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Mastering Behavioral Interviews in Nursing

Mastering Behavioral Interviews in Nursing

Laura Wisniewski | Nursing Voice

Before the interview

Prepare for the interview by reviewing your career, highlighting your successes and any obstacles that you have overcome. If you are a nursing school candidate or new nurse, prepare examples based on your experiences in school or other jobs you may have had. Write down potential responses and role play with a friend or family member. However, do not over rehearse or bring a script with you to the interview.

Do your homework and research the school, organization or position. Be prepared to ask relevant questions. The day before, get enough rest and engage in a stress relieving activity such as taking a walk or reading. As always, follow the basics for successful interviewing such as professional dress, arriving early and displaying courtesy to the staff.

During the interview

In addition to maintaining eye contact and demonstrating confident body language, employ the following method for presenting your answers. After hearing the question or situation, take a moment to formulate your response. This can be accomplished by paraphrasing or repeating the question. Blurting out the first thing that may come to mind could be disastrous. When formulating your response use the S-T-A-R method.

The S-T-A-R method:

Situation or Task: Briefly describe the situation. Give enough information to set the stage without over doing the details.

Action you took: How did you respond the situation or challenge? What did you say or do?

Result: Did your actions lead to a positive outcome? If not, what did you learn from the situation and what would you do differently?

After the interview

Resume your normal activities. Interviewing is hard work. Reward yourself for moving beyond your comfort zone. Give yourself at least a day before attempting to evaluate your performance during the interview. Tomorrow when your adrenalin level has returned normal, you will be able think more objectively.

Congratulations, you have been accepted into nursing school or offered the job of your dreams! Your hard work and determination have paid off. Celebrate your victory.

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