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CNA Training & Classes | November 18, 2018

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6 Tips to Ace Your CNA Interview

You’ve finished school, your certificate is in hand.  Now to land a job!

Easy, right?

Not so fast! First, you must get through that dreaded interview!

Whether this is your first interview or your 100th, follow these tips to land the CNA job of your dreams.

Be Prepared

Think a CNA interview is going to be a breeze, right? Think again!  The interview is the employers chance to avoid hiring the wrong person, so you must present yourself as the perfect candidate.

Part of this is being extra prepared and ready with all your documentation at hand in case they ask for something, even if you have already submitted it before the interview.

Find a clean, professional folder and always carry the following:

  • Extra copies of your resume
  • CNA certification information
  • CPR card
  • List of references (at least 3)
  • Letters of recommendation
  • Paper and pen

Showing up prepared and with additional copies of all your documents will show your potential employers that you are ready for anything that the job may throw at you!

Look Professional

Since you will be working in scrubs there is no need to dress up for your CNA interview, right?

Wrong!

While a full suit is not necessary, dressing professionally is very important to give a good first impression at an interview.  If you wear casual clothing, you may give off the idea that you are not serious about the job, or that you don’t really care about the interview.

When picking out an outfit for your interview, keep the following things in mind:

  • Make sure your clothing is clean and in good shape
  • Make sure it fits you well – not too loose or too tight
  • Not to revealing – no cleavage or bared back or midriff
  • No need to wear a suit – try for dress pants and a dress shirt or blouse

If you present yourself at your interview with clean, professional clothing, you will show that you can behave professionally and that you care about the job and the interview.

Pre-prepare Your Answers

There is nothing worse than sitting in an interview scrambling to think of an answer to a question.  You can literally hear the seconds tick by…and feel the job pass through your fingers!

You can prevent this situation by preparing answers to some commonly asked questions.  While these will not cover all the questions you may face in an interview, it will give you a solid foundation to build on:

  1. “Why did you decide to become a CNA ”
  2. “Where do you see yourself in 5 years”
  3. “What are your strengths and weaknesses”
  4. “Why did you leave your last job”

Also, come prepared with examples for the following situational questions:

  • Tell us about a time when…
    • You dealt with a difficult patient
    • You worked well with others
    • You dealt with a conflict
    • You prioritized care
  • What would you do if…
    • A patient refused care
    • You saw a co-worker yelling at a patient
    • Your patient became aggressive
    • You felt your co-worker wasn’t doing his/her assignment

By being prepared with answers to these common interview questions, you will seem like you can think on your feet and will be ready to showcase your incredible skills and talents.

Keep it Short

While you want to arrive prepared will questions, you also don’t want to blather on and on.  Not only will you risk saying the wrong thing and jeopardizing the interview, but eventually the interviewers will get bored and start tuning you out.

The best strategy is to look at the job posting and make sure you mention everything on the list.  Not only will it help organize your thoughts, but it will make you seem like the perfect candidate for the job!

Also, be sure not to be to familiar.  You are not there to make a new friend, you are there to get a job.  Talking about fashion or asking where they got their nails done will only make you seem less professional.

Listen

When the interviewer is speaking to you, be sure to practice active listening.  This will make you not only appear professional and attentive but will make you seem in tune with the interviewer, making them more likely to chose you for the job.

Active listening involves:

  • Tuning your body towards the interviewer
  • Keeping your arms open – don’t cross your arms or hug your waist
  • Look the interviewer in the eyes when they are speaking to you
  • Match the interviewers timing and pace when answering questions – if they are talking slow and steady, don’t start speaking fast and pressured
  • Nod occasionally
  • Smile and use other facial expressions
  • Encourage the speaker to continue using words like “uh-huh” or “”

By practicing active listening, you are not only showing professionalism and respect to the interviewer but are demonstrating how you can interact well with the patients.

Come Prepared with Questions

At the end of every interview, there is always the dreaded “Do you have any questions?”

No need to ask questions, right?

Think again!

Asking questions at this point in the interview not only shows that you are interested in the job, but that you are involved in the decision to take the job or not.

The best questions to ask are:

  • Time and length of orientation
  • Staff-to-patient ratios
  • Run through a typical day
  • Educational opportunities

Some questions you will want to avoid are:

  • Benefits
  • Vacation time
  • How to get days off
  • Sick days
  • Picking your rotation

Coming prepared with questions will show the interviewer that you are serious about the job and will stop you from seeming desperate.  Asking the right questions will show that you care about the working life on the job and are not solely there for the money or benefits.

Interviews are hard.  While you might be the greatest CNA of all time, you could totally blow the job with a bad interview!  If you follow these 6 tips, you will be sure to ace that CNA job interview!