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Going for an Interview and How you should Prepare Yourself

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Going to an Interview and what you should do before, during and after the Interview

The first hurdle to get a job is having the right skills, the right resume, and the right cover letter for the job on offer. If you have mastered that and are called for an interview, you are half way to having the job. But only half comes the important interview!

The most important thing, before going to an interview is to find out as much as you can about the company, hospital of institution in question. Look at their web site, ask friends, obtain information from them in advance. By going to an interview prepared and able to demonstrate at least a basic understanding of the employer’s business, shows that you are actively interested in that particular employer, rather than simply seeking a job anywhere.

Prepare questions in advance about the specific job you have applied for and also about the company in general.

The idea is to demonstrate your interest and knowledge in the employer and the job. don’t forget that you may not be quite right for one job but perfect for another.

You should remember that some candidates look fantastic on paper, but are disappointing in the interview. Other people have a natural talent for interviewing.  To some extent, interviewing is a learned skill.  To help you a little here are ten tips to show your best as you are being interviewed.

Ten Tips on How to succeed in an Interview
1. Research the industry and company beforehand.  Use every resource to your advantage:  Fellow students, professors, career-center resources, informational interviews with alumni of your school, the company’s (hospital's) recruitment literature and Web site. Databases and Web sites such as LexisNexis and the U.S. Business Browser (usually available in libraries)can also be consulted. For Hospital and Medical Professionals there are directories such as the Directory of American Hospitals or the excellent directories offered by Beech Street.
2. Know what you’re looking for and why you are in the interview.  What are your values, interests, preferences? What kinds of roles and responsibilities are stimulating to you?  What are your top five criteria for choosing an employer or accepting an offer? Thinking through these issues will keep you focused in your interviews – and keep you from wasting time.
3. Understand what you have to offer, educationally, in terms of experience and as a person.  What makes you unique? What are your points of difference? Understand how these make you a good fit for the opportunity the employer is offering, so you can make it clear to the interviewer that you are a good fit.
4. Before you go to the interview think of questions they might ask and anticipate the questions.  Think about the main points you would emphasize for each potential question you can imagine the interviewer asking.  Prepare how you would handle any illegal, unfair, or politically incorrect questions in a firm but graceful manner.  And remember: If it’s on your resume, it is fair game.
5. Practice an interview, learn from it and then refine and practice again. Participate in mock interviews if you can or practice on your own.  Ask for honest feedback from friends and acquaintances and work to improve. 
6. Be on time, enthusiastic and professional.  When in doubt, dress more formally (most of the time, a suit and tie for men, a pantsuit or jacket and skirt for women).  Bring extra copies of your resume, just in case.  Introduce yourself, give a firm handshake and eye contact when you introduce yourself.  Show enthusiasm related to the interviewer’s.  Close the interview with a handshake and a genuine thank you.
7. Develop questions for each interview examples might include: Can you give me some examples of what kind of roles Nurses (or other employees as appropriate for the position you apply) have at the company, after two or five years?
8. Ask about next steps and the timing of the recruiting process.  If you think you will be invited for a second-round, this will allow you to note it on your calendar, so you can participate.
9. Follow up with a written thank-you note. Do not use an e-mail for that. It does not have to be handwritten, but receiving any thank you note can be a breath of fresh air.  Don’t use fancy, personalized stationary a simple note-card or nice paper will do.
10. After each interview, review your performance.  Keep learning and improving as you go to interviews. Write down points where you think you have to improve.

And then, there are some general points:

Keep your answers as short and succinct as possible, using specific examples or scenarios to demonstrate your experience, ability and knowledge.
Consider your long term career goals and your personal attributes.
Be honest, for example, don’t position yourself as a team player, if you are a loner, it may get you the job in the short term, but in the long term, you will be unhappy and be looking for another job!

Good luck!

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