This is a question that you WILL be asked during an interview, so be prepared with something better than “I just need a job!” or “you’re the first place that called me for an interview.”  Depending on where you are in your nursing career, the answer is obviously going to vary.

Hopefully, nursing school gave you exposure to more than one hospital and more than one preceptor that gave you some idea of “what kind of nurse you want to be” when you grow up.  Asking questions to nurses you barely know about what they think about their jobs while they are your preceptors might be a tad awkward, but generally after six weeks of 12-hour rotations, you can get a feel from a variety of nurses on how they feel about their employers.  Taking some mental notes about employee satisfaction during clinicals is a good place to start your list of where you might or might not want to work after graduation.  Part of your answer can include your experiences in clinicals and what you experienced between the nurses, their patients and yourself in clinicals.

If a friend or former coworker referred you to the specific position, you can always use their name in the context of the answer

Another easy, “no brainer” way to help you prepare to answer this question is research.  Go online and do some research about the hospital in question before you even apply.  Every hospital has a website these days, and honestly, it’s also probably where you filled out your application.  Find their “About” or “History” section on their website, and do some reading about the hospital.  Take note of specifics that interest you, even if it doesn’t directly relate to the floor or position you are interviewing for, it still shows your interviewer that you put some thought into your job search process and you took time to do some reading about their hospital.  This also shows that you are proactively seeking out information and are taking initiative – both good nurse skills to show off in an interview.

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