How not to bomb on your next interview

You’re about to go in, you’re ready. You reviewed the website and feel you know the company. You look terrific. You feel confident and know this job is for you. Ninety minutes later, you’re a mess. You’re not even sure how you got to the elevator. What happened? You bombed. You might have been ready but you were not prepared.


One of the main reasons candidates bomb during interviews is pressure. And that pressure tends to do things to your memory, shutting it down, making you a victim of temporary amnesia. When you’re asked questions requiring you to explain or give examples of past performance successes you stumble through answers – either forgetting all together or giving bad examples.


And the company keeps looking.


This problem is quite easy to fix. All you need is preparation. Getting this information in your short term memory will make it easy to recall. Your goal is to be ready and when you’re asked you’ll have the answers.


Get out a few pieces of paper; list your last 3 jobs, then list  2 or more achievements per job (keep in mind the strategies and process you used as well). Also list a few things in your overall career that you’re proud of.  They don’t have to be huge accomplishments, just something you feel good about or you were recognized for. You want to be able to verbalize why it was important. The act of writing it helps it remain fresh in your short term memory. Arrive a few minutes early to your interview and review the list before you leave your car.


By being prepared you will be seen as a strong, qualified, and capable candidate, someone they’ll want to hire.


Good luck!



One Page Resume Myth

Everyone has heard it or read it – keep your resume to one page. Truth or Myth? Mostly myth, a resume does not have to be one page any longer.

Being concise is very important; no one wants to read a rambling resume of five or more pages detailing every success since the 90s. There is nothing wrong with a one page resume. However, there is no need to cram it all on one page when a two page resume will do a better job presenting your qualifications.

The most important factor to consider when putting your resume together is your experience and background. It’s the content, quality information that will make you stand out.

One page resumes are fine for new graduates or someone who has only had one job. However, a new graduate Nurse Practitioner with ten years of RN experience should list and explain that experience. It can make the difference.

Your goal is structure the resume to highlight your relevant experience. Remember if page one doesn’t tell them about what you can do, they might not read page two. A brief description for each of most recent jobs is helpful to show the person reading the resume (many times it is HR who sees it before the department manager) that you have the right experience.


Top 10 Attributes Physicians look for when hiring Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants

1. Bedside manner. Ability to successfully act as a liaison between patients and doctors.

2. Integrity and a strong sense of ethics. Not afraid to ask for help when dealing with unknown variables.

3. Ability to be a team player. Work with different personalities and draw on the strengths of each person to make the overall team stronger.

4. Ability to soak up and retain information and apply that knowledge, combined with skills, in new work environment.

5. Flexibility within work schedule. Open to both clinic and/or OR-based positions. Ability to work with a demanding weekly schedule and/or call schedule.

6. Experience prior to PA and/or NP education in field of interest, whether paid or as a volunteer. (Physicians love to see value-added skill-sets in related fields.)

7. Stable work history, which is an indicator of workplace loyalty and dedication.

8. Topnotch communication skills, both verbal and written. Fluency with EMR.

9. Currently licensed in state where applying for position.

10. Ties to the area, i.e., family, undergraduate education, etc.

Survey from leading job board for Physician Assistants.


AVA Search Group quoted in Advance for NPs & PAs

Check out the January 2012 issue of Advance for NPs & PAs article on the Job Outlook for 2012.