The job market for Licensed Vocational Nurses (LVNs) is getting pretty competitive, especially in the Los Angeles area. When you’ve just completed your LVN program, what sets you apart from your competition?
When you’re new to the field and looking for your first job, the only thing that really shines through is what you say in your interview. You might have some experiences and volunteer work from your school days. That helps but you really need to be prepared for your interview if you really want that LVN job.
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We all get stressed out when we go to a job interview, no matter the position. Even if you’re trained pro with years of experience in your field, it’s a little disarming when you have to stand in front of a complete stranger and tell them why you should get the job. The worst part is the series of questions you have not been prepped for. Every employer has their own specific set of questions they like to ask and it’s hard to tell which ones will be thrown at you.
Nurses and administrative personnel watching and waiting, judging your every answer and analyzing your every breath to determine if you’re the right candidate for the job. Just reading this article might stress you out. But let’s be honest, you passed the hardest part. You completed your LVN program and you have the knowledge and tools to do your job and do it right. Yes, they are intimidating and you might feel some anxiety but at the end of the day, you have everything you need.
So what’s the best way to relieve some of the anxieties you may have?
Simple, all you need is some preparation. You might not know all the questions they will throw at you but there are some common ones for people in this type of industry that will definitely come up.
Monster.com recently compiled a list of some of the toughest nursing interview questions people were faced with and took note of some of the best and worst answers to them. Take a look at the list below to help ease your mind about interview questions.
Top 5 Interview Questions to Prepare for Nursing Positions According to Monster
(All the information below was provided by Monster.com)
Why do you want to work in this industry?
Bad answer: “I love to talk medical jargon. Even as a kid, I spent hours flipping through medical dictionaries and pretending I was a nurse.”
Don’t just say you like it. Anyone can do that. Focus instead on your history with that particular industry, and if you can, tell a success story.
Good answer: “I’ve always loved nursing, but my interest in health care really started when I volunteered at a homeless shelter in college. Seeing so many people without care inspired me to pursue a career devoted to caring for others. I kept going back and volunteering, which got me hooked. It was great to be able to contribute positively to society that then led me to a field I feel so passionate about.”
Tell us about yourself.
Bad answer: “I graduated four years ago from the University of Michigan, with a Bachelor’s in Economics – but I decided that wasn’t the right path for me. So I switched gears and got my first job, working as a secretary for a hospital. Then I went on to work in a dental office. After that, I took a few months off to travel. Finally, I came back and worked in a hospital environment again. And now, here I am, looking for a more challenging health care role.”
Instead of giving a chronological work history, focus on your strengths and how they pertain to the role. If possible, illustrate with examples.
Good answer: “I’m really energetic, and a great communicator. Working in the medical field for two years helped me build confidence, and taught me the importance of patient care. I’ve also got a track record of success. In my last role, I juggled a variety of patient loads, assisted in a charity fundraiser, and became an advocate for senior patients. Because of this, the hospital is launching a new educational program to teach nurses how to better care for elderly patients.”
What do you think of your previous boss?
Bad answer: “He was completely incompetent, and a nightmare to work with, which is why I’ve moved on”
Remember: if you get the job, the person interviewing you will someday be your previous boss. The last thing they want is to hire someone who they know is going to badmouth them some day. Instead of trashing your former employer, stay positive, and focus on what you learned from him (no matter how awful he really was).
Good answer: “My last boss taught me the importance of time management – he didn’t pull any punches, and was extremely deadline-driven. His no-nonsense attitude pushed me to work harder, and manage my caseloads way more efficiently.”
Why are you leaving your current role?
Bad answer: “I can’t stand my boss, or the work I’m doing.”
Again, stay away from badmouthing your job or employer. Focus on the positive.
Good answer: “I’ve learned a lot from my current role, but now I’m looking for a new challenge in nursing, to broaden my horizons and to gain a new skill-set – all of which, I see the potential for in this job.”
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Bad answer: “Relaxing on a beach in Maui,” or “Doing your job.”
There’s really no right answer to this question, but the interviewer wants to know that you’re ambitious, career-oriented, and committed to a future with the hospital. So instead of sharing your dream for early retirement, or trying to be funny, give them an answer that illustrates your drive and commitment.
Good answer: “In five years I’d like to have an even better understanding of this industry. Also, I really love working with people. Ultimately, I’d like to be in some type of managerial role at this hospital, where I can use my people skills and nursing knowledge to benefit the nurses working for me, and the patients and hospital as a whole.”
These questions, although simple sounding, often leave people baffled. The best approach is usually straightforward and heartfelt answers that rely on your personal decisions, without bashing previous employers.