How to Prepare for a Nurse Manager Interview

Posted
by TaylsRN TaylsRN Member

I have an interview at a very large hospital in my city for the CVICU and cardiac step down unit Nurse Manager Position. I have been charge before and have worked in the ICU for over 4 years (at a sister hospital). How do I prepare for this Interview? Other than the behavioral questions that seem to be asked a lot lately, what else can I expect? This would be my first interview for a nurse manager position but something I want so bad! Any tips or advice would be greatly appreciated!

jrt4

jrt4

244 Posts

First off good luck! Secondly, it seems like a pretty big leap to go from charge nurse to manager so I would anticipate a lot of questions regarding experience dealing with difficult decisions or leadership. Be prepared to give scenarios about how you have dealt with conflict. They will want specific examples.

Also, to protect yourself find out why they are looking at candidates without management experience. That is a red flag to me if it is a large medical center...typically there is someone internal that would be interested but I could be wrong and you may be exactly what they are looking for! I would just be cautious that you don't get yourself into a job that is impossibly difficult. Definitely ask to interview with the staff. You will find out in about 10 minutes whether or not this is a job worth considering.

Good luck!

TaylsRN

TaylsRN

17 Posts

Thank you for the feedback! I worry about that too, the information on the website for applying was vague and doesn't give a date on when it was posted, so I'm not sure how long it has been open but there are a lot of management positions open on what seems like a lot of floors so I thought about why they are all open as well. I will definitely be asking a lot of questions.

SummerGarden

SummerGarden, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in ED, ICU, MS/MT, PCU, CM, House Sup, Frontline mgr. Has 14 years experience. 3,360 Posts

Thank you for the feedback! I worry about that too, the information on the website for applying was vague and doesn't give a date on when it was posted, so I'm not sure how long it has been open but there are a lot of management positions open on what seems like a lot of floors so I thought about why they are all open as well. I will definitely be asking a lot of questions.

My first question was how did you hear about the positons, but I see that you are looking at a website. Thus, my advice is going to be different than if you had an internal contact. In fact, I doubt you will be considered (even in a poor facility) for any of the positons unless they are entry-level management positions such as House Supervisor/Nursing Supervisor or Assistant Department Manager. With that said, apply and hopefully you will be able to interview because the only way to gain experience with the process of advancement is to participate.

As for what questions they will ask, a good place to start is to think globally about your health care work experience. As a staff RN you have dealt with a lot by bedside, but the big thing managers deal with is the department as it relates to the facility. So, you must be able to give concrete examples of how youhave made an impact in your department and/or the nursing facility through leadership activities. If you have no examples, such as volunteering for the shared governance committees or former experience even outside of nursing as a manager, then you need to start doing more work to build yourself as a future nurse leader. Good luck.

TaylsRN

TaylsRN

17 Posts

My first question was how did you hear about the positons, but I see that you are looking at a website. Thus, my advice is going to be different than if you had an internal contact. In fact, I doubt you will be considered (even in a poor facility) for any of the positons unless they are entry-level management positions such as House Supervisor/Nursing Supervisor or Assistant Department Manager [\QUOTE]

So being as I don't have an internal contact and was still offered an interview with the nursing director after the human resource phone interview, do you think in your opinion, that it could be a bad sign for the position. That maybe it's too good to be true and their is probably a reason that position was still available? I don't want to put myself in a situation where I'm setting myself up to fail.

SummerGarden

SummerGarden, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in ED, ICU, MS/MT, PCU, CM, House Sup, Frontline mgr. Has 14 years experience. 3,360 Posts

So being as I don't have an internal contact and was still offered an interview with the nursing director after the human resource phone interview, do you think in your opinion, that it could be a bad sign for the position. That maybe it's too good to be true and their is probably a reason that position was still available? I don't want to put myself in a situation where I'm setting myself up to fail.

I took my first managerial leadership positon (still in it) with a department and facility that at the time was considered one of the worse departments and facility in my company's group. All the posh facilities and the facilities with the #1 reputations were hard for me to even land an interview because they either hired internally or they hired experience even in cases of entry-level positions. With that said, just because you landed an interview is not necessary a bad sign. Although my job was not wanted by others, I gained a lot from my current position.

In fact, speaking from experience, if you end up working in a bad department,what you can and will gain will grow you a great deal and can provide you with many more opportunities then working for the facility and/or department everyone wants to work. For example, I found mentors starting on day one to help me succeed and meet the challenges Ifaced. I also got on committees, received training, attended symposiums and seminars, am heading a high profile project, and meet and impress high-level leaders volunteering my time to go beyond my job description.

Now I have a resume where I can seek out another promotion while furthering my education on my company's dime. :)

TaylsRN

TaylsRN

17 Posts

Oh wow that is definitely an achievement! Thank you for the confidence and all the great advice!