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A peer-interviewing strategy was introduced into a leadership course for seniors in their final semester to empower them to interview professionally to obtain employment. This was an effective strategy to prepare students for obtaining a position as a new graduate. Prior to the peer interview, students received training specific to being an interviewee and interviewer and on resume preparation. During the training, emphasis was placed on (1) making a positive first impression through appearance, eye contact, verbal and nonverbal communication, and an assertive handshake whether at an interview, at a career fair, or "dropping by" an agency, (2) researching the agency prior to the interview to help the interviewee ask and answer appropriate questions and show interest and motivation, (3) communicating positively, and (4) understanding types of questions allowed to be asked by the interviewer.


Students formulated questions for structured interviewing and prepared to be interviewed for their "dream" nursing job. A peer panel consisted of 3 to 4 students where each student was the interviewer and also was interviewed as part of the panel. By playing the role of the interviewer, students were able to decide what questions may be significant in the interview process. As the interviewee, students practiced answering behavioral and nonbehavioral questions without prior knowledge of the question. Peer evaluation and debriefing consisted of feedback about professional demeanor, responses to questions, and appropriate dress. Students evaluated the activity as increasing their confidence and helping them to recognize strengths.


From Shelia Hurley, PhD, MSN/MBA, RN, Assistant Professor, and Kimberly Hanna, PhD, MSN, RN, CNL, Associate Professor, Whitson-Hester School of Nursing, Tennessee Technological University, Cookeville, TN,