Interview Tips for the Older New Graduate

  1. Dear Nurse Beth,

    I would love to have some interview tips for the older new graduate/RN? Preferably for the growing population of 50+.I have limited experience in the medical field and need to stand out among my younger peers. I also was surprised with a family late in life so I was a stay at home mom since 2002. This is really like my 1st career! Any advice on this dilemma would be greatly appreciated!

    Dear 50 Plus,

    This is a great question because many applicants believe there is age discrimination in the workplace.

    The truth is that older candidates bring unique skills. Candidates with life experience know how to play well with others in the sandbox. They are typically reliable and definitely won't be taking lengthy maternity or baby bonding leaves.

    Amazingly, some candidates shoot themselves in the foot by putting themselves down. Don't draw attention to your age and especially do not disparage yourself. Some older people tend to point out their age in a negative manner, such as remarking about their vision, or lack of tech skills. Sit up straight and project energy.

    To stand out from other applicants, show that you are a savvy interviewer by weaving in your knowledge of the importance of improving patients satisfaction scores and reducing readmissions. These are issues and metrics that nurse managers are faced with on a daily basis. Very few new grad candidates will speak to these topics and by so doing, you will stand out.

    Know what EHR platform the hospital is using, and speak to your experience with that platform (Cerner, Epic) if able.This will allay any concerns around your computer skills.

    Stress that you have roots in the community if you have family, are married, or own a house. This will allay any concerns around being a flight risk.

    Know the mission and values statement and refer to how it aligns with your personal values when given an opening, such as "Why should we hire you?" or "Why do you want to work at this facility?"

    I urge you to check out my book below. It has multiple examples of how to answer the top interview questions to WOW any interview panel.

    Good luck! and keep us posted.

    Best wishes,

    Nurse Beth

    Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!
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    About Nurse Beth, MSN, RN

    Joined: Mar '07; Posts: 1,511; Likes: 4,464


  3. by   Neats
    Age is just a number, what I look for is your skills/competency or the ability to learn those skills and the ability to get along with others.
  4. by   Alex_RN
    Quote from Neats
    Age is just a number...
    That is a nice sentiment but at my age, I think a box of Clairol Medium Brown, skillfully applied, is just as important as my ability to communicate my finesse with e-charting and multiple platforms.
  5. by   llg
    I recommend projecting the image of someone who is looking for a long-term job rather than just a brief stepping-stone to other jobs. Emphasize your roots and ties to the community, etc. That willingness to commit to a job for the long-term is an advantage that older nurses have over younger ones who have no plans to stay on the job for long. Make the most of that advantage.

    Of course, you may be only looking for a short-term job just like a lot of the younger nurses -- but nobody has to know that.