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3 Interviewing tips for getting into a nursing program

As a nursing student, you want to get into the best graduate program possible. However, a tough interview tends to stand in the way. Interviews can be intimidating and hard to get through, especially if you don’t have a lot of experience. Yet you want to do everything in your power to impress the interviewer, who often plays a large part in whether you get accepted or not. So what is a nursing student supposed to do? Consider these interview tips to knock their socks off.

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1. Come prepared
Yes, you always want to prepare with a few interview questions ahead of time. However, more importantly, you need to bring more than yourself to an interview. Bring along a polished version of your resume. Make sure it is typo-free and lacks spelling errors. It should be clean, formatted well and easy to understand, NurseZone noted. Yet your resume isn’t the only thing you should have. Bring a folder with either your nursing license or a copy of your nursing test scores proving that you passed. You should also have your social security card, driver’s license, immunization record and CPR certification card. If you want to go the extra mile, think about printing out copies of all the documents and giving them to the hiring manager or interviewers.

2. Practice with a friend
You may think you’re prepared to answer questions until someone else asks them. Research a few common questions asked during these types of interviews so you know what to expect, Monster stated. Write down the questions as well as a few different ways you can answer them. That way, if they rephrase the question you won’t be completely thrown off. Next, ask a friend to go over the questions with you once you have the answers down. See how you do. You may do better than you think, but make sure that both of you are taking it seriously. Ask your friend to grade you on small issues, such as a lack of eye contact or smiling. Go over the interview a few times so you can walk in prepared for anything. Remember – just because you’re prepared doesn’t mean every question will be expected. You might be asked a few tough questions you didn’t see coming. Handle these calmly and take a breath before you answer to give yourself a chance to think.

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3. Dress well
Though this goes without saying, some people tend to forget that graduate programs are just like job interviews – you want to act professional and look the part. Even if you know how the interviewer might dress, always dress nicely. Wear conservative clothing that include pieces such as a blazer and tie for men or a skirt and heels for women. You don’t want to walk into the waiting room and feel underdressed when you’re comparing yourself to other candidates. Make sure that you look polished. That means no scuffs on shoes and no stains on shirts. You don’t want to look like you just rushed out the door.

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