Nursing School Interviews
College interviews are serious business and can make or break your chances to get into a nursing school of your choice. How do you handle them, what do you wear, and what do you need to know to stand-out?
First, remember that should you be required to undergo a nursing school interview that it is just one piece of the application puzzle. You also have a rather complex and involved application process that also offers you opportunities to showcase your academic record, hit a home run on essays, and provide knock-out letters of reference from teachers, advisors, coaches, employers and the like who think you are the cat’s meow and packed with potential. So as important as the interview is, it is NOT the end-all-be-all of your admissions process.
Being Prepared for an Interview
Nursing school interviews could be face-to-face or via phone. Regardless, the key is being prepared:
- Try to relax
- In-person interviews: Business attire is appropriate for both men and women
- Be courteous
- Answer questions as completely as possible
- Be yourself
- Phone interview: speak clearly and remember that you will have to modulate your voice to give more individuality—avoid dead-pan conversation.
- Have a few questions prepared that you’d like to ask of your interviewer
- Do your homework on the nursing program to which you’re applying.
- Grad RNs: have a clearly formed career goal and be able to provide an explanation as to why this particular school’s program is THE fit for those career goals.
- Send a hand-written follow-up thank you letter to your interviewer ASAP following the date of your interview.
When a Nursing School Interview Is Not an Option
Given budgetary and staff shortages at nursing schools not all programs are able to offer prospective nursing students an interview. There are pros and cons to this. You’ll discover that the lack of face-to-face interview is most common at large, competitive undergraduate nursing programs. They simply don’t have the time or manpower to interview students at this level of education.
When you don’t have the option of an interview:
- Make sure your nursing school application can’t be thrown in the trash can for incompleteness or failure to follow directions. Follow all application instructions to the letter, including getting it ion by submission deadline.
- If you have the opportunity to attend a nursing student open house, informational session, pre-nursing seminar at the school to which you’re applying, then do so. Use this time to soak in all faculty or admissions officer’s advice for applying and take any notes necessary to refer to later. If you have the chance to meet with someone while there, don’t miss it.
- Be very thorough in your application essays for nursing programs—they must be exemplary. Write multiple drafts beforehand and ask skilled teachers, advisors, etc. to proofread and provide serious feedback before you draft final copies.
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