In this series, I will answer two-six questions per post alongside my usual blog post until I have answered 20 questions in total.
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‘A rising tide raises all ships’.
If you would like a professional and comprehensive guide (detailed, supported with referenced nursing literature etc), alongside one that provides multiple examples of each questions let me know. I am able to create a ‘comprehensive interview guide for student nurses’, but only if there is a demand for it. The responses to the questions in this post are incomplete, solely relying on it to pass your student nursing interview is not advised.
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1. What do you think will be the most challenging part about being a student nurse?
This questions requires you to have an understanding of the role that you have applied for. Again, the responses must be relevant to your experiences and the position that you are applying for (mental health/adult/child/ learning disability field of practice). Whilst this questions asks you to refer to things you may find challenging. Use your response to highlight relevant strengths and experiences.
Example: ‘I think the most challenging part about being a student nurse will be meeting deadlines when I am not as motivated as I usually am. I recognised this during work experience at a local care home. From conversations within the nursing media and from bloggers such as Maria Avi, it has become apparent that setting multiple smaller goals within larger individual goals is one way of meeting deadlines during busy and hard times. Although it may be challenge, adopting different types of methods in order to meet deadlines is something that I will constantly be seeking to improve throughout my nursing career.
- Use the STAR method if you find it helpful
2.Name five skills that all nurses should have?
Again, like the first question. This question requires you to have a thorough understanding of the role of not just a student nurses, but also that of registered nurses.
When giving your response to this question, do not just list five skills. That is boring and shows no real understanding. Make sure to explain why the five skills you have chosen are important. Why are they relevant?
Example: ‘One skill that nurses should have is the ability to reflect. The ability to reflect is important because it allows nurses to identify strengths and weaknesses in their practice. This is beneficial to her/him as a nurse because it means that she/he is continually evolving as a nurse. A nurses ability to reflect is beneficial to patients because it means that their care is personal. This is because reflection allows nurses to respond to verbal and non-verbal ques. The ability to reflect is important and relevant to the role of nurses in general because nursing practice is constantly changing. It requires nurses to individually and collectively think about things that go well, and things that could be improved’.
- Referring to the 6C’s or the 10 commitments will help you identify five skills that all nurses should have.
- Your answer to this question is a good opportunity to show your understanding of the different fields of nursing practice. Out of the five skills that you have selected. What one do you think is the most relevant for nurses in the mental health/adult/child/ learning disability field of practice? Do not be afraid to let the interviewer know what you think.
3.How do you respond to criticism?
Student nurses spend roughly 50% of their time in theory and the other in practice. During practice you will spend a considerable amount of time working closely with your mentor. Their aim is to support your learning. In this role they will give you a lot of feedback. Feedback that is intended to develop your practice. What is meant to be constructive feedback (constructive criticism) can often be delivered or received as being mean (personal criticism).
Referring back to a time you have received constructive criticism or harsh personal criticism will help you to answer this question.
Example: ‘I respond to criticism by listening clearly to what the person is saying. That way I can fully grasp what it is they mean. If I am unsure of what they mean then I always make sure to ask for clarification. One example of when I received feedback was when I delivered a presentation at college. I was given constructive criticism by my teacher. At first, I didn’t understand what she meant, so I asked for clarification. I am glad that I did because it meant that I did not leave with any assumptions. After hearing what she said, I knew that it was constructive criticism and not criticism that was aimed at me personally. I took the appropriate steps to improve on what it is she said. Using the course guidelines helped me in this process.
- Constructive criticism without action is pointless. Don’t just say I listen well. Depending on the example that you will use to support you answer to this question, give relevant action points.
- There is a difference between criticism that is aimed to help you develop (feedback) and criticism that is aimed at you personally (being mean).
- Always link back to what you envision you will be doing as a student nurse.
Questions that I will be answering in the next post in this series are:
What is your understanding of evidence based practice?
Why do you want to be a nurse?
Tell me about yourself?
What is your understanding of the culture of compassionate care?
Why should we give you a place on this nursing degree over the other applicants?
For more tips and advice on how to pass your nursing interview, watch this video.