The nursing field may be one of the fastest growing fields in the nation, but that does not mean that there is not a lot of competition out there. If you are in the process of earning a degree in nursing, now is the time to prepare to blow the competition out of the water during your first interview. When you are interviewing for any job, with or without field experience, you must leave a favorable impression. Showing that you are prepared, passionate, and ready to learn is extremely important when you want an entry-level nursing job. Here are some valuable interviewing tips that will help you get past the jitters during your first nursing job interview.

Do Your Research and Show What You Know

You certainly will not know everything about nursing when you graduate with an Associate’s or Bachelor’s degree. Experience is the only way that you can truly gain the hands-on skills you will need to excel in the field of nursing, but you can get to know the company you are interviewing with and show that you are taking the opportunity seriously. The first step any applicant should take is getting to know the company by reading up on the mission statement and the company’s history. You can find out all of the vital information you need to know by visiting the employer’s website. Once you have familiarized yourself, you will feel much more confident during the question and answer session.

Make Sure You Ask Questions

In virtually any interview you go to, the interviewer will dedicate a portion of the interview to answer any questions that you may have. Come up with at least 2 or 3 different questions that you would like to ask before you even step foot in the interview room. The questions are best when focused around your desire to advance within the organization. You may want to know if there is room for advancement, how long it may take to promote, or if continuing education is encouraged with tuition reimbursement opportunities. This is a positive signal that interviewers are looking for.

Frame Your Responses Around School Experience

If you are applying for practical positions, the interviewer should be aware of the fact that you are a recent graduate. When you are asked questions about your strengths and weaknesses, be sure to frame your responses around your experiences while in nursing school. It is important to maintain your confidence throughout the interview. Just because you have never been employed as a nurse does not mean that you are not the right fit for the job. In fact, many employers prefer newly licensed nurses so that they can train them.

Always be sure to arrive early to an interview, and keep a positive attitude and outlook. Once the interview is over, send a thank you letter to keep your name in mind. According to the BLS, the need for registered nurses is expected to grow by 26% or more in the next 7 to 8 years. Keep this statistic in your mind, compare different open positions, and apply for a position that will offer you a chance at success.