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Interview Skills, YES, you need them, too!

OK, now that you’ve figured out where you want to work, you have to prepare for the interview. I’ve been on BOTH sides of this fence a couple times, once as a new grad and again when I was interviewing for my current position.

Before you accept the job, there are a few key questions you should ask any future employer. Questions like: How long is orientation? What does it entail? What if my preceptor and I aren’t a good match? What kind of continuing educational opportunities do you provide? (By this, I mean in-house classes and support for your future educational goals like a BSN or Master’s degree).

Never go into an interview without thoughtful questions about the program, unit, and institution. This shows you have done your research and really want to work at that specific hospital! Also, always keep a strength and a weakness tucked away for that classic question.

Remember, your weakness shouldn’t be “Oh, I get into fights with people at work.” It should be something that is fixable, honest, or really a weakness exploited. For example, one weakness might be “I get really passionate about patient care and sometimes have to take extra time making sure I communicate my thoughts in a constructive way.” The point is, be prepared with thoughtful questions and answers, take a copy of your resume and exude a positive outlook on your future career and workplace!

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Rebekah Child

Rebekah Child attended the University of Southern California for her bachelor's in nursing and decided to brave the academic waters and return for her master's in nursing education, graduating in 2003 from Mount St. Mary's. Rebekah has also taught nursing clinical and theory at numerous Southern California nursing schools and has been an emergency nurse since 2002. She is currently one of the clinical educators for an emergency department in Southern California and a student (again!) in the doctoral program at the University of California, Los Angeles.
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