New grad...8 interviews- 4 job offers. My tips and experience


  • Specializes in Emergency, ICU.

Hello, all. I'm a recent new grad (December 2013). This is my second degree; first degree is in chemistry. I attended an accelerated nursing program to earn my BSN. Since graduation, I have had the following interviews:

Nurse Resident Programs:

~3 interviews with Dekalb Medical (ER-Decatur, Med-surg-Hillandale, ER-Hillandale)- All said they loved me, but didn't get any job offers.

~ 1 interview with Piedmont Fayette for Med-surg- Another rejection

~2 interviews with Emory (Cardiac cath lab- EUH and ER-EUH)- Both offered a position


~1 interview in Dalton, GA-med-surg- Was offered the job on the spot

~ 1 interview in Rome, GA- long term acute care hospital- Was offered the job the same day

My most important piece of advice is to treat the job hunt as a full-time job. After a while, I had the information including references' contact info memorized because I had typed it sooooooo much!! You should be turning in AT LEAST 5 apps per day.

My next word of advice is to google a list of all hospitals in your state. I google mapped every location on the list to determine whether I would be willing to move to the area. Then, I applied to every position that didn't require any or only requiring a year of experience. Smaller hospitals are more willing to hire new grads...believe me!!

Last, apply to every nurse residency program possible in your area or wherever you are relocating.

From my experience, GPA counts, but connections matter more! There were nurse residency slots already given to nurse externs, but hospitals were going through the motions of interviewing others :-/

Once you get the interview, it's time to start prepping. Review the interview confirmation email for any names. Then, begin "stalking" on LinkedIn to find out all you can about your possible interviewers. Next, make sure to practice your answers and research the hospital/ facility. Know their motto, awards they have received, etc. Also, review any experiences during nursing school to use as examples when answering questions.

During the interview, have fun and go in with confidence. I personally deal with my nervousness by joking around to ease the tension. One interviewer commented that she loved my positivity. Their goal is to see if you are qualified and if you will mesh well with the others, so go in with a smile and relaxed disposition.

Lastly, after the interview, grab a business card from everyone. Email each interviewer within 24 hours saying thanks for their time and remind them what you can bring to the company. Honestly, only one person ever responded to my thank you email, but it does set you apart to send one regardless of a response (or lack thereof) from the interviewer.

Now, good luck on your journey! Divide and conquer :-)

Specializes in ER.

People should really start their Job Search before they graduate. A lot of places will interview people close to their test date.


37 Posts

Specializes in Emergency, ICU.

You are correct, but it also depends on the location as well. For example, my sister got a job in Birmingham in med-surg immediately after graduation in December. However, I didn't get a job offer in Atlanta until late February/early March. The market is more competitive in different places and those who are applying before graduation are competing with those who already have a license and experience.