After all that hard work you have done in the initial stages of your job search, you owe it to yourself to prepare as thoroughly and expertly for the interview as you possibly can. Since an interview is likely the first time that you'll come into face-to-face contact with your potential employer, it can be a make-it or break-it situation when it comes to actually getting hired. Impressing your interviewer is important, and after creating a winning resume and cover letter, it can mean landing your dream job.
There are certain general best practices that every interviewee should keep in mind in order to make the best impression, but there are also a number of interview tips that are specific to the nursing niche of the health care industry. Charge nurses, in particular, are expected to carry themselves with a calm demeanor, a caring attitude and a sense of professionalism during the interview and beyond. Remember the following charge nurse interview tips when you are interviewing for your next position.
Charge Nurse Interview Tips
Emphasize Your Ability to Empathize: Charge nurses are typically responsible for overseeing or managing the care of many different types of patients at one time. They may be put in difficult situations at times and must necessarily be able to provide compassionate, consistent care to their patients. As a charge nurse, it is important that you be willing and able to offer this kind of high-quality care to a variety of individuals with different degrees of health and illness. Show your interviewer that you have the capacity to be both empathetic and dependable, kind and yet firm.
Ensure That You Have the Appropriate Degree: Your interviewer will necessarily be interested in what qualifications, training and educational opportunities you have had. In order to qualify for a position as a charge nurse, you may be expected or required to have completed a nursing degree or have certain licensure that is up to date. These may also vary by state and your specific location. Make sure to be aware of local professional nursing guidelines and laws well in advance of your interview, and be prepared to answer any questions about your educational history.
Conduct Yourself as a Professional: Because charge nurses are generally considered some of the leading care providers in their facilities during their shifts, it is of the utmost importance that you demonstrate yourself to be a professional during the interview. This means dressing appropriately for the meeting, whether you feel most comfortable wearing scrubs, a nursing uniform or a more formal business professional outfit.
Showcase Your Leadership: Charge nurses may be expected to manage an entire team or floor of nurses during their shifts. This type of nursing is very demanding and requires that you have strong leadership skills and the ability to handle many different personalities and situations during the course of a day or night. In addition, it is important that you know how to delegate tasks and work on problem-solving with your team of care providers, since tough situations will inevitably arise during your nursing career. In order to best show off your skills as a leader to your interview, consider mentioning a circumstance or two during which you showed outstanding management capabilities. Be sure to reference other times when you have been in charge of a group or project.
Highlight Your Multi-Tasking Skills: Finally, one of the most important charge nurse interview tips is to be sure that you show your interviewer that you are an experienced and skilled multi-tasker. As a charge nurse, you will be constantly expected to hold many different tasks and responsibilities in mind simultaneously. It is critical that you be able to successfully multi-task in order to achieve multiple things at the same time. For example, you may be in charge of taking care of a handful of patients at one time in addition to ensuring that your nursing team is also caring for the patients under their watch. You must also be capable of handling emergency situations and even instances of physical or mental trauma with confidence and calm. During your interview, mention other scenarios in which you have excelled at multi-tasking to your interviewer so that they will gain an appreciation of your talents.