My first interview for an RN position. Am I wrong about this?

  1. I recently had my first interview for an RN position in preparation for my graduation. I've been to clinical at this facility and they have a good track record for new graduate internships. I have good grades, a year of tech experience, and a recommendation from my instructor who is also on staff at the facility in a management position. My meeting with HR went very well. My interview with the manager of the unit (ICU) did not.

    I did my research and knew all about the company's values, vision, and philosophy. I had unit-specific questions to ask, not the least of which was how receptive the staff is to new grads. (This interview was for a "New Grad ICU Internship", so I assumed this would not be an issue.)

    Basically, the interview was all of three brief questions - why I wanted to become a nurse, what my obstacles would be, and why the ICU. I had solid answers, but the manager was unimpressed. Basically I was told (though not in these exact words) what a burden a new grad is to put through orientation and how without any previous nursing experience, common things would slow me down. It seems they are receptive to new grads - but it's clear that the only reason is because of the nursing shortage. I was specifically told that if this was a few years ago, I wouldn't even be in this interview. I was asked if I had any more questions (I said 'no' because I just wanted to get the heck out of there.) and was told that the manager would make a decision by next week. I do understand their concerns with new grads not having experience - I completely get it - but if you (obviously) feel that strongly against it, don't offer the internship.

    I have taken into account that perhaps today was a bad day for the manager. I still think this was a completely unacceptable experience. If you offer an internship for a new graduate, don't get hissy if one applies for it. At this point, I have decided that I will not be accepting the position even if it is offered. Am I wrong to take this stance? Certainly, this is not a manager I want to work under. My intention is to call the recruiter on Monday and tell her that I am no longer interested in this position, but I do feel the hospital is excellent and would like to interview with a different unit. I'm just not sure how to reply if/when she asks 'why'.

    Any suggestions?
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    About Elysium_Won

    Joined: Jun '06; Posts: 29; Likes: 22
    RN

    15 Comments

  3. by   LauraF, RN
    You might ask the recruiter if there are other positions available. Keep in mind though that managers talk. So I would keep things to yourself until you have a foot in the door. Once you get a job there, and you so how much you are NOT a burden, and how this manager, sure missed the boat on hiring you then you can be the one with the one up.
    I understand your feelings. But if you complain, when you really want to work at that facility that would not look good. You know what I mean? Don't go making a bunch of waves before you even have a job there. Good luck!
  4. by   Elysium_Won
    Yes, I know exactly what you mean. I don't plan to say why I am no longer interested so I guess I'll just go with the "not the right fit at this time" routine. I hate confrontation anyway. I am fairly certain that this behavior is not typical at this facility, otherwise I'd forget about it altogether. I just didn't expect to encounter such unprofessionalism right out of the gate.

    Time to cash that reality check, I guess.
  5. by   llg
    You could say that you are no longer interested because of the manager's comments about the difficulties of orienting a new. You could say that she convinced you that getting some experience first would be better. A good recruiter would pick up on the fact that the manager is discouraging new grads without you having to say anything bad about the manager.

    llg
  6. by   JentheRN05
    VERY good point llg! thats what I would do.
    WHen i was a senior, I had a similar experience. In CCU (are all ICU/CCU staff like this?) She really had two questions. Why CCU and How do I handle confrontation. What? Confrontation wasn't in my practice interview. But it didn't stop there, no. She went on and on about how there are frequent confrontations between nurses on the unit and before I could even be considered she had to know how I would handle those confrontations. Well - let me think. Maybe by not taking this job. Thanks and have a good day. Geez.
  7. by   Elysium_Won
    Quote from llg
    You could say that you are no longer interested because of the manager's comments about the difficulties of orienting a new. You could say that she convinced you that getting some experience first would be better. A good recruiter would pick up on the fact that the manager is discouraging new grads without you having to say anything bad about the manager.

    llg

    Great idea, llg! Thanks.
  8. by   augigi
    Maybe it's just me, but there is no way I would let one manager's attitude take away my ICU opportunity!! I would consider it a personal challenge to show that b**** that I was well capable of learning and growing while placed there!!

    Perhaps she just has an unfortunate manner in trying to "weeding out" those who will struggle - it is a difficult unit as a grad.

    I say if this is what you want to do, then do it and don't worry about her!
  9. by   augigi
    PS Jen - no, all ICU/CCU nurses are not "like this" (ie. nasty), but thanks for asking! :P
  10. by   amygooch
    Quote from augigi
    Maybe it's just me, but there is no way I would let one manager's attitude take away my ICU opportunity!! I would consider it a personal challenge to show that b**** that I was well capable of learning and growing while placed there!!

    Perhaps she just has an unfortunate manner in trying to "weeding out" those who will struggle - it is a difficult unit as a grad.

    I say if this is what you want to do, then do it and don't worry about her!
    I see your point, and part of me wants to agree with you, however, at the same time, I am thinking that if someone is this rude in an interview, can you imagine how she would be to work under??!!!! I mean suppose the OP makes a mistake, (an honest mistake that even an experinaced nurse could make), this lady is going to be all over her and blame it on her inexperiance. She will also be watching her like a hawk, waiting for her to screw up, just so she can prove herself correct that new grads have no business working on her unit!

    I just think that it would be a stressful experiance for a newbie. Her potential supervisor could be a real enthusiasum killer, and who needs that? The OP owes it to herself to be able to start a job with no stressors present. After all, we all know she will have plenty of stress already in nursing w/o having to deal with a witch like that!! JMHO!!
  11. by   Halinja
    I've read many times on this website, in several different forums, that the management sets the tone for the entire unit. If the manager is not receptive to new grads, likely the nurses in the unit will pick up on that and behave accordingly. ICU seems as if it is a tough one to get a handle on without having hostility thrown in on top.

    On the other hand, I'm not having the best day today, so maybe I'm just seeing the negative side of things.
  12. by   Daytonite
    llg gave you a good approach to use. i recommend that you don't include any of these words: i've changed my mind. it might give the impression that you are indecisive and that is a characteristic that an rn can't afford to display when she's trying to land a job.

    i'd like to make a couple of points. i've been a manager in a number of facilities and done a fair amount of hiring interviews. an interviewer has a public relations responsibility to put his/her best foot forward and show the facility off in the best light possible. that includes delivering crappy news in a tactful way or just not revealing it at all. sounds like this manager failed that task miserably. most companies are concerned about their reputation in the community. i'm sure the ceo wouldn't be happy to hear one of his managers is sending disillusioned job applicants, who are also members of the community, back out into the neighborhood with a story to tell of poor treatment during a job interview by someone in the hospital's employ. then, again, maybe the people in the chain of command above her don't give a hoot about customer service either. that would be a good reason to turn tail and ride off into the sunset as far away as you could get from this facility.

    if this manager was this tactless with you, a stranger, a job seeker who, unless she's been hiding under a rock, knows is putting her best foot forward to impress her, how in the sam hill do you think she treats her own staff? you have very good instincts. all my years of experience tell me that this is not a manager i would want to work under either. she's got, at the least, a problem with taking other people's feelings into consideration.

    the manager sets the tone for the staff he/she leads. there's a very good possibility that her icu crew is aware of these thoughts and feelings she has about new grads working in the unit. if that is the case, then anyone on the staff who also harbors the same ideas and is not able to control their own behavior is going to have no problem expressing those same sentiments to new grads at any time, place or event. they can be relatively sure that their manager won't chide them for it. just the kind of stress a new grad needs--not. it only takes one cold-hearted co-worker like this to make a new grad's working life miserable and drive them out of their new job.

    a bad day is not an excuse for anyone in a professional position to behave badly. we are trained to act like professionals and put on a "professional face". a manager should be held to an even higher level of behavior on this. however, the nursing shortage may be the reason that an ill-suited manager such as this got the opportunity to be in this position.

    from your prospective, file this experience away and remember how important the words are that we use with others. so, too, are the feelings that we leave them with. when you find yourself in a position of leadership, pick your words carefully when dealing with people who are in subordinate levels.

    good luck to you. i commend the care and consideration you are giving to this very important decision of landing your first job. remember, they need you more than you need them.
  13. by   michar
    I also wouldn't let one bad interview get in the way of an ICU opportunity. I'd love to spend some time in ICU before I go on to get my masters.

    This could be a good instance to take a step out of your shoes and into hers.

    She could be being forced by her powers that be to hire a new grad. She's had bad experiences with new grads before and doesn't want to go down that road but she's currently got several less RN's than she needs and they are all on burn out status and riding her as well. She's taking heat from both ends.

    She wants to make sure to impress upon her interviewees that being a new grad in ICU isn't an easy option for anyone. It's tough on the grad, the staff, and her. She wants to make sure that whoever she hires is up for the challenge that walking into med/surg doesn't present with.
  14. by   cardiacRN2006
    Before I started to work as an RN in an ICU, I would have thought the same thing. Well, I still do meaning: as a new grad I want to be sccepted, I want the staff to be open to me, and I want to have it be as stress-free as possible. Trust me, we just can't get away from mean managers, if you don't get one now, then it will be soon!

    However, I thought I was so prepared for the ICU. I had 10 years of tech experience, had been NALS certified, worked as an EMT for a few years and grew up with parents who were a pharmicist and a nurse. I actually red the PDR when I was younger-I know, weird.
    When I became a nurse and stepped out on the floor, I freaked. It's just so overwhelming! I came home and told my husband that I could see why some nurses become alcoholics! It took a few months just to start to feel better about being there, and I have considered quitting more than once.

    The ICU just doesn't want to spend a ton of money on you to find out that you don't fit, can't deal with stress and confrontation, or that you are likely to give up. Part of that interview was an asssessment for just that. It's also an assessment for you to find out if they are a good fit for you. If you feel they aren't, then they aren't.

    Be careful of how you turn down the job. Nursing is an incredibly small world. Don't burn this bridge...

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