Student spotlight: 15 questions should you ask in a job interview


Hello hello! We’ve got a student spotlight today but this is helpful information for almost anyone.

I recently went through the process to interview for a new job. It’s the 6th job I’ve had in 13 years of being a nurse and a nurse midwife. I prepped for the job interview in the same way I prep for every job and thought it would be helpful to share my tips and questions for anyone interested.

I’ll even give you my one tip that I think helps you get hired more than anything else.

Read on to be completely prepared for that next job interview. Or, if you are a person in the hiring chair, consider asking some of these questions to your next candidate.


Whenever I have a job interview on the calendar, I like to start with a fresh sheet of paper and a pen. I sit down and write out any questions that come to mind from what I already know about the company, the location or the employees. In the healthcare sector, I also like to consider what the patients are saying as well. This gives me an idea for the company as a whole.

Are you ready for my tip that gets you hired? Then I make a list of questions. When I go to the interview (zoom or in person), I bring the list of questions with me and at the end of the interview I try to ask about 10 questions (or more!). This is such a simple but impactful interview tip. It shows the interviewer that you came prepared and are inquisitive, while helping you to find out a little more information than what the typical job interview might involve.

I like to break down the questions into categories such as these…

Company questions

  • What is the company’s vision and mission? (You can find this on a company’s website. Sometimes employers ask a question to see if you’ve looked up the company’s information!)
  • How does the company contribute to the local community?

Unit questions

  • What are the unit/practice’s short term and long term goals?
  • Are there any current quality improvement initiatives underway?
  • Are there any practices in place to help prevent burnout for the team?
  • Does the practice teach students (residents, nurse practitioner or physician assistant students)? If yes, from which universities and how many students do they host at a time.
  • How are the nurses or midwives involved with students or residents?
  • What options are there for women desiring labor without medication or an epidural? Hydrotherapy? Nitrous oxide? Sterile water injections?
  • What percentage of population has a hypertensive disorders and/or diabetes?
  • What’s the rate for preterm birth at the hospital?

Administrative questions

  • Which charting system does the hospital use?
  • How does the team conduct peer review?

Questions in line with my short or long term goals

  • Is there an option to maintain NRP or EFM instructor status?
  • Are there opportunities for continuing education hours in the hospital/clinic setting or time off to pursue educational opportunities?
  • Is there an opportunity to learn colposcopy? (Or another skill you’d like to learn).

These are just an idea to get you started as the questions will be a little different for each position.

A couple other things to round out the post. When I studied for my Doctor of Nursing Practice degree in 2019-2020 I learned a lot about the importance of your community and how you can work to build a stronger, better community from within your place of work. Having children has also made me realize the benefits of strong community.

Don’t discount asking these questions: Does your company host a wellness fair for the community? Or offer free classes to the community?

Ask yourself at the end of the interview, hoow does this company empower my community? If you can’t think of an answer, don’t be dismayed. Find a way to propose something to your company to help the community!

Another theme with the questions is to avoid the specific details about your job (hours, pay, holidays, etc.). Usually, those are details to work out and ask after the job is offered.

Some other helpful sites to prepare for an interview:

Want other posts aimed at students? Check out these posts!

What other questions do you all find helpful? What are you tips for successful job interviews?

Have a great week!

Jamie


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