Negative Feedback from GN Interview - HELP!!!

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    I am a new grad and have gone on several interviews without receiving an offer. Nursjng is a second career for me and previously I was in a corporate environment. I was in a senior level position but hated my career. I finally had the opportunity to go back to school and get my BSN and was so excited to finally graduate. In the past, I have always interviewed well. The only reason I know this is bc I was offered basically every job I ever applied for and got great feedback from the people that interviewed me. Things are different now!!! I received feedback (thank goodness) from the HR recruiter regarding my last interview. He said that based on my background he could tell that I interview like a person coming from that business sector. He said that although the hiring manager really liked me that I was assertive, but too assertive. He said that I have to remember that this is healthcare and managers are looking for different things then corporate world. He then told me that although i was probably just trying to let them know that i was definitely interested and excited about the opportunity that it just didn't come off right. He also said that he knows I'm an excellent candidate and he really wants to get me hired on into their GN program, so he set me up for an interview with another unit.

    I'm honestly not sure what to do! I went over interview questions and found that most of the ones I was asked I was able to answer. Maybe I answered too quickly? Would that come across as over confidence or assertive? When asked what I wanted to be doing in 5 years I explained that I would like to have completed a FNP program but still be working at the bedside. Is that too definitive?

    Any advice would be great!!! I really want to do well in this next interview!!!
    GinginRN and snbrn2005 like this.
  2. 23 Comments so far...

  3. 2
    I read your post and honestly am in the same exact situation! Successful in corporate world - went back for my passion. Had two interviews- no job offer. Please know you are not alone. I be interested in any advice you get as it would help me too.
    DawnJ and microkate like this.
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    In the corporate world, assertiveness is a must if one wants to stand out and move up. But you have to remember that there's a big difference between "showing them how great I am" vs "showing them what kind of patient care I can provide/what kind of patient advocate I can be" when it comes to healthcare. You have to shift the focus from YOU to the PATIENT. Sure, you still have to sell yourself and your skills, but as a GN, perhaps they were concerned that it would be difficult to guide you since you came across as overconfident.

    These are just my thoughts as a nursing student who is also coming from the business world. I wish you luck and hope you land that other job!
    loriangel14, poppycat, and KelRN215 like this.
  5. 3
    What I have found that interviewers like is a confidence in your ability to succeed, but acknowledgement that you will work with your more experienced colleagues and use them as a resource for areas you are unskilled. You are a new grad, so they do not expect you to be a highly skilled nurse - maybe they thought you were too independent. Just a thought.
    loriangel14, poppycat, and KelRN215 like this.
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    I think there are a lot more feelings involved in the nursing world than the corporate world. You need to tell stories and have a conversation, let them know the real you. Don't just sell yourself. Working at the hospital, the staff sees tough things together and they need to know you can fit in and be a supportive part of the team.
  7. 6
    So I was in the same position -- first five interviews right after graduation & no offers. I had applied for probably 35-40 jobs online (all new grad residencies @ hospitals) & many times got no response whatsoever. The good thing was that it was good practice! On my 2nd round of applications --> interviews --> final interviews I got 4 offers!

    My partner, who was an HR manager for many years, suggested that I stick to nursing/clinical/school experiences when I answer questions, especially the behavioral type. The advice was specifically to create 5-6 stories of my best & worst (& how I turned them around) examples, and then you can adapt those stories to fit almost any question. And practice! As a 37-year-veteran of corporate America before nursing, I didn't really feel the need to practice my stories -- and I think that showed initially. As I completed interview after interview, I found the answers flowing smoothly & it was easy to adapt and refine based on the feedback / reactions I was perceiving.

    Don't give up! There are opportunities out there -- and when you can network, that is SO key....in addition to your own qualifications. Good luck & keep us posted!
    INN_777, cardiacnurse12, DawnJ, and 3 others like this.
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    While everyone has a different interview style, I think that we all try to get at the root of the issue. As a hiring manager, I don't always ask the most conventional questions because I am looking to get a read on what type of person you are. Nursing is a feeling profession. Not everyone can do it. You can know your stuff inside and out, but still not "get" what nursing is. My goal is to find out if you do "get" it. I don't want you to rehearse. I don't want you to quote me stuff. I want you to be you. Sell me you. Confidence is cool, but if it comes off pretentious, I am gonna turn you off. I want you to tell me your best day, your worst day and how that made you feel. What you learned from it. You are a new grad. My job is to mold you into a long term, fabulous nurse. You job is to tell me why I should give you that shot.

    Remember this. Nursing is not predictable. Ever. Why would you give predictable in your interview. I want to see you react. I want to see you think. I want to see how you deal with uncomfortable, unfamiliar....crisis. This will give me what I need to make a decision.

    I wish you luck. Be a rock star...
    INN_777, not.done.yet, llg, and 5 others like this.
  9. 1
    Quote from cardiacnurse12
    What I have found that interviewers like is a confidence in your ability to succeed, but acknowledgement that you will work with your more experienced colleagues and use them as a resource for areas you are unskilled. You are a new grad, so they do not expect you to be a highly skilled nurse - maybe they thought you were too independent. Just a thought.
    I agree with this. Healthcare is very different than the business world. What is viewed as assertive and a positive in the business world may not be viewed as such in the healthcare world. Most hospitals have their way of doing things and, in my experience, just want their employees to stay in line and do things the way they want them done. Especially new grads. They want to be able to mold you into the kind of nurse they want you to be.
    llg likes this.
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    I think part of your issue is when they asked where you want to be in 5 yrs. If you told them you want to be a NP then obviously you won't be in working on a floor which is probably where they need you. When people interview you they want to know if it is worth their time to train you and try to retain you. They don't always want to have to be interviewing people and spending money on training them. I used to do a lot of hiring. When I was hiring I wanted people who were going to stick around. Furthering your education is great and all but most people who become NPs usually do not do bedside on a med/surg unit.
  11. 1
    Quote from Heathermaizey
    I think part of your issue is when they asked where you want to be in 5 yrs. If you told them you want to be a NP then obviously you won't be in working on a floor which is probably where they need you. When people interview you they want to know if it is worth their time to train you and try to retain you. They don't always want to have to be interviewing people and spending money on training them. I used to do a lot of hiring. When I was hiring I wanted people who were going to stick around. Furthering your education is great and all but most people who become NPs usually do not do bedside on a med/surg unit.
    So I have also been going on several interviews lately and getting this same "are you going to be around" question. At first, I said absolutely and I want to make this staff my family, etc.

    Then I went home and thought about it and basically decided it was the most unfair question ever. How would I know where I will be in five years? And why should I promise that I will be there if a better opportunity comes along??? So now I have started answering something along these lines, "I think this is a really great place for me to be right now, but I am not going to lie to you. I do plan on continuing my education and pursuing whatever opportunities are best for me to further my career. If you want someone who wants to be a floor nurse for the rest of their life, then that isn't me. Also, if you want a staff member who isn't interested in pursuing education and learning as much as possible, then I know this floor won't be the right fit for me. But who would want that?"
    loriangel14 likes this.


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