I was recently invited to give a talk at a Men In Nursing workshop, attended by community college nursing students and instructors.  The program director asked me to talk about best interviewing strategies, and I was able to ask the audience to share their interview experiences as well.

The two keys to successful interviewing are 1) preparation – not just studying the job posting, but learning about the employer (website, social media, news) and the interviewers and hiring managers (via Google or LinkedIn), and 2) making the interview more of a conversation between candidate and interviewer.

4 Types of Interview Questions:

Experience questions – Tell me about yourself?  How are you qualified for the job?  Why should I hire you?  How did you choose this field?  How would a co-worker/supervisor describe you?

Skills questions – What are your strengths?  What is your best quality?  Tell me about a time when…  Tell me about a problem that you were able to resolve.  Tell me about a time you had to make a decision under stress.

Performance questions – Tell me about a weakness.  What did you find most challenging in your last job?  What did you like least about your last job?  Why did you leave your last job?

Closing questions – These are questions for your students to ask to prove their interest and qualifications – What skills are you seeking from your ideal candidate?  What do you see as key challenges of this position?  What do you want the new person to accomplish during the first 3 months on the job?  And most importantly… what is the next step in the hiring process?

One of the student nurses in the audience shared his interview experience, when he was asked Why Should I Hire You? he asked the interviewer “Why would you not hire me?”  He got the job.

Feel free to share your students’ and your own interview experiences – even some unexpected or ‘off the wall’ interview questions – with the WACAC community and help your students be more confident interviewers!

By Judi Garcia