Gone are the days when all you had to do was to turn up to an interview to get a job as a nurse.

With employers having many candidates applying for every job, your work to get that job offered to you has become more difficult.

But with a little know-how on how to “sell” yourself during the interview, you will be the one they offer the job.

“Selling” Yourself in a Nursing Interview

To get the nursing job offer after the interview, you need to present yourself to the interviewer as a person they want to hire. It includes presenting your best self, showing your passion and enthusiasm for nursing, and highlighting your skills that match the position.

Find Your Next Nursing Job
Use the NurseMoneyTalk job board to look for and apply to great nursing jobs near you.

1. Present your best self

woman smiling

Meeting the interviewer is just like meeting a stranger. They will form their impression of you in the first few seconds after you enter the room. To make sure you make a good impression, follow these few tips:

Be on time

Make sure you arrive at your interview on time. Being late is seen as disrespectful of the interviewer’s time.

Also, being too early can cause inconvenience for the interviewer, so aim to arrive 5 to 10 minutes before your interview is due to begin.

Dress appropriately

Nursing is a serious career; you need to look professional if you want to be taken seriously. Make sure you wear something more conservative than trendy.

The best outfit for your nursing interview would probably be a suit with a smart jacket and low-heeled shoes to make you appear well-groomed without being over the top.

Keep the colors muted and wear minimal jewelry.


While not a popular opinion among nurses, I do not think you should wear scrubs to a nursing interview. Check out the linked article for my breakdown of why I think that.

Edit your social media profiles

In this age of social media, many employers check out their potential employee’s social media accounts.

Before applying to nursing jobs (using our job board), do an audit of all your social media.

What you want to do is delete any questionable photos from your accounts or adjust your privacy settings to limit access to personal photos.

This will help avoid potential embarrassment and improve your chances of getting hired.

2. Show Your Passion And Enthusiasm For Nursing And Their Healthcare Facility

a nurse taking care of a patient's peripherally inserted central catheter

Nobody wants to hire a person who is not enthusiastic about the job.

You can show your enthusiasm by presenting a bright smile when greeting the interviewer.

Also, make sure you’re upbeat in your speech pattern when answering the questions (just not too upbeat, if you know what I mean).

You can do some of the following things to show the interviewer how serious you are about the position.

Research The Healthcare Facility Before The Interview

Before your interview, you must research the healthcare facility. That is obvious, but when researching the facility and the people, don’t forget to learn more about the position you are applying for.

Perhaps the job listing says they need a nurse to work in a medical-surgical unit, but when you dig deeper, you find out they need a nurse to work the permanent night shift in that department.

If you are okay with working the night shift, in the interview, you can say something about how you do your best work at night and not tell the interviewer that you are a morning person who loves to sleep early.

You will most likely be asked, “what do you know about our healthcare facility.”

By researching them beforehand, you will feel more in control when answering this question.

A well-prepared answer will impress the interviewer and make you seem like a candidate worth employing.

Prepare For The Interview

Make sure you prepare for the interview by reviewing possible questions that may come up in the interview.

Having answers prepared beforehand will make you look confident when you say them in front of the interviewer.

If you are particularly shy, try to bring out your confidence by practicing answering mock interview questions at home in front of a mirror or getting a friend to practice with you.

I have a lot of helpful articles on doing well during a nursing interview. You can go here to find those nursing interview articles.

Or you can search the site.

For example, if you’re applying for a med-surg position, I have an article on example questions commonly asked during a med-surg interview.

I have one for just about every major nursing specialty out there.

3. Highlight Your Skills That Match The Position

nurse writing report

Even if this interview is for your first job as a nurse, you already have some of the necessary skills to be an asset to the healthcare facility.

All you have to do now is convince the interviewer that your skills are what they seek.

Take Stock Of Your Assets (Skills)

It may feel like bragging if you are not used to talking about yourself and listing all your accomplishments. But remind yourself that the interview situation is one place where a little bragging is required.

How else will the interviewer know what you have accomplished and how you will make a great employee?

To successfully sell yourself in an interview, you have to believe in your worth and feel proud of the reasons that will make you a great staff member at any healthcare facility.

Things to Keep in Mind

First of all, you have completed an academic nursing program and passed NCLEX.

It’s not easy, and not everyone can do that, so feel proud of yourself. If you have taken any additional short courses, list them too. Perhaps you are certified in ACLS, PALs or have a national certification.

Don’t forget to list other soft skills, like being a great public speaker, working well with teams, or having great leadership skills. Make sure you mention those traits in the interview.

4. Refresh your nursing knowledge before the interview.

Some interviews will have a knowledge test component. It means the interviewer is likely to quiz your nursing knowledge.

To ensure you have the answers to their questions, review some basic nursing info need for the position you’re applying for.

For example, if you’re applying to a travel nursing position, review some basic information needed for being a travel nurse.

The same would be true if you were to apply for an insurance nurse position or an ER nursing position.

Not knowing the answer to a question about a crucial aspect of the job can be extremely embarrassing.

Here’s a tip to keep this from happening to you. Prepare some flashcards of treatment algorithms that you can use on your first day on the job.

The preparation will help refresh your knowledge, and if you get the job, you will have the flashcards ready.

Find Your Next Nursing Job
Use the NurseMoneyTalk job board to look for and apply to great nursing jobs near you.

Key Takeaways

It may seem like a lot of work before you even meet the interviewer, but nothing worthwhile in life comes easy.

If you’re willing to do the work to show the interviewer your best self, you will increase your chances of getting offered that position.

After all, the interviewer wants to hire the best person for the job, so you must convince them it’s you.

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