Interviewing potential candidates-- Nurse manager's perspective

  1. Hello ,

    I am a new grad interviewing for a position at a hospital's new grad program. it will be a panel interview. i just wanted to get an insight of the interview process from the nurse manager's perspective. how many candidates do you typically interview for one position? at this particular hospital i am interviewing in, there are 3 positions open in 5 different units. i can't imagine how many interviews you would have to sit in! i assume by your 20th interview i'd really need to be a captivating speaker to keep you all interested in me... also, what are some key things you look at during interviews? do's and dont's if you will. this will be my first nursing interview, and it is a panel interview. i am not familiar with a panel interview. how is this different from other interviews?

    thanks all for your advice. any is much appreciated!
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  3. by   enzati
    Hi and good luck! When our unit has many applicants we occasionally use this method. Basically a panel interview consists of different people (the makeup can vary) all being given the opportunity to hear your answers to various questions at once. It's the questions that I think you really need to be on the lookout for, because if the panel is not given a "set" of questions to choose from, their questions will all reflect what their particular roles are. A doctor might ask you a very fact based " how would you handle this communication from me" question, and a manager might ask a " how would you handle conflict?" Question. So you REALLY want to be prepared with answers. I personally love seeing a prepared nurse come in to interview, even someone who has their answers to questions written down for reference! It speaks to their willingness to do some work to get the job.

    Here's some of my "do's"

    1) do know as much as you can about the position and the institution. Use the hospitals website, and refer to it. "I saw and your website that you are a magnet hospital. I really respect the work that must have gone into getting that prestigious certification." Call hr for info, ask people that work there, etc.

    2) this one goes without saying, but please DO look professional. It's amazing to me how many people come in in frumpy clothes or scuffed up shoes or hair in ponytails.

    3) do spend time thinking about your answers. It's ok to give questions thought or even ask if you can come back to a question in a few minutes.

    4) do have the basics down, strengths/weaknesses, why you want the job, what can you bring to it


    1)don't ever bash in any way another manager or coworker, no matter what

    2) don't be so anxious that you don't ask questions when you're asked. My favorites are; tell me about your orientation, what are you looking for in a candidate, and how are your nurse to patient ratios. Those are safe, easy questions for the interviewers to answer but still show you came prepared.

    3) don't use cookie cutter answers. I can't tell you how many times I've heard, " my weakness is that I try to be TOO perfect, or too thorough, etc etc." I want to hear a REAL weakness, and what you plan on doing about it. Time management isn't a good one, every new grad is working on time management. A good one might be that you are working on reviewing pharmacology or physiology, or making sure your communication is clear during report, etc.

    4) dont work yourself up to the point that you almost cry. This actually happens a lot. You'd be better off asking for a break to the restroom to collect yourself. Take a deep breath and slow yourself down. The more prepared you are, the less nervous you'll be!

    Good luck, I hope this helped a little!
  4. by   tewdles
    Often we have more than one candidate for a position.
    Many of us are then looking for competent professionals who will fit with the team players already present.
    Personality and life experience sorts people out during the interview when the skill sets are similar.
  5. by   dah doh
    We panel interview because we all have different opinions of who we should hire. Who sits on the panel depends on who the manager asks. We usually have at least a charge nurse, a preceptor, a day nurse, and a night nurse. Everyone has their own criteria that fits our evaluation form (who would fit in or who would be easier to train, etc).

    We usually ask the typical questions and few scenarios that common sense should help you answer. Length on interview varies 15-45 minutes. Don't be late for the interview and be prepared to wait if we're running late. Please dress professionally and practice your interviewing skills in the mirror or with others. Calm is fine but don't put me to sleep. Excited is good too but don't be so nervous you're screaming at us. Be well repetitive nonsense like "well you know" "mmmmmm" etc. Watch your non verbal communication too. Be enthusiastic but have something to say. Tell me something about you that makes you standout besides your GPA! It's ok to ask questions about the job, orientation, even about us or what we are looking for. Do not ask about pay or benefits. Keep in mind that you might be the first person or the twentieth person we've interviewed for just a few new grad spots...and you have a very limited time period to make a lasting impression on us! Good Luck!

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