Nursing University Interview Tips
- Be on time, ensuring you know where to go and when.
- Bring all correct documentation and have it prepared well in advance.
- Dress professionally and appropriately.
- Do your best to get a good night’s sleep beforehand, hydrate well, and have some breakfast.
Interview Preparation: Why Nursing?
Be clear on why you want to be a nurse, and why have you chosen this specific field.
Ensure you show good knowledge of the roles and responsibility of nurses in this area.
Ensure that you are familiar with current NHS trends and the evidence base for them.
Ensure that you are aware of any specific trending topics in healthcare news and can confidently answer questions on these.
Ensure you show a good understanding of the wider profession itself, its current status and any recent news.
Interview Preparation: Why Here?
Be ready to explain the course to your interviewer. Is it practical or theoretical leaning? Why is that appealing to you? All nursing schools will have specific missions - like diversity or community - and specialties, like psychiatric nursing, acute care or health policy. So ensure that the route you wants to follow makes sense in context of the university that you are choosing. If the university is known for its cardiac nursing, then ensure that is one of the routes you’re keen on; perhaps if you wish to be a psychiatric nurse another course might be better.
Ensure that the interviewer is aware that you match the school’s goals and values - so research these beforehand and check that you can convey them well.
Show that you are aware of the geographical area you will be studying in.
Interview Preparation: Why You?
Show that your core values and beliefs align with those of the NHS, and those of a nurse.
Show that you have thoroughly learnt your personal statement - you should be confident answering questions on any facet of it.
Show that you are a good team member - think of examples where you have proven this. The MDT (multi-disciplinary team) is a crucial part of modern medicine and you will play part of it in time. Common questions might include: what makes a good team? How can you be a good team player? Can you think of a time when you’ve excelled as part of a team?
Show that you are interested in healthcare, have an open mind and are willing and able to learn
You may need to do group tasks, or work as part of a group, in your interviews. Practise this beforehand and ensure that you can make yourself heard without being too loud or speaking over others.
Sell yourself; try to link questions as best you can to things you’ve done, challenges you’ve accomplished and relevant information that you have learnt and that ties in well.
Interview Preparation: Be Ready for all the Standard Questions.
There are some questions that are almost guaranteed to be asked, and others that are highly likely. You will need to prove you can handle each of these confidently. Nursing interviews are not here to catch you out - if you can deliver good answers here then you will likely guarantee your place.
Here are some ‘classic’ questions to revise:
- Why do you want to be a nurse?
- What experience do you have of nursing?
- What do you think a typical day for a nurse consists of?
- What are the hardest parts of the course?
- Which specific areas of nursing interest you?
- What magazines, websites or other resources do you use to learn about nursing?
- What does the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) do?
These can also include personal questions:
- What are the most important qualities of a nurse?
- How do you cope with stress?
- How would you deal with an irritated and rude patient?
Also be ready to answer ethical questions:
- What do you think about euthanasia?
- Is the NHS funded well enough?
- What challenges face nursing as a profession?
- Should we treat smokers on the NHS?
- Should rich patients pay more for their healthcare?
Don’t be afraid of nursing interviews. They exist to check that the right people get to study nursing - if that is you, and you have thought about it sufficiently, then you will be fine. Interviewers are used to seeing nerves and will look through them to understand your genuine desire to study nursing and go onto a career as a nurse!
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