The hiring process for a CNA begins with an application followed by a resume, and if you are fortunate, you may receive an invitation to an interview. There are a few things to consider before attending an interview.
An interview is a potential employer’s first true impression of you. Your CNA Resume was a success, but now you must illustrate your strengths face to face. Many people may feel put on the spot during an interview, so it is always a good idea to have a general understanding of what you might be asked. The interviewer should have a copy of your resume, but it is always a good idea to bring a copy for yourself as a reference for the interview.
An employer will almost always ask why you want to work for them. Think about this before you arrive at the interview. You want to answer honestly and your answer should be genuine, but try to avoid the old clichés associated with health care. Try to avoid saying your reasoning for seeking employment there is because you want to help people. Of course you want to help people or you wouldn’t have chosen a position of service as a career option. This statement may very well be true but it is overused and doesn’t really answer the question. What can this potential place of employment do to advance your career and accommodate your lifestyle?
An acceptable answer to this question could be that you would like to broaden your horizons and expand upon your knowledge base as a C.N.A. You could also be seeking a challenge or just want a stable, full time job with great benefits. You may simply be looking for employment that fits well with your child’s school schedule. Think about what you are seeking and be honest with yourself and your interviewer. It will benefit you in the long run to ensure your needs are met.
Another question that is commonly asked during a job interview is regarding your work history. A potential employer will want to know your employment background and working experience to better judge whether or not you are qualified for the job. You don’t have to list every job that you have ever had. Elaborate on the most recent one first and include any special skills or training that you received while working there. Generally, the interviewer will guide you regarding how much information they need. Take a brief pause and let them lead. If they want more information, they will ask.
The topic of payment is sure to come up. Sometimes an employer will ask you the amount of payment that you desire or they will simply tell you how much the position pays. It is acceptable to discuss a higher rate of pay. A C.N.A. with 15 years of experience should expect to earn a higher wage than an entry level C.N.A. If you feel that the offered amount is well below your capabilities then you should definitely discuss this with your employer. If the amount is a set rate and the employer will not budge on that amount then you could inquire about a probable opportunity for a pay rate increase and the details and time frame involved. If you are still unsatisfied with the proposed rate of payment then perhaps you should seek employment elsewhere. An entry level C.N.A. may want to consider a job with reasonable pay and good benefits to start with and then look for advancement after you gain a little working experience.
The sole purpose of an interview is to find a position of employment that is right for you and for the employer to find an employee right for the position. Not every position that you interview for will be the right fit for you or for the employer. Try not to become discouraged. If you go into an interview with a positive attitude and direct sense of what you are seeking in a position of employment, then you are sure to find a position that will be beneficial and satisfactory to both you and your employer.
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Written by Stephanie Dubenezic RN, LPN