Please quit wasting my time: Interview Advice from Hiring Manager - page 17

by Teacher Sue

39,801 Unique 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


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    Are you suggesting I just pick anyone and then terminate them after the probationary period if they don't work out? This is wrong in so many ways. How would a new grad feel about being fired at the end of their probationary period, and then discovering that I just picked them out and didn't evaluate their skills and suitability for the position? I would think that this would be more devastating than not getting hired at all. Do you think it is fair to established staff to have them put the time and effort into orienting a new person, only to have to do it all over again in six months because I just picked someone? And this is completely irresponsible from a finanacial viewpoint. Depending on the statistics you read, it can cost $30,000 or more to orient a new GN. If I were to be hiring someone new every six months because of this kind of hiring practice, I would be looking for a new job.

    Quote from ashrn2011
    Well speaking from experience a interview is not a true assessment of someones skills. People are usually very nervous during interviews, especially New Grads. Give them a break and go with your gut and just pick one! Isn't that what a probationary period is for! Some people have carisma and some don't does that tell you their nursing skills no I don't think so.....
    NS81 and llg like this.
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    Quote from Teacher Sue
    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.
    I would like to reiterate that by automatically eliminating "job-hoppers," you may be overlooking precisely the kinds of people that you're looking for... ones who have much experience at integrating themselves into an existing culture.

    I recently had an interview where I said, "It's my job to integrate myself into the existing culture - something which I've successfully done several times. It's not the culture's responsibility to change itself on my behalf." I'm not even sure what prompted that statement by me but it was sincere - and backed up by personal anecdotes and references. Had I been screened out simply on work history on my resume, we'd never have arrived at that point.

    Some of us job-hop of necessity - and hate having had to do so. Just because one has had many short-term jobs doesn't mean that one is a poor worker or has difficulty 'playing with others.' Or maybe it does and I just happen to be a rare exception.

    Anyway, given your difficulty in finding good candidates with your present screening criteria, perhaps you should try to look at some job-hoppers with a new perspective. You might find some gems in there.
    NS81 and MommyandRN like this.
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    I have never looked at the issue from this perspective. Thank you for lthis insight. See an old dog can learn new tricks.

    From my own experiences though, I think you are probably the exception, not the rule.

    Quote from ♪♫ in my ♥
    I would like to reiterate that by automatically eliminating "job-hoppers," you may be overlooking precisely the kinds of people that you're looking for... ones who have much experience at integrating themselves into an existing culture.

    I recently had an interview where I said, "It's my job to integrate myself into the existing culture - something which I've successfully done several times. It's not the culture's responsibility to change itself on my behalf." I'm not even sure what prompted that statement by me but it was sincere - and backed up by personal anecdotes and references. Had I been screened out simply on work history on my resume, we'd never have arrived at that point.

    Some of us job-hop of necessity - and hate having had to do so. Just because one has had many short-term jobs doesn't mean that one is a poor worker or has difficulty 'playing with others.' Or maybe it does and I just happen to be a rare exception.

    Anyway, given your difficulty in finding good candidates with your present screening criteria, perhaps you should try to look at some job-hoppers with a new perspective. You might find some gems in there.
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    Quote from ashrn2011
    Well speaking from experience a interview is not a true assessment of someones skills.
    Well, they certainly can be an indicator. I had a recent interview where I was peppered with detailed questions and case studies. I think it did reveal something of my knowledge base and my ability to think under pressure (not to mention coping with fatigue since I'd finished a night shift and then driven four hours to get there).
    Give them a break and go with your gut and just pick one!
    It's very difficult to quantify one's gut feelings and to avoid potential liability, one needs to be able to document why one hired who they did. Otherwise, one faces potential charges of discrimination.
    Isn't that what a probationary period is for!
    Nope. The probationary period is a final chance to rectify a mistake.
    Some people have carisma and some don't does that tell you their nursing skills no I don't think so.....
    Well, it does to a degree. A large piece of nursing is based on establishing rapport with patients, physicians, ancillary staff, other nurses, etc. Charisma definitely counts.
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    Ah, yes.... spelling. Here's an observation: 'Judgment' with only one 'e' is the preferred spelling of the word, according to American Heritage Dictionary. 'Judgement' is also an acceptable secondary spelling, according to that source, though I still think of it as incorrect. I prefer the old-school version. Also, I noticed someone using "job-hoping" above, in place of "job-hopping", but I rather liked that new variation. Perhaps because I currently am ..."hoping for a job".

    This thread has made me feel even worse now for not being called back after initial interviews. I must be doing pretty darn poorly in those interviews.... Nonetheless, I will be studying and practicing my interview techniques, brushing off my black pantsuit, ironing my cream blouse, and polishing my black pumps with the two-inch heels, placing my conservative fake pearls around my neck and my understated matching fake pearl earrings on my ears, taking my carefully prepared and proof-read resumes, cover letter, and scrupulously complete applications to my next interview whenever and wherever I am called. I will be ready with a firm handshake and genuine smile, full of energy and curiosity, eager to know more about the position and organization, though well-versed on its history and mission, etc. I wish the OP a new crop of outstanding candidates, too. I know they must be out there somewhere!
    Last edit by Flatlander on Sep 4, '12 : Reason: spelling!:)
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    Maybe you shouldn't eliminate the "people with a history of job hopping". I myself have switched jobs a few times but that is due to the fact that I am looking for the position I would be happiest in. There are a lot of really bad employers and bad situations people have left. I don't think it's right that you eliminate these people based on resume, then complain that you haven't found a suitable candidate.
    frodo-dog likes this.
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    My goal is to find the candidate best suited to fill my opening. I have a responsibility to our patients to find someone clinically competent, and to staff to find someone that will work as part of our team. I also have an obligation to the hospital to hire someone who will stick around for a while instead of paying to put new people through orientation every six months. My goal is not to find the person who wants the job the most, or the one who will be happiest to get hired. And if someone tells me they have switched jobs several times because they are looking for the job that makes them happiest, I would wonder how realistic their expectations are. There is no perfect job, in nursing or in any other field. How can I be sure that this person won't decide to move on after a short time because the unit does not meet their idea of the perfect job. I can understand leaving one or two jobs because of poor conditions, but if someone has established this pattern of behavior, maybe it isn't the jobs. Maybe it's them.

    Quote from MommyandRN
    Maybe you shouldn't eliminate the "people with a history of job hopping". I myself have switched jobs a few times but that is due to the fact that I am looking for the position I would be happiest in. There are a lot of really bad employers and bad situations people have left. I don't think it's right that you eliminate these people based on resume, then complain that you haven't found a suitable candidate.
    0402, chevyv, Ruby Vee, and 2 others like this.
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    I was not talking about someone leaving after 6 months. If you have an experienced nurse who worked at a few places for a few years at a time then moved on, that shouldn't be a negative thing. Is it because she hasn't been at one job for 30 years as you have been? Not everyone wants to be a manager. I think it's OK for nurses to switch jobs and switch specialties. It's not necessary to stay somewhere for years on end anymore, when they aren't happy and/or they are looking to switch specialties.
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    I never said I was in the same job for 30 years. I said I have been an RN for almost 30 years. And I haven't been a manager for 30 years either. I have worked in med surg, emergency, ICU, clinical education, and as an instructor in an ADN program. I have worked in three different institutions, and have been a manager for a total of 11 years. So I do understand the desire to move on to another unit or specialty. I have explained what I consider job hopping and why I won't hire someone with a poor employment history several times in this thread. I'm not going to repeat myself.

    Quote from MommyandRN
    I was not talking about someone leaving after 6 months. If you have an experienced nurse who worked at a few places for a few years at a time then moved on, that shouldn't be a negative thing. Is it because she hasn't been at one job for 30 years as you have been? Not everyone wants to be a manager. I think it's OK for nurses to switch jobs and switch specialties. It's not necessary to stay somewhere for years on end anymore, when they aren't happy and/or they are looking to switch specialties.
    chevyv and wooh like this.
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    I'm going to reiterate the statement about introverts. I feel like all this stuff that is being said is so easy for extroverts to do, but takes a little more energy for an introvert to do. Sure, we can do it, but it just takes a little more time to get a feel and show off our talents. When someone doesn't respect and recognize this, we lose out. Therefore, we have to adapt to become an extrovert for an interview, only to eventually revert to our introverted ways later.

    I don't know if anyone has taken the Meyers-Briggs personality test and believes in the results. I have tested as a border INTJ/ISTJ. If I am predominantly INTJ, I should be doing better than this. Although we are introverts, we are also "masterminds". I'll come up with something. Apparently we are only 2% of the population, and even less of that is female. I will use this to my advantage. Just you see..muahahaha!


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