Most of us get nervous before an interview. After all, you wouldn’t be taking the interview if you didn’t want to make a great first impression and ultimately receive a job offer. With a little preparation, and some helpful tips, interviews don’t need to be so nerve-racking and anxiety-inducing. Read on to find out how you can succeed during your interview and start preparing for your exciting new career as a travel nurse, travel CNA, or travel LPN.
Prepare, but don’t overdo it
Too much preparation can make you overly nervous. You don’t need to spend hours researching the minutiae of a company’s history. It’s a good idea to do some basic homework, though.
Before the interview, research the company, including their mission statement, what they are looking for in an employee, and what their values are.
It’s also a good idea to have questions ready for the interviewer. Interviews are a conversation and, as such, you should have in mind what you’d like to know about the company and the position. The following are a few questions to get you started:
- What is the nurse to patient ratio?
- Can you describe a typical day in this position?
- What is the typical patient population?
- How long will the orientation and training process be?
- How is the scheduling handled?
If you’re heading to a physical location for the interview, be sure that you know how to get there. Do a practice commute so you know how long it will take you to drive there and find parking, walk, or take public transportation. Also keep traffic and time of day in mind when planning for your arrival. It’s best to plan to arrive about ten minutes early, giving yourself a window of time to avoid arriving late.
Don’t forget to have your clothes picked out ahead of time and to print and bring several copies of your resume along to the interview.
With the ongoing global pandemic, you may be asked to complete a virtual interview rather than meeting in person. This presents a new set of complications, but they can be easily managed by keeping the following in mind.
Consider your background
You wouldn’t want to interview with a mess clearly in view behind you, for example. Tidy up the room you plan to use, or sit with your back to a wall or window. It’s also a good idea to make sure that your face is well-lit and that the camera is set at a good angle. You can test these functions ahead of time to avoid making last-minute adjustments after the interview has started.
Test your equipment
In addition to lighting and location, you should test the sound and video quality for whichever technology you plan to use. Try doing a test call with a friend or family member, for example, and ask for feedback on the sound quality, lighting, and video crispness.
Before the interview, double-check your internet speed and make sure your device is fully charged.
Take a moment to breathe
Nervousness before an interview is totally normal. After all, you wouldn’t be interviewing for a travel nursing position if you didn’t want to succeed! There are a few things you can do to calm yourself just before the interview, though.
- Try some breathing exercises. You can use a guided meditation or practice square breathing, which activates the parasympathetic nervous system (also called the “rest and digest” system). To do this, simply breathe in for a count of four, hold for a count of four, breathe out for a count of four, and repeat as desired. You can even practice this technique during the interview, while the other person is speaking.
- Remember that the person interviewing you might be nervous as well! It also helps to remind yourself that the interview is a conversation to find out whether the job will be a good fit for the employer and for you.
- You should never feel pressured into accepting a position if you’re not comfortable with it. A trustworthy agency will address your questions and concerns with understanding and transparency so that both parties feel comfortable when a job offer is made.
After the interview, it’s a great idea to send a thank-you note. This lets the company or individual know that you appreciate their time and gives you an opportunity to restate your interest in the position. Whether handwritten or sent via email, this is a personal touch that will set you apart from the crowd.
Checking in is something that you might feel is overly pushy, but it’s in your best interest to do so, provided you don’t overdo it. After the established time frame has passed (for example, if the interviewer said she’d be in touch within two weeks), feel free to reach out for an update. Again, this gives you the opportunity to confirm that you’re still interested in the position and refreshes the interviewer’s memory as to what a great candidate you are.
When following up, remember to be brief, cordial, and respectful. With the right amount of preparation and determination, the perfect travel nursing position is sure to come your way!