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Experienced nurse turned down several times..

Nurses   (1,957 Views 28 Comments)

kmek30 has 8 years experience as a ASN, BSN, RN and specializes in Cardiac, Telemetry, Med/Surge/transplant.

1,311 Visitors; 27 Posts

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Hello, I'm an experienced nurse, I am trying to work at a hospital that's closer to my house, I've interviewed at 5 different hospitals and been turned down after feeling like the interview went well.  I never got a reason and am just frustrated.  I have another interview coming up this week for a progressive care unit position that I really want but now I'm discouraged from being turned down so much.  I have 7 years lpn and 4 years rn as well as a bachelors, I don't know what else I can do to prove I'm a good candidate anyone on here have any advice.  

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7,217 Visitors; 1,004 Posts

What’s your experience and how are you interview skills?

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NICUismylife is a ADN, BSN, RN and specializes in NICU, RNC.

6,731 Visitors; 563 Posts

Your resume is good enough to get you the interview, which makes me think  that either A) There happen to be more experienced candidates applying or they are hiring internally or B) You're not interviewing as well as you think you are. 

Maybe have a trusted RN friend (who will be completely honest with you) interview you with the types of questions that you are being asked and give you feedback? 

Edited by NICUismylife
typo

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not.done.yet has 8 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in Critical Care; Cardiac; Professional Development.

4 Followers; 44,623 Visitors; 5,526 Posts

If you are getting the interviews but not the job there is something going on in the interviews that doesn't gel most likely. Interviews are mostly a way to see if you are someone they would want to work with, particularly if it is a panel interview. Failure to be remarkable makes you forgettable. It doesn't mean they don't want to work with you as much as someone else's light shined brighter than yours.

They will review your skills and your answers, but a lot of it comes down to whether or not they see you as competent, professional and a good fit for their team. I will offer a few tips below - please know that I am not implying any of these are things you are doing wrong, as I don't know the specifics of your situation. Always remember, your answers matter, but your bearing and personality matter more. They already believe you are qualified or you would not be there. I have gotten offers many times by the below tactics, including over internal candidates with more experience than me. It can be done. Note that I am a very reserved introverted type of person, so you do not have to be a sparkly, gregarious one to do this.

1. Make sure your appearance doesn't become a distraction. Be conservative without being Amish. Don't wear scrubs unless you have no choice. Slacks and a blouse that doesn't show cleavage or a subdued dress, sensible shoes that don't attract attention in either direction. Try to wear colors and/or patterns that aren't flamboyant. Keep your jewelry conservative too. No big dangly earrings, nothing super sparkly or clunky or super trendy. Think classic. Nails trimmed. Make-up, if you wear it, should be conservative as well. Save the heavy stuff and bright colors for social occasions. Be clean. Hair tidy. Don't wear perfume.

2. Be friendly. View it as getting to talk in a room with another nurse or nurses about something you love - nursing. Share your passion for the job. Use humor, even if it is just a grin. This is a chance to tell your story. Show what you know as well as how you have grown. Be conversational, not just answering questions like a robot. Your answers matter, but so does your presentation of them. Be likable.

3. Have questions prepared about the job beyond the usual "What are your nurse/patient ratios". Ask the panel members for their opinions on the organization, the floor, the patient population. Ask what their greatest challenge is, then empathize with it and offer how you are someone who would be motivated/qualified to help with that. Smile. Ask what they love about working in that organization. Make eye contact. The question portion is your chance to commandeer the interview and form bonds. Don't waste it.

3. When it wraps up, shake everyone's hand - firm but not too hard. No limp fingers or wrists here. Look people in the eye with a smile and express appropriate gratitude for the opportunity and affinity for the position.

4. ASK FOR THE JOB. Before you leave, close the deal. You are selling yourself, so sales tactics really do work. ASK FOR THE JOB. Tell them you liked what you heard, that you feel you are a good fit and you would really love to come work with them and you hope you will hear back. You would be amazed how powerful this is.

5. Don't forget to get business cards or contact info/names of all on the panel and send out personalized thank you emails that recall something specific you learned about them during the interview. Reiterate how much you enjoyed getting to meet them all and that you would love to come work with them. Thank them for their time and consideration.

Definite don'ts:

Don't ask how much it pays or what the benefits are. You will have that opportunity after the job offer comes.

Don't mention time off you will need. You can negotiate that after the job offer comes.

Don't show up sloppy, sleepy, boring or shy.

Don't wear perfume. Seriously. Just don't. If you have a strong scent, even if you think its pleasant, there will definitely be someone in the room who can't tolerate it for a variety of reasons.

Don't badmouth any of your former employers. The reason you want to work there is because you heard it was a great place to work as a nurse. Period. Its not the commute - its them. You want to work with them.

Don't be late or super early. Arrive as close to on time as possible. If you are too early, look around the hospital a bit until you are within 5-10 minutes of your appointment or sit somewhere and review the hospital mission statement and/or observe the population you are seeing. Be sure you incorporate your observations into your questions and answers during the interview.

Don't use the "Tell us about yourself" portion of the interview to share things about your personal life. What they want to know is about your schooling, your experience, your career trajectory and your desire to work there. Not your dog. Not your kids. Not your spouse. Not your hobbies unless they ask. Every second you are there is time you use to sell yourself to them.

Best of luck and let us know how it goes. That you are enthusiastic about this position should serve you very well in an interview.

Oh! And never forget - You are an experienced nurse. You are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you.

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3 Followers; 26,393 Visitors; 5,387 Posts

Could one of your references be giving you a not so glowing report?

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2,256 Visitors; 445 Posts

This can happen for a myriad of reasons.  I found that when I dressed very professionally I didn't get offers to shadow, but when I dressed down I did.  Just a thought, seems like people are so casual now.  A sweater over a blouse, or just a blouse, simple jewelry, no nail polish.  I used to spend hours planning my clothes and look.  They want plain jane neat and clean.

Act like you are meeting someone new at church.  Stay reserved but don't try to hide all your personality.  Stay positive.

Above all keep applying.  Make friends with HR.  Get on LinkedIn and make contacts with these folks.

Hope that helps.  Good luck.

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myoglobin has 11 years experience as a ASN, BSN, MSN and specializes in ICU, trauma, neuro.

3,685 Visitors; 504 Posts

Don't forget my universal rule for all jobs "the more you want a job the less likely that you will get it."   I would say "just keep applying".   There could be a plethora of reasons. One thing to consider is sending a thank your card/letter to the manager who gave you interview.

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AutumnApple has 12 years experience and specializes in M/S, Pulmonary, Travel, Homecare, Psych..

1 Article; 9,200 Visitors; 478 Posts

Another point that seems not to be coming up so far:  I hope you do understand that not all interviews HR (in any field) conducts are.............actually for the purpose of filling the position.

 

What I mean is, these HR people have quotas to fill.  They have to interview at least "X" amt. of people before finalizing their decision on who to hire, have to prove they interviewed a diverse population..........etc etc.

 

So, it's not uncommon at all for an HR person to fall in love with a candidate (or have one in mind from day one) and decide they get the job.  But oh!  No!  (gasp) They've not interviewed anyone else yet!  What to do?

 

Easy fix.  Just invite three or four people in and interview them..........highlight the negatives of their resume and interview.................presto change-o.............they've now conducted enough interviews to have "done their job" and (gasp, again) what a surprise!  The candidate they wanted from the word Go still got the position.

 

We've not even discussed yet how sometimes facilities post jobs they have no intention of filling.  They just post it, interview a few people then write things up so it looks like there were no qualified candidates.  

 

So, I guess my point is:  This could very possibly just be bad luck.  

 

If I were in your shoes, I'd take a look at the geography of it all.  If these jobs that turned you down with no explanation are all in the same general area..............

 

Could be that the facilities in this area just are not hiring.  

Edited by AutumnApple

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1 Follower; 5,950 Visitors; 859 Posts

Are you a job hopper? What kind of questions are you being asked? Don't volunteer information. Don't discuss conflicts with co-workers. Have it worked out why you left the previous place and make sure you have done your research on the current place. For example, "Why did you leave the last place?". You: "I left because of a scheduling conflict, I can't work weekends". I took a position working a shift that I swore I would never take, come to find out I like it better than the one I used to work. You may be giving the same interviews (same energy).The longer you are unemployed, the longer you can become jaded and feel like no one will hire you so why dress to impress or practice interviewing. Education can only be used so much as a reason why a person leaves a job. I am not saying you are doing these things I am saying, you should keep these things in mind. I got a job once because the manager said we are hiring for this shift and I said no, but then I changed my mind and said ok. I was like you know what, I can do it. You may have to do this if you are at point of desperation and need a job.

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2,148 Visitors; 46 Posts

Its so hard to know! Let me tell you my recent experience is that I have applied for no less than 4-5 L&D jobs in the last couple months at this one hospital. They went on a hiring spree. I even interviewed for one of them. I have experience. I have extra certifications. I didn't get the job. What I found out is that they hired new grads for at least 3 of them. Those grads had preceptored and had personal contacts there (my sister was one of them lol). They weren't listed as residencies but for some reason decided to go that route and bring on new grads. One of the L&D jobs was filled a week after it listed which told me they already had someone in mind. When I did interview I hit it off with the whole team. The ended up hiring me for a float position there specifically working with the maternal/neonatal center which I am super happy with.

A travel nurse interviewed for a position with 20+ years experience under her belt in that field and was turned down within 24 hours after her interview. I couldn't believe it. Who wouldn't want her? She could practically run the place she interviewed for!
 

I tell you this because 1) Having a personal contact can be so important in landing the job. They may already have someone in mind before the perfunctory interview. They wanted my new grad sister before the position even opened. 

2) They may be looking for something in particular or opt for a new grad- find something in someone that really gelled with them. This time of year there is an influx of nurse grads.

3) Since I've been on interview panels, I've had people that seem perfect on paper but for some reason  their career trajectory or something just didn't seem to line up with the vision we had for the candidate. Its hard to say without us knowing more about you and how you interview. If you have 2 equally great candidates something small could be the tipping point between one or the other. Did you apply for many jobs at one place? 

Best wishes in finding the job you were meant to be in!

Edited by Monkey Nurse

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Leader25 has 35 years experience.

2 Followers; 4,644 Visitors; 797 Posts

On 6/25/2019 at 9:31 AM, Horseshoe said:

Could one of your references be giving you a not so glowing report?

 I think that would be illegal,they can only verify dates of employment.

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3 Followers; 26,393 Visitors; 5,387 Posts

20 minutes ago, Leader25 said:

 I think that would be illegal,they can only verify dates of employment.

That is false. It's one of those urban myths that just won't die. An employer can say anything about you that is true. 

Many employers, however, have their own policy against giving out information other than dates of employment and whether or not the person is eligible for re-hire. That's because they don't want the associated hassles that can come with giving truthful bad references, not because there are any laws against it.

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