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Keep on getting passed on after interviews

This post is more directed towards nurse managers or people who hire nurses:

I currently work in a long term care facility and am trying to transition into an acute care role. I currently just had an interview for an acute care role, I thought the interview went fairly well but I was passed over. To be fair, I know there's a decent amount of competition and it was a magnet hospital in NYC, it's possible that they just liked someone better. The issue I'm having is this is the 4th time I've been passed over for a role. Of course I get a little nervous with interviews, especially since each one tends to be a little different, the last one in particular because they focused on my assessment skills from working in a LTC facility and how I would do in a acute care setting. My resume and experience is attractive enough to be called in for an interview, does anyone have any advice on possible blunders that I might be committing besides the obvious (I wear a suit, make eye contact, have answers prepared)?

Any input is welcome.

I'll preface this with saying that I am not a nurse manager or someone who hires nurses. I did just have my first interview a few days ago and was given a verbal offer in a competitive residency program in CA. Are you bringing in a portfolio with more than just your resume/cover letter to your interviews? Do you have certifications (ACLS/PALS/Stroke/EKG)? Have you had others hear your answers to your interview questions to get their input? (I went over my answers with my nurse friends and they revamped my entire approach to answering the questions).

Also, have you directly reached out to the interviewers at the 4 different hospitals? I would ask them for feedback on your interview or you could even ask them what you can do next time to be a better candidate for that position.

I've honestly never done a mock interview with a friend who is a nurse, that's a good idea.....the door closes pretty tightly after an interview though with managers here, at least the places I've interviewed at.

I don't bring a portfolio, maybe in the future I will. I have my EKG and phlebotomy certification but I honestly have excluded them from my resume because I took them a few years ago, never really used the skills so I feel like it's false advertising because I don't feel comfortable performing those skills.

Oh okay, that makes sense. Yeah, maybe try to get feedback on your answers 🙂

The portfolio thing is pretty big here in CA. Wasn't sure about other states. It definitely can set you apart from the others.

As far as the certifications, I would still add them. I don't think it's false advertising at all. Just because I took an EKG course doesn't mean I can recognize rhythms. It just shows my desire to want to advance my skills as a nurse. Just my 2 cents!


Specializes in NICU. Has 5 years experience.

Mock interview is a good idea. I would find someone that is in management. Don't use a close friend that will be too easy on you and that you are too comfortable with.

Some questions can be traps such as "Where do you see yourself in 5 yrs?" Some people will be honest and say "Put a couple years in ICU then get my CRNA". What the manager hears is "This is a stepping stone. I am going to waste your time and energy to train me and I will be gone before you recoup your investment." Your answer should be "I see myself in this unit in 5 yrs being a preceptor for newer nurses. Doing everything I can to be a better nurse."

llg, PhD, RN

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development. Has 43 years experience.

I agree with the NICU guy above. Also, you say you have prepared answers for commonly asked questions. Try not to make them sound "too prepared" when you use them. It's great to think ahead what your response will be to common questions -- but if you sound like you are simply reciting a prepared script, that can sound false -- as if you are not being totally truthful. You want to sound genuine like you are speaking from the heart and not reciting an answer that you prepared ahead of time of lies that you think the hiring manager wants to hear.

I'd also recommend running your planned responses past more than one person -- preferably, more than one person in a leadership position. Not everyone views an answer the same way -- and what you (or 1 friend) may think sounds like a good answer may be a very wrong thing to say to another person. NICU Guy gave a great example in his post. You might even post some of your responses here to get our feedback.

Good luck!