Published On : August 24, 2010
You have fulfilled the basic educational requirements and achieved the right certifications to attain a perioperative nurse position. Armed with a well written, memorable resume that sets you above the busy crowd of applicants, you got an interview. Potential employers see your promise, and are now willing to invest their time to investigate your ability on a deeper level.
Perioperative nursing requires a certain kind of personality, someone who is able to coordinate a diverse range of details. The person must handle the emotional extremes of patients undergoing life or death surgeries while also fitting in with the finely-tuned machine that is a surgical team. Even if you appear perfect on paper, many of your traits can only be assessed in person. Your resume got your foot in the door, but your interview performance is the key to securing a job offer. Use the following perioperative nurse Interview tips to demonstrate your value to potential employers.
Perioperative Nurse Interview Tips
Invest in Preparation: Many nursing hopefuls invest years into their education, only to neglect the final step by walking into their interview unprepared. Even just a few hours researching the particular clinic, hospital or operative setting will increase your chances of getting hired. Go above and beyond a quick search by scheduling an unofficial tour of your prospective unit. This is an effective way to gain insider knowledge and make useful personal connections. If your employer is able to connect a face with your name before your official interview, you will already be a step ahead of other interviewees.
Demonstrate Your Ability to See the Bigger Picture: As a perioperative nurse, your job will be to organize and coordinate all the details that need to happen between preoperative and postoperative care. Make it clear that you are skilled at taking a step back to view all of the interconnected pieces of a scenario. Pull together specific examples of when your foresight and perspective allowed you to handle a situation in a way that benefited your organization. Avoid generalizing. Specific anecdotes will be far more powerful than simply stating that you possess a characteristic.
Show Your Ability to Deal With People in Their Extremes: While many surgical operations such as skin excisions are minor, many have life or death consequences. This means you will be working one-on-one with patients and their families in intensely emotional situations. Successful surgeons who you would be assisting also tend to have very strong personalities, so you must demonstrate the ability to handle intensive, demanding situations and fast paced environments. Have anecdotes ready which give details about specific incidents when you successfully handled an emotional crisis with calm professionalism.
Highlight Your Teamwork Skills: As a perioperative nursing professional, you are an essential part of a tight-knit surgical team. This setup requires each member to play a specific part to ensure positive patient outcomes. You will need to demonstrate confidence without tipping the scale into self-importance, a surefire sign of poor collaboration skills. Weave some examples of successful team-based experiences into your responses.
Highlight Your Ability to Make Quick Decisions and Work at a Fast Pace: A career in perioperative nursing requires the ability to think on your feet and make important decisions quickly. Your employers will want to know that you can stay calm under pressure. Demonstrate this by maintaining a calm, professional demeanor throughout your interview, and have specific examples of instances during which you displayed grace under fire.
Inquire About Opportunities for Advancement: This should be one of several questions you ask at the end of your interview. Not only does it yield useful information that may play into your decision of whether or not to accept an offered position, but it also implies your long-term focus. Because a perioperative nursing professional works so tightly with surgical staff, finding the proper fit is critical. Staff turnover can damage the delicate precision of a highly skilled team. Letting a potential employer know that you intend to stick around is a powerful argument in your favor.
You may be competing against a dozen equally qualified candidates. Use these perioperative nurse interview tips to stand out from the crowd and increase your chances of securing a job offer.