How to Ace an Interview

Article Written and Interview by: Debbie Stokes

Have you ever wondered why you didn’t get that job? The one where you thought you aced the interview.

I know I’ve asked that question before. Then I would start thinking about what could have gone wrong.

Did I not answer the questions correctly?

Were my answers not effective or believable?

Did I not make a good impression?

With so many others who may have been interviewed that day for the same job, why didn’t I stand out?

I know there are many of you who have gone through some interviews where you know in your heart you had all the skills they were looking for, all the qualifications, good references, and you probably felt like you did a good job on the interview, but to your surprise, you didn’t get the job.

I know you have wondered or asked yourself some of the same things I mentioned above.

Well, don’t worry, I have invited Dr. Bridget Leonard to talk to you about how to ace the interview to increase your chances of getting that next job.

Bridget Leonard is a decisive and inspirational nursing leader. She is currently employed as a Chief Nursing Officer of a magnet certified hospital, serving over 20 years in various nursing leadership roles in the acute hospital and long-term care settings. Bridget has interviewed and hired hundreds of healthcare professionals throughout her career.

3WV: What is the proper way to dress for an interview?

Bridget: How you present yourself is important because first impressions are everything. You want the potential employer or interviewer to see you in a good light. Ladies should wear a nice dress, or dress shirt and dress pants, or a skirt with no slit. The dress or skirt should not be high cut—more than an inch above the knee, or excessively tight. You want to avoid multiple piercings, especially in the facial area and brightly colored hair. Wear a closed-toe, low heel if possible, as a walking tour may be apart of the interview. In addition, avoid excessive earrings, bracelets, and perfume.

BWV: What’s the best way to prepare for an interview?

Bridget: Practice and research can help you to be prepared for an interview. It helps to build confidence about yourself and knowledge about the company. The following are some ways to prepare for an interview:

    • Read the job description. Ensure that you either meet the qualifications or that the business will provide the training during orientation.
    • Have a friend or family member to ask you interview questions and become comfortable with only answering the question being asked.
    • Research the company and jot down some important facts.
    • Review the mission and vision of the company, and determine how do they align with your skills, ethics, and beliefs.
    • Be sure you definitely know about yourself. You must know your strengths, opportunities for improvement, motivation level, ability to work on a team, ability to lead initiatives and think outside the box, and most importantly, your self-worth.

3WV: What are some things to say that could set you apart from every other interviewee?

Bridget: These are some things to say to the interviewer that could help set you apart:

    • Why should I consider working for this company, what do you offer that I can’t get from your biggest competitor?
    • I love learning, growing, and conquering challenges is that a possibility working here?
    • Are there opportunities for advancement?
    • What makes you keep coming back everyday?
    • May I give you a hard copy of my resume?

3WV: What are some complete turnoffs for most interviewers?

Bridget: The list of things below will absolutely turnoff an interviewer. These are things you should never do.

    • Don’t be late
    • Don’t be more than ½ hour early
    • Don’t be improperly dressed
    • Don’t wear loud perfume
    • Don’t be too comfortable, speaking as if you’ve known each other for years
    • Don’t ask about pay
    • Don’t speak bad about previous employers or co-workers
    • Don’t mention names
    • Don’t veer away from the question being asked
    • Don’t use your phone or have the ringer on
    • Don’t bring friends, kids, or family to the interview
    • Don’t chew gum

3WV: What’s the best way to handle a group of interviewers vs a single interviewer?

Bridget: Be sure to take notes whether there is a single interviewer or a group of interviewers.

    • A single interviewer wants the following things: you to have constant eye contact, only the question being asked to be answered, wants you to clarify questions if needed, and wants you to thank them at the end of the interview.
    • A group of interviewers want: you to maintain eye contact, appear confident, to repeat the question or ask that the question is repeated. Also, for you to ask each interviewer a follow-up question, and for you to thank everyone at the end of the interview.

3WV: How important is it to do your research on the company you are trying to get hired by?

Bridget: It is imperative for you to do research about the company so you are able to speak about some of the company facts. It shows you are interested and have taken extra steps to assess the company’s needs.

What about with researching yourself? You must do a self-analysis and be truthful about your strengths, weaknesses, and the opportunities for you to do better.

3WV: How should you handle advising the interviewer about your criminal record or missed time on an application?

Bridget: I wouldn’t freely disclose my criminal record unless asked. Yet, if it is asked on the application be truthful, as this can be a reason for termination if information is falsified on the application. Missed time on an application can be explained. For instance, you can state you were caring for the kids, looking for a different career path, or taking classes for growth, etc.

3WV: Is it appropriate to ask the interviewer questions? When is the right time to ask about money?

Bridget: Definitely ask questions as this shows interest. Come to the interview with 3 questions in mind.The right time to ask about money is when the job offer is being made; you can inform them you need 24 hour to consider. You may counter their offer if you feel the pay is too low; however, they don’t have to increase pay, but it usually warrants further discussion on their end, especially if they really want you to come to the company.

3WV: How important is it to remove negative or derogatory things from your social media accounts before the interview?

Bridget: This is critical. In today’s social media—some employers are visiting your pages to assess your character. Make sure you remove any derogatory statements and inappropriate pictures.

3WV: Does an interviewer have the right to your social media pages? How should you handle it if they ask you for the link information?

Bridget: Yes, they have a right. As business owners, they want to protect the integrity of their companies. If they ask for your link information, feel free to ask them—is it mandatory for employment and how will the information be used?

3WV: How important is it to have some personal goals in mind just in case you are asked about it?

Bridget: Very important; it allows the interviewer to see that you have potential and the desire to do more inside and outside of the company.

3WV: How should you handle the tough questions when you have to think on the spot, especially if you don’t have an answer?

Bridget: Ask that the question be repeated, and try to break up the question in chunks. If you can’t think of an answer immediately, ask the interviewer, if it’s possible to come back to that question.

3WV: Give examples of good body language and bad body language on an interview.

Bridget: Your posture and body language can have a great impact on whether you get the job or not. For that reason, It is important to have a positive body language. Of course, there are other determining factors, as well, to determine whether you will get the job. Below is a list of the good and bad body languages interviewers will notice:

Good Body Language:

    • Sitting up straight
    • Maintaining eye contact
    • Limiting talking with hands
    • Firm handshake
    • Unfolded arms
    • Relaxed facial expression
    • Smile
    • Lean in slightly to show you are engaged

Bad Body Language:

    • Poor or aggressive eye contact
    • Slouching in seat
    • Fidgeting with nails/clothes
    • Excessive laughing
    • Rolling eyes
    • Limp handshake
    • Looking bored or disinterested
    • Playing with hair
    • Not smiling

3WV: How important is eye contact?

Bridget: Very important—good eye contact implies trust, interest, and engagement.

3WV: Is it ever okay to follow up with the company before they contact you?

Bridget: Yes, preferably send a thank you letter via email instead of a phone call. Ask for the interviewer’s business card before you leave so you can have access to their email.

3WV: Is it appropriate to give a copy of your resume and cover letter to the interviewer?

Bridget: Yes, a hard copy shows interest and professionalism, especially if on high quality paper. This simple act helps to separate you from the rest of the applicants.

3WV: What is your information if people wanted to contact you?


Facebook: Bridget Leonard or Dr Bridget Leonard DNP

Instagram: IAmBridgetLeonard

Twitter: IAmBridgetLeonard

***** Bridget has written a book not related to the interview above, she would love for you to check it out. Link is below:

Statistics state that over 50% of marriages end in divorce and 60% of Christian marriages fail. Marriages and relationships can be difficult at times especially when you don’t have the tools to make your relationship resilient. Marriage Chronicles is a guide packed with different shades of triumph over hardship in marriage and relationships declaring all marriages don’t have to end in divorce.

⇒ Link for Her Book:

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