Interviews allow employers to gather essential information to determine if you’re the right candidate for their company culture and job.
Avoid unintentionally raising red flags by steering clear of these ten things you should never say during a nurse interview.
10 Things NOT to Say In a Nursing Interview
Check these out and let me know what you think in the comments below. If you’re looking for a nursing job, make sure to check out the job board.
1. Never Say You Didn’t Have Time To Research Their Healthcare Institution Before The Interview.
Admitting to the interviewer that you did not take the time to research their company shows that you are either disorganized, cannot prioritize tasks, or are not interested in their company.
Either way, it is a big turn-off.
So, unless you are asked a specific question about their company and don’t know the answer, don’t disclose this information voluntarily.
2. Never Use Jargon In Your Answers
Some candidates think that to impress the interviewer, they need to use big words and speak formally.
Sometimes, when you try too hard to impress with your knowledge of jargon, it becomes much harder to understand what you mean.
Instead of saying, “I streamlined our operations and optimized user experience…,” you can say, “I designed a simple feedback form for our patients to help us discover where we could improve our care.”
3. Never Say, “It’s On My Resume.”
Before you get invited for an interview, you apply for a job opening by submitting a resume.
The interviewer reads the resume and knows what is in it. Yet sometimes, it seems that the questions they ask want you to repeat the same information that the interviewer read in your resume.
Even though it may seem like a repeat to you, never refuse to tell the interviewer what they want to hear. If you do, the interviewer will likely think you are rude or lazy.
They may even imagine you are unfamiliar with your work experience, which will raise some “red flags” regarding your credibility as a candidate.
Instead, say something like, “Yes, I’d be happy to tell you about my previous experience….”
4. Never Ask About Benefits, Vacation Days, And Pay.
Asking about nurse benefits and vacation days makes it look like all you focus on is “what’s in this job for me.”
It does not give a good impression of you when someone wants to hire you. They are more interested in what value you can add to their company.
Unless the interviewer specifically addresses those topics, you should never bring them up yourself. Leave them for discussion in the contract negotiation interview once you have the job offer.
For now, concentrate more on saying, “Here’s how I can add value to your healthcare facility….”
5. Never say, “I’m a fast learner” in your nursing interview.
Healthcare facilities seek nurses who are knowledgeable but also recognize the importance of continuous learning.
Show your motivation and enthusiasm for the nursing discipline by highlighting your commitment to acquiring new skills.
Experienced nurses are typically expected to begin work with minimal guidance, so avoid claiming to be a “fast learner,” which could imply reliance on the employer for essential skill development.
6. Never Criticize Your Previous Employer
No matter how much you hate your old job, never speak badly about your previous employer in an interview. Badmouthing past employers is seen as very unprofessional.
If you are openly critical of your previous boss and colleagues, the new employer will think that you will be just as critical of them in the future and avoid that by not hiring you.
You can turn the negative into a positive by saying, “I learned a lot in my last position, but now I am looking for a company with a culture that fits me better.”
Always be professional and positive about your previous employer if you want to be hired. After all, if they did not let you work for them, you would not gain all your experience to prepare you for this new dream job.
7. Never Say That Perfectionism Is Your Biggest Weakness.
This is old advice that was given to candidates many years ago. The idea was to turn your weakness into something positive. However, since then, almost everyone on this planet has used it in an interview.
When you say that you are a perfectionist, the interviewer knows you are lying, and you can not think of a better weakness to present for the interview.
Instead of jeopardizing getting hired using this cliché, describe an actual weakness and explain how you are working on overcoming it.
For instance, “My handwriting is very bad, and I sometimes cannot read the notes I made at the patient’s bedside to use for charting, so instead of relying on handwritten notes, I use the voice recording function on my phone to note information I will use in writing my patient reports later.”
8. Never Say You Have No Questions For The Interviewer
If you say that you have no questions at the end of the interview, you look like someone who is not very interested in the job or very curious.
One of the ways to prepare for the interview is to prepare a couple of questions that will show the interviewer that you are interested in this position.
If you don’t know what to ask, try something like “What is the biggest challenge the nurses are experiencing at your healthcare facility?”
9. Never Discuss Personal Things In An Interview.
In interview situations, interviewers want to determine whether you can do the job, get along with people, and add value to their organization.
They are not interested in the fact that your grandmother was a nurse and your aunt is a midwife. They are also not interested in your pets, children, or marital status.
That’s why you should be mindful not to spend too much time discussing your family instead of what skills you bring to the healthcare facility.
10. Never be aggressively ambitious.
When candidates answer the “where do you see yourself in five years?” question, sometimes they make the mistake of being aggressively ambitious by answering, “I see myself in your job.” Or worse, “I see myself in my boss’s job.”
These toxic examples may cost you the job offer.
It’s okay to show ambition and desire for growth in your role, but you can do it by highlighting your understanding of the nursing profession and the skills you bring to the potential role.
Knowing what not to say is just as important as knowing what to say during an interview.
You only have this one chance to present your best self to the interviewer, so don’t ruin your chances by saying or doing something inappropriate.