10 CNA Interview Mistakes You Should Avoid

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The interview part is probably the most critical step when trying to obtain employment in any field including working as a CNA. This is what you have worked for after taking and completing a CNA training class, passing the certified nursing assistant (CNA) certification exam, and creating a resume and cover letter. Once you get the interview from all your efforts, here are some interview mistakes to avoid so that you are a step closer to working in this field.

The interview is usually stressful for many people when searching for a job. Anything could go wrong. A CNA training class may also provide a great medium to prepare for the interview which should be helpful to you. While even acing an interview is not a guarantee that you will get the job, it is still important to perform at your best and avoid simple but common mistakes many people make in an interview that take their chances of getting the job down to zero.

Common Interview Mistakes

1. Selling yourself short.

Know what you bring to the table and what separates you from other job applicants. You need to list both your professional and personal abilities that will make you more appealing to the interviewer. This is not a time to be shy or “humble” about your abilities. You don’t need to wait for anyone to toot your horn. You need to be confident about what you bring to the table and why the company would be a fool not to hire you.

If you have great interpersonal relationship skills, highlight this. This skill is especially important for CNAs as you may have found out in a CNA training class because nursing assistants spend a lot of time working with other people whether they are patients, residents, family members or other staff members.  Are you dependable, always punctual, dedicated, loyal, do you take initiative? These and more are all things you need to mention and provide examples for.

2.  Failing research your employer

Most companies have an online presence so you can perform quick research on the company. What they do, who they compete with, how long they have been in business, etc.

3. Preparing thoughtful questions

The interview is not just an opportunity for the interviewer to get to know you. This is also a chance for you to get more information on whether this company would be a great fit for you so prepare some thoughtful questions before the interview. Have three or four great questions to ask the interviewer. He or she will appreciate it. Being given the chance to ask questions of the interviewer and saying you have no questions will definitely show your lack of enthusiasm and curiosity which are not qualities you want to have.

4. Failing to research the job

Get an understanding of the job description, responsibilities, and requirements and then try to draw parallels between what is required with the job and your talents, experiences, strengths and abilities. Doing this will help you to present how you match the job to the interviewer.

5. Not dressing the part

How you look is a very important part of a successful interview. As the saying goes, it is better to over dress than to under dress.  Professional attire is necessary for an interview. Pay attention to details such as ensuring that your outfit is clean and properly pressed, shoes are polished, etc.

If you do not have the clothing you need, borrow from friends and family or get an interview outfit from organizations that specialize in this such as Dress for Success. Being professional also means ensuring that you conduct yourself professionally.

After going through the challenge of completing a CNA training class, preparing for and passing the certification exam, do not let yourself make simple interview mistakes that will reduce your chances of getting the job you want with the company you want to work for.

6. Failing to do a mock interview

The chances of failure are greater when you simply try to win the interview. Practice makes perfect. Practice will certainly help you overcome some of the nervousness and stress associated with an interview.

Have a friend or family member be the interviewer and compile a list of questions you think may be asked during the interview and practice your responses to the questions until you feel comfortable and natural in your delivery.

You can also use a tape recorder, mirror, etc., to help you rehearse for the interview. A CNA training class will also be a great way to prepare for the interview by getting together with one or two other students and helping each other brush up on your interviewing skills.

7. Failing to be yourself

While the interview process may be somewhat nerve racking and stressful, do not do yourself a disservice by not being yourself.  Be honest and don’t pretend to understand questions when you do not. This is why a mock interview with your friends and family or fellow students in a CNA training class are so important to get you to feel more comfortable.

Remember that an interview is not just about you being in the hot seat. The company will also be in the hot seat in terms of using this opportunity to find out whether they are a good fit for you. You will be using this interview to find out more about the company, so try to relax. The interview is an exchange and a true exchange occurs when you are not trying to portray yourself as something that you are not.

8. Not being a good listener

Try to focus on the question being asked and not trying to anticipate the next question or your response to that question. Relax and let the Q and A flow naturally. Don’t get lost in your own thoughts especially when technical aspects of the job are being discussed or other work related subjects especially those not covered in a CNA training class are brought up by the interviewer.

Employers will most certainly be looking for your ability to retain the information given and use this information throughout the interview. If you bring up something they may have said earlier in the interview, the interviewer will be impressed.

9. Failing to provide enough details

When responding to technical questions, case questions or solving other technical problems, try to take the time to “talk through” you’re thinking. Interviewers will be very interested to see how your mind works as you try to solve a problem much more so than in the actual answer that you give.

10. Not being enthusiastic

Enthusiasm is catching and most people like being around such a person because they always seem to have such energy. Use a firm handshake that is neither too strong nor too weak. Maintain comfortable eye contact (no staring!). Greet the interviewer with a smile. Do not be afraid to display your confidence and your passion for the job and the company.

The mistakes covered in part 1 and part 2 will certainly help you be more prepared for the interview. Also, do not forget to use a CNA training class and the other students in the class to better prepare for the interview so that you are less stressed and nervous. Preparation is the best way to ace an interview and get the job.

So How to Succeed in CNA Job Interview?

But truth be told there really is no reason to be nervous. If you stop and think about it, the employer needs you just as much as you need them. With the right answers and a good attitude, you can convince just about any employer that you are the right candidate. Here are some tips to help you answer questions during a job interview.

Be Confident – If you’ve made it as far as the interview that means you’ve already completed your training and passed the licensing exam. You have the knowledge and demonstrated skill to perform your job well, so there’s no reason to doubt yourself. If you display confidence when answering questions asked of you that will go a long way toward landing you the job. Remember, you’re trying to convince them you are the best candidate.

Be Articulate – Proper diction and articulation are vital in convincing the interviewer that you are a person suitable for a CNA position. If you have trouble communicating in the interview you’ve already planted the suspicion in the interviewer’s mind that you won’t be able to successfully communicate on the job. This is serious because an inability to communicate could cause serious harm to a patient. Before your interview take a few weeks to practice speaking clearly and articulately. Ask friends and family members to critique your speech and give you helpful suggestions.

Stay Away from Slang – Slang words may be acceptable in normal day-to-day conversation, but they have no place in a job interview. When you use too much slang you give the impression that you lack intelligence, motivation, and self-respect. Whether or not it’s true, that’s impression others will have of you. Make sure you use all the proper terminology you learned in your training coupled with correct grammar and pronunciation.

Ask Yourself Questions – In the days leading up to your interview start asking yourself questions you think you might hear. In other words, if you were the interviewer what would you want to know about the applicant? If you can think of some of these questions ahead of time, you’ll be better prepared to give appropriate answers. We’ve listed below some of the more common questions you’re likely to hear during your interview. Keep in mind that this is not an all-inclusive list; there are probably some we’ve not included here that you will be asked.

Sample questions:

  • Please tell me a little bit about yourself.
  • Why have you chosen to pursue a career as a CNA?
  • Why did you choose our facility to apply with?
  • What do you already know about our facility?
  • What do you think are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
  • What makes you a better candidate than the others we will interview?
  • Where do you see yourself and your career five years from now?