Answers to "why you want to work here"

  1. I have my FIRST interview on Friday after graduating last May (yayyyyy finally!!!) and am preparing myself for every question possible. I have been on interviews for other types of jobs (part-time retail, CNA, nurse tech, PCA, etc) and I ALWAYS get asked why I chose that hospital and that unit. I have no problem answering the hospital question, but I want advice on the unit.

    The interview is for a regular med/surg unit. Do I want to work in med/surg forever? Nope. I eventually want to end up in labor and delivery. But a lot of hospital want acute care experience, thus applying for med/surg jobs. What is a good way to answer this quesiton? Do I let them know that I eventually want to be an L&D nurse (gladly at the same hospital, too!) and that I'm using med/surg as an introduction to the nursing world and a stepping stone to my chosen field, or what?
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    About PCnurse88, RN

    Joined: Aug '13; Posts: 180; Likes: 217


  3. by   Jamuhh
    Personally I think being honest about your desires will be best. I got asked where I saw myself in 5 years, so if you see yourself as an L&D nurse, then it would probably be best to tell them you want to work on that unit to gain the valuable experience that med/surg will give you in preparation for attaining your dream job.

    Some places require that you sign a term contract (usually 1 year, but I've heard 2 years for med/surg before). So I don't think you have to tell them you'll be there for the rest of your life, haha.
  4. by   llg
    I disagree with the poster above. I would not say that you want to work in L & D. I recommend saying that you want to work on that unit because you think it is a good fit for your current skills and that you enjoyed working with that type of patient when you were a student. Always emphasize that you actually care about the type of patients a unit has and want to do that kind of work. The hiring manager is a med/surg nurse: she wants to hire people interested in caring for med/surg patients.

    If asked about your future plans, remain vague. Say that you have considered lots of things, but are unsure at the moment. But "this unit" seems like a good place to start your career. Keep the possibility that you will stay for several years a possibility in the interviewer's mind. The person who appears to be looking for a temporary job only is less likely to be hired.
  5. by   Jamuhh
    Yeah, I guess you're right.
    I think if I were the interviewer I would want to know their true intentions rather than have them be dishonest. But alas, I don't own a hospital and I am not a manager.
  6. by   llg
    Quote from Jamuhh
    Yeah, I guess you're right.
    I think if I were the interviewer I would want to know their true intentions rather than have them be dishonest. But alas, I don't own a hospital and I am not a manager.
    Oh, I agree with you on that. The interviewer wants the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. But if the truth is that the applicant does not really have an interest in doing that kind of nursing and really wants to work in another specialty ... and is already planning to leave as soon as she can get a job in the specialty she really wants ... that applicant won't get the job. The hiring manager wants to hire someone who really wants to do that type of work and who is likely to stay in the job long enough to be worth the investment.

    When I answered the OP, I assumed she want to help her chances of actually getting the job. Telling the interviewing that you are more interested in another specialty and will probably leave as soon as possible is rarely the way to get a job.
  7. by   Jamuhh
    You are right.

    OP, I didn't mean to suggest that you tell them you have no interest in med/surg. I just think that most med/surg managers know that new grads often start there in hopes of gaining skill and then switch once they have a year under their belt. I just meant that you should be honest when telling them why you want to work there - which is to gain valuable experience (I should have left out the part about attaining your dream job).

    & if you are asked about your future plans, llg is right, probably best not to say that you are hoping to go into a specialty.
  8. by   PCnurse88
    Thanks guys! I can see both sides of the argument, which is why I asked. In the past I have always been upfront (when interviewing for CNA / tech jobs) and to be honest, even a few months ago I probably would have said I eventually wanted to specialize, but now I'd do about anything to get a job even if it meant not being completely forthcoming. After all, I may end up loving med/surg and never wanting to leave. Who knows.
  9. by   not.done.yet
    Believe me, they don't tell YOU everything about the job. You don't have to tell THEM everything about yourself. That it is a great fit for your current skills and goals is absolutely truthful and plenty of information.
  10. by   RN59217
    If L&D is your dream job, but you're interviewing for Med-Surg, I would play up Med-Surg in the interview. You don't know that in 5 years you're going to still want L&D. You might adore Med-Surg so much that you don't want to leave. Each unit has its pros and cons...while assisting in deliveries is very exciting (I have a L&D application out there), you also get patients who scream and ***** at you because, well, they're in labor. Whereas Med-Surg they wouldn't ***** at you unless their personality is just like that, or they're grieving from having a terminal diagnosis etc, or because something else sucked. But I think it's more the exception than the rule, whereas in L&D, it's more the rule than the exception.

    Just play up on the fact that you're a new grad, you want to utilize all your new skills, you want to experience as much variety as possible since you're in your first Nursing position... etc. I wouldn't mention wanting a different unit. I think a hiring manager would simply hear "they're not going to stay... we want someone permanent" and that could make you not get the job.