By Courtney Lee, MS, RDN, CLT, CFCS
As strenuous and challenging as it is to become a registered dietitian (RD), it can be disheartening to find yourself having to prove that you are in fact the nutrition expert. This can certainly happen during an interview if the person conducting the interview is not a registered dietitian. Law protects the title, “registered dietitian.” People can only call themselves registered dietitians if they have completed the educational requirements to sit for the RD exam, passed the exam and maintain their continuing education and good standing with the Commission on Dietetics Registration (CDR).
If you are interviewing for a job that does not require you to be a RD, you may have to assert yourself as the nutrition expert as compared to candidates who are nutritionists, did not complete a supervised practice internship, or completed an alternative form of training not recognized by CDR. It is imperative for the interviewer to know that, compared to other candidates, you are the nutrition expert. Hiring a RD will likely cost the employer more than if they hired a non-credentialed person because of the costs associated with maintaining your continuing education and credentials.
Practical ways to clearly promote yourself as the nutrition expert during an interview
- Clearly and concisely explain your education background and the steps you took to become a RD
- Refer to any recent and relevant continuing education you have completed—show that you are committed to staying informed with the latest evidence-based information
- Answer questions about nutrition with evidence instead of opinion, being sure to differentiate between the two
- Be able to talk intelligibly about current trends in nutrition that may come up casually
- Build yourself up without putting others down—draw on your experience as a RD and talk about how you have seen nutrition change the lives of individuals
- Maintain an attitude of confidence, not arrogance, when asked about your competency and qualifications for the job
Being able to show that you are the nutrition expert is ultimately how you can get the job you want to make the impact you are looking to make. Walk into your next interview ready to show your expertise and claim that job!
Courtney Lee, MS, RDN, CDN, CLT, CFCS consults locally with Dietitians On Demand and also has a virtual private practice, Kitchen Nutrition, LLC. Courtney enjoys equipping dietitians and dietetic interns with the tools they need for professional success so they don’t have to learn the hard way. Courtney enjoys baking, running, and hosting friends and family in her home.
Find her on Instagram @yourkitchennutrition.
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