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New Nurses/New Grads...How are you approaching your interviews?

Nurses   (2,179 Views 13 Comments)
by grateful2010 grateful2010 (Member)

grateful2010 works as a RN.

3,812 Visitors; 133 Posts

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Lately I've been going on many interviews-each time I learn something new to improve. So far every interview I have gone on has resulted in no job offers, but that will soon change!

I realized that I sell myself short a lot of the time during interviews. Since I have absolutely no nursing experience I come across less confident when answering certain questions. I have learned that although I may not have hands on training on a skill (except in nursing school) I do have the knowledge, which now, I focus on emphasizing to the employer. Even if I don't know something I will give it my best shot in expressing that I am a competent worker.

One of the major mistakes that I've noticed I made in my past few interviews is: offering TOO MUCH INFORMATION....:idea: My new motto is answer only what is asked, keep it short and concise. The more I say the more likely I dig myself in a hole..:uhoh3:. I also noticed that my great personaility wasn't showing through because of nervousness-the interviewers are every day people like myself, they are human! I'm beginning to feel more at ease by knowing this and also: I get 15-30 minutes to talk about the fabulousness (so not a word) that is me...:D The biggest mistake I made thus far is not being prepared. I apply to so many jobs that I usually don't have time to research which one I am going to. When they ask "do you have any questions" my response is usually a reiteration of the job requirements and salary.:eek:

So, nurses! What are the mistakes you believe has left you with no job offers during interviews? If you are currently employed what was your approach to getting hired during an interview?

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kayern has 21 years experience and works as a Nurse Manager.

5,707 Visitors; 240 Posts

Do your homework! Research the institution you are interviewing with. Google them! Go in knowing something about them other than they have a job opening. To be honest, if my applicants can't speak to my institutions status in the community, awards, etc. I usually don't hire them. Once you know something about them, you can formulate some questions to ask and DON'T ASK ABOUT $$$.

Here are some ideas:

Ask about their professional development of their nurses.

Advancement possibilities.

Percentage of BSN v. AAS nurses.

Certification rates

Turn over and vacancy rates (if you don't know what this is, look it up)

Always be prepared to answer a question about your future..........Where do you see yourself in five years?

Hope this helps

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grateful2010 works as a RN.

3,812 Visitors; 133 Posts

Do your homework! Research the institution you are interviewing with. Google them! Go in knowing something about them other than they have a job opening. To be honest, if my applicants can't speak to my institutions status in the community, awards, etc. I usually don't hire them. Once you know something about them, you can formulate some questions to ask and DON'T ASK ABOUT $$$.

Here are some ideas:

Ask about their professional development of their nurses.

Advancement possibilities.

Percentage of BSN v. AAS nurses.

Certification rates

Turn over and vacancy rates (if you don't know what this is, look it up)

Always be prepared to answer a question about your future..........Where do you see yourself in five years?

Hope this helps

Greeeeat info!!!! *Taking notes*:)

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538 Visitors; 2 Posts

Prepare yourself for panel interviews. I am a recently new grad also and has nailed every job that i interviewed for. Go in professionally as you would any job in any field. In all my interviews i got scenario questions and be confident. They can sense your fear and that will push them away from interest in you. All though you are a new grad, you have to remember that we should have built our confidence through our clinical settings from school. Get your foot in the door and the rest will fall into place. Good luck...

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5,502 Visitors; 410 Posts

I recommend it over and over again... Donna Cardillo's site has excellent interview tips.

There are also tons of questions to ask the interviewer in this thread.

If you're feeling anxious, and finding that you're being asked the same questions frequently, have a friend or family member ask you the questions randomly throughout the day so that you can get used to answering them. Have them ask them in the middle of a conversation so that you have to be able to answer them just like you'd answer any other question they asked. If there's one that you're having particular difficulty with, write down a few key points and focus on "memorizing" them until you can speak to them fluently.

A previous poster mentioned making sure you do your research on the facility you're interviewing at. This is key. Any time I've done research, I find that the interviewer is much more at ease with me. It's when I go in blind that I'm nervous, the interviewer cues off of my nervousness, and it almost feels like a lost cause from there. The more information you're armed with, the more you'll be able to fill lulls in conversation, i.e.: "I noticed that your hospital recently achieved Magnet status. Could you tell me about the initiative that you undertook to achieve such a prestigious honor?" The interviewer is impressed by your initiative to research, and you've got a minute to collect yourself for the next question.

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RNDreamer works as a Nurse.

15,655 Visitors; 1,237 Posts

Here are some ideas:

Ask about their professional development of their nurses.

Advancement possibilities.

Certification rates

Turn over and vacancy rates (if you don't know what this is, look it up)

Always be prepared to answer a question about your future..........Where do you see yourself in five years?

Hope this helps

New Grad here. These are the questions I asked and was asked. I make sure to look into the interviewer's eyes, and I love to ask questions based on facts that they give me, so that they know I was listening and am I interested in learning more. Be aware of your body language. Don't look too relaxed, but don't look stiff. I am also very genuinely friendly and people see that.

When interviewing for a new grad position I want to know about the recent new grads. How are they doing? Are they all still here. I also wanted to know about why nurses have left the position. Will the shift I am on have a good mix of newer and older nurses? I also like touring the floor and looking at the reactions of the staff. On this floor, staff said hello to me, told me that I would love it there, etc.

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RNDreamer works as a Nurse.

15,655 Visitors; 1,237 Posts

I also asked about nurse to patient ratio, assistive staff, patient population, etc

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grateful2010 works as a RN.

3,812 Visitors; 133 Posts

Such great advice. I'm beginning to realize more and more that the lack of new nurse hire has little to do with inexperience and reccession, it's really about the person and how they present themselves-their outlook. Too many have subscribed to the "we are not hiring new nurses" mentality. It's really all in the approach and thinking. Applying to just any job with no focus will land you just that, any job with no focus.

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grateful2010 works as a RN.

3,812 Visitors; 133 Posts

Prepare yourself for panel interviews. I am a recently new grad also and has nailed every job that i interviewed for. Go in professionally as you would any job in any field. In all my interviews i got scenario questions and be confident. They can sense your fear and that will push them away from interest in you. All though you are a new grad, you have to remember that we should have built our confidence through our clinical settings from school. Get your foot in the door and the rest will fall into place. Good luck...

I've noticed this too!

Let me ask you this, when you graduated nursing school, what were your expectations of yourself? How soon after graduating did you look for work? Were you sporadic in your seach or goal oriented?

I recommend it over and over again... Donna Cardillo's site has excellent interview tips.

There are also tons of questions to ask the interviewer in this thread.

If you're feeling anxious, and finding that you're being asked the same questions frequently, have a friend or family member ask you the questions randomly throughout the day so that you can get used to answering them. Have them ask them in the middle of a conversation so that you have to be able to answer them just like you'd answer any other question they asked. If there's one that you're having particular difficulty with, write down a few key points and focus on "memorizing" them until you can speak to them fluently.

A previous poster mentioned making sure you do your research on the facility you're interviewing at. This is key. Any time I've done research, I find that the interviewer is much more at ease with me. It's when I go in blind that I'm nervous, the interviewer cues off of my nervousness, and it almost feels like a lost cause from there. The more information you're armed with, the more you'll be able to fill lulls in conversation, i.e.: "I noticed that your hospital recently achieved Magnet status. Could you tell me about the initiative that you undertook to achieve such a prestigious honor?" The interviewer is impressed by your initiative to research, and you've got a minute to collect yourself for the next question.

Those are great links!! Im in love with this forum, so many resourceful, helpful nurses..:up:

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WarmBlanket works as a Clinical Intervention Specialist.

1,736 Visitors; 56 Posts

There have been excellent strategies and tips posted . I have one more : The majority of applications we submit are over the internet. When HR or a department manager looks at your application it is formatted on the hospital system. The resume you sent might not be easy to read or contain distracting information.

When preparing , I print 2 extra copies of my resume and place them in a manila folder. I use a label maker and put my name on the folder tab. This folder goes inside one of those 13" x 10" brown mailing envelopes along with a pad of paper to take notes. After introducing myself , I ask if they would like a copy of my resume. ( most likely they have only glanced at the initial submitted application).

When the interview is complete, I leave the manila folder with my name. They can use it, throw it away or think - WOW ! this nurse is organized and has initiative. Good luck to all .......

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lovescapeRN works as a RN.

2,654 Visitors; 39 Posts

i'm a new grad who recently landed a position in a residency program at a top magnet hospital.. nope i dont have any other nursing exp, nope my GPA wasnt the best, but i did get my ducks all lined up in a row when i went and i showed motivation/determination/ confidence. ACLS, BLS, professional organizations, evidenced based research examples from recent journals i read that relates to them, researched recent developements of the hospital and talked about it. i went to 3 interviews and got all 3. here's my advice to you.

answer this question, what makes YOU stand out from the rest? any particular leadership event that you did. u gotta be memorable...

when they ask about qualities like leadership, critical thinking skills, fast learner.. you almost always have to back it up with a real life example from your experience. dont just throw those words out there without a backup. i dug up old clinical work/ papers-- and when they asked about leadership- i immediately had couple examples drawn up from my head and just told stories. the manager was impressed with my past experience just from nursing clinicals!

yea u gotta give urself more credit for what you know. 2-3 years in clinical is more than enough! u just gotta refresh yourself in your head what you did. good luck. confidence is everything... i literally had 15 pages of ques answer typed up and reviewed the answer 20 times.

and when HR calls for screening interviews.. hha iduno if this is a good idea but i always never pick up my phone. after they leave a v-mail. i check it quickly, grab my "cheat sheet of info", and set it in front of me, and then proceed to call them back! its better than picking it up and not knowing who they are and what to say!

goodluck!

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