Interview - things to know and ask

  1. Good morning fellow nurses. I have an RN job interview next Wednesday and I would love some input on things that I should be asking and expecting. I'm not a novice. I'm a 23 year RN veteran (BSN, CCRN) currently working in informatics but because I'm in an acute APRN program and will be graduating in a year and a half, it's time to go back to a clinical position for several reasons: namely to strategically place myself in the best arena to be desirable and hire-able when I graduate, to be more competitive, and to get back into the clinical arena in order to be relevant. I've only been in informatics for less than 2 years but I worry that if I stay any longer I will be in an awkward position when it comes to getting the best acute NP job. Not to mention I will have to start clinicals soon so the Mon-Fri thing is just not going to work for me for much longer. My interview is at the top hospital in the state in the trauma ICU, which is where I've always wanted to work.

    I know it will change things in my life and I'm expecting that. I've enjoyed the normal hours, weekends off, holidays off, working from home and snow days, but it's time to get back in the ring. However, I don't want to shoot myself in the foot, particularly financially. Here's the kicker: what do I need to ask in order to make sure I come out with the best offer. I'm confident I can get an offer because I have the required experience and certifications, and they literally called me the morning after I put in my application. It's great to be in a good position but I want to make sure I ask for the right things, like benefits, pay, vacation, reimbursement etc and not lose out or take a step back. Every step of my career has been carefully thought out and I've learned to ask for advice from those older and wiser than myself.

    So, who can suggest questions, answers, facts or random things I may not have considered? Including interview questions they might ask me, questions I should ask them, questions about scheduling, school, differential, hours etc. Welcoming suggestions! Thanks!
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    About Rocknurse, BSN, RN Pro

    Joined: May '03; Posts: 1,390; Likes: 4,930

    4 Comments

  3. by   turnforthenurse
    All of the interviews I've had since graduating nursing school (2010) consisted of behavioral questions and customer service-type questions, such as "how do you deal with conflict/difficult pt/family member/doctor?" or "tell me about a time where you went above and beyond for someone/provided excellent customer service?" I can't recall ever being asked a knowledge-type question related to nursing practice. Be prepared to answer the "tell me about yourself" question as well as discuss your strengths/weaknesses.

    Things that I would typically ask a potential employer:
    - What unique challenges has this unit faced over the past 6 months/year?
    - If I went around and asked employees what they love most about working here, what would they tell me?
    - How long has this position been open (unless you already know the answer to that). I also ask about employee turnover.
    - How would you describe your management style?
    - Scheduling/school as mentioned above

    I remember having a whole list of questions that I would ask potential employers but this is all I can think of at the moment! Good luck on your interview!
  4. by   Rocknurse
    Thanks so much for your reply. I did anticipate some of those questions and actually they didn't really ask me anything like that. They really only asked me why I wanted to do neuro and not cardiac and then gave me a ton of time to ask my own questions. They called me with a job offer within an hour of the interview so I guess it went well! Lol. I do like to prepare myself for things like this as it shows thoughtfulness and interest. Thanks again!
  5. by   Libby1987
    Congratulations!

    Would you mind sharing why you are leaving informatics?
  6. by   Rocknurse
    Thanks! Sure, although I haven't totally made the decision to accept yet. I'm halfway through an acute APRN Master's program and will be starting clinicals next year which will make it hard to work 5 days a week. Also, I feel like I should place myself in a good position to learn from a unit that has acute APRNs on staff and then I will be perfectly placed to be hired on graduation. It's purely strategic although I'm struggling with the thought of giving up my nice comfy desk job but I signed on for the program so I have to go with it.

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