Interview Advice

Nurses Career Support


  • by KateRN1
    Specializes in COS-C, Risk Management.

Hello all:

I'm job searching again and ran into a unique situation a few weeks ago and want some thoughts. I applied for a teaching position, the dean was very excited to interview me (I have previous teaching experience), but refused to answer any of my questions during the interview. I wanted to know simple things like how many students were expected (didn't know), attrition rate (less than 1% she says--unbelievable), how students are graded (simple test or project/portfolio work), very typical (IMHO) questions to ask for a teaching gig. She actually stopped me midway through the interview and said that she didn't want to answer my questions. I explained why I was asking them and she continued the interview--by which I mean that she spent the next 20 minutes lecturing me--and then escorted me to the front door. Called me the next day wanting to set me up with a practice teaching gig. I declined stating that I was no longer interested in the position.

But this leaves me to wonder if maybe I'm asking too many questions during an interview? I don't feel that the questions I ask are unreasonable, but I'd love to hear what others have to say about it. As a reasonably new resident of the area, I don't have years of experience with other nurses here and no one to turn to to ask about corporate culture, so I have to suss out what I can in the interview. Here's a list of the questions that I have for an interview tomorrow for a home health position (my specialty--that gal scared me out of teaching for now). I expect that most of these will be answered in some way by the interviewer before I actually ask them, but I always take a list of things that I want to know so that I'm sure to have all the info.

Please describe your ideal candidate for this position.

What do you expect from your nurses? (three qualities, like honesty, punctuality, etc.)

What is your turnover rate for licensed nurses in the last year? (How many have quit/been fired?)

You offer several different service programs. Are those staffed separately or are nurses cross-trained for each?

How do you utilize telehealth innovations in your agency?

How are you preparing for the upcoming changes in OASIS documentation?

If I asked one of your current nurses about the agency, what would s/he say?

How is case management handled in your agency?

Describe the orientation process.

Talk to me about what "homebound" means to you.

What supplies/equipment are expected to be supplied by the nurse?

How do you handle training when a nurse is asked to perform a skill that s/he has never done before and is uncomfortable with?

Who does the field nurse report to directly?

What is this person's management style? Laissez-faire, micromanage, hands-on, hands-off, etc.

How do you encourage staff retention?

What learning opportunities are available for nurses in your agency?

How much independence do nurses have in your agency?

How much input do nurses have in the daily operations of the agency?

Trauma Columnist

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN

88 Articles; 21,247 Posts

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

That seems like a lot of questions to ask in the initial interview. Maybe pick 3-4 that are the most important for you and save the rest for the second interview??


1,191 Posts

Specializes in COS-C, Risk Management.

Okay, so my new strategy of trying to get them to tell me what I want to know without asking canned questions paid off big-time and now I have three (possibly four) offers on the table. I already know which one I want to accept, but how do I let the others know that I am taking another offer? Should I call, email, or snail mail a note? I don't think I've ever been in this situation before.

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