How to Prepare for Nursing University Interviews
How to Prepare for the Day Itself
- Research the University beforehand, and make sure you are confident of where you’re going, and when you need to be there.
- Dress smartly and with a professional appearance.
- Get any documentation that may be required ready and presented neatly in a folder.
How to Prepare for the Interviews
The majority of interviews are not here to catch you out, and it is vital to remember that. If you have taken the time to adequately prepare then you will be fine - whether or not you are nervous! Nerves are completely normal, so the more quickly you move from focusing on them to focusing on preparing, the better.
Research the way that the university you’re applying to conducts its interviews. Some may do MMIs (Multiple Mini Interviews), others group interviews or some a 1-1 interview.
To prepare for a 1-1 interview, think about the types of questions likely to be asked. They will likely focus on:
- your personal statement
- your motivation for studying nursing
- any experience you have of the nursing profession
- your understanding of the profession and its challenges
- your understanding of core values like empathy, professionalism and honesty.
Ensure that you are up to date on the University itself and exactly why you like their course over rivals. Look at their website, the course website, and their social media challenges. Try to understand the kind of nurse their course produces, and therefore what kind of nursing student they need. Take the time to look into the city itself as well - you will be studying there for years after all!
Read into the latest healthcare & NHS news - doing so shows that you are serious about the nursing profession, naturally interested and curious, and have intellectual drive. The NHS is always in the news; other health issues dominate news cycles as well. At the time of writing, ensure that you are up to date on COVID-19 and have the ability to talk about it in a well-informed manner.
To prepare for group interviews, think about the same factors but translated to context of group interviews. So, it may be more difficult to ask questions about your personal statement - but easier to ask general questions about core values. It’s also highly likely that they will want you to work as a team here, so expect less interview questions and more tasks. Make sure that you talk enough to be noticed and get your point across, whilst taking the time to listen to others. Do not talk over other people, or try to dominate discussion. Ensure that you work as a team effectively.
MMIs are similar to 1-1 interviews, but will be with various people from the university like nurses, doctors, lecturers, students or even patients. Ensure you revise the same content as you would for a 1-1 interview; it is likely to be similar, just divided between different interviewees. There may also be a role-play station where you will be expected to interact appropriately with someone in a given situation.
How to Prepare for Selection Day Tests
Depending on where you have applied and what your interview letter states, you may be asked to sit a maths and English test, or other form of straightforward aptitude test. To prepare yourself for these, ensure that you know which test to prepare for. Then find sample tests and work through questions repeatedly for 20-30 minutes a day for a few weeks before your interview. If you are familiar with the kinds of questions asked, the tests will seem less nerve-racking! You may be asked to wait and receive the tests on the same day as your interview, or the tests may be sat beforehand, and results sent to you with an interview offer as appropriate.
As with any interview, take the time to prepare for the specific interview you are sitting - that specific course at that specific university, with their method of teaching, in their city. If you can show that not only are you a caring and empathetic person, but that you also have the desire and ability to prepare properly for their interview, then you will succeed!
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