When you’re on the hunt for a nurse practitioner job, crafting the perfect cover letter and submitting your resume for suitable positions is only half the battle in landing your next career opportunity. Acing the job interview is where the rubber meets the road and your opportunity to put a face to your application.
Having a successful interview with a potential employer can mean the difference of whether or not you get the job; and an interview that goes poorly will likely leave you feeling insecure about whether or not you could have done more to prepare. Preparing for a job interview should not be overlooked and it’s essential if you’re serious about a nurse practitioner position.
Whether you have an interview scheduled tomorrow or two weeks from today, there are seven easy steps you can take before (and after) your job interview to ensure you make a great, lasting impression on the potential employer, helping you to ultimately walk away from the meeting feeling confident in your interviewing abilities regardless of whether or not you get the job.
1. Analyze the job description
If you’re a new grad on the hunt for your first NP position or a seasoned provider who is in dire need of a change, you’ve probably submitted your resume to a countless number of job postings. Even if that’s not the case and you’ve only applied to one or two job openings and thus have a good idea of the job you’re interviewing for, an important first step in preparing for your interview is to spend some time analyzing the description of the job (provided that the positing is still available). Doing so will help you gain a better insight on the type of candidate this employer is looking for and will in turn help you to make other necessary interview preparations.
2. Make a comparative list
After you’ve analyzed the job description, you can then make a detailed list of what qualities you have and how they match up to the job requirements. For example, first make a list of the qualifications for the job and then write out your assets including examples of your skills, certifications, abilities, etc. It’s also a good idea to make note of certain work experiences you’ve had. Even if you’re a new grad NP, you can use examples from your clinicals or from other previous positions you’ve held. While you may have done something similar to this when you tailored your cover letter to fit the job, this list will be in more detail and is ideally something that you can (and should) take with you to the interview. Having it on hand the day of will remind you to bring up specific qualities you have if and when the employer asks why you think you’re a great fit for the position.
3. Research the company
Understanding the position at hand is not the only aspect you should be researching; you should also spend some time finding out as much information as you can about the company by checking out their website, particularly the “About Us” page and their mission and vision statements. You may also want to search for articles or press releases about the organization. If the company’s name was available on the job posting, you may have already briefly researched the organization to see if it would be a good fit before you applied; regardless, do this once more before the interview so that you can be better prepared to answer certain questions they may ask you, such as why you want to work there. In addition, you can prepare a list of questions that you’d like to ask too, such as about the company’s culture, the corporation, etc.
4. Know your audience
If you know the names of your interviewer(s), take the time to also research each individual that you’ll be interviewing with. While you don’t want to seem like a “Facebook stalker”, don’t limit the extent of your research to just reading their profile on the organization’s website. In addition, perform a Google search on each person and remember to review their individual LinkedIn pages as well. LinkedIn is a valuable resource that should not be forgotten; you may find that you have common connections with your interviewer, which you should bring up in conversation and use to your advantage.
5. Practice with a mock interview
Whether you practice with a friend, family member or rehearse a couple of scenarios out loud in front of your mirror, practice makes perfect. Consider what common questions may be asked by researching frequently asked interview questions and then act out your responses accordingly. If you’re able to practice with another person, ask for feedback on your answers and your body language.
6. Get ready the night before
The night before your interview can be a restless one. Lessen your anxiety so you can get a good night’s sleep by making a few additional preparations before you go to bed. Pick out your outfit, print out your interview materials (such as your resume, extra copies of your reference letters, etc.) and plan out your commute the interview site. You can also go over the company’s website and the interviewers profiles one more time to see if there are any last minute questions or answers you should prepare for. Get to bed early, limit your alcohol intake and don’t forget to set your alarm!
7. Send a “Thank You” note
Even if the interview didn’t go exactly as planned and the thought of showing your face to that employer ever again is a torturous one, don’t neglect to send a thank you note. After all, the interview may not have gone as badly as you thought. A thank you note via email or handwritten is not only the perfect opportunity to reiterate your interest in the job, but to restate your qualifications. You can also use the thank you note as an opportunity to discuss a question that you felt you could have answered better.
How do you prepare for a nurse practitioner job interview?