Need interview advice, PLEASE!

Nurses General Nursing


I was hoping someone could give me some advice for my RN Externship interview. Typical healthcare interview questions and things to be prepared for. I appreciate the help!!

Thanks :)

While I can't answer your questions, this is something that would be of interest here also.

Dress nicely, as if for a business appointment. No jeans, no tenny's. No chewing gum.

Arrive on time.

Try to make good eye contact with the interviewer, but don't stare.

Be prepared for a general question about your philosophy of nursing. Be prepared to list your faults and strengths. If you are interviewing in an area where ethical dilemmas occur, be prepared to talk about how you might handle an ethical dilemma. (I worked for an agency where a nurse had, prior to my interview there, refused to care for an HIV patient and I was asked about that.) If you are a new grad trying to sell yourself in a specialty area, be prepared to talk about why they should give you this chance. Don't be afraid to point out in an interview any certifications you hold. Even if you have a cert in something unrelated to your field of interview, it shows your willingness to go the extra mile. Strike a balance between pointing out your strengths and admitting your weaknesses. ("Though I am inexperienced in nursing, I worked in a Pizza Parlor and they promoted me to night shift manager because I was willing to take on the responsibility.")

Notice your body language. Sit up straight. Don't sprawl in the chair. Lean forward, act interested.

We are in a valley of supply, so have a list of questions that you want to know. Pay, differentials, bennies. remember, you're picking them, too.

Hi Greatday and Essarge,

Employers will always ask you about what your strengths and weaknesses are,what are you like to work with etc. Specific questions depend alot on the area that you are interviewing for, but generally point to critical thinking, leadership and problem solving skills. On a more mundane note, dress nicely, not too trendy (I remember bien fescinated by a tongue ring to the point that I wasn't really paying to what she was saying):0). Most of all, relax and be yourself,

good luck

Hey Molly,

Loved your post, why didn't I say that? You have given excellent advice.



As a former Director of Nursing I can give the real low down. Don't pay any attention to the other posts, cause they are off the mark.

1. Straight away make sure your potential employer understands you are leading the interview - not him/her. Take charge.

2. You don't have the job yet so dress ultra casual. This will give them the understanding you aren't faking your way through the interview. If this isn't your bag and you are really high on nursing it would be a good idea to show up in scrubs, a stethoscope around your neck, a "nursey" watch, and white shoes.

3. Let it be known at every opportunity what you will NOT be doing. (example - I don't wipe butt, and I don't suction trachs)

4. If the interviewer begins to ramble politely suggest they "move thier rump" cause you have things to do. I liked the phrase "I got a life outside of here, ya know?".

5. While you are waiting for the interviewer it is perfectly cool to drum your fingers on the table or wall and as time ticks away allow yourself to escalate into a full fledged rendition of "Tom Sawyer" by Rush (or if your young and don't know them you can pick anything by Limp Bizkit). Singing is a plus. It shows you are creative and energetic.

6. Wear lots of cologne or perfume and if they comment negatively pretend you can't hear them "I am sorry, this cologne is too loud, I can't hear a word your saying" or alternately claim it is thier own cologne they are smelling.

7. As soon as you are givin the opportunity ask how much money you will make, when you can take you first vacation, if you are allowed to no call/no show and how many times before it's 'serious'.

8. Ask about the narcotic keys and hold your keyring and exclaim "They are going right here baby!!" then say, "Do you know the street value of demerol around here?"

9. To help ease the tension it is always cool to bring your todler, or you could borrow one. They love to run around the office and pull down things. Don't worry the interviewer will smile and say, "no problem at all" (they love babies)

10. Finally: Call them 30 minutes after you were supposed to be there and say:

My car broke down or

the babysitter didn't show or

I am running late from another interview(can we make it a quikie)

or I am really sick.



oh, just in case - do the opposite.


I think I note a bit of sarcasm. Did I ever interview with you? :cool:

Is it greg? I don't think so..hehe

I just remember so many interviews with kids running around, the applicant being in a rush, wearing a stretched out t-shirt, track marks and the only significant question they had is "do you offer daily pay".

Just brought back some sweet memories.


One of my nursing school colleagues, now an ED supervisor, once interviewed a candidate who wore a beer logo jacket to the interview...

Once in an ICU a new grad came in in a very sexy animal print dress. She was young and good loking and not afraid to flaunt it. My supervisor at the time did not hire the woman. I was so disappointed :p

when asked about an expected salary...what does one say??? "i expect you to pay me with all of the things you got (?)...and some more" :D

Relax!! You are checking them out, as much as they are checking you out. Having a well written resume is important and will get your foot in the door.

Dress professionally, show up a few minutes early, shake hands, make eye contact, sit-up straight, look interested and engaged in the conversation, and smile. Don't talk too much!! Ask intelligent, well thought out questions pertaining to the work environment, types of patients you will be taking care of, required skills, educational opportunities, etc. Ask to be given a tour!!Pay close attention to how the nurses look and act when walking around the unit. Follow your instincts when selecting a position. Don't ask about pay until the end of the interview and don't make pay your number one priority. That's all I can think of now. Hope this helps.

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