How To Interview for a Career as a Certified Nursing Assistant

You have the education. You have the training. You have the desire to help those at their most vulnerable. Having a great interview with a prospective employer is one of the last steps you’ll take to put your career in motion.

That’s no small task. Job interviews can be one of the most stressful situations we willingly put ourselves in. But, and this is true no matter what job you interview for, there are steps you can take before the interview to manage your anxiety levels.

Get a good night of sleep – a day early

Understandably, the night before an interview can be filled with tossing and turning. And while turning off your brain the night before is difficult, giving your body the rest it needs doesn’t have to be. Make sure to get plenty of sleep two nights before the interview to help make up for sleep you might miss out on the eve before an interview.

Eat enough to keep hunger at bay

A grumbling stomach during an interview can be an embarrassing, and unwanted, sideshow. A piece of fruit, energy bar, or something light can keep the growling silent. Don’t eat too much, though – you don’t want to be sluggish during the interview.

Plan your trip

Don’t add to the interview stress by adding getting lost, traffic, or rushing around stress. Plan your trip the night before, or even drive to the interview place a day or two before, so you know where you are going. Be aware of how traffic is flowing – normal or standstill? Remove as many variable as possible to make it smooth sailing.

Schedule an interview for the morning

A little bit of anxiety the night before an interview is expected. No reason to keep the anxiety going all throughout the day as well. A morning interview will get it out of the way, allowing you to spend the rest of the day unwinding. If you have a job currently, take the whole day off if possible. Rushing from job, to interview, and back to the job adds a lot of unnecessary stress.

Be prepared

You know why you want the job, but it doesn’t hurt to practice telling someone else why you want it. Across all careers, telling an interviewer about yourself, strengths and weaknesses, why you want the job and why you’re leaving a current job are standard. For a Certified Nursing Assistant job, there are specific questions you may have to answer:

  • Why do you want to work as a CNA?
  • How would you handle a difficult patient?
  • If a nurse or doctor is doing something improperly, what do you do?
  • How do you make sure a shift change is seamless?

While it is important to be able to answer how you would assist a client with activities of daily living or lift a patient into their bed, you covered these during the CNA testing period. How you address interpersonal situations are important now.

At the end of the interview, thank the interviewer for their time and be sure to ask when a decision will be made. Remember to send a thank you note a day or two later – it shows a level of interest and professionalism. And, of course, exhale. If you are able to have the rest of the day to yourself, unwind by going to the gym, seeing a movie, or even hit a happy hour. You’ve just been through a stressful situations – relax a little.