Mock Interview Gives Nursing Students Real World Experience

 

Clarity Chola (left) and Myrhawell Inocencio took part in the nursing department mock interviews earlier this month.

Southwestern Adventist University’s department of nursing arranged for senior nursing majors to participate in mock employment interviews on Nov. 6 and 8, providing them with an invaluable opportunity to experience the rigors of the hiring process.

The interview questions were structured so that students they could learn from them and were filled with examples of what potential employers may ask them. The HR Executive Director from the Metroplex Hospital in Killeen and one Huguley representatives along with some of the SWAU nursing faculty made up four interview groups and sectioned the senior class among them.

“I found this process extremely useful,” says Clarity Chola, senior nursing major. “It helped me find the right words to say and pinpoint what employers would look for in a real interview. One thing I learned from the mock interview is that you should sell yourself, but you don’t want to oversell yourself. While employers may want someone ambitious, they also want to know if you are in it for the long haul.”

To give the mock interview a more realistic feel, the seniors were expected to bring their resumes, dress modestly and present themselves how they would in a real interview. They were graded on their resumes and how well they sold themselves to their potential employer in the interview. This generated the urge to do well in the mock interview and simulated the same emotions that one would feel if they were entering a real interview.

“I’d say one of the biggest concerns I had as I was prepping for this interview was wondering if I would say the right words,” says Chola. “I was nervous but prayer saved me. The constant reminder that I can’t do this one my own helped me out; it made me rely more fully on God. Also, knowing that I have a support system and great instructors gave me a little more courage.”

Myrhawell Inocencio, also a senior nursing major, echoes Chola’s sentiments. “What bothered me was the thought that I wasn’t going to be adequate for the medical/ surgical unit. I didn’t want to lose my dream job before I got it. Observing Clarity’s interview really helped me out.”

Since the resume is what gets the student the interview, knowing what to highlight or emphasize in one’s resume proves useful before beginning the interview. Alison Hill, assistant director of records, gives a few tips for nursing students to remember when they prepare their resume for their desired job. Hill has previous experience with interviewing, hiring and firing. With this knowledge, she was chosen to help in this mock interviewing experience.

“It’s advantageous for them to highlight their clinical experience, and any jobs and volunteer experience that required them to use nursing skills in their resume,” says Hill. “They should also give specific skills or duties they did to acquire those skills. These are the kinds of things that will captivate a potential employer’s attention.”

            The interview is probably one of the daunting aspects of job hunting. “I think it’s important for students to remember that the resume is what gets you the interview, but the interview is what gets you the job,” says Hill.

Students are tempted to leave their personality at the door and fit what they think employers classify as a potential candidate. However, this method may not prove beneficial for them.

“When I was interviewing the students, the individuals who were able to show their true personality and yet remain professional resonated with me the most,” says Hill.

Inocencio and Chola agree with this statement. After their experience with the mock interview, the seniors freely offered some advice for future job candidates worried about doing well in the interview stage.

“The best place to start is to apply for the job you really want to be in,” says Inocencio. “You need to be self-aware. What can you handle? What do you prefer? Know what you want and sell yourself for that position.”

“It’s important to be yourself and be confident,” adds Chola. “Do your research about the hospital or any job you are applying to before the interview and know their values and mission. See if you can apply their values to your strengths and show them how you can help them in their mission.”

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