New Grad Traumatized After First Interview

  1. 3
    Hello everyone!

    After waiting 2 1/2 months of passing my NCLEX, I finally received a phone call from a Pediatric Rehabilitation Center who is interested in interviewing me. I am ecstatic, I love working with children and I was looking forward to learning more about their facility as well. I scheduled my interview with the HR receptionist who sounded really sweet on the phone. I spent the next four days reviewing possible questions and even did a few mock interviews with my friends. Interview day arrived and I felt ready and confident! I showed up 25 minutes early and waited, for what seemed to be forever, in the lobby to be escorted to the room for my interview.

    I then meet with the director of nursing who is going to interview me. She sits down and looks at my resume and sees that I have done a preceptorship at a Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at a local hospital nearby. She then says to me, "Oh, I see you have PICU experience, why didn't you apply to this hospital?" I responded, " I did not see any openings but I am here and interested in learning more about your facility." She then asks, "Oh, so they're not hiring or they're hiring new grads?" I then answer, "I guess it's both?" (Maybe I shouldn't have said that?) She then goes into a tangent for about five minutes on how she is not really looking to hire any new graduates and that only a few will be hired because many of her nurses in the past has used their facility as a stepping stone to get into bigger hospitals. She also emphasized that she has to be really careful of who she hires (this facility is fairly new and will have its one year anniversary of opening next month). After hearing all this, I am just sitting there SHOCKED and feeling slightly angry thinking (okay, my resume clearly says I'm a new graduate, if you aren't interesting in hiring me, why bring me here in the first place and waste my time and your time?!) The rest of the interview went downhill. I just lost my concentration. I couldn't answer her other questions to the best of my ability and even froze during some points (think deer with headlights, haha).

    As a new grad, I would like to be in a setting that is supportive and offers mentorship and guidance. I just felt like the nursing director judged me for being a new graduate who just wanted use them as a stepping stone after seeing my PICU experience. I mean ultimately I would like to work at a hospital but that doesn't mean I would leave that facility ASAP after 'gaining my year of experience.' Her attitude just set a negative atmosphere for the interview. I am also disappointed in myself for becoming rattled, not saying focused and not making myself seem like a decent candidate. The interview ended quite abruptly, I felt rushed and didn't even have much time to ask her my questions.

    Thank you so much for listening to me vent!!! Has anyone had an experience similar to mine? I am just traumatized and afraid for my next interview, this experience has definitely shaken my confidence. I guess it's tough love in the world on nursing today, huh..
    Last edit by rollieem on Feb 22, '13
    MlbCNA, poppycat, and anotherone like this.
  2. 33 Comments so far...

  3. 2
    I know where I used to work when we interviewed you if you didn't have tues to the community then we didn't look at you again. So many new grads do use places (like the Trauma ICU) to get their year and leave. Training a new grad is very expensive. I'm sure the interviewer was just trying to make sure you weren't going to jump ship for greener pastures. Hang in there.
    tokmom and redhead_NURSE98! like this.
  4. 21
    That kind of tough love happens everywhere, not just nursing. She was looking for rehab to be where you want to be. Next time you will recognize it when the interview turns that direction and will pipe up about all the ways this particular job is what you want. It is kind of like a girl wanting reassurance the guy really loves her before she sleeps with him. They want to believe they are your first choice. Nobody wants to be the interim sweetheart.Interviewing well is a skill. Keep practicing and keep applying.
  5. 3
    Interviewers all have different styles. As the one being interviewed, you need to hear the question, and if you don't understand the intent, then ask. (I did not apply to XYZ's PICU, as I am finding my current interests are in pedi rehab....)

    You are not party to the hiring practices of other facilities. Slightly innappropriate.
    poppycat, KimberlyRN89, and anotherone like this.
  6. 4
    Yes, you are all correct. I was unable to recognize the direction of where interview was heading and I was unable to take control. This was definitely a learning experience, the nursing director's statements on new grads just threw me off and rubbed me the wrong way.
    SoldierNurse22, itsmejuli, poppycat, and 1 other like this.
  7. 0
    Don't feel bad, I just experienced the same thing except at a long term care facility. It was a place that I did clinical at when I first started nursing school. I liked it there and they were hiring so I thought I would apply. I even went physically there on a cold, snowy Saturday to fill out an application because they aren't very high tech when it comes to hiring. I am currently a patient companion at a local hospital. Well, as soon as I walk in, the interviewer asks me why I am not taking a position at the hospital I am working at. I was not expecting this question so I really didn't know what to say so I told her that I am applying everywhere, not just at the hospital I work at. She also ask me how long I have been a nurse and when I told her that it has been 2 weeks, she was surprised by that. Then she asked me if I was on a waiting list to get into nursing school since I went to the nursing school at the local community college. She did not even explain the job duties. She just asked me if I had any questions. I tried to keep it going by asking about the job and the responsibilies. After she would answer my question, she then asked "what else?" which made me feel like they were done with me even though the interview lasted only 10 minutes and it seemed like they disliked me as soon as I walked in the door. The nurse that did the interviewing was the director of nursing and she was very unprofessional. I would never do that to an interviewee if I was an interviewer. It seemed like she didn't even read my application until ten minutes before the interview. This was my first interview after passing the NCLEX and it was a very disheartening experience.
  8. 14
    Hindsight is great, huh? It's a really good idea to take time to carefully reflect on each interview you have. It seems as though you are already doing this and coming up with ideas on how to improve your performance. Good Job! You are going to learn more with each one - and this will make you much more confident and articulate.

    Just one suggestion - the next time an interviewer goes off on a tangent, use your communication skills. Let the interviewer know that the tone/content of the discussion is making you uncomfortable - and why...."I am sure it's not your intention, but your comments are making me feel as though you don't believe I am the right candidate for your job. I want to clear up any misunderstandings; my primary goal is to work with a pediatric population and that is why I chose to do my preceptorship in PICU. This job is also focused on peds, and that is why I am so interested."
  9. 3
    Quote from SionainnRN
    I know where I used to work when we interviewed you if you didn't have tues to the community then we didn't look at you again. So many new grads do use places (like the Trauma ICU) to get their year and leave. Training a new grad is very expensive. I'm sure the interviewer was just trying to make sure you weren't going to jump ship for greener pastures. Hang in there.
    I think she had no intention of hiring a new grad. Or anyone who wouldn't "walk down the aisle", so to speak, pledging undying devotion to her facility, to her personally, take a vow of eternal loyalty to her and her place. You get the picture.

    Either she didn't notice you were a new grad before the interview or she really doesn't know how to interview, OP. I think you should content yourself with being glad she didn't know her elbow from her ear that day.

    I once applied for a House Sup job, without exact experience doing that. The interviewer brought up that I lacked specific experience. I said, yes, it would be a growth position for me, but I know I will learn quickly and, after a good orientation, be up to speed in a short while. Not hired. Well, why the devil bother to interview me and waste my time and energy if you know you don't like my background?

    There are lots of very fallible people doing interviews. Move on, shake off the dust of her charming manner, and go on to something better. Best wishes.
  10. 1
    Quote from msteeleart
    Don't feel bad, I just experienced the same thing except at a long term care facility. It was a place that I did clinical at when I first started nursing school. I liked it there and they were hiring so I thought I would apply. I even went physically there on a cold, snowy Saturday to fill out an application because they aren't very high tech when it comes to hiring. I am currently a patient companion at a local hospital. Well, as soon as I walk in, the interviewer asks me why I am not taking a position at the hospital I am working at. I was not expecting this question so I really didn't know what to say so I told her that I am applying everywhere, not just at the hospital I work at. She also ask me how long I have been a nurse and when I told her that it has been 2 weeks, she was surprised by that. Then she asked me if I was on a waiting list to get into nursing school since I went to the nursing school at the local community college. She did not even explain the job duties. She just asked me if I had any questions. I tried to keep it going by asking about the job and the responsibilies. After she would answer my question, she then asked "what else?" which made me feel like they were done with me even though the interview lasted only 10 minutes and it seemed like they disliked me as soon as I walked in the door. The nurse that did the interviewing was the director of nursing and she was very unprofessional. I would never do that to an interviewee if I was an interviewer. It seemed like she didn't even read my application until ten minutes before the interview. This was my first interview after passing the NCLEX and it was a very disheartening experience.
    One interviewer I had made it know that she thought I was a job-hopper. I told her I had always been the curious type and needed change, as the impetus behind my changing jobs perhaps more than she had. She was very negative and it was all a waste of time with her. I wish interviewers who don't really like what a person would bring to the interview/facility would just pass over these applicants. It would be kinder to all concerned.
    serenitylove14 likes this.
  11. 0
    Blessing in disguise...would you really want to work for that facility?

    I am in a monitoring program, I have a mental illness, and I am a new (grad) nurse...yes, I put it on my applications. I am very up front about everything that can be perceived as a weakness because I want people to know what they are getting (to make an informed decision) and if I get interviews even after I disclosed that information; then, they must have really saw something in me on the other parts of my resume and are probably going to be willing to work with me (plus, I view my honesty and being upfront as a great quality and something that may set me apart from someone else--if I had the guts to disclose that, then when things get "hairy" like making an error while on the job, then I am more likely to be honest about that, too.) If they truly want to work with you, then they would still want you whether you disclosed any info that may be a weakness, including being a new grad, before or during the interview.

    But, I agree with the people that say, if employers are not looking for new grads or this or that and they already know who they, just don't waste the interviewee's time (interviewer's don't like it when their time is wasted, the interviewee's time is just as valuable). It is a reflection on the facility, as well; not only the interviewer (because that interviewer may be the only contact that the interviewee has from that facility).

    Just my opinion...rant over.


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