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What Do Employers Look for During the NP Job Interview?

Posted on October 20, 2017   |   by   |   Communication Skills, Employers, Interview Questions for NPs and PAs, Job Seekers

Beyond your education, your skills, and your experience, what do employers look for during the nurse practitioner job interview? Without exception, it’s your ability to communicate.

If you’re a nurse practitioner, there’s a good chance that you work in a hectic, stressful, and demanding environment. That’s just the reality of the medical field and the nature of the NP job. Unfortunately, this is exactly the type of environment that causes communication breakdowns leading to errors, failures, and poor performance.

That’s why employers will be judging your communication skills during the interview. Will you recognize the opportunities during your job search to showcase your ability to manage and lead others? Here are a few easy ways to connect with your interviewers at each step.

1. Simply Write a Strong NP Resume

Your resume is the first impression an organization has of you. It’s also an effective litmus test of your written communication skills. An employer can draw conclusions about how well you organize and order your thoughts. They will also be able to tell how well you understand the job role, whether you pay attention to detail, and how much effort you’ve taken to align your qualifications with the job description.

For more information on writing an effective NP resume, see our guide Write a Great NP Resume: Essential Tips for Professionals and check out this recent blog post, How to Write a Successful Nurse Practitioner Resume.

2. Engage with Your Interviewer Over the Phone

Most hiring managers screen nurse practitioner candidates through an initial phone or video job interview. This poses a challenge because these tools are primarily verbal, whereas most interpersonal communication relies on nonverbal cues. Even on video, your facial expressions, posture, and gestures can be obscured. This means you’ll need to make an extra effort to show you’re interested and engaged in the conversation.

The best way to do this is to restate the conversation and ask questions. For example, you can say, “You mentioned that you’re growing this unit. You have three nurse practitioners now and you’re growing to six. Can you tell me how long do you think that’s going to take? How it might impact this job in the short term?” We recommend that you have a list of questions prepared in advance of the interview. Remember, when the interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions for me?” the answer is always “yes.”

If you’d like more advice for rocking a screening interview, see this article Are You Prepared for Your PA or NP Phone Job Interview?

3. Exhibit Emotional IQ When You’re In-Person

Some studies report that emotional intelligence is the strongest predictor of workplace performance. If you’re not familiar with the term, it is defined as the ability to manage your emotions and empathically respond to the emotions of others. If you can recognize the value of this skill in the health professions, you’ll know why it’s an important trait to exhibit in your interview.

During the in-person interview, spend some time reading the environment and the people around you. Consider whether your interviewers speak softly or talk fast. How do they respond to each other? Are they thoughtful and reflective, or demonstrative and assertive?

Emotional intelligence is choosing to adapt your communication style to your environment. If you’re an extrovert surrounded by quieter, more reflective people, try to slow down, pause, and allow time for others to respond. On the other hand, if you’re an introvert talking to a group of extroverts, you may want to respond quicker and with more energy than you naturally would.

Want to build stronger relationships at home and on the job? Learn how Brushing Up on Communication Skills Gives NPs a Boost.

More Help to Master Your NP Job Search

I hope this information helps you navigate the job search process and put your best foot forward. If you’d like to talk through job opportunities and get help identifying the right job for you, feel free to send me an email at jill@melnic.com. We also invite you to create a free Melnic Profile. We’d love to help you!

This Week’s Top Nurse Practitioner Jobs

Our Melnic jobs board has NP positions at some of the country’s leading hospitals. If you are an NP who is considering a change, take a look at some of these great job openings!

  • Nemours Children’s Hospital in Wilmington, Delaware is seeking an Acute Care PNP in the CVICU. Work on the cardiac inpatient floor and occasionally the outpatient clinic, providing care and treatment for patients with pediatric heart disease and transplant recovery.
  • In Minneapolis, Minnesota Children’s Hospital has an opening for a PNP specializing in Wound Care. This is a great job for the experienced and certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner in Skin Integrity, Wound Care to work with neonatal and pediatric patients with complex wounds or ostomys.
  • Penn State Hershey Medical Center, in Hershey, Pennsylvania, has a fabulous job opportunity for an Acute Care NP with cardiac transplant and/or mechanical circulatory support (MCS) experience. This organization is also seeking a Pulmonary Acute Care NP job to care for adult pulmonary patients with a wide range of acute and chronic respiratory conditions and disorders.
  • In Columbus, Ohio, Nationwide Children’s Hospital has a great job for an Acute Care PNP with neonatal, pulmonary, or complex care nursing skills and experience to work in the hospital’s 24-bed special care NICU.

Review our list of nurse practitioner jobs, then contact us today!

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