Graduating from nursing school is exciting. Looking forward to transferring to a big hospital is exhilarating. When you see yourself in this scenario, not a day passes without you daydreaming of your new job.
After handing in your resume, the most awaited day comes. You get a call from a prospective employer who gives you an interview schedule. Your nursing assistant career is about to start or level up. How prepared are you?
Job interviews are usually the end of a hiring process for pre-selected candidates. In the process, the manager and the CNA candidate exchange information. Managers would want to know more about you beyond your skills, attitude, and previous experience. They can also tell you more about their institution or agency.
Your interview is the door to your dream job, so here are things you would need to be successful.
Self-reflection is the process of seriously thinking about your motives, relevant experience, and skills that the hiring managers might be interested in. It helps prepare you mentally for what’s ahead. Make sure that you know the details of what you’ve written in your resume.
2. Get to know your employer or the institution.
Before the big day, get to know more about the institution or agency. What are they looking for in an employee? What vacancies are they trying to fill-in? What are their mission and vision? The best way to do this is to look up their website online and read some details about them.
If they posted an ad about their vacancies, go over it. Take note of what they’re looking for in a candidate. Use the terms in their ads (such as 'reliable' 'dependable' 'responsible') to describe yourself and your skills.
3. Prepare for possible interview questions.
Hiring managers would naturally want to get to know you beyond your resume. Typically, they'll ask why you want to be a nursing assistant and why you chose their institution. They'll also be interested to know about your strengths and weaknesses and how you'll handle stressful situations. They’ll likely create a scenario and ask you what you’d do in such a case.
Prepare answers beforehand and do an imaginary dry run of the interview. If you do this, you'll be surprised by how spontaneous you were during the interview.
4. Ensure that you have a good night’s rest the night before.
Nothing can spoil an interview better than a brain fog because of a lack of restful sleep. When you come to work sleepy or seemingly out-of-touch, you'll look disinterested or unfocused, which is a big red flag to employers. Adequate rest the evening before ensures that you are focused and alert during the interview.
5. Dress appropriately.
Remember that interviews are a way to market yourself. There is a reason why manufacturers put a lot of effort into their products' packaging. The outer appearance of a product must have the qualities for it to be purchased. So do you. You are the 'product', and the way you dress will create a lasting impression.
As a guide to help you choose the proper attire, here are some guide questions to ask yourself, "Do I look presentable, respectable, and professional?" "Would the HR personnel likely believe what I say?"
Wear comfortable clothes but not the homey comfy ones. No to sleeveless shirts, crop tops, shorts, or slippers. Refrain from wearing overpowering perfumes, too.
6. Arrive 10-15 minutes before your schedule.
Never be late for an interview. Be self-aware—the interview process begins as soon as you come in.
7. Be confident and communicate well.
Check the way you speak. Do you speak audibly and clearly? Can your English be understood easily? Are you sincere? Your tone, demeanor, gestures will give you away, and the hiring manager will know if you're nervous or unsure.
8. Take cues from your interviewer.
Although there are general rules to acing interviews, such as showing a positive attitude, it's still best to get hints from your interviewer. Match the way they speak.
9. Market yourself well.
Talk about flexibility, teamwork, compassion, and your willingness to learn. Never bad-mouth your past employers as this raises the likelihood of you doing the same to them in the future. Refrain from telling stories that are not relevant to the matter at hand. Don't bring up the topic of your salary unless the HR personnel asks first.
10. Ask relevant questions when prompted.
Towards the end of the interview, the hiring manager usually asks if you have any questions for them. Most candidates say no, thinking that it's a sign that they understood everything clearly. But this is not so.
Asking relevant questions means that you are very much interested and really into getting hired. You can ask simple questions like, "When do you expect to fill this position?" or “What is a typical day or week like for CNAs here?”
You may also attempt to ask more profound questions such as, “What opportunities are there for career growth?” or “how does the management support their employees’ growth?”
Acing a job interview for CNAs and getting hired is truly a dream come true for CNAs. The key to being successful is to prepare adequately before the big day.
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