Evasive and shady, or Opportunistic?

  1. Question for all of the seasoned vets out there and the hiring admin: Is it common practice for an open position to be sugar-coated to prospective employees during the interview process (e.g. nurse: patient ratio, orientation parameters, etc.)? What have you buttered up to sign on a willing candidate? What have you experienced on the receiving end? Also, how do you handle it - do you risk being as "opportunistic" by manipulating language on the receiving end, like your interviewer? Do you appreciate the "opportunist" in your potential candidates?
    Last edit by TheBlackDogWaits on Jan 27, '13
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    About TheBlackDogWaits, ASN, RN

    Joined: Sep '12; Posts: 209; Likes: 320
    from US
    Specialty: 2 year(s) of experience


  3. by   MJB2010
    I am not a hiring manager. But from my experience, during an interview if you ask about patient ratios, they tell you what their ideal patient ratios are, not what they actually are. So add 1-2 patients to whatever they tell you. I have also been lured in for a day position, And then it turns out to be nights. They will post the most desirable shift. Then at the interview break the bad news to you.
  4. by   madwife2002
    I love it when they say they are looking for experts who will offer excellence and the highest quality care, to complement the team.


    They dont provide the tools or the staff to do it realistically, and 9 times out of 10 there is no team
  5. by   Nurse ABC
    I don't hire but sure have been on interviews where it's made to sound much better than it is!! I agree with the pp-they tell you what's ideal but it never happens that way. I was told I would only have 8 pts and work as a team (commonly have 9-10 pts or we have 8 pts without a team. However, was also told it was the hardest floor in the hospital and there was a high turn-over rate and that's all true but I liked knowing what to expect and wasn't blind-sided by it so I'm still there. Another job (the OR) was told orientation would be 6 months but 4 months in realized it would be at least 10-12 months because they had so few preceptors and it was like that for all the new nurses. I was also told I would have one preceptor per rotation but I had a different one almost every single day who really weren't preceptors. Was also told the surgeons were all nice and easy to get along with except for one or two that just got a little grumpy occasionally but weren't bad to work with. It was more like 6 of them who literally screamed and carried on daily and made many seasoned nurses cry on a regular basis. I was told by another manager of a different area they would let me self-schedule and work around my husband's schedule and it was a mix of days and nights so I apply and go on the interview to find out I actually can't self-schedule but "Cindy" would work with me on the scheduling and when I saw "Cindy" kind of squirm and stammer around how they would do their best I realized it probably wasn't as good as it sounded. I also found out it was straight nights except for occasionally evenings. I was also told how great all the nurses were on the unit despite their bad reputation in the rest of the hospital so I shadowed so I could ask the nurses first-hand about the scheduling and see how the nurses were. One older nurse was nice but then the nurse I was with for the rest of the night barely acknowledged me and was extremely annoyed I was shadowing her. She just rolled her eyes when she was told she would have me and sighed really loud. They were not busy at all that night and she would take off to pt's rooms without telling me so when I would catch up to her she'd say Oh you didn't need to follow me. None of the other nurses would even speak to me so I sat at the nurses' station all eve and decided this was not the unit for me! I've decided I'd rather work for a manager that's been upfront and honest than one who sugarcoats everything to make the postion look good and herself look good.
  6. by   netglow
    OP these 3 responses are totally what it's like.
  7. by   tokmom
    We have a different hiring system at our facility. The interviewee meets with management first and then with a group of nurses. We take off all the sugar coating that management applies.
    Once hired, nurses have told us that the reason they took the job was from the nurse interview. They felt it was realistic and honest. We also have a say of who gets signs on.
  8. by   HouTx
    This is one of those situations where the Karma Bus is operating at full speed.

    Hiring managers are ethically obligated to provide a 'realistic job preview' to applicants as part of the employment process. This is supposed to allow the applicant to make a well-thought out and reasoned decision. When it is done well, there are no surprises. A clumsy/bad/unethical manager may paint a rosy picture in order to lure in unsuspecting new hires - but that comes at a huge cost. New hires who are bamboozled like this are very unforgiving... do not trust anything the manager says... tell many others about how they were tricked ... etc. And, of course they leave as quickly as they can find a new job.

    The end result - incompetent hiring managers have enormous turnover, very unhappy staff --> unhappy patients & physicians. In the US, unhappy patients = decreased reimbursement = career disaster for the incompetent manager who will eventually be terminated & thrown under the Karma Bus because that department is such a hot mess.

    Competent managers understand this process. They know how important it is to be honest and trustworthy. They don't lie to prospective or incumbent staff. They don't sacrifice personal integrity for short term gain. If you're working for a great manager - let them know how much you appreciate her/him.
  9. by   TheBlackDogWaits
    Thank you for all the responses.... How have you responded (or how would you respond) to hiring managers that are less than forthcoming in their job description? Is there a lot of nodding and smiling? Is there a stealthy interrogation-like mild questionaire you follow through with? I guess I'm just wondering what kind of skill set to employ to coax out the truth, or if you all just leave it alone and search elsewhere.
  10. by   LadyFree28
    IMO, if you feel by a person's body language that they are noodling and smiling and sugar coating and giving "mild" responses instead of the truth, then by all means keep looking.

    I had 4 interviews total before I landed the job I'm starting next week as a new grad. From all the job interviews I've had in the 11.5 years in healthcare, these were the most interesting, I will say. One was a phone interview, so there was no visual cues to find out if "deception" would happen. I didn't get the job because they didn't hire new grads. I was upfront that I was a new grad, but took advantage if that interview to sharpen my skills. Oh well.

    I had two interviews in Pediatric Primary Care; one involved the practice manager, who was a NP, as well as three nurses. They said they were busy, and I believed them; I waited for the nurses I would be working with at least 35 minutes. They couldn't all meet me as a panel, so I was interviewed a total of 4 times. The last interview I'm sure didn't like my response towards her attitude whether I could "cut it"...this was in response to my previous experience...I am coming from a background of a pediatric facility with complex care. At that point, I couldn't care less about the job. I understood the bluntness...I'm sure they've had problems filling the position (the position was still open at the beginning of this month, I interviewed in September). The other interview, ironically was a positioned that I interviewed before, as a LPN...if went the same way, same weak questions: "would you mind working with MAs???" (Ahem, I'm not one of those, "hierarchical" nurses, blah blah blah...I worked as a tech for five years before becoming a nurse...). Deja Vu...Didn't get that job.

    I interviewed for a unit position, they've had NM turnover, new grad turnover, and was very upfront about it, and the steps they were taking, hence, Nursing leadership (staff nurses with +5-25 years experience) interviewed me. I had a shadow experience and got to interview people who were precepting, there for 1 year, 5 years, 10, 15 years. The consensus was pretty much what they said...they had a high turnover, but the ones who stayed loved the unit and how they practiced their nursing care, they worked well with the physicians and NP, team approach, and I was able to witness it...if 50+ people were acting, then they deserve the SAG award for best cast. And I got my email on how they schedule their orientation and preceptorship, last week, cogent to what they've discussed. Still sounds like they've adapted to their challenges and are playing up their strengths...I liked the position when I shadowed, and I think this will be my niche.

    Now, my previous job was with a upstart pediatric facility. When the facility started to evolve, then the division of administration and nursing staff began...it was not like that when I first started because there were only 6 people on staff. We added 4 more people, one was fired, but for the most part, there was still great cohesion and team work. I think there is a lack of trust from the newer staff, however, we've had problems with attaining quality staff, until we started doing shadow interviews, as having a new grad program. Honestly, they are in a contract, and the work that they do, they feel as though "they didn't sign up for this" and I agree, there is more that meets the eye in working for the facility...there is more work pushed on the nurse, the support staff has no defined tasks at times, etc. As more senior staff help the newbies out, I can honestly say that we have saved new nurses from flameouts (noticed I didn't say burnouts...) Some have stayed post contract, while others were able to get a position in two local Children's hospitals and have found their niche.

    I use this example because you will find that "this is NOT what I signed up for" even if you have been somewhere for a period of time. I try to remain flexible within reason, and if I feel the need to "fly" and find another niche, I've done so guilt free. The best thing for you to do during interviews is learn to advocate for yourself. The power is in the words you use in your resume, and when they call back, you back it up in your statement, then your interview, and your shadow, if you get one. Those "sugar coated" positions that you interview for may not be for you...they may NOT call you back. I'm always grateful for that. They look at the wording in my rsum, and reject me, because I want to "deliver exceptional care." And I back it up in my phone screen and in my interview. I am willing to actively learn, but I have a thick skin, and I don't go for politics or drama. I come from a military family, but my personality shows my flexibility and diplomacy. I like to investigate, and learn from others. Those who decided to pass on, so be it. I found my niche, and you will too, eventually. Don't waste your time trying to play Jedi mind games. Work on how you want to present yourself..when you don't get that call back, count it as a blessing in disguise, and move on to the next one-even if its six months from now till your next interview.
  11. by   TheBlackDogWaits
    Nice. You are speaking my language... thanks.
  12. by   allthesmallthings
    Quote from MJB2010
    I have also been lured in for a day position, And then it turns out to be nights. They will post the most desirable shift. Then at the interview break the bad news to you.
    Oh, wow, I'm not the only person that's happened to?! (Twice.) I didn't know if it was intentional or just a typo/secretarial-administration miscommunication.
  13. by   CapeCodMermaid
    As for the day positon turning into a night position, maybe there WAS a day position that was filled before YOU had your interview and there was still a night position.I've done the interviewing and hiring at most facilities I've worked at. I never sugar coat it. I tell the person straight out that they will be busy from the beginning of their shift until the end. I tell them we staff higher than the state average but people call out so there might be times they are working short. I tell them some of the people they will be taking care of act like the devil incarnate, but the other ones who smile at you for no reason are the ones who make working here worth it.Why should I lie to just get someone in the door only to have them find out the truth and either hate their job and grumble all the time, or quit leaving me back where I started with a hole in the schedule? It takes a lot of time, money, and energy to hire a d train someone. I want to make darn sure they know what they're getting themselves into.
  14. by   beeker
    Always ask to shadow a nurse on the floor. Then ask that nurse for the real deal and patient ratios.