Interviewing after being fired...advice please

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    Hi, all!!! This is a continuation of my story and the hard lessons I learned about nurse bullying ...

    I finally have 2 interviews lined up after being fired for "not being a good fit..." No explanation, and no union to pursue any action. So, when the manager asks me why I left that job, how do I explain this without it sounding like I'm trashing my old employer? And, how much information should I divulge? I don't want to come off as trying to hide something, but I don't want to give them too much information and make it appear as if I'm not a team player or difficult to work with...in fact, all my former colleagues (except the bully who ruled the roost and is buddies with the manager) say they loved working with me and to feel free to use them as a reference.

    Thanks in advance to all of you more seasoned nurses...I value your advice and love allnurses!!!

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  2. 5 Comments...

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    First things first, you need to see what kind of reference the old place is going to give you.. You could have the best interview in the world only to get crapped on later when HR does an employment verification. You might want to have someone submit a "reference form" and see what they say about you. If you dont have time to do that, I would just be as honest as possible (without getting upset) in the interview.

    I am a hiring manager and I hear crap all the time.. Sometimes I empathize, other times I think "not in a million years."
  4. 1
    First, make sure that you've looked back at the situation--clear of emotions--and note what you could have done or now wish you'd done. Did you speak up to take increasingly more difficult patients? Did you take constructive criticism well? Did you praise your co-workers for things they showed you?

    If asked why you left the job, don't say anything negative. Negativity breeds negativity. Nurse managers are sensitive to it, so stay positive. Keep eye to eye contact every time she asks questions that might reflect from the other job. Focus on the great things about their units that will be made available to you. Walk with confidence to the interview room. Smile and greet any staff or patients you see along the way. If left with a secretary to wait smile and introduce yourself like the secretary is the most important person you'll ever meet. What you're doing is fighting any potential clouds that you're not friendly---which doesn't fit us, might mean.

    HR's usually don't reveal that much because they're afraid of legal issues. It's the rare nurse that has a "will never hire again" memo in their file. Word of mouth might follow--and if you don't go into it the the NM might press with a question like this--How do you handle personal/colleague conflict? Research this site and have an A+ reply ready. Good Luck!
    Armygirl7 likes this.
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    Thanks, guys. I guess I don't know how to phrase this: While my experiences at the prior job were mostly positive, and I learned so much and had so many valuable educational opportunities, it was getting downright unsafe for me there. We were so short staffed (22 nurses and 2 managers left in my last month) and I feel like I didn't have the resources or support that I needed to do my job effectively. However, I am confident I can grow and succeed as a professional nurse with the right support. I may not have a lot of experience, but I have the right attitude and will work hard to earn the respect of my colleagues. I'm motivated, dependable, and passionate about being a nurse.

    How do I deal with conflict/difficult colleague? I think I'd say that this is bound to happen, because we aren't always going to like everyone we work with, but we have to be professionals and communicate with one another in order to deliver good care. It's about the patient, not us. We all have bad days, and while this shouldn't come into play at work, it sometimes does...I'm a very flexible person and have a thick skin; I can go with the flow and shrug off a lot. But, if it was ongoing, I may pull my colleague aside in private and say something nonthreatening like "It looks like something may be bothering you. Maybe I'm wrong, but it seems like you may be bothered by something I said or did. I want us to have a good working relationship, so I'd like to clear anything up so it doesn't interfere with our work today."

    So, how do I phrase this stuff in a more positive light? I'm not a young nurse, but I am a new nurse. I am absolutely devastated that I was fired...I've never, ever been fired and I never had anyone despise me for no apparent reason. I get along with everybody and am very easygoing and friendly. I'm a private person, don't divulge my home life to my colleagues, hate gossip and refuse to play the drama game like mean girls from high school. I'm too old for that.

    I only worked at this other place for 6 months and I loved it there, except for this one girl who disliked me from day one and would harrass me openly in front of 5 or so other colleagues. I never even complained about it, just tried to ignore it, which only made it worse. I could have dealt with the nasty rumors and calling me fat/ugly/etc, but when she was setting me up and refusing to communicate with me, it was getting unsafe. She is buddies with the manager, and I was let go for not being "a good fit"...some of my colleagues rallied behind me, but others were afraid of retaliation. Looks like they were correct. It was not a very good atmosphere and I think losing 22 nurses and going through managers every 6 months speaks for itself, but of course I can't/won't say that.

    But, getting back to my interview...how should I phrase the above questions? I don't have a lot of experience with interviewing because I've held my other two jobs for years. I hope that speaks for something. I'm devastate because it looks like my career might be derailed before it even started....
  6. 1
    If 22 Nurses and 2 Managers really left, there is no need to go into all of that.. Whoever is interviewing you is bound to have interviewed at least a few of that group. It's a small world out there. They might be interviewing you just off the fact you have that you are no longer working at that place.. They might be thinking "another XYZ reject, we'll take her."

    * I say "XYZ reject" as a figure of speech.. I am not calling you Reject in a negative way. Maybe you can flip into a badge of honor and explain all of the obsticles you overcame before finally getting to this stage of your life.
    losbozos likes this.
  7. 0
    I have been in the same situation that you are describing to the T. Bullying, favoritism, a boss with SEVERE mood swings, the whole nine. It is so hard to make it out of this situation but all I will say is keep trying over and over again until someone gets off their high horse and hires you! Don't let this one situation keep you down for long.


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