So you’ve followed our UCAS guidance for your student nurse application and WOW! you have an interview. Seriously, well done. Places are competitive for nursing students and the NMC is extremely precious about who they want on their books. The nurses of the future are in their hands, and they only want the best.
At this point you’ve had your MMI interview, and you’re sat face-to-face with your (hopefully) potential lecturer. They ask you all the questions they need to and run through the modules new students will be covering. They’ve asked you all they need to know, and they post you a question: Is there anything you’d like to ask before we part ways?
DUM DUM DUUUUUUUMMMMMM.
Now, don’t say no. NEVER SAY NO. At best, they’ll think you’re a good candidate who’s slightly nervous. At worst, they’ll see you not bothering to ask a question as pure, unbridled disinterest. So you must go prepared with a few good questions to end your interview.
This is super simple: Don’t ask anything you could find out on the uni’s webpage. Don’t ask about the campus or the module if all the information is there. You are expected to know the basics of the nursing degree, you’re meant to be convincing them you wouldn’t pass up the opportunity to study at their uni even if you won the Euromillions the next day. They say there’s no such thing as a stupid question but I promise you that is a bold-faced lie.
Also, don’t ask if you can choose your placement area. Student nurses need to be prepared to travel up to a few hours to get to their placement. Don’t like it? Don’t bother applying. Seriously.
When will I hear your decision after this interview?
This shows you’re keen, so keen you want them to make a decision right then. Remember, the uni gets funding if you choose them, so they want to see your adoration for the course and campus. Yo0u might not join the cheerleading squad, but you want them to know you’re cheering the uni from the skills lab.
Is there anything you’d like to know about me?
This shows you’re an open book. They might ask you something totally personal, like your motivation for being a nurse and not a doctor. They might take it casually and ask when the last time you had a takeaway was, and what you had. They might ask a plethora of questions, but it gives the interviewer chance to ask you things off script. Be honest and open, be friendly and chatty.
Is there anything I can do to prepare for the course, should I be lucky to get a place?
Be keen. Trust me, be so keen you’re almost at their feet. You might already have your anatomy and physiology book bought and paid for, you might have been an HCA for a few years. But show you’re ready to transition into being a nurse. I asked one set of interviewers which journal of all the nursing journals they feel is worth subscribing to. It won me some serious brownie points.
How big do you expect the intake’s cohort to be?
This is good for you as you’ll know the level of work you’re getting yourself into. A larger cohort means less one-to-one time, but also means you’ll be getting some seriously good lectures. Smaller cohorts seem to gel a lot quicker so get an idea of the level of work you’ll need to put into the inductions weeks and beyond.
How long have you been a nurse/at the university/etc?
Show your interest in other people. A nurse needs to know how to make the smallest of talk seem like the most important conversation of a person’s life. Have a chat! Ask about them, what they enjoy, where they’ve worked, their favourite patients… use that coveted skill of communication to show you’re personable, friendly, and would make a damn good addition to the team.
Do you have any suggestions or questions for an interview session? Leave a comment!