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Help! Turned Down for 5 Jobs

Nurse Beth   (1,938 Views 8 Comments)
by Nurse Beth Nurse Beth, MSN (Advice Column) Writer Innovator Expert

Nurse Beth has 30 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Med Surg, Tele, ICU, Ortho.

15 Followers; 89 Articles; 228,455 Visitors; 1,837 Posts

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Dear Nurse Beth,

I am an experienced nurse with 11 years nursing experience under me, 4 years as a Registered nurse and 7 as a licensed Practical nurse, I have recently been turned down from five job interviews, I felt they all went great, I cant figure out what I'm doing wrong. I don't get any type of feedback just the rejection letter.

I just acquired my Bachelors degree and I am trained in transplant as well as telemetry and med/surge. My last job interview they said I didn't have enough experience. I need help here I'm currently working a job that's to far from home and having alot of staffing issues and I want to work somewhere else. I'm so frustrated and depressed, what should I do??

Dear Frustrated,

If you are landing interviews, then the problem is not your resume or work history- which is solid- but your interviewing skills.

You are not closing the sale, so to speak. Ask for feedback from a hiring manager who was part of the interview panel. Some will be willing to share their thoughts, and you have nothing to lose by asking.

Are you practiced at answering situational and behavioral questions, such as "Tell us about a time you had a conflict with a coworker" and "What is your greatest weakness?"

In my book below I go over all the most commonly asked interview questions with guidelines on how to respond from a hiring nurse manager's point of view. At this point, it's critical for you to learn these skills.

For example, when asked "What's your greatest weakness?", don't respond with "I'm a perfectionist" as it's too cliche. Likewise, don't respond with an answer that puts safety into question, such as "I'm no good at math".  Also don't give an answer that is not germane to the position, such as "I'm not good at public speaking" because it's not relevant.

A good answer is thoughtful and shows insight, but frames you in a positive manner. 

"I've been told my English is good, but I don't always pick up on all the nuances and meanings as a second language. I signed up for a course at our community college, and I understand the idioms a lot better. It's really taking me to a new level of communicating".

"I'm working on delegating. I tend to try to do everything myself, but I understand the importance of teamwork. Every day when I go to work, I purposefully delegate at least once or twice outside of my comfort zone. Yesterday, I delegated frequent vital signs to my PCT as I had meds to pass, and it went well. We got everything done together".

"Teamwork is so important, and being able to rely on each other. My natural inclination is to stay over if I admit a patient at end of shift, to get it all done. I'm realizing nursing is a 24 hr job, and we're all there to help each other out and get the job done. Likewise, I go out of my way in handoff to let the outgoing nurse know I'll take care of whatever needs to be done."

Notice I never used the word "weakness" and quickly segued to the positive. Practice, but don't sound rehearsed, be natural. Include short stories in your answers- stories are memorable.

Be prepared with 2 answers for each question. They may say "Great! And can you give us another example?"

Are you prepared for "Why do you want to work here?" Are you researching each facility and preparing your answers accordingly? Do you include the fact that you know their computer system (Epic, Cerner), align with their mission and values, are aware that they are on the Magnet Pathway? 

 There are excellent examples of every interview question you're likely to be asked in my book, and plenty of insider tips to help you nail your interview and land that job.

 

Best wishes, 

Nurse Beth

Author, "Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job"...and your next!

 

 

 

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

3,639 Visitors; 504 Posts

I generally go out of my way to highlight my weaknesses and essentially explain all of the reasons that they "shouldn't" hire me.  With that said my "success" rate has been about 50% with job interviews. My thought process is that I would rather under-promise and over deliver.  Indeed, I told my SO 25 years ago on our first call/date that "I will only bring you sorrow and heartache" and haven't failed to live up to my promise.

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Gennaver has 13 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Ortho, Med surg and L&D.

8,687 Visitors; 1,680 Posts

It really seems like it could be your references if you landed an interview and felt they went great.

Possibly weed out your reference list to people you really know can give you a good recommendation and are people whose recommendation has validity to it.

Jen

p.s. edit to add: maybe check your credit score or even online reputation score, (I did this myself after several no replies to my application. it turned out my online myelife reputation score was terrible due to myelife needing clarification on information and my credit score had a fake debt and false information on there from a previous malicious landlord. Once I fixed that I got two interviews and hired by two places within a month or so!!)

Edited by Gennaver

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1 Follower; 5,947 Visitors; 859 Posts

8 hours ago, Gennaver said:

It really seems like it could be your references if you landed an interview and felt they went great.

Possibly weed out your reference list to people you really know can give you a good recommendation and are people whose recommendation has validity to it.

Jen

p.s. edit to add: maybe check your credit score or even online reputation score, (I did this myself after several no replies to my application. it turned out my online myelife reputation score was terrible due to myelife needing clarification on information and my credit score had a fake debt and false information on there from a previous malicious landlord. Once I fixed that I got two interviews and hired by two places within a month or so!!)

Interesting. Nursing employers look up your credit score?

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Gennaver has 13 years experience as a MSN and specializes in Ortho, Med surg and L&D.

8,687 Visitors; 1,680 Posts

7 minutes ago, Workitinurfava said:

Interesting. Nursing employers look up your credit score?

Yes. One told me at the end of the interview, "I have to let you know we need you to defend or explain your credit report." I was lucky that mine was easily explained and they still offered me the position. Thankfully because I'd flown in from out of state to interview.

Jen

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3 Followers; 96,607 Visitors; 36,687 Posts

9 hours ago, Gennaver said:

It really seems like it could be your references if you landed an interview and felt they went great.

Possibly weed out your reference list to people you really know can give you a good recommendation and are people whose recommendation has validity to it.

Jen

p.s. edit to add: maybe check your credit score or even online reputation score, (I did this myself after several no replies to my application. it turned out my online myelife reputation score was terrible due to myelife needing clarification on information and my credit score had a fake debt and false information on there from a previous malicious landlord. Once I fixed that I got two interviews and hired by two places within a month or so!!)

I was clued in by a prospective employer that one of my references was, in fact, sabotaging my efforts.  Wow.  I would never tell someone that I would be their reference and then do that to them.  When people would ask me, and I did not feel comfortable acting as their reference, I would be straight with them and recommend that they find a different reference.  But then that is how I treat people in general.  And I did hear from a nurse that was heads above me in the qualified department, that they found out that they were also being sabotaged; the employer (where they still worked) was seeing to it that they did not lose a good employee.  So, it does not have to be because somebody is taking out a secret vendetta against one.  It good be because you are too good to lose.

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TAKOO01 has 3 years experience as a BSN.

2,681 Visitors; 141 Posts

On 6/28/2019 at 8:37 PM, caliotter3 said:
On 6/28/2019 at 8:37 PM, caliotter3 said:

the employer (where they still worked) was seeing to it that they did not lose a good employee.  So, it does not have to be because somebody is taking out a secret vendetta against one.  It good be because you are too good to lose.

I dont believe  i have ever thought about something like this happening. That would be flattering and maddening at the same time. 

To the OP, I dont know if five rejections/no-calls is a lot. It depends on how hot your market is and over what period of time the interviews took place. Also, you may interview well, but you dont have the experience or connections needed.

When I job search, I blanket my area with resumes, go to every interview offer extended, and keep it moving through the rejections. I have had a lot of places say no, and a lot say yes, but thats because I do a lot of interviews. Its tough out there, and i know you need to vent. But just keep applying for what you want.

 

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CapeCodMermaid has 30 years experience as a RN and specializes in Gerontology, Med surg, Home Health.

1 Follower; 59,713 Visitors; 6,045 Posts

At least you got rejection letters. Around here you hear nothing after an interview 

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