, prepare to stay until the end. Looking at your watch or the clock gives me the impression that you are in a hurry to leave.

If you have an impressive resume, have written references to back it up.

I agree totally with the author about clothing, hair, etc. Long false nails with flowers and jewels on a nurse are not appropriate, especially since they are an infection control issue.

Leave the perfume at home and do not come in reeking of cigarettes. That gets zero points and the interview will be the shortest on record.

Do not use profanity during the interview. You are applying for a position as a professional Nurse. Using street language does not make you seem more human. It makes you sound illiterate.

Ruby Vee, BSN

67 Articles; 14,023 Posts

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience.
Wow, get over yourself!! what is it like on the top looking down on everyone else.

If you think you are lowering yourself doing interviews you should have stayed an LPN. Here is some advise for you. Look for a new profession!!!! you lack empathy and understanding. I am not impressed at all.

WOW! The "you lack empathy and understanding" post. I am impressed neither with your level of professionalism nor your ability to argue.


2 Posts

Has 7 years experience.

I agree with your tips but I have been a LPN for 7 years and do not wear makeup. I'm 37 years old.


13 Posts

It amazing that some things are so obvious but people tend to not see them as obvious. Thinking outside the box is something that is about as rare as common sense these days.


5 Posts

Specializes in Case Management.

I agree 100% with the recommendations made in this article! One of the organizations I worked for previously did team interviews for each job applicant. The hiring Manager and Director would interview the candidate and then members of the team were asked to conduct a group interview with the candidate. The ultimate decision was made by the Director and Manager, but they took feedback from the group very seriously. One candidate that came back to mind after reading this article (an image burned forever in my cornea) was a nurse candidate who chose to wear what I would guess to be her "tight fitting go to outfit" used for night clubbing. The stretched garment left nothing to the imagination and for all of the cleavage that was showing any nurse with A&P that there was very little of her breasts that were covered. I will not go into the roll counting that could have taken place, because there were many. Furthermore I like the smell of White Diamond perfume as much as anyone, but not when you take a bath in it. Your perfume should not linger longer than you after the interview ends. The appearance of this candidate was a turn off from the onset of the interview, but when her phone rang and she pulled her flip phone out from under her breasts, flipped it open, tossed her hair back and informed the group that we would need to give her a moment, because she had to take this call was the topping on the cake. After she hung up from her call we informed her that we had no further questions and we wished her a good day. Thankfully our management team agreed that she would not be a good fit for our team she was not hired.


5 Posts

Specializes in Case Management.

Another piece of advise I would like to offer is DO NOT flirt with the person(s) conducting your interview. Remember you are there to land the job not a date. You want to be viewed as a professional worthy of the job and not a sex/love/date interest.


1,116 Posts

Specializes in NICU, ER, OR. Has 18 years experience.

A breath MINT????


1,116 Posts

Specializes in NICU, ER, OR. Has 18 years experience.
i guess i'm with you -- i don't understand why it's so completely out of the question to have a dry mouth for the half hour or so you're in the interview. just deal with it.

of course if everyone thinks it's ok to swill water and chomp on gum during and interview, i'm going to look like a much better candidate in comparison, so go ahead you'll. make me look good!

Hello? What's wrong with a breath mint that isn't so conspicuous as GUM??!!

allnurses Guide

Nurse SMS, MSN, RN

2 Articles; 6,840 Posts

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development. Has 12 years experience.

**Yeow...super long post. Sorry!***

I am pretty good at interviews. In fact, if I get as far as an interview, I get the offer basically 100% of the time. Sounds pretty self inflated, I know. I don't mean it that way. Interviewing is a skill and one I am really, really good at. If I could put it usefully on a resume I would. If I could come up with a way to offer certification on interview skills I would make a lot of money! :D I am now in a position where I interview others.

Most of the points in the original post are good ones. There are always going to be exceptions/margin of error in either direction to a certain degree.

I don't think make-up is required at all. Tidiness is, however.

I think impressions about tattoos are changing, even in a hospital setting, and that one or two tasteful/nonviolent/nonsexual tats would be a nonissue most of the time.

I could care less if your shoes are old or worn or not quite right for your outfit, but I would wonder about you if they are muddy or impractical to the degree that you cannot walk without risking injury or look like something out of a cartoon (ie: Lady Gaga shoes).

I don't care if you wear a suit. Today's working world rarely requires them even for executives. Slacks and a nice dress shirt/golf shirt for guys, a dress or slacks/blouse for the ladies are just fine to me and preferably clean and without "picked up off the floor" types of wrinkle patterns. That being said, if someone goes the extra mile and wears a suit.....I notice. It bears weight.

A dainty nose stud would not faze me. An eyebrow barbell probably would unless the rest of you is super well presented (at which point I would wonder if you just forgot to take it out for some reason). Stretched earlobes would never get hired. Multiple facial piercings would never get hired.

Hard and fast rules for receiving the polite version of "get out of my office?

-Club wear. Period. I likely will take one look at you and thank you for coming and send you on your way without bothering to interview.

-Pajamas? Please. Go home where you obviously prefer to be.

-Smelling of cigarette smoke or, even worse, cigarette smoke attempted to be disguised with strong perfume? No interview for you. S

-Strong perfume without cigarette smoke? The same. I get migraines and can't afford my day to be derailed by an interview.

-Gum chomping. Just no. Have a Listerine strip just prior to coming back. I won't fault you for popping one in. If I offer you water, accept it. You may not need it but better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it. If I offered you it, you can feel free to sip it during the interview.

-If I am even aware you have a phone, its a black mark. Leave it in your car. You can be out of touch for the amount of time this will take.

-Social media. Better check your sites and see what I can see when I look you up. It has cost more than one person the impending offer.

What are my personal habits and/or recommendations? Here goes:

-Personally I wear dresses to interviews with low heeled sensible shoes. No pantyhose. I choose dresses because I have German thighs that steal my confidence when I wear pants. A draping dress makes me feel better about myself, so that is my go-to for a job interview. If pants do that for you, then wear pants. If you are a guy, until the world makes a little more progress, wear pants. Ladies (or guys when appropriate), keep the boobies covered up.

-I leave my tattoo uncovered. In seven years nobody has either mentioned it or noticed. That being said, it is a 1.5" black ink only tattoo of Pikachu on my inner forearm. Not terribly remarkable.

-Tasteful neutral make-up and tidy hair.

-Big genuine smile.

-Eye contact.

-Relaxed features and body language or smiling admission of nerves. Very disarming when someone admits they are nervous in a soft humor way.

-Enthusiasm for the opportunity.

-Confidence in work history and strengths.

-Honest about where I need and want to grow. Both strengths and desire or need for growth can and should be tied back in to what they are looking for and how either strengths or need for growth benefits them.

-Pertinent questions about the job itself as well as the employer as an entity, the unit or department and the culture. I always ask what they love most about working there and what they feel their biggest challenges are. Then I listen to the answers. Closely. I especially love this question in a panel interview. I am interviewing them as much as they are interviewing me. I want a good fit too.

-Think of the meeting as a professional gathering with other nurse nerds. Interviews can be fun.

-Finish the interview with a smile, a handshake, gratitude for the opportunity and ASK FOR THE POSITION. You would be amazed the impression it makes simply to say "I like you guys and I think this is a really good fit. I would love to come work for you. When do you think you will make a decision?" while shaking their hand.

Best of luck to all the job hunters out there. Particularly to the youngsters or young at heart, try not to fall into the trap of "they are trying to turn me into just another cog through all these rules". There is ample opportunity in your spare time to really let your colors fly. At work it pays to conform, particularly at first, extra particularly in the interview. After some time on the job you will get a feel for how you can show your individuality more. Get the job first.

My thoughts go back to a poster here a few years ago who was very upset that nobody would hire her because of the way she dressed. She liked "weird, funky clothes" and "high platform heels in wild colors or shapes, like Lady Gaga" and felt very stifled at the idea that she could not dress that way all of the time, as it had nothing to do with her abilities in her mind. She really was upset at the idea that she could not "be who she is" at work. All I can say is that there comes a time when you either have to outgrow that or you have to change how you make a living to make room for it. Neither one is wrong.

The biggest thing to remember in any interview is the likeability factor. Being charming, engaging, friendly etc will forgive a host of ills and being otherwise will make it not matter at all how well dressed you are. They want to figure out if they want to work with you. Whether you jive with their culture. Whether people will like you....coworkers, patients and bosses alike. Be likeable.


40 Posts

So wearing make up is a job requirement for nurses now?

Ruby Vee, BSN

67 Articles; 14,023 Posts

Specializes in CCU, SICU, CVSICU, Precepting & Teaching. Has 40 years experience.
So wearing make up is a job requirement for nurses now?

Good grooming is a job requirement for nurses -- always have been. If make up enhances your appearance, why would you not wear it while interviewing for a job?