The interview process

When preparing for an interview, nurse practitioners, Van Cleve stressed that NPs “really need to do their homework.” Applicants should carve out time to research the patient population they would be caring for and how their clinical strengths fit the position.

“Answer [interview] questions out loud and practice behavioral interview questions,” advised Van Cleve.  Before the interview starts, NPs should be able to explain exactly why they are interested in the position and have salient examples of previous work that supports their interest.

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Practicing ahead of time may also help an applicant focus on what’s being said during a job interview and avoid talking too much, a pratfall that many interviewees fall victim to during the interview process.

“Be prepared for a long interview day,” added Van Cleve. “Most of these interviews will be several hours long with several people.”

Salary negotiations

Accepting a salary right away is one of the biggest mistakes NPs make when securing a new job, especially new graduates, according to Van Cleve. “[Applicants] are very interested in the position, so instead of looking at the salary in regards to their experience or debt from graduate school, they accept right away.”

“Most employers offer a range of salary, and they’ll start low,” added Van Cleve. When applicants don’t negotiate for a higher salary, they may miss out on asking for the employer to cover the cost of expenditures like re-certification, licensure, and continuing education.

“It’s important that new graduates, as well as returning NPs, consider all the expenses that most employers should and can cover if it’s negotiated before they accept the position,”


  1. Van Cleve SN. #326. “New Beginnings: Tips for Helping You Find The Best Position.” Presented at: NAPNAP 2015. March 11-14, 2015; Las Vegas.