Did I scare them away? (Long Story)

Nurses Job Hunt


I need some good advice. I graduated in May of 2011 got my license in June and began a long and laborious job hunt. After months of endless phone calls, emails, in person hand offs, I got a job. To say I work as a nurse is quite a stretch( more of a I wear scrubs and sit at a desk job) but it's a job right?

I decided I would gain licenses and certificates in the area of nursing I want to work in (OBGYN) during the down time at my current job! I also decided to volunteer at a local hospital hoping it would give me a little boost! I have gained my NRP and attended 3 separate conferences all related to my desired field. I also began volunteering with a local breast feeding advice line!!

The hospital I volunteer at just barley opened a new grad program and technically I had not reached 12 months of RN experience.

( 3 weeks shy) They even had 2 positions on my dream floor!! I eagerly applied! I then (2 weeks later) went up to the floor to talk to the Nurse manager. I told her who I was, that I had applied to the residency and just wanted to say hello. She showed me the floor and we shook hands. Immediately after my meeting with her I got a call from the volunteer coordinator stating my volunteer position with that floor opened up and I should contact that nurse manager. I went right back to that floor and left my information with her secretary.

I got a call the next day from the manager asking if I was the same lady whom she showed the floor too and was waiting for the residency program. I said yes and she told me she did not want me to volunteer on the floor until the residency was finished. I completely understood and told her so.

They had a prescreen interview for the residency and I was asked 2 questions from a Med/Surg Manager. Why that hospital and what makes me better. I felt I gave all the right answers, talking about how great a hospital it was citing certain achievements gained. I also mentioned how I volunteer there and just love it. As to why I was better I explained all the conferences I attended the added license I had and the 2 different volunteer jobs! I sent the interviewer a thank you email after the call.

I did not get asked for a second interview. I have no idea why? Was I too pushy with the manger? Did I do wrong by telling Med/Surg manager why I was better by only listing ObGyN stuff? Does any of that even make you better or am I just throwing money out the window?

Any thoughts or help is greatly appreciated! Any help on where I should go form here is also appreciated (sorry it was so long)

Specializes in Maternal - Child Health.

Please don't take my response the wrong way. I mean no disrespect to you, as you are obviously a motivated, eager, conscientious job hunter.

But there is absolutely no way that anonymous posters on a bulletin board can possibly answer the question of why you were not chosen for this job. There are thousands of reasons why one candidate is hired over another. Someone may have had prior experience, been the granddaughter of the hospital administrator, had a scholarship obligation to repay the hospital, or just have hit it off better with the NM.

As a former nurse manager, I welcomed the opportunity to mentor individuals who were interested in my area of practice (NICU). I met with students who wanted to pursue the NICU after graduation, nurses interested in changing their specialty, and even people who were just curious to tour a NICU and see what it was like. It was a 2 way street. The candidates benefitted by making themselves known to me and I had prior knowledge of candidates when openings became available, making it easier to fill positions.

Please consider requesting an appointment with HR or the nurse manager for an "informational interview" where you can discuss your interview and gain constructive feedback. This can be very helpful in your continued Job Search. Best of luck to you!

Jolie, thank you so much!! I will definitely set up a meeting with them.

I guess I just wanted to make sure that all of my eagerness was not a factor in not getting the position. I would really,really like a job on that floor so I did not want to NOT try everything. Normally I would wait until someone else initiated the conversation/opportunity.

Thanks again for your advice, it really makes me feel better!

Specializes in Hospice / Ambulatory Clinic.

Maybe it's something to do with your not really a new grad anymore?

Specializes in Early Intervention, Nsg. Education.

Just a comment about the "What makes you better than the other applicants" interview question...

I understand that several qualified individuals are applying for a single job. I know that each applicant has their own list of "selling points," including length/breadth/depth of experience, additional certification, skills set, and such. What really sticks in my craw is asking one applicant why they are the best nurse for the position. How should I know? I've never met them before in my life, much less worked with them. :confused:

My response would be a rewording of the question to focus on the skills that I can bring to the position, especially illustrating ways that my particular skills set aligns with the organization's mission, vision, etc. I talk about the hospital/facility, and myself. That's it. Whether I am better than the other applicants is irrelevant.

Now, if they lined up the applicants, gave each of us a podium and a buzzer, and asked us to respond to their statements in the form of a question, I'd do my darnedest to show them that I was better than the other applicants! :lol2:


Specializes in Neuro ICU/Trauma/Emergency.

I would like to commend you on your relentless approach. Although, next time someone asks you what sets you apart from other candidates shy away from listing your credentials. Your schooling and credentials are apparent on your resume, hopefully. Therefore, a question such as this is to show your eagerness to learn, curiosity, your adaptability, your personable personality, etc.

Who knows, maybe you weren't chosen for a Residency due to these positions being geared towards new graduates. You are sort of tenured. Although you may not be in your scope of practice, you are still more experienced than the individuals who are usually recruited for those positions. I would also like to inquire as to why the manager would not allow your to volunteer until after the Residency. Could this be a good or a bad sign? You can stick it out a couple of weeks until an official "We're regretfully apologetic this position has been filled by another candidate who better fills the job description" letter comes. I would then request an informational interview or possibly discuss other positions within the facility to gain more bedside experience. Is this the only hospital in the area?

This is not the only hospital in the area, it just happens to be the only one I have connections (although loosely) with.

I wish I had responded to the "better question" differently! It makes perfect sense now! Even though I have those extras it is something they already knew about from my resume. I always feel weird going on about how compassionate I am, how nursing was my life long dream...ect. However I can defiantly see that is what they might have been asking.

Why is it that hind sight is always 20/20???

Thank you everyone!

Specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development.

Yeah, that question is your opportunity to showcase things about you that can't show up on a resume. A story about why you are becoming a nurse or why that specialty is your passion. Something that reflects you in a good light and done in a way that makes you likeable and is compelling that you will be a consciencious worker who will be anxious to learn, to do a good job, to show up on time and to get along with others.

Specializes in "Wound care - geriatric care.

I have a similar story that just happened to me. I was accepted as a volunteer at a trauma center. After 10 months of working there 1 to 2 four hour shifts per week I became a familiar person. I became very close to the staff which I truly loved. Some of the nurses started to trust me and I felt I was part of the team in some way. I was waiting for a new grad position which came in May. There were 1044 applicants for 4 openings. I applied and got an interview which went very well. A few days later I got an e-mail with started with the words "thank you for applying...we're sorry..." and you know the rest. I was devastated because I loved the ER and the staff and after looking for a job for over 17 months I finally thought I found a job. This event really was the straw that broke my back (you can call me a camel). I finally decided not to look for nursing positions any more for now. I'll be looking at other possibilities in health care. I think is pretty much impossible to get a new grad position at this time. I don't think I would ever to into nursing had I know it was going to be this hard to find a job.

Marcos9999, I completely feel your anguish. I truly wish Managers would just come out and tell us if we do not fit on their floor. It would probably devastate us and we would cry but the we could gather our wits and try somewhere else ;) It's the never ending promise of "someday" that kills!Did you ask for an "information interview"?I emailed the Nurse manager and HR to ask for an information interview...just waiting to hear back and trying not to be discouraged!

Thank all of you again for the advice! I never felt like I answered the "better than" question properly. I guess I was just flabbergasted as to why they would ask...I always wanted to say,"have you seen my resume? I clearly am the better person"...so thanks for helping with that one!! Hoping to get another interview (somewhere) so I can nail that question :)Thanks!

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