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Bad Interview - Should I withdraw?

Nurses   (1,949 Views 27 Comments)
by DowntheRiver DowntheRiver (Platinum*) Platinum* Nurse

DowntheRiver has 5 years experience and works as a Registered Nurse.

13,480 Visitors; 839 Posts

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Hey y'all -

Today I had an interview for a PRN job. I had a previous interview earlier this week with the hiring managers that went well so they advanced me to the next round of interviews. I already work for this hospital just in a different department. As soon as I walked into the interview I felt immediately out of place. It consisted of 9 nurses. The nurses were not prepared with questions and just stared at me to begin with. This is not the norm for our organization, as we do behavioral interviewing organization-wide. The interview started more like a lecture on how I was not qualified for the position.  One nurse told me (and I am paraphrasing), "I had x amount of floor nursing experience, and even I struggled, how would you be able to do this?" Then, a question or two was asked about my background, which I explained in detail and which I felt generously highlighted how I have quickly risen to the occasion in the past in a short amount of time with little to no orientation and still done well. I do catch on pretty quick, and have demonstrated this in a current PRN role and two previous full time positions. 

I didn't get a great vibe from this interview, and even if they were to offer me a position, I'd turn it down because I can tell this group isn't for me. Would it be wrong to go ahead and email the manager and tell them to withdraw my application? I would not say that it was a bad interview in my withdrawal email. Heck, I wouldn't know what to say, but I'm just not interested in this position anymore. My husband who is not a nurse has told me just to let them reject me but I'd rather not waste anymore of either of our time dragging this out.

As always, thoughts and insight always appreciated. 

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Jedrnurse has 25 years experience as a BSN, RN and works as a school nurse.

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The sooner you let them know, the sooner they can focus on another candidate to fill the role, so I think the polite and classy thing is to do is withdraw- if you're absolutely sure.

On the bright side, it looks like you're dodging a bullet if you think this department would not be a good place for you...

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DowntheRiver has 5 years experience and works as a Registered Nurse.

13,480 Visitors; 839 Posts

4 minutes ago, Jedrnurse said:

The sooner you let them know, the sooner they can focus on another candidate to fill the role, so I think the polite and classy thing is to do is withdraw- if you're absolutely sure.

On the bright side, it looks like you're dodging a bullet if you think this department would not be a good place for you...

I'm absolutely sure. How would you phrase it? 

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TriciaJ has 37 years experience as a RN and works as a Retired.

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5 minutes ago, DowntheRiver said:

I'm absolutely sure. How would you phrase it? 

"You guys are a bunch of dorks and I'd rather flip burgers."  Haha!  Just kidding!

They may surprise you by actually offering you the position.  If you're sure you're really put off and don't want to work with them:

"I'm withdrawing my application for xxx position.  I appreciate everyone's time but on further reflection, I don't believe I'd be a good fit."  The professional version of "It's not you; it's me."

Good luck!

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CharleeFoxtrot has 7 years experience as a ADN, RN.

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26 minutes ago, TriciaJ said:

"You guys are a bunch of dorks and I'd rather flip burgers."  Haha!  Just kidding!

They may surprise you by actually offering you the position.  If you're sure you're really put off and don't want to work with them:

"I'm withdrawing my application for xxx position.  I appreciate everyone's time but on further reflection, I don't believe I'd be a good fit."  The professional version of "It's not you; it's me."

Good luck!

Perfect!

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Sour Lemon has 9 years experience.

2 Followers; 29,017 Visitors; 4,103 Posts

I'd stay in the running. Were those nine nurses dragged from a busy shift for this interview? Did they come in on their day off or stay late?

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Daisy4RN has 20 years experience.

1 Follower; 1 Article; 5,818 Visitors; 849 Posts

Agree that I would withdraw if you are sure that you would not accept a position. I would consider though that maybe just because the interview didn't go well that doesn't necessarily mean you would not like the job, esp. if only a per diem position. If the interview was not done in the same manner that your facility does them it may just be a fluke. 

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Been there,done that has 33 years experience and works as a case manager.

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I have never heard of nine nurses in a group interview. Sounds like some new HR hoopla. 

 These nurses don't all know how to interview, most of them didn't want to be there.  Ya gotta forgive them.

I would never turn down a job offer, especially PRN.  If offered.. give it a shot.

Best wishes.

 

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8 Followers; 21,834 Visitors; 2,825 Posts

A different take:

It sounds like they tried something new and the participants weren't prepared to carry out a professional and well-coordinated interview at all. Verrrry likely nothing to do with you.

Even though you are now not interested, I would be concerned that such a quick withdrawal might run a pretty good chance of allowing them to infer rejection/dislike no matter how professionally you try to word it.

Had I experienced this, I can imagine coming to your same conclusion - but some little bit of my reaction would (privately) be related to a feeling that they humiliated me a little. I would force my self not to be reactive or pull any stunts that might unnecessarily harm relationships as a means of soothing my pride. (Just me 😉)

Good luck ~

Edited by JKL33

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Sour Lemon has 9 years experience.

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2 minutes ago, Been there,done that said:

I have never heard of nine nurses in a group interview. Sounds like some new HR hoopla. 

 These nurses don't all know how to interview, most of them didn't want to be there.  Ya gotta forgive them.

I would never turn down a job offer, especially PRN.  If offered.. give it a shot.

Best wishes.

 

I had one like that about ten years ago. It was a rough environment. The idea was that if your peers approved you, they'd be less likely to terrorize you and more likely to support you.
I didn't feel like mine went well, but I got hired. After I started working on the unit, I realized that nurses were randomly pulled from their heavy patient loads for this extra task they had NO time for.

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4,871 Visitors; 386 Posts

I'm guessing that you interviewed for some critical care area like the ED or ICU, so I'm going to base my response on that.

We don't try to be rude in our interviews, but we do ask hard questions that can make the candidates potentially feel uncomfortable. Part of it is the slightly jaded nature of critical care nurses, some of it is us wanting to see how candidates do under pressure. I think you might be surprised at how well you may have done despite how you feel it went. I'm actually okay with candidates who don't have quick or perfect answers if I can tell that they were able to think through the question and give it real consideration.

I personally wouldn't withdraw. I think it would give a better impression to wait it out, especially if you ever want to consider going to that unit again.

If you have any interest at all in the unit I would reach out to the manager and see if you can have a shadow day before they make their decision. Your impression from the interview might be far different that if you spent some time there. As someone who works in the ED and inpatient critical care I can tell you that we sometimes seem unfriendly to staff outside our units, but critical care nurses have a strong bond that you won't get anywhere else and we really are a (slightly dysfunctional) family.

 

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hppygr8ful has 15 years experience and works as a RN - Adolescent Psych.

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1 hour ago, DowntheRiver said:

I'm absolutely sure. How would you phrase it? 

"After Careful consideration I have decided to withdraw my application for "bla Bla" position. Thank you for your consideration and the opportunity to interview."

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