Please be prepared for your interview... - page 5

We have been doing interviews for a new hospital that's opening so we are looking for 50 ED people. After the first day I was really surprised at the amount of people who were not prepared for their... Read More

  1. Visit  Larry77 profile page
    4
    Quote from texas2007
    Instead of focusing so heavily on these kind of interviews, have you thought about placing part of the interview in the setting where the interviewee would be in the clinical setting where they would work? Have them shadow someone for an hour or two. I really think you'd be able tell so much more a candidate's abilities in that time rather than evaluating how well someone is able to BS their way through silly interview questions that are only minimally correlated to how good of a nurse/employee someone may be.
    My wife is a manager in dental and she is able to hire people after a "working interview" but unfortunately there seems to be too many hoops to jump through to get a person "released" to do patient care in a hospital or to even be in the department. It would be nice though.

    Some responses on this thread have surprised me, my intent was to help others be more prepared than some of our first day interview candidates (second and third were much better BTW). I don't think it's realistic for management to be able to evaluate someone's skills as a nurse and actually with the modern style interviews these skills are assumed to be present with your certs, experience, and reference checks. We are more importantly shopping for personality and fit...some seem to be saying that's crap and they are terrible at interviews and we need to take them anyway because they are good nurses--that doesn't really make sense to me. The questions are not there to trick you merely to see what kind of person you are. "Can you think of a time when you made a connection with a patient or a case that really sticks out in your head that was emotional?"...would you really not be able to answer that? I can think of at least 5 right now, more if I had time. These are not crazy difficult questions or trick questions. The more difficult, more traditional questions are "What are some of your weaknesses?"...we don't even ask that one in that way anymore. Another question I like to ask is "What are some of the words your coworkers would use to describe you?"...do you think you would have a problem answering that one?

    I understand some may have had bad interview experiences but my team is very careful and friendly. Our recruiter's prescreen and warn about the panel style interview, we do a lot of reassuring if the candidate seems nervous. We make sure they know silence is fine if they need to think about an answer, we give them time to ask us questions when we are done and we make sure that we call each one who sits for an interview, whether they are chosen for a position or not. Heck, we even offer each one water :-)
    anotherone, llg, hiddencatRN, and 1 other like this.
  2. Visit  Altra profile page
    2
    Just thinking out loud here ... if I were interviewing one of these "great resume nurses" who couldn't be bothered to be prepared to give me examples and sell me on his/her greatness ... how am I to know that you can contribute to solving system problems? Adapt to different levels of intensity? Work cooperatively with your coworkers without drama or tantrums? Where am I going to see that spark in you that says *great patient care*?

    It is to both the candidate AND the employer's benefit to hire a **person** not just a **skill set**.
    Akewataru and hiddencatRN like this.
  3. Visit  llg profile page
    4
    Quote from healthstar
    Why are you interested in this position? My honest answer would be, I am a new graduate, although I have enjoyed all clinical rotations, I am still a newbie, it is difficult for me to know my place in nursing at this time, I have not had enough experience on a floor to really know if my heart is in OB, PEDS,ICU, ONCOLOGY etc. As a new grad , all I want is a JOB so I can apply the theories and skills I have learned in school. I just want to be a NURSE, I want to take care of patients, work as a team and in a good environment and this is what makes me happy!

    From my experience the honest person never wins anything, always loses!!!!!


    Honesty has failed every single time!
    Creative liars always win!
    Sad truth ((((
    Your problem is not that "honesty loses," -- it's that you do not have the qualities that the employers are looking for -- and you are honest about it. "Honesty wins" -- if the truth is that you are the right person for the job. Nobody wants to hire someone who "just wants a job" and doesn't really care what that job is. Employers want to hire people who really want to do the work they need to hire someone to do.

    The attitude that "liars always win" will hold you back throughout your career. It will lead you to a series of jobs that don't really fit you and you will go unhappily from job to job in your career. It will prevent you from becoming the person who is right for the jobs you seek. Don't try to lie your way into a job that isn't right for you. Instead, figure out the type of job that IS right for you so that you can be enthusiastic about it without having to lie. That's what employers really want -- and what you should want too so that you can be happy in your work. Make that investment in yourself and it will pay off big time in the long run.

    Do some deep thinking about what you like and dislike about working with the various patient populations and where you natural talents and strengths lie. Choose a general career focus for the next few years and committ to it as the right choice for you. Do the things that give you the proper credentials/experiences for the job. Then you won't have to lie. You will BE the right person for the job.
    mommaRN29, hiddencatRN, Altra, and 1 other like this.
  4. Visit  chatty-cathy profile page
    3
    Quote from Larry77
    My wife is a manager in dental and she is able to hire people after a "working interview" but unfortunately there seems to be too many hoops to jump through to get a person "released" to do patient care in a hospital or to even be in the department. It would be nice though.

    Some responses on this thread have surprised me, my intent was to help others be more prepared than some of our first day interview candidates (second and third were much better BTW). I don't think it's realistic for management to be able to evaluate someone's skills as a nurse and actually with the modern style interviews these skills are assumed to be present with your certs, experience, and reference checks. We are more importantly shopping for personality and fit...some seem to be saying that's crap and they are terrible at interviews and we need to take them anyway because they are good nurses--that doesn't really make sense to me. The questions are not there to trick you merely to see what kind of person you are. "Can you think of a time when you made a connection with a patient or a case that really sticks out in your head that was emotional?"...would you really not be able to answer that? I can think of at least 5 right now, more if I had time. These are not crazy difficult questions or trick questions. The more difficult, more traditional questions are "What are some of your weaknesses?"...we don't even ask that one in that way anymore. Another question I like to ask is "What are some of the words your coworkers would use to describe you?"...do you think you would have a problem answering that one?

    I understand some may have had bad interview experiences but my team is very careful and friendly. Our recruiter's prescreen and warn about the panel style interview, we do a lot of reassuring if the candidate seems nervous. We make sure they know silence is fine if they need to think about an answer, we give them time to ask us questions when we are done and we make sure that we call each one who sits for an interview, whether they are chosen for a position or not. Heck, we even offer each one water :-)
    I want to simply thank the OP for taking the time in starting a very interesting thread that I found helpful. I am a new grad nurse who is currently going through the interview process and just survived my first panel interview. Thank you for sharing your experiences because having an understanding of the thought process that happens on the other side of the table makes a big difference for me, especially since it is such an intense experience being in the hot seat!
    brillohead, Larry77, and hiddencatRN like this.
  5. Visit  joanna73 profile page
    6
    For those who are saying they can't think of scenarios, we all get a little nervous, but that's why you prepare before the interview. Interview questions are fairly standard. I keep a word file that I add to periodically containing actual clinical situations where I prioritized my care, made an error, experienced conflict, etc. My supervisor expects a detailed annual self review prior to my performance review. If I said I couldn't think of anything, that surely wouldn't go over well. This is one measure of how I am accountable for my practise. So for those who forget, as we all do, try keeping a document like this.
    mommaRN29, muesli, Altra, and 3 others like this.
  6. Visit  wooh profile page
    3
    Being "a great nurse" won't get you the job. Whining about how unfair interviews are won't get you the job. So go in, PREPARED, and be yourself. It may not always get you the job, and not being a right fit is something you probably can't change. Not being prepared is something that you CAN change though.
    If two people are both "a great nurse," then who should get the job? The one who whines about how unfair the interview process is or the one that sucks it up and prepares for the interview?
    hiddencatRN, llg, and joanna73 like this.
  7. Visit  healthstar profile page
    1
    Quote from llg

    Your problem is not that "honesty loses," -- it's that you do not have the qualities that the employers are looking for -- and you are honest about it. "Honesty wins" -- if the truth is that you are the right person for the job. Nobody wants to hire someone who "just wants a job" and doesn't really care what that job is. Employers want to hire people who really want to do the work they need to hire someone to do.

    The attitude that "liars always win" will hold you back throughout your career. It will lead you to a series of jobs that don't really fit you and you will go unhappily from job to job in your career. It will prevent you from becoming the person who is right for the jobs you seek. Don't try to lie your way into a job that isn't right for you. Instead, figure out the type of job that IS right for you so that you can be enthusiastic about it without having to lie. That's what employers really want -- and what you should want too so that you can be happy in your work. Make that investment in yourself and it will pay off big time in the long run.

    Do some deep thinking about what you like and dislike about working with the various patient populations and where you natural talents and strengths lie. Choose a general career focus for the next few years and committ to it as the right choice for you. Do the things that give you the proper credentials/experiences for the job. Then you won't have to lie. You will BE the right person for the job.
    First of all thank you for your time to explain this to me. The reason I said honesty never wins and liars always win is because that is what I have heard and seen! When I said " I just want a job" I did not mean I just want to make money and I don't care about the job or the patients. The money is not even that great considering the amount of work, responsibility, and stress. I was trying to say that many new graduates who live in areas where it is very hard to find an RN job without any experience, cannot be picky by focusing on their dream job! Someone might want OB but no one can afford to wait 3 years until they hire! They have to work in a different specialty even if their heart is not in it, they might learn to love it! What I am trying to say is that new grads are seeking experience more than anything , it is hard to know where your heart is in nursing if you have not had enough experience in the unit. Just because someone is working in a specialty they so not like it does not mean that the pt care will suffer ! The nurse might not be happy, but eventually she will try different jobs until she finds where she belongs. True story : I started on a floor as a Nurse assistant and later was hired as an RN. I hated the specialty, I never thought I would end up here! I was so desperate for experience I had to start! The first couple of months were miserable !!!! I knew this specialty was not for me! Eventually, I learned to LOVE the specialty, I found it so interesting, every pt was different! I just could not handle the pace, acuity, and stress and that destroyed my body! But I fell in love with a specialty that I used to hate when in school! I am just angry because I have such a great personality according to employers and friends , I enjoy providing care to pts, I am a great team player, and I get along with everyone! I just suck at interviews! I sell myself short all the time, my stupid answers make me sound like I am not even interested in working for the hospital or unit! I have handled so many situation, pt not happy with our care, pt in critical condition etc! When it comes to answering the question I somehow freeze! Believe me I do review and practice! I think what gets to me is that I see te other person as superior ( the manager) and myself as inferior( new nurse) and my anxiety kicks in! I am sorry I am typing from my phone, please forgive me for any mistakes. Take care
    Last edit by healthstar on Feb 22, '13
    arah likes this.
  8. Visit  llg profile page
    4
    Quote from healthstar
    I was trying to say that many new graduates who live in areas where it is very hard to find an RN job without any experience, cannot be picky by focusing on their dream job! Someone might want OB but no one can afford to wait 3 years until they hire! They have to work in a different specialty even if their heart is not in it, they might learn to love it!
    I appreciate you response to my post above. I guess what I am trying to say is that those nurse who are interviewing for jobs "without their heart in it" should PUT their heart in it before they interview -- because that heart/passion for the job is what will help them get the job and be happy with it. The employers need to see that passion and the best way to show it is not by lying (which only leads you down an unhappy path), but to actually believe in your heart that the job is a good thing that will help you grow as a nurse. It will help you interview if you can actually believe that and feel good about the job -- and make a committment to it -- before you interview. Then you won't have to lie. You can "be yourself" and be succressful.

    Not having confidence in yourself is a whole other issue. I was only addressing your original comments about lying to get a job.
    healthstar, wooh, hiddencatRN, and 1 other like this.
  9. Visit  bigsick_littlesick profile page
    0
    Quote from Larry77
    My wife is a manager in dental and she is able to hire people after a "working interview" but unfortunately there seems to be too many hoops to jump through to get a person "released" to do patient care in a hospital or to even be in the department. It would be nice though.

    Some responses on this thread have surprised me, my intent was to help others be more prepared than some of our first day interview candidates (second and third were much better BTW). I don't think it's realistic for management to be able to evaluate someone's skills as a nurse and actually with the modern style interviews these skills are assumed to be present with your certs, experience, and reference checks. We are more importantly shopping for personality and fit...some seem to be saying that's crap and they are terrible at interviews and we need to take them anyway because they are good nurses--that doesn't really make sense to me. The questions are not there to trick you merely to see what kind of person you are. "Can you think of a time when you made a connection with a patient or a case that really sticks out in your head that was emotional?"...would you really not be able to answer that? I can think of at least 5 right now, more if I had time. These are not crazy difficult questions or trick questions. The more difficult, more traditional questions are "What are some of your weaknesses?"...we don't even ask that one in that way anymore. Another question I like to ask is "What are some of the words your coworkers would use to describe you?"...do you think you would have a problem answering that one?

    I understand some may have had bad interview experiences but my team is very careful and friendly. Our recruiter's prescreen and warn about the panel style interview, we do a lot of reassuring if the candidate seems nervous. We make sure they know silence is fine if they need to think about an answer, we give them time to ask us questions when we are done and we make sure that we call each one who sits for an interview, whether they are chosen for a position or not. Heck, we even offer each one water :-)
    I greatly appreciate bringing this topic to light. I shouldn't have been so naive that I wouldn't get such bizarro questions like I did. All of the questions you asked above, those are the questions I was prepared to answer, not the ones I got.

    One question though, if I am asked a question that I never ran into during nursing school, what do I say? Just that? My whole nursing experience is limited to my clinicals and preceptorship. Is it ever ok to say, "I've not personally run into xyz... but if I did, I would..." ???

    I think it is very gracious of you to be friendly and be reassuring during your interviews. When I couldn't think of anything because my mind blanked, they all just stared at me stone faced. Then, because I couldn't think of anything, they started to jot notes down which made me even more nervous. I didn't even think to bring a water bottle but you bet your hiney I will bring one for my next one. I can't remember a time when my throat and mouth went so dry which made it hard for me to even speak.

    My interviewer was, IMO, very unprofessional. I don't want to divulge what they said but let's just say it was NSFW (not safe for work), especially during an interview.

    It's been almost a week and a half and I still have not heard from them, either ye or nay. It's pure psychological torture. My other colleagues have already found out, some even the very next day. It just stinks when I know there is a lot of politics going on behind the scenes. My hospital is taking BSNs over us ADNs I feel frustrated and confused because a) they hired me as a CNA knowing I was almost done with nursing school and 2) I treated this whole last year as a working interview. I worked my booty off; I never call in, I'm never late, every floor I'm on says I would be a fantastic fit as a nurse there, I always strive to go above and beyond for my pts and nurses, I never give attitude when delegated to, I always try to be the ultimate team player. I meet with one of the managers later this week to talk to her about my interview (the one I'd LOVE to work for, they are known to be a good manager).

    Oh well... I have one more chance right now with our new grad program so I will definitely be UBER prepared. I've already got a list of things that happened in nursing school that shows my best strengths, self assessments, some "positive" weaknesses I could refer to and difficult situations that happened in nursing school. I'm going to rock it!
  10. Visit  CP2013 profile page
    0
    Quote from Larry77
    We have been doing interviews for a new hospital that's opening so we are looking for 50 ED people. After the first day I was really surprised at the amount of people who were not prepared for their interview. We had some well qualified candidates who had no idea who my company even is..yes they were from out of town but I feel they should have at least Googled us...some candidates had no idea how to answer questions about weaknesses or situations when...so I have a few suggestions for you great people who are possibly looking for work.

    --Please know something about the company you are applying to...even just a quick Google search.
    --Please be prepared to answer questions like, "Tell me about a time when you had a great connection with a patient", or "Tell me about a time when you were unable to give the kind of care you like to".
    --Please be prepared to talk about your own weaknesses or what your previous supervisor would say is your weakness. (Everyone can list their strengths)
    --Don't be afraid to brag about yourself and for gosh sakes hold your head up high, you are an ED nurse with some experience otherwise you wouldn't have been given the interview.
    --We love honesty, if you are trying to portray characteristics that are unnatural it usually looks awkward. (i.e. if you are a quite person, just say that, don't try to be over the top to try and cover it up)
    --And please make every possible effort to come and sit for the interview, management doesn't like to do phone interviews :-)

    Anyone else want to add anything?

    BTW...we had some absolutely great people who applied and were prepared, thinking about 50% will be offered so far (which is great!).

    Larry
    Now if only I could get past the HR gatekeepers! I know I interview well, but I never seem to get a face-to-face interview. I am hopeful as I approach graduation that being a new grad an ED will take a chance on little ole me, because I am dedicated, loyal, motivated, and committed to being a damn good ED nurse.

    Thanks for the tips, Larry!
  11. Visit  Larry77 profile page
    2
    Quote from bigsick_littlesick
    One question though, if I am asked a question that I never ran into during nursing school, what do I say? Just that? My whole nursing experience is limited to my clinicals and preceptorship. Is it ever ok to say, "I've not personally run into xyz... but if I did, I would..." ???
    I think that would be fine, or even how you handled a similar situation in your personal life. My panel is trying to get a sense of what kind of person you are. We did not interview any new grads but if we did we probably would have adjusted some of the questions to make more sense.

    Hang in there, you'll be more prepared for your next interview just by going through the first one :-)
    bigsick_littlesick and llg like this.
  12. Visit  muesli profile page
    0
    Thank you for this post; I believe it to be helpful and I'm going to review the replies. As someone who's not new to nursing but new to ER nursing, I believe my best hope is to interview well. I like to prepare well in advance with potential "behavioral questions," as well as my attire and appearance. Although I will say that in the past, I have both been asked such questions and not asked questions at all - I am usually not asked such questions when my experience very closely matches the job I am applying for. I wonder if this is what some of the candidates expected? Still, I don't think that's any excuse. I think job interviews are the one instance where I am most painfully aware of my need to come across as professional and prepared! And still I end up being very nervous!

    That being said, I wonder if anyone has any more tips for nurses who are trying to get their foot in the door to the ED and have been granted an interview?
  13. Visit  Williams75 profile page
    0
    I am a BSN,CMSRN. 5 years of med surg/ tele experience and 3 years of ICU experience. I applied to Ed night shift= No interview

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