Recent VA interviewing tips

  1. Hello!

    I got what I consider a rare interview opportunity with the VA. The individual I spoke with by phone told me the process is supposed to be simplified and expedited with the "new USA Staffing thing."

    Anyway, can anyone offer *recent insight into what a VA nursing interview is like? Are there multiple interviews involved? Any tips you can offer for getting through the initial interview?

    I've studied up on the program I'm interviewing for (Home Based Primary Care) and on the current standards for VA nurses.

    I appreciate any advice!

  2. Visit Elizabeth Hanes profile page

    About Elizabeth Hanes, BSN Pro

    Joined: Nov '05; Posts: 246; Likes: 123
    Freelance Nurse Writer
    Specialty: 5 year(s) of experience in PACU, perioperative


  3. by   jeckrn
    When I interviewed at the VA back in 2005 there was 2 head nurses in the interview. Was asked the standard questions, what was most diffucult nursing issue, how do you deal with diff co-worker etc. Even thou I was interviewing for 1 area was offered position in another so dont be suprised if this happens. What VA are you interviewing at?
  4. by   79Tango
    VA HR Representative's Famous Last Words:

    "supposed to be simplified and expedited with the "new USA Staffing thing."
  5. by   Elizabeth Hanes
    Thanks for your responses. Jeckrn, I'm interviewing in Albuquerque. I was told I'm interviewing with just one person, the project manager for the Home Based Primary Care division. I'm studying up on the VA's "9 dimensions of nursing" and thinking up some good questions to ask them.

    79Tango, I hear you! LOL But, let me tell you this: I applied and was designated "eligible" on the same day. The next day, I received a call from a manager, who told me exactly what's involved in the position and asking if I'd like an interview, to which I said "yes!". Two days after that, the interview was scheduled -- for the following Monday. This seems A LOT faster than anything I've heard about with the VA before. I do realize I may hear nothing for MONTHS after the interview, but at least it's gone very quickly up until now.

    I definitely will keep others posted, in case this new system truly is expedited. :-)

    Thanks again for replying!
  6. by   MrChicagoRN
    That's great to hear.

    I almost applied 4 years ago, but it seemed like a long, tedious process and I pursued other opportunities
  7. by   Elizabeth Hanes
    Well, here's my update, for others interested in nursing at the VA.

    I interviewed one-on-one with the program manager. She had a standard list of questions from HR that we went through. There were a LOT of scenarios, which I was unprepared for. Things like, "Your patient is 90 years old, takes digoxin and lasix, has a HR of 56 and O2 sat of 89 with resp 22 and c/o SOB. What are you going to do?" Also got a question that went something like, "Tell me how you would use the nursing process to create a care plan for a new admission." Heck, I can't even remember the steps in the nursing process! And I'm pretty confident they were looking for me to name them off, like, "Well, first I'd make an assessment, and then I'd...." whatever.

    Then there were the other requisite questions, such as how to deal with a difficult co-worker or patient, and things like that.

    All in all, I'm not that confident about how well I did. I had prepared more along the lines of understanding the VHA, the specific program I was applying for, the 4 Dimensions of Nursing, and all that stuff. This interview struck me more like an oral boards exam.

    So, now, I guess I wait. I didn't inquire into the rest of the process, except to learn there might be another interview involved. I kind of don't think so. It sounded like they were interviewing maybe 3 or 4 candidates for 2 or 3 positions, so there probably isn't much more for them to wring out of us in an interview. heh

    Anyway, I'll update this thread later with whatever happens next, good or bad.

  8. by   Elizabeth Hanes
    Apparently, I did better in the interview than I thought.

    My interviewer began calling my references today and told one of them I interviewed "very well." This makes me hopeful.

    Again, just updating for anyone going through the VA process. My advice so far: don't bother studying up on the specific program or care area you're interviewing for. Be prepared for a number of relevant patient care scenarios instead.

  9. by   busydude
    Good Job Elizabeth, Please keep us updated on your progress. Im in my last year of Nusing school and would all the info needed on how to get on with the VA.
  10. by   79Tango
    Thats awesome--you might want to think about ordering your "Official Transcripts" (dont open them) and have them ready to go. Also, when they give you paperwork or an online questionaire make sure you hop on it and give it right back to them. You always want to throw the ball back to them so you are the one waiting. Just like the military "Hurry up & Wait" is the key to getting through the process.
  11. by   rexfreedom
    that's great, elizabeth. yes, please do keep us updated. i, too, applied for nursing at the VA. hoping to hear from them soon.

    good job )
  12. by   SunshineAnytime
    How did everything go Elizabeth?
  13. by   79Tango
    Yes, please give us an update.. Its the new Fiscal Year-- Did you start? Is the process really being expedited now?
  14. by   manders207
    Hello, I have recently completed the interview process with the va. I am trying to get an approximation for where they will rank me. Any help would be greatly appreciated! I am absn, with 3.5 yrs exp, I am board certified in my area of expertise.