OK, I'm home. My interview group was from 8:30 to 10:00. First, be prepared to wait -- I thought we would start promptly but we were not taken back to start until 8:50. 20 minutes is a long time to wait so that alone was making our group nervous so be prepared for that.
The writing sample is first. I feel terrible that I can't remember the exact question but it was describe three qualities or traits you have that will either make you a good nurse or good nursing student. You may not get the same question but that was what we had. She literally set a 20 minute timer for you to do the writing sample.
And you write IN HAND with a pen. I thought we'd be put at computers but it is by hand. I did not know the interview process is also points-based. You can earn up to 5 points for the writing sample. I'm never going to remember all five but it was something like 1 point for legibility; 1 point for spelling; 1 point for grammar; 1 point for content, etc. The interview portion can earn you up to 10 more points and then they re-rank everyone based on those totals. It makes complete sense; I just wasn't aware of it.
After that 20 minutes was up, we waited some more for the panel that would actually ask us questions. You get taken to a different room and you sit in chairs in the order you're on the Excel spreadsheet (it was alphabetical, right?).
There were three interviewers (one was Brandy Baker (I think); one was definitely Rebecca Personett and I don't remember the third and her picture is not on the Brookhaven website). They took turns: first interviewer asked the first student a question; second interview asked the second person; and so on -- so each applicant answered two questions total but we went one at a time.
The questions are ALL behavioral interview questions like what someone else had posted earlier: I got: what is your personal definition of what a nurse is and why do you want to become a nurse? A few others were: tell us about a time you failed at something; how it made you feel; and what you learned from it. I think the majority of the questions were at least two parts, sometimes three but I don't think more than that.
If you google behavioral interview questions, you'll get more food for thought. Several applicants in my group gave a partial answer and then asked them to repeat the question so they could make sure they answered it completely. I asked once for her to repeat the question before I started my answer.
I would recommend asking them to repeat it before answering especially if you do not have an immediate answer. They ask you to keep your answers to no more than 2 minutes but you need to be prepared to answer right away. That was the most stressful part but it doesn't last long.
If there was time at the end, you can ask them questions and we did get to ask three or four questions and we quit promptly at 10:00 which was our end time. One student asked what percentage finish and they said the average was 65%. Ouch. They said the people that work have the hardest time of all and they recommend that nursing students do not work if at all possible. They said that was probably the primary reason folks quit -- and then sometimes people decide they're just not cut out to be nurses, medical or family issues, etc.
I had gone prepared to take notes but there is no need nor the possibility of doing so. I was the only one who took in a bottle of water but I didn't want to risk having my mouth dry out from nerves! And I did not sense that it was a problem.
Oh, I think I had the most points out of my group with 29 points (but I'm not sure everyone chimed in) and there was one person with 24 points which makes me wonder why they didn't go ahead and get 70 people for interviewing? I don't really understand that part. There's more down time than time spent writing or being interviewed so you have a good bit of time to chat amongst yourselves.
My advice would be to try to project confidence and be calm. My group did a pretty good job overall, I think, but it's hard to tell!
At least we'll know soon. Please let me know if you think of any questions I may not have addressed here.
Oh, one last thing -- they said the email regarding whether you got in or not will come from the same person, Nancy Summers, so keep an eye out for her email. They did not say when it would come. That would be a good question for another group to ask -- if we might hear before Friday.
Good luck, y'all!