Whether you've been a certified nurse's assistant for years or you're looking for your first job, the job interview process never seems to get easier. An interview gives the employer an impression of you and your caregiving abilities, and is the employer's main method of choosing whom to hire. Ensure success by preparing for the meeting and presenting a professional attitude.
Research the facility where you'd be working, so you have some idea of the care you'd be providing. Working in a nursing home, for example, is very different from working in a hospital ward. Check out the institution's website and carefully read over any job-posting materials so you know exactly what the employer is looking for in a new hire. If the job posting emphasizes traits such as responsibility and timeliness, emphasize those traits when the employer asks you about your strengths.
Prepare answers to common interview questions and ask a friend help you rehearse them. If you're just getting out of CNA training, your school might offer assistance in prepping for interviews. Possible questions might include your thoughts on what constitutes excellent patient care; how you'd handle a difficult or agitated patient; what you'd do if you encountered a co-worker stealing or mistreating patients; and why you want to work at this particular facility. Ask your helper to rate your responses and give you feedback that can help you improve your delivery.
Find out what you're expected to wear during the interview, then prepare accordingly. Some employers may ask you to wear scrubs to the interview so that you can do a "working" portion of the interview with another CNA or nurse. Other employers may simply ask you to come in business casual or business attire. If the employer doesn't specify, then ask. If the answer is still vague, err on the formal side and wear a nice pair of pants, button-down shirt and tie for men, or a pair of pants and a nice blouse for women. Keep your hair neatly tied back and make sure your fingernails are clean. Your training should have taught you that acrylic nails can be breeding grounds for germs, so skip the fake nails.
Show up on time. In a hospital or nursing home facility, being on time is crucial for patient safety and the smooth running of the facility. If you can't show up on time for the interview, an employer is going to doubt your ability to be on time on a day-to-day basis.
Demonstrate enthusiasm for the job. Being upbeat and bubbly is not everyone's personality, reminds "U.S. News & World Report,"' but you still should show that you want the job and that you're looking forward to the opportunity. Shake the hiring manager's hand, make eye contact and smile in a friendly manner during the interview. As a CNA, you'll likely be spending a lot of time working directly with patients, and the employer will want to know that you're capable of being warm and friendly.
- As with a job interview in any profession, you'll make an even better impression by sending a thank you note to the hiring manager following the interview, thanking her for the opportunity to meet and interview for the job.
Nicole Vulcan has been a journalist since 1997, covering parenting and fitness for The Oregonian, careers for CareerAddict, and travel, gardening and fitness for Black Hills Woman and other publications. Vulcan holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and journalism from the University of Minnesota. She's also a lifelong athlete and is pursuing certification as a personal trainer.