Pediatrics Interview Questions

  1. Thank you in advance for your help... this is a long post and I appreciate your HONEST and experienced answers.

    Okay here goes... I am graduating nursing school in May and have an interview on Friday at a big children's hospital in my home state. I am really interested in working here but am trying not to get my hopes up too much.
    My questions are:
    Is it going to be a major drawback that I have not had a LOT of pediatric clinical experience? I have worked with children some in other ways and I love kids, but have not in nursing much- our clinicals in Peds were short, and an externship I applied for put me on an adult unit... etc. etc. I am going to have my specialty rotation (April-May) in a Shriners pediatrics hospital, so I will get more experience but I don't have it right now. I did love our Peds rotation. And I got some great care from nurses when I was a kid which is a lot of why I want to do pediatrics. I just don't know how to approach if they ask about my limited peds experience.
    Also... what are some questions specific to a children's hospital that I should be prepared for? I know this may seem an obvious question to some of you, but I am not that great at interviews and want to be totally prepared... at least as much as possible!
    I thank you in advance for your answers... you are awesome. :Melody:
    -Rachel
    •  
  2. 27 Comments

  3. by   llg
    It sounds like you will have had a lot of peds experience by the time you graduate to me, not a little. Don't worry about that. If the hospital hires new grads (and I think they all do), they are used to people such as yourself.

    As far as questions to prepare for:
    Be prepared to discuss why you are interested in peds as a specialty and what it is about working with children that you like. Avoid vague, "dreamy-eyed" responses such as, "Oh, I don't know, I just like kids. They are so cute!" etc. Pediatric nursing is a profession and the interviewers want to hire a professional -- not a naive school girl with unrealistic fantasies of a career. (... not that I think you are that. I'm just telling you something to avoid.) Think ahead of time about the characteristics of children and the experience of working with them and identify those that attract you to the profession.

    Show an interest in the children ... ask about the services provided by the hospital ... etc. They want to hire someone who cares about the kids and is interested in their lives and well-being.

    Display an interest in learning -- because they will want you to learn and grow in your career. You don't have to say that you plan to go to grad school or have a specific career goal in mind ... but convery that you are hoping for a long-term career in pediatrics. If they are going to invest in your orientation, they will want to get a good return on their investment.

    Those are just a few thoughts off the top of my head.

    llg
  4. by   perfectbluebuildings
    Thanks so much llg!! these are exactly the kinds of things I was hoping to learn. I will have to come back and tell you all how it goes. Thanks for your vote of confidence!
  5. by   perfectbluebuildings
    So I had the interview on Friday... I got way nervous, and I think I sounded okay sometimes but other times, just dumb! :chuckle I will have to wait and see; they asked for instructor references so I guess they aren't totally uninterested in me anyhow! I was a little quiet and I had thought of questions, but the nurse manager answered most of them before she even started asking me questions, in her introduction! I tried to still convey my very sincere interest in this position and I hope it came across... I thought of all KINDS of great things to say during my 2-hour drive back to school, LOL!! I will let you know how it turns out and thanks very much for your help.
  6. by   perfectbluebuildings
    OK just in case anyone was reading this before and wondering ...

    I wanted to let you know that I got a call today from the hospital and I GOT THE JOB!!!!

    I will start in June. Thank you especially llg for your suggestions and support!

    :Melody: I AM VERY EXCITED!!!! :Melody:
  7. by   MermaidRN
    Congratulations! Peds is awesome. What type of unit will you be working on?
  8. by   perfectbluebuildings
    Thank you!!

    I will be on a medical floor, with a lot of kids with chronic illnesses and a lot of respiratory problems, along with a variety of others, and will have 4-6 patients per shift, twelve hour shifts. The nurse manager I interviewed with, and the staff nurse I talked to seemed really nice and to like their jobs a lot.

    I am going to buy some new cute scrubs too! I get to wear "fun" ones! OK I know I sound silly but I am just REALLY excited! Thank you for sharing it with me!
  9. by   MermaidRN
    That's not a bad ratio. So you'll be on a general medical floor? When you say chronic, do you mean renal failure/diabetics/something else entirely? I started out in pediatric hem/onc right out of school. You'll be surprised how much you'll learn. Will you be working days or nocs?
  10. by   perfectbluebuildings
    Hi MermaidRN! I think it will be a lot of kids with cystic fibrosis, that is the main chronic disease I got the impression of, and a lot of kids with traches too, I don't know what illnesses that would be. Then things like RSV, broncholitis, rotavirus, that type of thing, too. (they said those things go in "seasons"!) I will either work nights 7 p to 7a, or an 11 am to 11 pm shift, those are the two that most of the new grads work is what the manager told me. I will have a 12-week orientation, I think that would be long enough... they said if by the end of 12 weeks you are progressing, but need more time, they will let you stay on orientation for a while, but if no progress they would have to let you go.

    I am sure I will be learning a lot! I really am eager to start learning it all now... it is going to be very hard to concentrate on school now!!! I still can't quite believe it. I will have to start doing all that apartment-searching and stuff... exciting!

    Wow... peds hem/onc, now that is a field I don't know if I'd be tough enough to do... you all are very special people. Take care!
  11. by   MermaidRN
    That sounds interesting. CF kids are great. Pediatric diseases do indeed run in seasons... we're just over the influenza hump (I hope).

    Congratulations again! I love to see new and excited pedi nurses!
  12. by   perfectbluebuildings
    Quote from MermaidRN
    That sounds interesting. CF kids are great. Pediatric diseases do indeed run in seasons... we're just over the influenza hump (I hope).

    Congratulations again! I love to see new and excited pedi nurses!

    thank you, again!! :chuckle i would certainly fit the description of new and excited!! very much so!!!

    take care...
  13. by   FarmgrrlRN
    Congrats Rayrae!

    I just had my interview today as well for a pediatric nursing position (due to graduate in May!). Its a unit I work on already as a nursing assistant (cardiac/trach/med-surg overflow) with a 2-4 patient/nurse ratio and I was very nervous about it all. Their responses to my answers were encouraging but I still have that bit of doubt in my mind. They told me they will be making their decision in April (they're interviewing 6 new grads for ? positions)...its going to be a very nerve wracking time! Hopefully I will have some good news to report as well!

    Again, congrats on your new job!
  14. by   perfectbluebuildings
    Quote from FarmRN2Be
    Congrats Rayrae!

    I just had my interview today as well for a pediatric nursing position (due to graduate in May!). Its a unit I work on already as a nursing assistant (cardiac/trach/med-surg overflow) with a 2-4 patient/nurse ratio and I was very nervous about it all. Their responses to my answers were encouraging but I still have that bit of doubt in my mind. They told me they will be making their decision in April (they're interviewing 6 new grads for ? positions)...its going to be a very nerve wracking time! Hopefully I will have some good news to report as well!

    Again, congrats on your new job!
    Congratulations to you too!! GOOD LUCK and let us know what happens! I am eager to hear about all the other folks who have worked so hard and graduating FINALLY this spring! Take care, we can make it...

close