If you are looking at starting your career as a nurse, then preparing for an interview will be essential. Similarly, if you are thinking of joining a locum agency, you will also need to attend an interview before you start and further interviews throughout your career. As a locum, performing strongly in your interviews will guarantee you a constant stream of work. We have composed a list of tips and things to consider prior to the interview, that may be beneficial to you. Here is our guide on how to prepare for nursing interviews.

Things to Consider before Your Nursing Interviews

To help the interviewer tailor your interview to you, they will have read your CV beforehand. Therefore, it is imperative that your CV shows you off to the best of your abilities. Before applying for any placement, spend some analysing your CV, ensuring it contains all the key skills you have developed throughout your career. If there are any past positions that you don’t feel confident discussing, then don’t include them in the document. Ensure you are satisfied with the contents of your CV before applying for new placements.

woman running an conducting an interview

Making A Good First Impression

Making a good first impression with your interviewer will considerably benefit you further on into the interview. This is most commonly the first thirty seconds of the interview process. Because of this, it is essential you have dressed appropriately; for instance, dress for the type of job you will be doing.

You will also need to make sure you’re not late for the interview. This generally applies to all interviews in any area but as a locum nurse you take on a considerable amount of responsibility. Failing to arrive on time is more than likely going to leave a negative lasting impression on your interviewer.

Furthermore, it is important to speak confidently, clearly and passionately during the meeting. Show that you are genuinely interested in the placement or role you have applied for and have prepared accordingly. Spend an adequate amount of time researching and understanding the placements you are looking to receive.

Reasearching Placements

Following on from the point we made above; it is crucial that you spend enough time looking into the full roles and obligations of the types of placements you wish to find. Subsequently, you’ll be able to plan answers to potential interview questions in advance. You can then identify which parts of your CV best show how your capabilities are appropriate for the role. It is also a good idea to read up on any industry related news and the implementation of any legislation that could affect you or the wider organisation.

It may also be beneficial to conduct some research into the agency you are applying to work with; being fully aware of the types of roles they have sourced for past locums is guaranteed to impress your interviewer. It is worth researching into the mission statement or agency ethos. Adequately preparing for your interview will, without a doubt, improve your chances of being hired. Here are some questions you may be asked during the interview and some examples of what you could also ask.

two men conversing

Potential Interview Questions

Bear in mind when preparing your answers, that the interviewer may not ask these specific questions. So, it is advised to think of much broader answers that could be applied to several different questions. Some of the questions may be designated to understanding how you may deal with difficult situations. Make sure you are honest when answering.

1.Describe your last placement

This will help your recruiter to understand what roles and responsibilities you took on in your previous placement.

2. How have you handled difficult situations?

Be honest about any mistakes you may have made and how you overcame the problems you were presented with. Being truthful about this is more likely to gain the respect of your interviewer.

3. How flexible are you?

Your dedicated recruiter will need to know when you can work and how often you intend to. You need to specify which types of shifts you are looking to do.

4. Why do you feel you are qualified for the job?

This is where you can run through your CV with the recruiter and provide evidence as to why you are qualified for the job.

5. Why do you specifically want to work in this hospital?

This may be due to convenience factors, but whatever it is that makes you specifically want to work in that particular hospital, let your recruiter know.

6. What did you least enjoy about your last position

If you are asked this question, the best approach to it is to be honest. It will allow your recruiter to find placements tailored to you.

There are a number of other questions you may be asked during the interview, but hopefully, the subjects we have included will give you an idea of what to prepare for.

clip board and pen

Questions You Should Ask

When you opt for temporary work, there are a number of questions you may not have considered asking before. Below is an example of what you may want to find out before becoming part of an agency or taking on a placement.

1. What hours can I work?

You may be looking to work part-time rather than full-time. If this is the case, you need to find out what the hours they have to offer you in any particular placement.

2. What assignments are you offering?

Find out whether or not the assignments they are offering are long-term or short-term.

3. What hospitals do you cover?

This is a crucial question to ask when you become part of an agency to make sure you find a hospital convenient for you.

4. What are the rates of pay?

This is likely to be reviewed at the outset of each new assignment so make sure to ask with every new placement. You may be able to take this opportunity to negotiate the salary.

Concluding the interview

Asking your interviewers intelligent, follow-up questions will demonstrate a high level of aptitude, enthusiasm and knowledge. It will also help you to discover the information you need, leaving you more informed.

In some cases, individuals possess the practical skills needed to perform the advertised job effectively but may collapse when it comes to the interview, eliminating their chances of being offered the position. The better prepared you are for the interview, the less intimidating it will seem.

If you are looking for locum nursing positions either in the private or public sector and all across the UK, get in touch with a member of our team today.

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