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Save a Nursing Interview Gone Wrong

Save a Nursing Interview Gone Wrong

Steve Berman | NursingLink

Everything was going so well. Your firm handshake and professional demeanor got you a warm smile from the head nurse. The interview started off with some small talk that turned into some skillfully answered questions. You can just about see what your average shift is going to look like.

Then, just like that, the nursing interview takes a turn for the worse.

Whether it’s a question you weren’t prepared for or an answer that falls flat, it’s easy to tell when a nursing interview has gone off course. And it’s quite possibly the most nerve-wracking, upsetting, desperate experience a job seeker can suffer.

As a nurse, you probably know that you can make the best of a bad situation, no matter how dire. However, saving a bad interview takes quick thinking and persistence — exactly the qualities you’ll need to be good at your job. Are you up to the challenge?

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Sticky Situation No. 1: Drawing a Blank

You studied the hospital’s culture, boned up on your clinical skills, and memorized the answer to every common interview question you could find. Then the unimaginable happens: you’re faced with a question you weren’t expecting. You can’t figure out what to say and the impending silence feels so awkward, you might as well be wearing nothing but your birthday suit. How do you fix this?

Solution: Focus on something you were prepared for.

While you don’t want to get in the habit of doing this, sometimes it pays to give a non-answer, especially when the alternative is a seemingly unending chasm of silence. Hey, politicians do this all the time. If the interviewer threw you for a loop with a question on how you handled a conflict with a doctor or patient, change the subject to something semi-related that you did prepare for, like your collaborative skills in a challenging department where you excelled.

Next: The Devil’s in the Details >>

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