My LTC interviews were very different. One wanted me to tell them about myself. After blowing one interview, I learned the answer to this question is not "I like long walks on the beach..." but instead info about your education and ambitions-professional stuff. It's a question that is so open ended that you can hang yourself by giving too much personal info away. I was asked about my strengths and weaknesses. I was told about the hiring managers expectations of an employee at one location, which I found helpful. I did a lot of research on hiring questions. And, what I finally decided to do was take the typical question: why do you want to work here, tell me about yourself, your strengths, your weaknesses, how have you handled a stressful situation etc. I treated each question like an essay question and took out paper and pencil (or Microsoft word-lol) and answered the question in a way that would apply to the particular job I was interviewing for. I also thought of a story from clinicals in school or life experience that portrayed each of my points in a positive light while applying to the particular job. Once I was satisfied with my answers, I put them into "talking points" and practiced answering the questions outloud, like practicing for a speech, even in the mirror to see my nonverbal expressions. My main points I came up with to answer the question "Why should we hire you" were 1) I'm a safe nurse. (then I told about my academic preparation, honor society, clinical instructors feedback 2) I'm a team player- ( I told them about experiences I have had with both management and as support personnel in life and in clinical) 3) I'm a compassionate caregiver (I told story specific to LTC of feeding a patient with dementia- taking the time to rotate bites and tell her what I was feeding her, giving her time to swallow and drink, giving her a spoon to hold so she could help when she was able and feel independent while I fed her the rest of the time- I talked about how meal time was a simple pleasure that everyone should be able to enjoy) I had worked in clincals where the techs shoved food in the resident's mouths and choked them with it) Stories that show your compassion and interest in the individual you will be caring for. I learned on interviews from the type of questions they asked me what was important to them- and management ability was a big one- managing your time and the CNA's on the floor. And, not being a drama queen was big for one interview.
i found that being prepared with my own "talking points" gave me confidence and kept me from drawing a blank when asked a question or saying something negative. Never be negative. I also found that during the actual interview, they were all so different that I had to roll with the punches- turn my posture toward the interviewer, keep my posture open, smile, listen (some did all the talking), and find places to insert parts of my positive message as to why they should hire me, to apply it to whatever they had just said, even if they didn't actually ask the anticipated questions I had prepared for.
It really worked too! I was offered both the jobs at eactly the same time and I now work for both of them. By telling my stories, I shared who I was and what I could bring to the situation. And, it helped me define for myself who I am as a nurse and what I have to offer, even if it isn't to the companies I was interviewing with.
I hope this helps! I have to say, interviewing felt a lot like dating in the end! lol
One final word, I had an earlier interview with the health department. I hadn't prepared for the usual questions and I kept asking very detailed questions of them. I think they felt I was interviewing them. I thought they would think I was so interested in the job that I did my research. Instead, I think it made me look like a know it all. I have also read it wise to ask fewer questions and generic ones. I did not get this job!