This happened to me when I took my PACU job. The questions the staff asked me were mostly centered around how flexible I could be with the staggered shifts (I wanted the later shift...then, until I learned why it was the pits), and they also wanted to hear about my background/experience, and they were pleased that I was CCRN certified.
I was very taken aback that this happened on my interview, and the manager brought them in one-by-one. I felt like a fish in a fish bowl, and I didn't appreciate it. But, I also had the opportunity to ask questions of them, but I didn't because I was so unerved by the whole thing.
A friend of mine applied for a manager position recently, and she was also subjected to an appointed, by the staff, committee of staff members for questioning. I had heard they were planning this and gave her a heads up, but she also felt it was a strange experience.
If you do this, I would suggest that 1) you make the potential new employee aware that you will have them meet with staff for a Q&A before hand. It may give them a chance to have questions prepared, just as you would have prepared questions, a little more fair I think. 2) Also, you would have to select your group carefully. The wrong person could scare away a new person, while the right person can have them drooling to come on board. 3) this should be done without the manager there. Will anyone really be honest with the manager standing right there? It kind of makes the whole thing a farce, if you ask me. 4)Your committee, or person, should have a list of prepared questions that all of the staff has had input into asking. Why parade six people in the room who each ask the same questions? It's stupid! OR give each person one specific question to ask.
I personally think the best way to do this would be appoint 2 people to ask the selected questions. After the person interviews with the manager, the 2 nurses then take the potential new employee to the cafeteria for a coffee, or soda, while asking their questions in an informal, relaxing setting which can put everyone at ease a little more. The the nurses can escort the interviewee back to HR.
[ May 28, 2001: Message edited by: hoolahan ]