Perhaps the only thing scarier than the NCLEX is going to an interview for a position as a Licensed Practical Nurse. It’s not unusual to feel nervous about being interviewed for a new job, but there are some things you can do to make sure you are prepared and help with those butterflies in your stomach. There are a few vital tips to help you ace your LPN job interview:
- Preparation is everything. You probably remember studying for days or weeks for your NCLEX, and a job interview is a little like that. Create a folder that contains copies of your resume, educational transcripts, and any other credentials. You should also get letters of recommendation from teachers, former managers, and even co-workers. Find out as much as you can about the facility where you will be applying. This can be as simple as reading about the facility online or talking to people who already work at that facility.
- Think about the questions that will probably be asked. Some of the basics include a request to “tell us about yourself”, why you are leaving a previous job, why should we hire you, can you work as part of a team, and what are your strengths and weaknesses. These questions are almost universal among all interviews, so think of past interviews that you have had and what was asked of you. Come up with good answers to these questions to help you feel prepared.
- Create a list of questions to ask back to the interviewer. In most cases, the interviewer will ask if you have questions about the job or the facility. You will want to have at least a couple of important, relevant questions. Having these questions in mind helps to demonstrate to the interviewer that you are interested in the job, and you should try to ask questions about career development opportunities to show that you want to grow with the company and remain there for the long term. Suggestions include asking about continuing education, the nurse-to-patient ratio, and whether nurses have input regarding the care environment.
- Make sure to arrive early. Give yourself a few minutes to check your appearance before you go. You will want to dress professionally and conservatively. Your interviewer will make judgments about your professionalism and character based on your appearance, so be sure to look mature, responsible, and put together.
- When you greet your interviewer, give a firm but short handshake. Be sure to make eye contact and smile during the handshake. When you speak, make sure you are clear, confident, and loud enough to be heard easily without shouting. Be as relaxed as possible, and try to avoid fidgeting during the interview. Do not chew gum for any reason.
- If the interviewer asks you a question you are not sure about, be sure to ask for clarification. When the opportunity arises, ask some questions yourself about the position. This not only conveys your interest, it gives you a few seconds to compose yourself and get ready for the next question.
- After the interview, send a hand-written thank you note to your interviewer. Throw in a few facts about why you would be great for the job, and be sure to convey your sincere thanks for his or her time.