The Interview

Interviews for nurse positions will generally follow a discernible structure. The format will generally be either a physical interview or an online interview, generally via Skype™ or similar.

For physical interviews the interview teams will generally comprise representatives from the human resources department, sometimes management representatives, overseeing the overall process, and individual clinical specialists from the departments which need the nurses. Skype™ interviews will have a similar structure, in both cases there will often be a minimum of two conducting the interviews, one from human resources often, but almost universally a minimum of one clinical specialist.

In terms of conducting the interview, one individual will often lead in terms of asking the questions, with the other noting answers. In general post interview, there will be a review where the panel agree a scoring of each question and an overall candidate decision, pass, fail and revisit, the broad categories.

It should be noted that such is the demand for nurses currently that many employers will not be in a position where they are restricted in the jobs they offer, so in that sense candidates are not competing against one another, but rather against a standard. Furthermore, the pre-qualification criteria for the interview, in terms of nursing qualification, IELTS level and post qualification experience all mean that the experience is that more candidates are offered than not.

In relation to the respective benefits of the two interview formats, it should be borne in mind that the physical interview presents the benefit over the Skype™ that communication is clearer, not just in terms of audio, but also in terms of non- verbal communication. Also, from a candidate perspective it will often be the case that the physical interview is a better basis in which to form an initial relationship with the employer, at an early stage. The downside of course, is that for both Employer, the travel to the interview location may represent a considerable investment, in terms of time and financial outlay.

Documentation

It will generally be necessary to bring appropriate documentation to the interview. This is important as this being accredited as original may well be a requirement of the regulatory bodies overseeing the nursing institutions. This will generally involve professional nursing certification and registration, passports and address identity documentation, driving licenses, vaccination histories and such like. It is a worthwhile to confirm the documentation requirements prior to travelling for interview. For Skype interviews, this is of course not possible, so in this case, electronic exchange of documentation will occur, though accreditation as originals, as part of the process, in some form, may be needed.

Interview Structure

The interview structure whether for a nursing home or hospital will generally contain the following elements:
• Some form of Informational process to introduce the company or hospital seeking nurses
• A drug calculation exercise, relating to drug doses and delivery given appropriate information
• A clinical scenario or care plan in a written format to assess critical thinking, knowledge and ability to prioritise intervention
• The physical interview involving a cross section of questions covering clinical knowledge and application, personal motivation and commitment, spoken language level, together with manner, care ethos and presentation.

Summary:

As always good interview technique should be studied. It will repay the effort where a candidate has done their research on the Employer, and understands their motivation. This process will also highlight issues relating to the living and working environment, such as integration, transportation, local infrastructure, taxation and living costs. A candidate informed on these, will create a good impression of their level of preparedness. Any employer will not like to see a low commitment level, so it is important to have well considered why it is you would wish to work for any institution, prior to attending their interview.