how to prepare for a job interview

happy friday, everyone!

today i’m going to delve into the terrifying unknown of job interviews.

i recently interviewed for a new position  – it was only the second ‘real world’ job interview i’d ever had and i was terrified! i’d already had to completely re-do my resume and re-vamp my cover letter and then came time to prepare for the actual day.


prepare for the questions

this was actually the hardest part of the whole process for me. it required lots of time and energy (thanks, family for your assistance!) and i knew it was going to be the most important part. i started with my good ol’ friend, google. i honestly googled, “surgical ICU nurse interview questions” and boy did google come in big! there were plenty of sites that had helpful questions and tips. from these multiple sites i  generated a list of 15 or so questions that i wanted to be prepared for. after i found them, i turned back to the job posting to look at some of the adjectives that were used in the initial posting. once i knew what those were, i tailored my answers to use some of the same adjectives and phrases that the job posting had. instead of just reading through these things online, i had the questions written down along with some of the phrases and adjectives i wanted to focus on. and then i practiced. my parents, tiffany and ian were all rattling off questions for the 24 hours prior to. needless to say, they could probably interview to be a SICU nurse now. 😀

don’t forget to plan a question or two for the interviewers at the end! mine were about potential orientation and patient loads on the unit….


figure out the day of outfit

this was a little difficult for me because as a current RN i have one work outfit – scrubs. i don’t have to dress up or worry about what i’m wearing on a ‘casual friday’. lucky for me, it’s already picked out. i’ve got lots of dressy summer/fall clothes but finding an outfit in the dead of winter with a couple inches of snow on the ground was tough. i modeled a handful for tiffany and we decided that this one was our winner. it wasn’t stuffy, showed off some of my personality, kept me warm, and i wasn’t walking in with a summer dress on.

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shoes from dolce vita [similar found here] // sweater from madewell [similar found here] // pants from jcrew [similar found here] // jacket from jcrew [it’s on sale today!] // sunnies from wyeth


 pack your bag

always bring a tote that you can slip  your resume into without getting wrinkled. sometimes you’ll know how many people are on the interview board, but sometimes you don’t. bring a couple of resumes that you can offer each interviewer. chances are, they won’t need it, but it makes you look prepared. don’t have too many things spilling out of your bag as you’ll look like a total nutcase when you go to pull out your resume but instead pull out your most recent W-2. clean that puppy out – even if you have to leave 90% of it sitting on your car seat while you’re inside – less is more in this case. this is the bag i chose to bring.

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at the interview

one of the most important parts… just be yourself! an interview can seem so official and intimidating but honestly, the more yourself you can be, the better. the people interviewing you don’t want to sit and chat with someone who’s spitting off google phrases and adjectives that are memorized – they want to see your real personality; if you strive to have a conversation with them it’ll be much easier – on the both of you!!


a few last minute pointers…

be yourself.

be confident. [even if you’re not, take a deep breath and just pretend.]

be awesome.

and yes… i was offered a position in the surgical ICU starting late april, yay!

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