Please be prepared for your interview... - page 7

by Larry77

20,951 Views | 72 Comments

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... Read More


  1. 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!
  2. 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!
  3. 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.
  4. 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?
  5. 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
  6. 0
    Thank you for this thread. I graduate in December and would love to start in ED. I'm very much open to other paths, but that's where my heart is.
    I have background in teaching and hiring/training teachers for private schools and from what I've seen of interview boards, I think much is similar. To people who think they're bad at interviewing, practice with your friends, especially playing the part of the interviewer-- it might give you some perspective as well as confidence.

    Mostly, and many of my classmates could stand to hear this, no one responds well to an entitled attitude. Being able to discuss strengths and achievements without sounding entitled is key. Yes?

    A question: does anyone care about if you were on student council or an honor society?
  7. 1
    Quote from tigerlogic
    A question: does anyone care about if you were on student council or an honor society?
    Sometimes. I am not impressed by someone who merely lists memberships in orgranizations or participation in 1-day charity events. However, it is to your advantage if you can say that you were in charge of a project that accomplished something meaningful ... or were an officer ... etc. It shows that you get along with people, can work well with others, can lead a successful team, etc.

    Some people have jobs and families to care for as they go to school. So it is understandable that they might not be able to do much of that type of thing. I understand that and take those facts into consideration when I evalate an applicant. But those type of activities can help present a positive image of your abilities if you have them.
    tigerlogic likes this.
  8. 1
    Very good info.! I had an interview early Feb and I thought for sure I had my usual moments of rambling. I was put to ease by one of the interviewers when they said my interview was going very well! I got the email this past week with an offer!! I have been trying for about 3 years to get into an ED position. I'd like to think that if I did ramble a bit they saw past it and saw my utter excitement for the challenges an ED brings. Also for the first time I asked them all sorts of questions. There are plenty of good tips in this thread.

    I am so incredibly excited to start working there at the end of the month!!
    bigsick_littlesick likes this.
  9. 2
    Quote from Larry77
    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 :-)
    Thanks for the encouragement! I had a chance to re-interview with the oncology manager and a clinical nurse specialist yesterday morning. I had done research on how to answer tough behavior questions. I had committed to memory difficult situations with patients, colleagues or classmates and family members to help convey my communication style and how I deal with conflict. I feel like I did SOOOO much better. I felt less nervous and I was pleased with my answers. Mistakes are the best learning experiences and my bad interview helped me to see the error of my ways. I hope to get a decision by midweek. Hopefully I can get some good experience and move to ER when the time is right. Thanks again, this whole thread helped tremendously
    hiddencatRN and Altra like this.
  10. 0
    @ bigsick_little sick: would you mind to share your research on answering tough behavioral questions? Thanks a lot!


Top