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Herzing Staff

How NPs Can Achieve Job Interview Success

Approach your interview confidently by familiarizing yourself with the most common questions interviewers will ask you.

Congratulations! You’ve just accomplished a momentous milestone - graduating from your nurse practitioner (NP) program. All the long nights, clinicals, and exams have paid off, and you’ve earned the degree you’ve worked so hard for. Now that you’ve taken a moment to bask in the warmth of your hard-earned achievement, it’s time to think about the next step: interviewing for a job you’ll love. 

The pressure of a job interview, especially if it’s your first time, can be overwhelming, but with proper practice and preparation, you can find great success. Approach your interview confidently by familiarizing yourself with the most common questions interviewers will ask you and you could earn the position of your dreams. 

While a large part of your interview will focus on nursing and healthcare-related questions, several general questions may come up. For questions like these, consider your responses ahead of time so you can be both comfortable and confident. 

Tell me about yourself.

This interview staple sets the tone for the rest of the interview. It is your opportunity to give an interviewer a glimpse into your background, goals, and how you will fit into the role and their company culture. For new graduates, highlight the school and program you graduated from, notable accomplishments from your educational experience, and your professional goals. If you are juggling other responsibilities, including full or part-time work or family, this is also the time to share that. The more you can explain who you are and why you’re right for the job, the better positioned you’ll be for the rest of the interview.

Why do you want this job?

You will be asked to explain your reason for applying and what drew your attention to the position. To best answer this question, think now about your personal and professional goals and how this job will help move you toward achieving those goals. Are you simply working to earn a living? Are you pursuing a passion project? Whatever your “why” is, be ready to explain why you should be hired.

Why should we hire you?

Even during a healthcare talent shortage, interviewing for a nursing position could be competitive. This interview is your chance to elevate yourself above other qualified candidates. What is unique about you? What do you offer? How does hiring you help the employer more than hiring someone else? Pinpoint the areas where you excel. Be sure to mention them when asked this question and sprinkle in that information at other points in the interview.

Role-Specific Questions to Remember

There are going to be NP-specific questions. For questions like these, be sure to share stories of your experiences and lessons learned.

Remember, potential employers aren’t just looking for qualifications. They’re looking for examples of valuable soft skills like communication, professionalism, and teamwork, plus a passion for the work of service to others. 

Common questions specific to nurse practitioners include:

  • How do you contribute to a patient’s experience?
  • What specialty did you choose and why?
  • How would you handle an emergency?
  • What do you feel you can bring to our practice?
  • What is your ideal work environment?

After you’ve answered the above questions, most interviewers will ask if you have any questions. The biggest mistake you can make here is saying no.

Preparing questions for your potential employer is just as important as preparing answers for yourself. By asking questions, you’re demonstrating preparedness, intent, and enthusiasm. This is an opportunity to get more information on a position that may end up being your full-time job. You deserve to have as much detail as needed to make an informed decision that could impact your future.

Some of the best questions to ask at the end of an interview are:

  • What led to the NP position opening up or being created?
  • How would you describe the culture within the facility?
  • What is the potential patient load for this position?
  • What does it mean to be a successful nurse here?
  • Are there opportunities for career growth or advancement? How does leadership support staff interested in these options?

With preparation and practice, you’ll be handling your interviews with confidence and hopefully have the chance to consider multiple offers. You are in control of your future and are already taking the right steps toward a successful career as a nurse practitioner. If you’re still looking for a program to earn your credentials to join the workforce, Herzing University offers comprehensive nursing programs within its expansive selection of flexible in-person and online programs. 

Learn More About Our Nurse Practitioner Programs

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* Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Outlook Handbook 2020. BLS estimates do not represent entry-level wages and/or salaries. Multiple factors, including prior experience, age, geography market in which you want to work and degree field, will affect career outcomes and earnings. Herzing neither represents that its graduates will earn the average salaries calculated by BLS for a particular job nor guarantees that graduation from its program will result in a job, promotion, salary increase or other career growth.

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