nurse interview questions - Nursing Interviews Decoded - After the Interview

Nursing Interviews Decoded – Part 8: After the Interview

Congratulations! When you finally walk out of that interview, take some time to relax. Your part isn’t quite done yet, but you have a moment to breathe. Grab yourself a drink to cool off. Treat yourself out if you want. The interview you’ve spent all this time preparing for is done.

Then, when you’ve had a moment to relax, it’s time for the next step.

What’s Next?

So…what do you do now? Many times, people walk out of the interview, and that’s the last that the company and the interviewers will hear from them. Don’t let that be the case for you. There are several actions you can take after the interview while you wait for their final decision.

Thank You Note

You’ve likely heard that it’s proper etiquette to send a thank you note to your interviewers. It certainly doesn’t hurt to do so! After all, it’s likely they’ll interview a lot of other candidates either before or after you. Even after the interview, you still want to positively stand out in the interviewer’s mind.

The thank you note doesn’t have to be handwritten. It can be a letter, a card, or an email. Send it out the day of the interview or in a day or two after. You don’t want to wait too long, or they might have already made a decision or get you mixed up with other candidates.

This is a great time to show off your communication skills and professionalism in writing, so take advantage of it. Here are some elements to think about when writing a thank you note:

  • Use the names of the people who interviewed you directly. This shows you were paying attention and care about them as fellow coworkers.
  • Mention specifics from the interview. Did they say something about the company that you liked? Were they curious about a particular item on your resume?
  • Don’t feel shy about bringing up what makes you qualified for the job. If there’s something on your resume that was missed that you feel would benefit your case to bring up, mention it tactfully. You can even bring up an experience on your resume you want to highlight.
  • Make it clear you want the job, and that you’re excited for the chance to be considered as a new member of their team.
  • Many interviews last half an hour to an hour, if not longer. Thank them for taking the time to interview you. Their time is just as valuable as yours.
  • Don’t forget to say who you are and how to contact you! Include your name and information, such as your phone number and email address.

Example:

Hi [interviewer’s name],

Thank you so much for inviting me to interview with you for [job position] yesterday. It was great meeting with you in person. I appreciate being considered for the position and for you taking the time to talk with me.

After working as a nurse in the PACU for the last three years, I loved seeing the level of care and attention to detail that you and your unit has when caring for patients. You mentioned that the unit was working with research groups to improve patient outcomes, and if selected, I’d love to be a part of that as much as needed.

If you have any questions about my resume or anything that came up in the interview, please let me know. I’m looking forward to hearing from you soon. Have a wonderful day!

Thank you,

[Your name]

Follow-Up

At the end of the interview, it is important to ask what happens next. Most of the time, interviewers will have a good idea of when they need to make a final decision, either on hiring someone or inviting candidates back for a second round of interviews.

After you’ve finished the interview and sent your thank you letter, give the company whatever time they said they’d need. Maybe the interviewer told you a few days or maybe they told you a week. If that time passes and you haven’t heard anything from the company, give them a call or send them an email to ask for a follow-up.

Example: 

Hello [interviewer’s name],

This is [your name]. I interviewed for [this position] on July 2, and I remember you told me to expect to hear back in about a week. I just wanted to follow up and see if there’s an update on the status for [that position]. I’m looking forward to hearing back from you. Thank you for your time!

Have a great day,

[Your name]

If You Don’t Get the Job

There is always a chance you won’t get the job, even if you feel you aced the interview. Even if you compared your resume to the job listing and hit every major qualification. If you didn’t get the job, you’ll likely get a standard rejection email or letter thanking you for applying for the job.

And, often, that’s it. If you’re very lucky, your rejection might be more personalized and the interviewer might reach out to explain exactly why they didn’t hire you. If the company doesn’t reach out to you further, there are many reasons why you may not get the job, including some of these common ones:

  • The company went with another candidate they thought would be a better fit.
  • You didn’t meet all the qualifications they preferred.
  • You don’t have the experience.
  • Your schedule didn’t fit the shift’s needs.
  • They decided to hire from within the company.
  • Something came up in the interview that they didn’t like.
  • They just didn’t like you as much as another candidate.

If you didn’t get the job, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re a bad person or employee. At the end of the day, the company you applied for is a business and they have to decide what’s best for the company. 

It’s tough to hear sometimes because many of us nurses want to know exactly what the problem is so we can fix it, but the reality is that sometimes there’s just nothing you can do when you’ve already done everything. That doesn’t make you a bad nurse. 

If you feel it could have gone better, or you think you might just need to work out a few hiccups in your resume or your interview process, then there’s always time to change before the next interview. Each interview is just a new experience and opportunity to learn. Take what you’ve learned from preparing and interviewing and use that to get ready for next time.