Having Your First “Real” Job Interview

By Vincenzo Julian

I’ve had other job interviews before, but nothing really compared to this one. The other interviews were for on-campus positions, and while they were still somewhat nerve wrecking and rigorous, they would not significantly affect my career goals if all went south (thankfully, none went south!). A lot banked on me getting this job at XYZ Hospital, so that’s why I classify this as my first “real” interview.

I’m placing a lot of importance on this interview because as an aspiring Physician Assistant (PA), I need a truck-load of patient contact hours in order to apply to PA graduate programs. One of the ways you can gain this experience is by working as a nursing assistant, which is what I applied for at XYZ Hospital!

After interviewing with both a human resources recruiter and a manager for this job, here are some things I took away from the process:

  • Coming prepared to an interview makes it 10x easier. This means having copies of your resume, references, and any other documents that you need or think may be useful at the ready!
  • Even though you don’t know exactly what the interviewer will ask, preparing answers to typical interview questions, like “What are your greatest strengths? Weaknesses? A time when you had to problem-solve?” can REALLY help you stay calm and collected during the interview.
  • Sometimes, the interview process isn’t as scary as you think it will be. From this experience, both the human resources recruiter and manager were SO welcoming and showed they really cared about you as a person as well as a possible future employee.
  • The interview process can seem very robotic, like you are just simply rehashing a script. And to be honest, it is exactly that sometimes. However, as cliché as it sounds, just be your genuine self. People respond well to honesty and sincerity. Be prepared, but I think most importantly, be you J

And those are my words of wisdom regarding the interview process! Best of luck to anyone who has an interview coming up!

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