There are many people who are interested in entering the medical field for a career, and becoming an LPN is a popular choice, particular when you realize that you can start working even after just one year of training. Nonetheless, even with the touted nursing shortage, you can’t just walk into an interview and think that that the job is yours. Hospitals, clinics and nursing homes are pretty selective and they make good use of an interview to look at your performances so far and to see if you will be a good fit for the position they are advertising.
Take Your Interview Seriously
Based on what comes out in an interview, many nurses walk away bitterly disappointed at being rejected. Work hard for your interview, prepare well and take it seriously. Even though there are many different work settings open to LPNs, there are many who are applying for the same jobs, so it pays to pick up some LPN job interview tips, so that you can increase your chances further. Your well laid out and short resume will have clinched you this next step on the way to actually getting a job, and it will be wise to glean all the information you can on how to come across well in your interview. Remember that you may well be asked for permission from them to conduct a criminal background investigation.
Have You Got The Right Characteristics?
A career as an LPN will require dedication, passion and the ability to stay calm under pressure, and during the interview you will be questioned in order for the interviewer to establish whether your skills and personality will match up to what is required of you as an LPN. You want those interviewing you to recognize qualities of passion, stability and the strength to go beyond the call of duty. When they study you, they will want to see energy and something in you that will tell them you will be able to work under pressure.
Yes, a nurse is expected to be a bit nervous, but even so, as an LPN, you should reveal a sense of anticipation and excitement at the prospect of landing the job. Make sure you have something nutritious to eat before the interview because you don’t want your stomach rumbling; and you don’t want to feel faint with hunger so that you cannot give your undivided attention to the questions being put before you. For LPNs who don’t have many years of experience to back up their credibility, interest and enthusiasm for the place where you are applying can help a lot.
Turn Your Cell Phone Off
Even if you are expecting an important call, remember to turn off your phone for an interview. The very worst you can do is to actually interrupt an interview while you answer your phone and respond to an insignificant call. You need to show that your interview is the most important thing of the moment.
How Are Your Communication Skills?
The work of an LPN entails working very closely with doctors as well as patients, and your interviewers will be asking you questions and taking note of how you respond. They know that as an LPN you will be needing to communicate a lot with colleagues as well as patients, and you need to be able to respond clearly and effectively; after all the lives of patients are at stake. You are not expected to blurt out answers like a parrot; it is okay to take a bit of time to think how to respond to a question.
You will also need to look the part. The nursing career is about cleanliness and being particular about your uniform. A skirt or pants with a button up shirt and jacket will look smart for females, and smart pants, shirt and jacket for males will look good. Remove all odd pieces of jewelry in eyebrows and nostrils; in fact it is best to keep jewelry and make up to a minimum. Remember to give a firm handshake and make eye contact. A weak handshake and no eye contact will have already put your interviewers on alert.
The First Important Question
One of the first questions you may be asked is to tell the interviewer a bit about yourself; this is not the time to relay your life up till now like an autobiography. The secret is to only point out unique talents and attitudes that will stand you in good stead for the job, and which will enhance the place you will be working in. You could, for instance, talk about leadership skills and your abilities to work in a team, while also giving examples of where you put these skills to the test.
You want to answer the questions in such a way that it reveals to your interviewers that you are a problem-solver. Staff shortages for instance can be a huge problem and cause untold stress for a matron or manager, and they want to see that you are the type of person who can step into such a scenario, even at times out of your normal working hours, and restore calm and order where chaos prevailed.
What Questions Can I Expect In An Interview?
LPNs preparing for an interview will want to have a hint as to what sort of LPN interview questions to expect so that they can be prepared with an effective answer. By preparing answers to some of the more common nursing interview questions, you will be equipped to give convincing answers that will let the interviewers know that they have an excellent candidate for the nursing job facing them.
One of the questions that you will certainly be asked in an interview is to give an account of the training you have had; which accredited college you did your training at, and what qualifications and work experience you have achieved. You will be required to mention your theoretical as well as your practical training. You will also be given the chance to explain why a certain field of nursing interests you. Generally you can expect questions surrounding your work experience mentioned on your resume, and for this reason it is a good idea to go over your resume before the interview. For instance you may well get a question like ‘Your resume says you have knowledge of such and such; tell me a little bit more about this experience you have had. It is also suggested that you take along copies of certificates you have achieved along the way.
Explain Why You Chose A Particular Specialization
Explain why you have chosen a specific area of practice. Amongst the specializations like ICU, Community Health or Emergency Response you need to be specific about why you chose the specific field you are interested in and what actually influenced you in that direction. Be prepared to discuss your theoretical training as well as the practical component. Remember to take copies of your certifications with you. You will be asked nurse interview questions around your work experience based on the resume you have submitted.
Prepare by carefully going through your resume beforehand. Be completely familiar with your tasks and responsibilities and the skills, abilities and knowledge you have gained.
Some of the type of questions they can expect will be:
- What qualities do you have that make you a good nurse?” Remember to mention good qualities, but also be sincere and honest about your weaknesses, because this simply shows that you have the maturity to recognize where you can improve. You could even mention a weakness and describe to those interviewing you how you have managed to deal with it so far.
- Why are you right person for this job?” To answer this question, you can highlight why your training and experience qualify you so well for the job at hand. To better prepare you for this question, have a look at the key job requirements and then match your skills and abilities to them. Use your background research to show your understanding of the key challenges faced by this organization, and let them know exactly how you intend to meet the challenges and be part of the solution.
- What is your worst characteristic?” Answer honestly, but tell them what you are doing to change it.
- What are your strengths?” Mention them in a way that it doesn’t look like you are bragging.
- How do you keep updated with the nursing profession?” Your passion and interest in nursing will often be revealed by your answer, because if you are really interested in nursing you will be able to reply that you attend courses and conferences and you also subscribe to certain nursing and medical journals. Being a member of nursing groups and forums can also be an indication of your commitment.
- Why are you interested in this particular job?” Find out as much as possible about the job so you can tell the interviewers about why your skills can be put to good use in their intensive care unit for instance. You can use different methods to conduct background research on the job as well as the organization advertising the position, and it is helpful to do an internet search for the organization and take note of relevant information. If possible you can visit the hospital or clinic and discover for yourself what the place looks like and if they look well managed. It will also give you an idea of how long it will take you to get there for the interview.
- What is the reason for you leaving your present job?” You should explain how this position will provide you with new challenges. Never give your reasons for leaving as not having been able to get on with colleagues. Rather mention some of the positive opportunities that you believe are waiting for you if you are given the chance to start in your new nursing job.
As an LPN, You can also ask Questions.
As an LPN you will also be given the opportunity to ask questions. Some questions that have already been asked by LPNs who have been in interviews say that some of the typical questions you can ask are:
- What is the nurse to patient ratio?
- How is scheduling done for the unit?
- What are the top priorities in this job?
- When and how are performance reviews conducted?
LPNs who have already been through interviews suggest some LPN job interview tips that can stand you in good stead in your interview. Some of these are:
- Don’t brag about your achievements
- Always speak positively about your experiences as well as your previous employers.
- Don’t compare yourself with other candidates and don’t participate in any gossip
- If you are not familiar with certain technologies the interviewer is talking about, rather avoid trying to make out as though you know something about it
- Don’t volunteer information until you are given the opportunity
LPN job interview tips can go a long way for preparing you for an interview. Your interviewers will quickly get the feel for your personality as well as your experience and skills to see if you are an apt fit for the vacancy you have applied for. An interview is the perfect opportunity to establish whether the job should be offered to you or not. Always remember that the medical facility will be interviewing more than one person for the position so it is very important that you prepare well before the interview in order to put your best foot forward.
It is a good idea to practice your answers until you feel you can answer them with ease and confidence. Steer away from answering the way you think the interviewer would like you to answer and rather be truthful, simply so that you are not hired under the wrong expectations but that you can be a success in your new job.