Getting ready for a job interview can be a nerve-wracking experience. The Career Services staff at St. Paul’s School of Nursing can help you prepare to put your best foot forward with career planning programs that focus on interviewing techniques, attitudes, and dress.
While you’re in the process, however, it’s easy to forget that you are also interviewing your potential employer to see if they will be a good fit for you. Very often the focus is on the “search” but finding your “dream job” means looking for an organization and work environment that is a match for your values and career goals. Before your nursing interview, do your homework. Keep reading to find strategies and questions to ask that can help you get to know a prospective employer.
- Start Online
Get a feel for the mission and values of the institution or organization by visiting its website. Many hospitals and clinics will have an About Us page where they share their vision, their leadership and perhaps even a little history of their work in the community. But don’t stop there. Go to social media and look for clues that the facility puts their words into action. For example, if a medical office claims its mission is to care for the underserved, look for posts or photos of their community programs that show their outreach is more than words. You can even search the web and see if any local or nonprofit organizations have recognized their contributions.
- Talk to Current Employees
You can also gain insights into an organization’s culture by talking to current employees. If someone in your network works for the facility, reach out by phone or email to ask their insights into what it’s like to work there and what they do or don’t like about their job. You may also want to do a search on LinkedIn to help you identify if any current employees are graduates of your school. If so, they may be happy to speak to you and support a fellow alum. Also, ask your career services team if they know of any recent graduates who may work at the organization.
- Prepare Interview Questions
During your interview, you’ll likely be asked if you have any questions. This is your chance to get more information about the things that matter most to you. For example, you may ask about the facility’s mentorship program, nurse-to-patient ratio, opportunities for continuing education, and more. You can also inquire about the organization’s values and how they demonstrate them. Ask your interviewer what they like most and least about working for the organization. In fact, many of the questions they ask you could be turned around and asked of them.
- Be Observant
Finally, pay attention to how you’re treated during the interview. While you may be asked to wait past your interview time if your interviewer gets called into an emergency, make sure the potential employer demonstrates respect for your time. Also, pay attention to the staff members. Do they seem to like and respect each other, or do they look harried and disconnected? You want to find an employer that has a healthy culture, so look for clues in the working environment.
It is a great time to become a nurse. If the first employer you speak with doesn’t seem like a good fit, keep looking. Nursing is a rewarding career and finding the right organization will help set the stage for a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship. If you are just getting started and are considering a career in the nursing field, St. Paul’s School of Nursing can help. Click here for more information or call us today at (855) 822-3018 and speak to one of our career counselors.