One of the last hurdles to overcome before getting a school nurse job is the face-to-face interview with your potential employer. For many, this is a daunting prospect, but with the right preparation and attitude, the interview can be the most rewarding part of getting the job. Here are some tips to make sure that interview goes well.
1. Get there on time!
Few things make a worse impression on an employer than being late for a job interview. See if you can get to the interview location about 10 minutes early. If you don’t know where the location is, find out ahead of time and even scout it out in advance.
2. Look the part
Chances are, you will dress casually on the school nurse job. However, for the interview, you want to have a professional look. It is always best to dress “one level above” the actual position applied for. Wear neat, conservative clothing, avoid excessive jewelry or make-up and go easy on any perfume or cologne.
3. Body language tips
Body language can make an impression before you even say one word. A little nervousness is understandable and even expected during an interview but you want your overall look to radiate confidence and competence. Make good eye contact with the interviewer and give them a firm handshake. Don’t look fidgety, sit straight up and keep both feet on the floor.
4. Background questions
The interviewers are interested in how you think and what kind of person you are, so you will be asked some probing background questions. Be honest with your answers but try to put the most positive spin possible on them. Examples of these kind of questions could include:
- What made you decide on a school nursing career?
- Tell us about a crisis situation in your past and how you resolved it.
5. “What if” questions
As a school nurse, you’ll have to work as part of a team and deal with emergency situations. The interviewers will ask some hypothetical or “what if” questions to see how you’d respond to certain situations. These questions are critical, so think carefully about your responses. Such questions may include:
- Two children are suffering major health problems at the same time. How would you prioritize them?
- A parent has strongly disagreed with your treatment of their child. How do you respond?
6. Do a little research
It’s not a bad idea to research the school district you’re interviewing with. What kind of economic, social and racial background do the kids come from? What’s the history and policies of the district? These are excellent things to know before the interview.
7. Practice the interview
See if you can do a “mock” interview with a friend or relative before the actual interview. It may seem awkward at first but it can help you identify and correct weaknesses.
8. Ask your own questions
You can also ask some questions about the job during the interview. It actually shows that you have a strong interest in the job. Avoid asking salary questions unless the interviewer brings up the subject.