6 Interview Tips to Help You Land Your Ideal Nurse Practitioner Job

July 20, 2015

As a nursing professional on your way to earning a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN), you have every reason to be optimistic about your job search once you’ve earned your degree. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), qualified Nurse Practitioners are in demand. The BLS predicts a 31 percent growth in Nurse Practitioner jobs by 2022, a much faster growth rate than other occupations.

However, the idea of going on a job interview can fill even the most confident job seeker with nerves and anxiety. With this in mind, we’ve put together some simple strategies to help you prepare for an interview and move one step closer to landing a job as a Nurse Practitioner.

  1. Do your homework. The interview is not only an opportunity for the employer to vet you, but also a chance for you to find out if this position is a good fit for your skills, personality, and lifestyle. Learn as much as you can about the organization you’re interviewing with by researching them online. If you know other people who work there, ask them about the staff, culture, and their opinion of the working environment.
  2. Anticipate the questions you’ll be asked.Practice answering likely interview questions ahead of time and be ready to provide real-life examples. Explain the qualities and skills you possess that will enable you to quickly adapt to the demands of your new role. Here is a list of sample questions that you can practice answering:
  • Why did you choose to become a Nurse Practitioner?
  • What makes you the right choice for this role?
  • What does holistic care mean to you?
  • What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses as a nurse?
  • Did you encounter a conflict in your last workplace? If so, what did you learn from the experience, and how will you apply that knowledge in your new role?
  • How do you handle angry or difficult patients and families?
  1. Dress to impress.When it comes to interviewing, your appearance matters and you should dress in professional business attire. Be sure your outfit is clean, coordinated, and wrinkle free. Wear appropriate shoes, and avoid heavy makeup, flashy nail décor, clunky jewelry and accessories, and potent fragrances (e.g., perfume and lotions).
  2. Ask insightful questions.Most hiring managers will give you the opportunity to ask questionsat some point during the interview. This is a great time to let your enthusiasm shine through. Avoid asking questions that can easily be answered by visiting the organization’s website. Instead, inquire about the job itself and ask what skills are essential to succeeding in the role. You should also ask about what qualities make the facility unique, the Nurse Practitioner to patient ratio, and how much input Nurse Practitioners have regarding patient care and treatment plans.
  3. Highlight your education.By having an MSN, you represent a driven professional who is invested in the future of health care and the health of your community. Be sure to emphasize your education throughout the interview. Talk about the skills and insights you’ve gained from the experience, and how you will apply them to make a positive impact in your new role.
  4. Follow up after the interview.Send the interviewer(s) a short note thanking them for their time, even if the job is not the right fit for you. If you do want the position, use this as an opportunity to reinforce why you’re the ideal candidate. This small gesture will underscore your interest and thoughtfulness, and may just give you that extra edge in getting the job offer you’ve been waiting for.

Following these six steps can put you well on your way to landing the Nurse Practitioner job you’ve been envisioning since you started your MSN program.

Before you begin your Nurse Practitioner job search, view these 10 tips for creating a great résumé.