Please quit wasting my time: Interview Advice from Hiring Manager - page 16

by Teacher Sue 47,790 Views | 227 Comments

I have spent the last two days interviewing candidates for an open RN position on my floor. Last week I went through the 14 resumes HR sent over to pick out the ones I wanted to interview. Eliminated eight of these for various... Read More


  1. 0
    Quote from itsnowornever
    ..... The going rate? Couple hundred. I'm not exaggerating and I'm not joking. Granted, both positions these people got, they are currently loosing, so it's not too big of a deal, and one of them was in a spot I wouldn't touch with a ten foot pole...but it's scary how some people are getting their positions now a day.
    You're telling me that you KNOW that two people have each handed someone (the hiring manager?) $200 and that secured the job placements? I'd have to ask how you know this--as the person who PAID the money would have to be insane to admit it, and the person who TOOK the money, equally so. That's a HELLUVA lot of risk for any manager to take, for chickenfeed funds.

    I have never seen, nor heard, of such a thing, and I am by no means naive. Not for a job like a staff nurse position, never.

    Is this happening elsewhere? Is someone else on this forum saying they, too, have proof of such a thing?

    With all due respect, I just cannot believe this assertion.
  2. 1
    I am not the best at interviews but I am an awesome employee! I hear it from my co workers and supervisors all of the time. The ones that are usually hired over me at other jobs that I've had interviews for are sometimes terrific interviewees. They know how to sell theirselves and get the job but are usually lazy and not good to work with. I am not a marketer, I am a nurse.

    I go to interviews with my best dress suit on. Smiling. Shaking hands. Taking the initiative to introduce myself. I bring perfect attendance awards, letters of recommendation, long work history at no more than 2 jobs and I answer questions to the best of my ability. Still I dont get an offer. My friends with more experience usually get the job over me. They also usually quit after a few months.

    Interviewers should stop judging by 100% the interview skills and give the ones with potential a try. My old boss told me that I sucked at the interview but they needed staff badly so they gave me the job. 3 years later I'm still here, 2 perfect attendance awards, no call outs, work 70 hours a week when helping out when short staffed, no write ups, no issues w/ staff, and families love me. My boss also said that I am a hard worker and a good kid. Lucky me!
    NS81 likes this.
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    Quote from wish_me_luck
    amen, biggy! Once you are offered a job, the interview no longer matters. However, some people tend to master interviews (job hoppers, perhaps???) and aren't that interested in the job and others have a hard time with interview but could really want the job.
    Amen gf! I'm the suck at interviews, excellent worker, long term. N my biggest competition are the experienced very good interviewers that are lazy and job hoppers.
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    Quote from RNsRWe
    You're telling me that you KNOW that two people have each handed someone (the hiring manager?) $200 and that secured the job placements? I'd have to ask how you know this--as the person who PAID the money would have to be insane to admit it, and the person who TOOK the money, equally so. That's a HELLUVA lot of risk for any manager to take, for chickenfeed funds.

    I have never seen, nor heard, of such a thing, and I am by no means naive. Not for a job like a staff nurse position, never.

    Is this happening elsewhere? Is someone else on this forum saying they, too, have proof of such a thing?

    With all due respect, I just cannot believe this assertion.
    I don't really believe this is something that is anyway near prevalent. There are too many hoops and too much processing. And I mean, who gets a nursing position w/o going through HR? I mean its pretty standardized. I certainly don't think $200.00 would be worth it for heaven's sake.
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    Actually, the most common reason for leaving a position is coworkers. Managers are the second most common reason. My unit has the lowest turnover in our hospital. In the last two years, we have lost three nurses. One left because her husband was transferred, one left because she was placed into corrective action and knew she was in danger of being terminated, and the one I am interviewing for now retired. I do find it interesting that you were able to make a judgement about my unit and my personality from such a short post. I at least give people an hour.

    Quote from sbruc002
    Donít waste my time either. Nurses leave supervisors/managers, rather than organizations. A manager focusing on weaknesses, rather than building on strengths, sets the stage for low morale. I agree that basic grammar skills, commitment, and a sincere interest in the position are modest expectations. However, opportunities for career growth are rarely found under the supervision of an unyielding critic.
    tnmarie and Ruby Vee like this.
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    Attitude has a great deal to do with professionalism, and it is difficult to hide a poor attitude. Someone who belittles the CNAs has, IMO, a bad attitude. Someone who refers to younger nurses as young snots, also has a bad attitude. These are the kind of people that I feel would be more likely to bully their coworkers, and I do not want them on my unit. Much of the criteria I look at when evaluating a new hire is objective. Job history and education are objective. But one must rely on some subjective observations as well. Another manager might not give as much consideration to comments like the ones above, but in my subjective opinion, these kinds of people are trouble. And yes, people can appear to have a good attitude, but I have found that it does come out at some point during the interview.

    Quote from samadams8
    With respect, honestly, how in the world does that come close to anything objective? What I mean is that as striving for objectivity should be there--while looking for or against a particular attitude can cloud balance in thinking and understanding. Attitudes can appear "good" or "bad." What in the world do you mean by "attitude?" I am asking this b/c I truly believe people should be evaluated in a fair and objective ways--at least as much as it is possible.

    I say this b/c it almost smacks, IMHO, of a huge part of the problem in nursing in general. "Let's hire for 'LIKEABILITY' over all else."

    People that are strong, independent critical thinkers can frequently be misunderstood by others as having a "less than likeable attitude."

    I am sure that you strive to incorporate many things into your analysis and evaluation of potential candidates, and I am also certain that the process can be far from objective. But balance and objectivity, at least by my ethics, has to be what leads one's thinking in these situations. The very person that you or the unit's "influential others" may consider as having a certain "attitude" may end up being one of the strongest nurses for your patients as well as the whole team. "Different and independent thinker" does NOT mean trouble. Unfortunately there are those that can be threatened by free thinkers. Those that feel threatened can try to undermine people with great potential.

    No doubt, yours is a tough job. I just want to clarify and at least believe for now that the tone/meaning of "attitude" involves something much more than what it often can tranlate to in today's world of "likeability above all else."
    gaylarn4 and nursegirl75 like this.
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    Several people here seem to place a negative connotation on fitting in and on the culture of a nursing unit. This is not always the case. A nurse who feels that the aides are there only to take orders would not fit in on a floor where there is more of a teamwork culture between all staff. And an older nurse who feels entitled to the best shifts would not fit into a floor where the culture is that everyone works their share of off shifts. I know the culture on my unit very well. The staff is diverse, but cohesive. It would be irresponsible of me to bring a new hire onto the unit who might disrupt this cohesiveness. Not only would this affect staff, it would affect patient care as well. I'm just not sure how wanting to hire people who will work well with established staff equates to lateral violence. Of course there is conflict on my unit. It is impossible to have 48 staff and not have conflict. But when it occurs, it is addressed. Please don't assume that all units and all managers are like your previous unit. I for one truly do have both the patients and the staff's best interest at heart. And I think that all of the managers I currently work with feel the same way.

    Quote from wish_me_luck
    Teacher Sue, I know every unit has a culture and it's unique but there is never, I repeat never, any excuse for lateral violence. If you have a bunch of nurses and techs that get along okay and a couple who start stuff and have personality conflicts, I would get rid of those two people (even if they are experienced nurses) versus going through fifty new staff members because of the poor attitudes of those two people. Turn over costs money, any good manager knows that. Those new people who quit because of lateral violence could have been wonderful nurses. I think managers need to put their foot down and tell those nurses creating problems that they are not the ones who decide who stays and who leaves, the manager is (I left when a nurse informed me "you know, it's not only what your patients say about you that can get you fired, it's what your co-workers say"). Yeah, after that remark, I finished my shift, wrote a note giving my two week (my manager was never there) put it under the door, brought one to HR (and I kept a copy), did my two weeks and left. Inexcusable. I didn't go to work to make friends (it's wonderful if you get along with your co-workers enough to be friends) but I went there to take care of my patients. There's a problem when co-workers opinions and complaints trump patient preferences. Patient comes first.

    I feel like managers use "every unit has a unique culture" as a cop out for not doing anything about lateral violence. Units do have their own culture but that does not mean there is discord. You get rid of the lateral violence, then the patients get better care. I have experienced people not wanting to help me because of personality conflict and you know what? It's the patient that suffers because some pts are up with two, some need to be turned, some need to be changed (and require two people), etc. I have actually had PT, a physician, and EMTs help me before because the nurses did not want to.

    Like I said before, if people are complaining about co-workers being too slow or whatever, then the complainers should have to come up with a plan to help that person succeed (obviously, they know what that person is doing wrong) and inform the complainer that firing new comer is not an option (time management problems and everything is normal in a new comer); if they don't want to, then that's just because it's a personality conflict and I would definitely take complainer's complaints with a grain of salt. If complaining continued, I would write them up for lateral violence, and have a talk with them and warn them, next time, either go to another unit or be fired.

    People don't leave because of "not fitting in"; they leave because of harassment. Maybe you are a great manager, I don't know you, but if you think people leave because they just don't "fit in" maybe you need to a good hard look at your unit.

    Okay, rant over.
    gaylarn4 and llg like this.
  8. 0
    I do get sick of the pat answers. they usually make the job candidate sound insincere anyway. That is why I never ask "What are your weaknesses."

    Quote from BrandonLPN
    I would imagine interviewers get sick of hearing all the pat answers and sugar coated explanations. I work at a state run home for disabled veterans. When asked in the interview why I want to work here, I replied because they pay good and I want government benefits. She seemed to like the honesty. I bet interviewers quickly get tired of schmaltz like "it's in my heart to help others" or "my biggest weakness is I care too much".
    Last edit by Teacher Sue on Sep 3, '12
  9. 0
    Quote from Teacher Sue
    it can be just as frustrating for a manager looking for staff who are professional, caring, and committed to their profession. I feel like the last two days have been a complete waste of my time.
    For the most part, I read your post with surprise that you experience such. Perhaps the occasional candidate would be so clueless, but most - or all - of them? Wow.
    Eliminated eight of these for various reasons ( poor grammar and spelling, history of job hopping, inappropriate email address)
    As someone whose pre-nursing resume is dotted with job after job, the longest of which was four years and the average of which was two, I'd encourage you not to summarily write such folks off. In fact, they might be just the folks that you're looking for instead of the dingbats that you're interviewing. For some folks, job-hopping is much more indicative of their poor choice/fortune in employers than it is any commentary on themselves.

    There is also a benefit to hiring people who've worked for many different employers: Flexibility and the ability to quickly integrate into a new system and company culture.

    Sure, sometimes job-hopping can be a sign of personality problems, poor work habits, or simply a restless nature. Other times, though, it can simply be the result of poor corporate fiscal or operational management.
  10. 1
    Quote from Teacher Sue
    I do get sick of the pat answers. they usually make the job candidate sound insincere anyway. that is why I never ask "What are your weaknesses."
    Interesting. I do get those questions sometimes and I generally try to answer honestly, and then explain how I seek to improve on them.

    The insincerity issue is one reason why I don't believe in practicing for interviews or reading books about interviewing (beyond the basics of proper manners and rudimentary communication skills). One should simply be prepared to tell one's story and display one's intellect and personality. Sometimes it's a match and sometimes it's not.
    llg likes this.


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