Published Jun 7, 2003
I've applied for a new job and will be interviewing with all four members of the department. I get very nervous at interviews and sound like an idiot. Any ideas what general questions might be asked. Thank-you for any help you can give me.
Rn, Rpn or Lpn?
I'm an RN.
There are some pretty standard ones and I usually get a variation on these.
1. Tell me about yourself.
2. What do you know about (type of unit, type of businesss, this company, etc)
3. What makes you the best candidate
4. Tell me about a time when you experienced a conflict with a co worker, and how you handled it.
5. What are your weaknesses
6. what are your strengths
7. why do you want to work here/do this type of work.
8. What will you bring to us (talking about assets)
9. What is your pet peeve
10. Tell me a story. (They may or may not say about what. If they don't, ask)
11. What did you like /dislike about your previous boss/job.
There will probably be sepecific questions about the job you apply for. Your availability, experience in specific areas.
It is very good that you are preparing ahead like this. Think about how you will answer these. Even rehearse. Don't be afraid to say that you do not know something.
Be prepared with several questions of your own. I usually go with a written list. This way when they ask what questions I have I can look at my list, because sometimes they answer almost every one of my questions before I get to ask. If there is nothing that they did not already tell you then ask for clarification of something already discussed or alluded to by the employer.
You are experienced so you already have some ideas about some of the things that would concern you. Like, patient ratios, type of nursing, CNAs, if you will be expected to take charge, ask about staff turn over, ask how long the position has been open, why the last person left, ask about overtime, and policies that you may be wondering about. Even if you already know a lot about this place it is ok to ask something you already know the answer to if that is all you have. Just ask some thing.
Thank-you for the information. It's very helpful. I know all the nurses that will be interviewing. But it doesn't make things easier. One of them is negative and can be a back stabber. I'm worried about what questions she may dream up.
Agnus...that was an excellent post & yep...I think everyone gets those basic questions when you are interviewed. I also type up questions that I would like to ask as well (most of the ones that you already posted). Great idea to rehearse, I do that when I am driving to the interview.
If the one you think is a backstabber dreams up some off-the-wall question, give him or her a puzzled look and say, "I'm not sure I understand your question, can you clarify?" Don't let it fluster you. You don't have to have the perfect answer for every question.
Great idea! Thank-you.
She may or may not be allowed to "dream up" questions. Sometime interviewers are required to stick to scripted questions. This ensures a couple of things. 1. No illegal questions are asked. 2. All candidates receive the same questions in the interest of fairness. 3. Most interviewers have no clue what THEY are doing in an interview. 4. Questions that will receive the most useful information will be asked.
That is the reason that you see the same types of questions asked over and over.
Even when it doesn't seem obvious, they often are working from a script.
If you feel you are asked an illegal question ask first how this applies to this job. You may ask if all candidates are asked that question. You may decline to answer an illegal question.
When answering questions, slow down. Pause for a moment prior to answering. Make sure you really understand the question. It's easy -- in the tension of an interview -- to hear something wrong. If you're not sure you heard it right, ask if the interviewer could repeat it.
A side benefit of slow, deliberate answers is that it gives the effect of making you sound like a thoughtful, reasoned person who ponders all sides of an issue or conflict. The main thing it gives you is time to think. Getting rattled during an interview may give the interviewer the impression that you would also get rattled during an emergency or conflict.
When waiting for an interview, a few minutes of calm, deep breathing will help you slow down, collect your thoughts, and maintain composure. All of which should help you not sound like an idiot ... ;-)
Best of luck --
Jim Huffman, RN
"When answering questions, slow down. Pause for a moment prior to answering. Make sure you really understand the question. It's easy -- in the tension of an interview -- to hear something wrong. If you're not sure you heard it right, ask if the interviewer could repeat it."
And after you have briefly answered the question, SHUT UP. Stop talking. Put the ball back in their court.
I'd like to thank every one for the insightful suggestions on how to handle an interview. I didn't get the job. I'm very disapointed, which is silly because I had decided It's not what I want. But. I'll be ready next time for that job that suits my personality and abilities.
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