5 Things Not to Say in an Interview

The interviewer determining whether you are a strong candidate and a good fit for their company and culture comes down to what you say and how you say it, in the interview. A good way to prepare yourself is to think about the things you don’t want to say and think of some things you do want to get covered.

The interviewer is not interested in your personal life, holiday plans or why you need to get hired for this job. They want to know who the best candidate for the job is. That being said, here are 5 things to not say in the interview.

Negativity about previous job or boss

Remaining professional and positive during an interview is especially important. The interviewer may ask you questions like “Why are you looking for a new job?” or “What didn’t you like about your previous positions?”. Your ability to answer these questions while avoiding a negative manner about your previous employer or job can show the employer that you can remain professional.

Positive answers to these questions can fill the interviewer with confidence that you will be a good addition to their companies’ culture and that you will not say anything negative about them in the future.

Do not just give yes or no answers.

For much of the time, interviewers will ask you open ended questions, however, sometimes you will get a yes or no question. It is important to elaborate on your answer and not just say yes or no and leave it at that.

If the hiring manager asks you a question you don’t have an answer to, you can ask them to elaborate or if you must, re word and turn it around on them.

If they persist and continue to look for a response, say you would be happy to answer after you do some follow up research, this shows that you have an eagerness to learn, which will help the situation.

 “I don’t have any questions”.

At the end of the interview most interviewers will ask if you have any questions. It is important when preparing for an interview to have some meaningful questions prepared to ask the employer, this shows that you have interest in the company and in the position.

How much does this job pay?

If you can help it, don’t be the first one to bring up salary. If you are too quick to mention money, it might come across to the employer that all you are after is the money. This is an especially mortal sin at the first meeting. When you find out more about the company and your role, you will be able to better determine your salary range.

Not following up.

If you felt  that you under preformed in an interview, a simple email reiterating your interest is a courtesy that may just pay off in the long run.

How to prepare for Online Interviews

The structure of recruitment has had to change in the last few weeks as the current global pandemic has made face to face meetings a taboo subject.

This should not make job seekers complacent however, as there is very little difference from face to face interviews and those done via online platforms, meaning the same preparation is required.

This article is packed with tips on all the do’s and dont’s when getting ready for your online interview.


Make sure that you have a suitable location to conduct the interview, ideally a quiet and tidy room to eliminate any and all distractions. The last thing you want is for your potential employer to be focusing on your Winnie the Pooh teddy or the empty water bottles you’ve been meaning to discard for weeks instead of how great you could be for the role. Notify all family members or flatmates that this room is off limits during the time allocated, we all know the video of Professor Robert Kelly’s interview getting gatecrashed by his two young children and while hilarious for those of us watching, Robert Kelly can get away with it, you a potential employee cannot so lock the door if needs be and make sure that there will be no interruptions.

The last thing you want is for your potential employer to be focusing on your Winnie the Pooh teddy.


Always make sure that you are fully set up on the device and the platform you are working off. Do a test call to a family member and make sure that the internet connection and sound are all working to the best quality. A bad connection could lead to a postponed interview and this does not often make the best first impression to a potential employer, you can trust that the competition will have made sure to have their equipment fully functioning and this could be difference between getting that job you have been dreaming of.

Dress to Impress

The biggest mistake a candidate can make is to think they do not need to dress professionally for an online interview. Dressing suitably and professionally not only shows the interviewer that you are serious about the position on offer but also gives you, the interviewee a sense of confidence you will not feel in your day to day attire so put away the Disney slippers and baggy sweatpants and get suited and booted and I don’t mean just from the waist up, you need to be fully presentable not only for the benefit of the employer but for yourself.

Ditch the pyjamas and dress professionally – not only for the benefit of the employer but yourself.

The Name of Shame

This one might not seem like a big deal and often gets overlooked but my advice to candidates doing an online interview is to first make sure that their username on the platform they are using is interview and work appropriate, while BilboSwaggins and LiverpoolfcFoLyf were ok for your MSN back in the day, it can make it hard for an interviewer to not only keep a straight face but can leave them questioning how seriously you are taking the interview and the position they are offering within their company. Where possible use your first and last name in some format so it is clear to the interviewer who they are to link up with.

Say that to my face

Eye contact and visibility are just as important on an online interview as they are face to face so make sure that you are fully visible on the screen and maintaining eye contact regularly throughout the call. Intriguing as it is to watch your neighbour cut the grass try not to stare out the window and where possible position yourself to make this impossible, your full attention should be on the interviewer and the questions they are asking.

Try not to stare out the window at your neighbour cutting the grass.

Don’t Worry be Happy

Last but not least, relax!! Try to calm your nerves and get settled in your surroundings prior to the interview. An interviewer and still pick up on nerves even when not face to face and nerves are to be

expected so don’t be worrying, if you have done your homework and have followed the above steps then you have given yourself the best chance at securing your dream job.

Article Written By:
Grainne Flynn – Recruitment Consultant, Servisource.

Top 10 Healthcare Job Interview Tips

The stakes are high in any job interview, but in a healthcare job interview, the questions can be especially tough.

First of all – Congratulations!! After all your hard work; you’ve got the healthcare job interview! If you are feeling stressed, worried or anxious; don’t worry, everyone feels the same!

A healthcare job Interview can be a very stressful time BUT preparation is the key in order to sound polished and professional – read on for some of our top interview tips.

An interview should be a conversation, a time for you to show your potential employer why they should hire you.

Because healthcare is such an “in demand” field in Ireland, there is quite a lot of competition. If you want to beat your competition, you need to learn how to answer some of the most common healthcare job interview questions.

Common Generic Healthcare Job Interview Questions:

  • Why Do You Want the Job? Why did you choose to work in the healthcare profession?
    This is very specific to the role you choose in healthcare where the employer basically wants to know your motivations; which is often best portrayed using an anecdote.
  • How Do You Handle Stressful Situations? How do you perform under pressure?
    This as an opportunity to show how you can stay calm and logical when faced with a stressful situation – use STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) examples of your previous experience within healthcare.
  • What Is Your Biggest Weakness?
    Don’t put yourself down – try to rephrase this question in order to sound like a strength.
  • Why Should We Hire You?
    Often, candidate do not want to be boastful however we would advise linking in the company values and mission statement & how you would be a good fit.Additionally, provide at least 3 examples of your strengths or achievements within your previous roles.
  • What previous experience or skills have you gained that will help you work in this specific healthcare field?
    Link in any previous experience within the healthcare industry; personally or professionally. Back up what you say with examples.
  • Are you comfortable around people with serious illnesses or death?
    Similarly to the “why did you choose to work in healthcare” question – this is often best portrayed using an anecdote.
  • What valuable impact do you hope to make in the field? What are the specific accomplishments in your career?
    Align your answer around the job specification and any information the interviewer provides around the goals for the person within this role.

What would we advise you to do – Top Tips for a healthcare job interview:

  1. Learn about the company – this is key, know the company inside out, check out their website, tap into any industry contacts you have and find out the company values to ensure they align with yours.
  2. Interview Preparation – Part of your preparation must involve looking for specific questions related to the career or role you are applying for within the healthcare field.For example, doctors would have different interview questions than nurses, but there could be a cross over with nurse questions and healthcare assistant questions. Make sure you cover everything.
  3. Arrive before time – don’t be sitting in traffic anxious that you are going to be late, have your research done for how long it is going to take you to get there and add on some time in case of traffic or road works, we all know that roadworks are everywhere these days

If it’s a skype or telephone interview – ensure all technology is ready and working, do you have enough coverage and battery, are you in a quiet secluded area?

Overseas Nurse applying for roles in Ireland – The Skype Interview

  1. Dress for the occasion – As with any interview, your first impression a healthcare job interview is important. Dress professionally, make sure your shoes are polished, your clothes are ironed and that your accessories are low key.
  2. Stay on topic & clarify questions if needed – Listen carefully to the interviewer’s words and answer the question as specifically as you can relating your background, experience and skills to the position requirements.

Focus on accomplishments appropriate to the role – don’t go off topic & if the question is vague, ask the interviewer to clarify the question.

Practice, practice, practice – practice your answers, get a friend or family member to ask you some questions, ask them to be honest in their feedback and work on their feedback

  1. Try to remain calm – Because healthcare is so important, employers in a healthcare job interview want to be sure they’re getting the best of the best, so they could potentially throw some curveballs to see how you handle a pressurised situation.

Take deep breaths before you go into your interview, slow down your speech, pause if necessary to compose yourself, confidently answer the question posed to you as best you can.

  1. Body language & eye contact – a lot of interviews nowadays are an interview panel – thus remember to look at the person that is asking you the question. Avoid slouching, no chewing gum, avoid touching your face/hair. Maintain eye contact throughout the interview.
  2. Communicate slowly and clearly – its very easy to speak quickly when you are nervous, but you want the interviewer to understand and hear your answers, speak clearly – no mumbling
  3. Ask questions – Within your healthcare job interview, have questions prepared to ask the employer which align with your career plan; such as:
    1. What training programs are available to the person in this position?
    2. What are your goals for the person within this role?
    3. Are there currently any obstacles for the person in this position that must be overcome in order to succeed?
    4. Are there opportunities within your company for growth or progression within the next 12 months – 2 years?
  4. Closing the interview – Always express your appreciation for the interviewers time. If you feel like the interview may not have gone your way; a good closing question to ask the interviewer is:“Thank you for providing me with additional information about the role and the company; I feel I have the qualities and values that align with what you are looking for. Based on our discussion today – is there anything you would like me to expand on or do you have any concerns that I wouldn’t be a good fit for this position?”

This gives the interviewer the opportunity to be honest with you and also provides you with an opportunity to squash any doubt in their mind that you are the perfect candidate for this role.

Now you are ready to attend your interview so best of luck in securing your dream role!

Don’t forget that everyone gets interview nerves before an interview, so remember that this is normal.

If you are unsuccessful don’t worry, learn from the interview you have had and use it to prepare better for your next one, there will be other opportunities in the future.

For 12 common nurse interview questions – please click here.

Servisource Healthcare provides cost effective solutions; helping our long-standing clients manage budgets, reduce workloads, maintain staffing levels and deliver premium patient care.

Click here to view all open roles in Healthcare

If you would like to accelerate your healthcare career, please contact us today on [email protected]

Article Written By:
Deirdre Treanor | Permanent Nurse Recruiter
Email[email protected]

DD: +353 42 936 8395    | Tel: +353 (0) 42 93 52723  

Overseas Nurse applying for roles in Ireland – The Skype Interview

What are the most difficult aspects of a Skype Nursing Interview?

If you are an overseas nurse applying for roles in Ireland or any international nursing position, employers opt for Skype or video conference interviews making the interview process much quicker than the time consuming face-to-face interview process.

Are you an overseas nurse applying for roles in Ireland & wondering how to shine in your interview? All the general rules of a face to face job interview still apply.

Skype interviews can be easier than phone conversations as you can portray your enthusiasm, positive energy and passion using non-verbal communication. We have compiled a list of tips on how to prepare for a Skype interview.

  1. Practice a call via skype prior to the actual interview & be on time

In order to test the Skype connection prior to the interview, carry out a mock call to a friend to test the line and make sure the camera is at the right angle so that the client can clearly see you.

Using Skype, your potential employer’s first impression of you is your Skype username and profile picture. Ensure that you have a professional name and not a nickname as this can reflect your professionalism. It is also advised to keep your account photo professional.

Do not be late logging in for your interview. Get signed into your Skype nice and early to avoid any last-minute problems.

  1. Ensure all technology is ready and working

If possible, do your test call on the day of the interview to ensure you have a strong signal or that your wireless network doesn’t cut out on you. It is also advised you do a mock interview prior to your interview date to ensure that you are aware of how to use skype, also have your interviewer added to your contacts as soon as these details are given to you.

Ensure that your computer/laptop is fully charged.

Use a good quality microphone or Bluetooth headset to enhance the audio and sound quality.

Note: If there is a problem with technology, do not panic. Advise the interviewer that your connection is not functioning and use this as an opportunity to show that you can stay calm and logical when faced with a problem

  1. The interview environment

The environment in which you hold the interview is very important as you do not want any distractions from children or pets. A blank or neutral background is best, with a well-organised desk.

Having the correct lighting will help your interviewer see you at your best. The best lighting is natural light from a nearby window – preferably looking towards the natural so that it brightens your face.

Tip: If you have any awards or certificates, significant and valid achievements to the role you are applying for – you might want to show them in the background, but ensure it is not cluttered as this may distract the interviewer (and would portray a lack of organisational skills). Also have your passport with you to confirm your identity to your interviewer.

Make sure to silence your phone and email alerts.

  1. Dress for the occasion

If you are an overseas nurse applying for roles in Ireland, your presentation in a video call is very important, as unlike a phone interview, you cannot hide your appearance. Non-verbal cues are important when you are not face to face, so keep your appearance professional.

Dress as you would if you were going for a face-to face interview. You may feel silly but the client will be impressed and you will feel more confident.

  1. Interview Preparation

It goes without saying that you must prepare properly for any interview. At Servisource, our qualified recruiters will go through a mock interview with you, however, below are some points to keep in mind:

  • Make sure you know your CV well – it is easy to talk about the things you know, such as your nursing experience and your passions.
  • The interviewer/panel will inquire about what you know about the hospital and the role.
    • Ensure you research the company for which you’re interviewing for and read about the hospitals values, its location, what additional services it offers (for potential career progression).
    • This shows how much you want the role, but you can also develop your interview answers around the client’s values, which portrays how serious you are about this role and opportunity.

Read more, if you are a recent graduate, struggling to make the transition from student to career 

  • Have a thorough read of the job description and interlink; giving as much detail as possible; your previous experience, qualifications and training by creating SMART examples to show your competency in the role.

Note: Do not assume that the people interviewing you know everything about nursing. Show off every piece of your expertise to the interviewer.

  • All of your research will enable you to prepare questions for the interviewers – an interview is not only an opportunity for the hiring manager to learn more about you, but for you to learn more about the facility and the role.
  1. Body language & eye contact

Just like a face-to-face interview, your body language during video interviews is very important. A positive attitude shows that you’re friendly and confident.

Ensure you sit up straight and look at the camera instead of the screen (this is the only way to ‘establish’ eye contact with the interviewer).

Undeniably, less body language can be conveyed on a video link; ensure your passions show through the tone of your voice and attentiveness.

  1. Communicate slowly and clearly

Try to speak clearly and slowly, loud enough to block out any background noise but do not shout. If there are transmission delays when speaking, try to be patient and don’t panic. Wait for the interviewer to stop talking before you begin.

Common Nursing Job Interview Questions to help you prepare (these will differ dependant on the role however it will give you a rough idea or the types of questions to prepare for):

  1. Describe in detail the type of ward in the hospital you are currently working in, including your daily duties and tasks.
  2. Please give brief outline of your nursing experience over the last 5 years.
  3. Talk us through an example which demonstrates your ability to deal effectively with emergency situations?
  4. Describe how you work as part of your nursing team? How you communicate with your colleagues and superiors?
  5. If a patient with asthma/took a stroke was brought in what would you do, what type of medication would you administer? You will normally be asked a scenario question so please be well prepared for this question.
  6. Talk me through a time when you used your influencing /communication skills to improve or alter the care given to your patients?
  7. Describe the culture of your current organisation and give an example of how you work within this culture?
  8. If you are an Overseas Nurse applying for roles in Ireland, you will need to know the different standards required under HIQA for working within a Nursing Home/Hospital facility.
  9. Can you advise me how you would deal with the following situation – You are rostered on to work and a nurse and HCA call in sick, what do you do?
  10. What is your knowledge of the following: Code of Nursing Practice, Code of Conduct and Employment Law
  11. Can you recall a difficult/challenging task or issue in your nursing career? How did you address the situation? What was the outcome following the intervention? What did you learn from it?
  12. Why did you apply for this job? And why should we employ you?

If you would like to have a conversation about nursing jobs in Ireland – please contact Deirdre on [email protected]

Article Written By:
Donna Farrell