Career advice

Job interviews: how to make it go your way on the day

You’ve researched the role and the organisation, now all you have to do is secure the job. Stay calm, keep focused, and don’t be afraid to shout about your achievements, says Mandy Day-Calder.
interview

Youve researched the role and the organisation, now all you have to do is secure the job. Stay calm, keep focused, and dont be afraid to shout about your achievements, says Mandy Day-Calder

Finally, your big day has come. As you wake up on interview day you will likely feel a mixture of nervous anticipation and excitement. A new job can open doors to the next chapter in your life, so this is only natural, but first you must be offered the post.

You cannot change the decisions made by the interview panel, but there is a lot you can do to ensure you give yourself the best possible chance.

What works

Interviews are stressful, and we all have different ways of managing this stress, but this

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You’ve researched the role and the organisation, now all you have to do is secure the job. Stay calm, keep focused, and don’t be afraid to shout about your achievements, says Mandy Day-Calder

interview
Counteract negative thoughts with concrete examples of your strengths
and positive qualities. Picture: iStock

Finally, your big day has come. As you wake up on ‘interview day’ you will likely feel a mixture of nervous anticipation and excitement. A new job can open doors to the next chapter in your life, so this is only natural, but first you must be offered the post.

You cannot change the decisions made by the interview panel, but there is a lot you can do to ensure you give yourself the best possible chance.

What works

Interviews are stressful, and we all have different ways of managing this stress, but this is not the time to try anything new, so practice what has worked in the past. This could include:

  • Consciously telling yourself that you can do this. Counteract negative thoughts with concrete examples of your strengths and positive qualities.
  • Avoid last-minute preparation. If it helps, read over bullet point notes, but don’t get distracted into thinking you ‘must’ look up new information.
  • Make sure you eat well – it’s impossible to concentrate with a low blood sugar level.
  • If you are on shift before your interview, let colleagues know when you must leave the ward. Don’t be a hero – delegate tasks and handover when necessary.
  • Arrive with enough time to spare to feel calm, but not too early.
  • First impressions count, so from the moment you arrive make sure you are in professional mode. Even if you are quaking inside, put your positive mindset into action and hold your head high.

Having researched the role and the organisation in preparation for your interview, now you need to sell yourself. Nurses can often be too modest, with many afraid of blowing their own trumpet. But today is different – there is only one person who can sing your praises, and that’s you.

However, there is a fine line between self-promotion and arrogance. Your potential employer will be looking for a sense of your personal values as well as your skills and experience, so make sure your integrity shines through.

Above all, be true to yourself, and always be honest. Good luck!

Tips on making a good impression

  • Make eye contact: the panel will pick up on non-verbal communication as well as what you say. Remember to smile.
  • Take your time when answering questions: sometimes a mantra can help slow your mind down. You could try ‘Breathe,1,2,3. Think, 1,2,3’. Taking a sip of water before you speak also gives you time to think.
  • Be assertive: if you lose your train of thought ask your interviewers to repeat the question.
  • Don’t be shy: this is your chance to show the impact you have made. Speak clearly and take ownership of your achievements.
  • Move on: if you feel you have messed up a question let it go. Take a deep breath and start afresh with next one.

Mandy Day-Calder is a freelance writer and life/health coach 

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