Do’s and Don’ts of the Nurse Practitioner Job Interview

Whenever I get dressed for a job interview, I feel like an awkward middle schooler. Given my penchant for wearing clothing without a waistband (i.e. scrubs), professional dress just seems awkward. The shoulder pads in my go-to blazer make me claustrophobic. The black pants I leave hanging in my closet for such occasions hit my ankles at what seems like all the wrong places. It’s safe to say I hate wearing a suit. But, to secure the perfect job it can be essential to brave such fashion ventures and pull it together professionally in order to ace an interview.

This week we’re talking J-O-B’s on the blog. Fall is a great time for a fresh start (have a pumpkin spice latte while you brush up your resume!) and a natural time for a career transition. So, I’ve pulled together a few interview do’s and don’ts to help you avoid common blunders nurse practitioners make when it comes to job interviews.

DO dress to impress. This means a suit and tie for guys and a suit or a professional dress and pumps for ladies. Yeah, yeah, healthcare is overall casual (sometimes too casual) but you only get one chance to make a first impression.

DO come prepared. Check out our Job Interview Checklist for details on what you need to get ready for the big day. Although this is a game day checklist, you should start prepping a week ahead of time if possible. You don’t want running errands like hitting up Target for quality resume paper to put you in a bind.

DO take notes throughout the interview, even if you think you can remember what was said. Taking notes shows you are engaged and actively listening. Among these notes should be a few questions for your interviewer that you have prepared in advance.

DO write your interviewer a “Thank You” note as soon as possible after the interview. Ideally, this should be a hand written note sent within a day or two of the interview. Recall specific details of your conversation in the note.

DO let your interviewer know you are highly interested in the job. Make it clear you are a good candidate for the position and that you look forward to continuing the interview process.


DON’T ask about salary or benefits in the first interview. Rather, center your questions more around company culture.

DON’T commit to anything in an interview. Rather, say “I promised myself I would consider any offers or commitments I make for a day or two so let me think about that and get back to you”. This prevents you from accepting an offer or term you may later regret.

DON’T speak poorly of former employers, colleagues, or your educational program. No one wants to work with a Negative Nancy. The only thing this will accomplish is leaving the interviewer wondering what you are saying about him or her once you leave the room.

DON’T be a no show. If something comes up, contact your interviewer with as much advanced notice as possible to reschedule or decline. Even if you no longer want the job, you never know when you will be looking again in the future.


What tips/advice can experienced nurse practitioners add about the NP job interview process?

If you are looking for a nurse practitioner job or would be open to a career change, don’t forget to check out the ThriveAP Job Board. Let us take care of the job search for you!


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