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Top tips for your nursing degree interview

Applying for a nursing degree can be nerve-racking. Not only do you have the UCAS application to contend with, but you’ll likely have an interview to pass as well!

For many of you, this could be your first ever interview. Interviews can be unnerving for anybody, but if you prepare well enough, you can sail through.


  1. Know your “Why”

While interviews may start with standardised prompts to get you eased into your interview, one of the key questions you’ll be asked is why you want to be a nurse.

This is your opportunity to demonstrate your passion for the field. This is the most important part of the interview. The interviewer wants to see your drive for the role, as this will make it clear just how committed you are.

Be specific. You’ll have chosen which of the 4 core forms of nursing is the right one for you, so this is what you have to convey. Explain what inspires you.


  1. Explain that you’ve got the skills, or can learn them

There are several skills involved in being a good nurse, and you’re likely to have already demonstrated many of them.

Consider what qualities are required and have examples ready of when you’ve shown them (in any context).

In particular, you should consider qualities such as communication, compassion, empathy, and teamworking. You may also wish to consider problem-solving and sense of humour.

Talk about why these skills are important in nursing, and how you’ve already started developing these skills. This can come from any aspect of your life and does not necessarily have to come from work experience.


  1. Gain experience

If you’re reading this as a HCSW, you’ll have already gained plenty of relevant experience. If you’re an A-level or GCSE student, however, then make the most of your timetabled work experience to work in a caring setting. If this is in a hospital, GP practise or a care home, this would be ideal. You may also want to consider volunteer work in such settings.

If, however, this cannot be arranged for any reason, then remember that other experience can be relevant. Anywhere where you have demonstrated good time management, teamwork, empathy, and compassion.

For your interview, be prepared to talk about instances where you have demonstrated these skills and qualities.


  1. Study the Nursing and Midwifery Code

The Nursing and Midwifery Council has put together guidelines and standards for proficiency in nursing that you’ll be expected to meet as a nurse.

If you can demonstrate knowledge of this during your interview, the interviewer will be suitably impressed. More importantly however, you should have a good understanding of why such matters are held dear and should be upheld.


  1. Practise

Research potential interview questions and think about how you would go about answering some of the more common and relevant ones.

Then for a more thorough preparation, have someone sit across from you and ask you the questions. Answer calmly and confidently. You can even have the person ad lib, and ask you questions you weren’t even expecting! It’s a great way to prepare.


  1. Have questions of your own

Remember, the interview is not only about whether you are right for the course, but also whether the course is right for you. Asking questions during an interview shows that you’ve given the opportunity some serious thought.

You may wish to ask about placements or how your knowledge will be assessed, and more.


  1. Last but not least: be yourself

They key trick to any interview is to know that “You’ve got this”. When you feel confident and self-assured this can be seen in your posture and your smile. Remember they’re lucky to have you!