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Please be prepared for your interview...

Specializes in Trauma/ED.

We have been doing interviews for a new hospital that's opening so we are looking for 50 ED people. After the first day I was really surprised at the amount of people who were not prepared for their interview. We had some well qualified candidates who had no idea who my company even is..yes they were from out of town but I feel they should have at least Googled us...some candidates had no idea how to answer questions about weaknesses or situations when...so I have a few suggestions for you great people who are possibly looking for work.

--Please know something about the company you are applying to...even just a quick Google search.

--Please be prepared to answer questions like, "Tell me about a time when you had a great connection with a patient", or "Tell me about a time when you were unable to give the kind of care you like to".

--Please be prepared to talk about your own weaknesses or what your previous supervisor would say is your weakness. (Everyone can list their strengths)

--Don't be afraid to brag about yourself and for gosh sakes hold your head up high, you are an ED nurse with some experience otherwise you wouldn't have been given the interview.

--We love honesty, if you are trying to portray characteristics that are unnatural it usually looks awkward. (i.e. if you are a quite person, just say that, don't try to be over the top to try and cover it up)

--And please make every possible effort to come and sit for the interview, management doesn't like to do phone interviews :-)

Anyone else want to add anything?

BTW...we had some absolutely great people who applied and were prepared, thinking about 50% will be offered so far (which is great!).

Larry

hope3456, ASN, RN

Specializes in LTC, Psych, M/S.

Just curious are you considering new grads?

Orange Tree

Specializes in Medical Surgical Orthopedic.

--Don't be afraid to brag about yourself and for gosh sakes hold your head up high, you are an ED nurse with some experience otherwise you wouldn't have been given the interview.

Larry

Maybe not? :(

and if so...where is the location of this new hospital?

I've rarely been in the position of having to answer those silly HR type questions. And I am completely soured on hospitals and their lousy staffing levels due to "finances."

I've got a ton of experience and a good interviewer should ALWAYS pick up on that. Knowing how long you've been in the previous position, (ER/ICU, etc.) should obviously dictate what you do or don't know. One year in ER? Well, you've got a lot more to see. Ten years in a Level one? Skip the questions and when can you start?

And I agree with Texas. If you smoke and are fat, I don't want you.

Amen! I don't want someone telling me what to do who obviously doesn't believe it enough to do it him/herself. Medical conditions are one thing - double whoppers and milkshakes are another.

mclennan, BSN, RN

Specializes in CCM, PHN.

I'm always amazed at how unprofessional and unprepared people have been when we interview them. I agree, it's about 50/50. Half are great and about half are appalling!

The most baffling ones have a GREAT résumé, qualifications and experience in writing........then show up late to the interview in stained scrubs, no knowledge of the company, Cheeto stained fingers and their cell phone not turned off. Amazing.

Almost as bad, are the young BS'ers. Oh. My. God. Sorry Charlie, one year in LTC is not "extensive" experience, your only weakness is NOT that you're a workaholic, and no one cares about your hobbies of marathon running or basket weaving.

Then we have the high maintenance ones who, once offered the job (always AFTER the offer!) suddenly drop bombs like "I have a special needs child and will need 2 afternoons a week off to take him to PT," "I have lupus and CFS and have MD orders to have therapy 2x/week for 3 hours, and can't lift more than 5 lbs.," or we discover is a heavy smoker going through a divorce who is outside puffing away & shouting on her cell phone 6 times a shift, and calls off every other week.

And we only interview new grads who have BSNs, years of experience in a related/allied health field, and interview EXTREMELY well.

And I agree with Texas. If you smoke and are fat, I don't want you.

I'd prefer someone fat to someone that doesn't even know the name of a major hospital regulation would be HIPAA, not "hippa."

It ain't hippa if there are no identifiable factors. You can go on TV and talk about it too.

Altra, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency & Trauma/Adult ICU.

I've rarely been in the position of having to answer those silly HR type questions. And I am completely soured on hospitals and their lousy staffing levels due to "finances."

I've got a ton of experience and a good interviewer should ALWAYS pick up on that. Knowing how long you've been in the previous position, (ER/ICU, etc.) should obviously dictate what you do or don't know. One year in ER? Well, you've got a lot more to see. Ten years in a Level one? Skip the questions and when can you start?

And I agree with Texas. If you smoke and are fat, I don't want you.

Hiring a resume without assessing the person and their potential fit in your unit is a recipe for disaster, IMO.

As for the smoking/fat comment ... well, we all have our turnoffs, and some discretion to act upon them when we are in the hiring driver's seat. My turnoff is fast-talking big mouths that say little.

traumaRUs, MSN, APRN, CNS

Specializes in Nephrology, Cardiology, ER, ICU.

Thanks for the tips Larry. I also want to add that sending a thank you note might be old-fashioned but in this day and age of few jobs and very qualified applicants, it can make you stand out just a little more. When Ive interviewed nurses/PAs for a position, I was very surprised when one applicant said they felt that they couldnt work with NPs, only PAs. (The people interviewing her were one PA, one NP and one CNS - uh guess who didnt get the job?)

I'd prefer someone fat to someone that doesn't even know the name of a major hospital regulation would be HIPAA, not "hippa."

:roflmao::up:

1) Do you under staff?2) Do you have a one-month Preceptor program?3) Do you list the pay scale up front?4) Are the doctors respectful to the nurses?5). No one is interested in your hospital unless you rate A+ in these items. Skill giving interviews does not equate top rate skilled RN's.

Edited by laurelember

mmc51264, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes.

I have a special needs child and will need 2 afternoons a week off to take him to PT,"

So you discriminate against people with disabilities Even though it is against FEDERAL LAW to do so. That's why those "high maintenance" people don't say anything up front. They know you will ake up a reason to not hire them. I bet you make up reasons to get rid of them as fast you can, too.

Alisonisayoshi, LVN

Specializes in LTC.

So you discriminate against people with disabilities Even though it is against FEDERAL LAW to do so. That's why those "high maintenance" people don't say anything up front. They know you will ake up a reason to not hire them. I bet you make up reasons to get rid of them as fast you can, too.

My thoughts exactly...

Larry77, RN

Specializes in Trauma/ED.

I've got a ton of experience and a good interviewer should ALWAYS pick up on that. Knowing how long you've been in the previous position, (ER/ICU, etc.) should obviously dictate what you do or don't know. One year in ER? Well, you've got a lot more to see. Ten years in a Level one? Skip the questions and when can you start?

I slightly disagree with this statement, we are not only hiring experience we are hiring for a good fit. Do I want someone who has been in a level 1 for ten years who is a bear to work with...heck no. But if you are an up-and-comer who has a great personality and has been in a level 3 community hospital who gets all trauma's for 4 years...I want you!

Plenty of 10+ year ED RN's are not going to make the grade so please don't just expect to get hired because you have experience...still have to make an effort in an interview and be a good fit for our department.

We actually had a highly experienced nurse today that couldn't think of a "situation when" for 2 different questions...really? You are an ED nurse! We know you have had those situations (ie a "connection" with a patient, or "conflict in the workplace")...but how can we pick you over someone who gets slightly emotional thinking about a touching story or proud about how they handled conflict with a coworker and actually became friends?

In our situation we are lucky enough to have great recruiter's to work with who screen out the applicants without experience and who may have red flags in their history.

For those who asked about new grads, we are hiring two nurse interns but they are internal to the system (highly competitive process).

Larry77, RN

Specializes in Trauma/ED.

1) Do you under staff?2) Do you have a one-month Preceptor program?3) Do you list the pay scale up front?4) Are the doctors respectful to the nurses?5). No one is interested in your hospital unless you rate A+ in these items. Skill giving interviews does not equate top rate skilled RN's.

Did you see that this is a "new hospital"?...I would hope that we would not plan on "understaffing", would be terrible foresight IMO. Training is extensive with all employees starting months prior to opening. The docs I have met have been great and the culture we are building is one of team care, not us against the MD's. BTW, I'm certainly NOT on here to recruit...we have more than we need and are in a position to pick the "cream of the crop". Skill sitting in an interview does not necessarily mean you are a good nurse but you must give an effort...was my biggest point, don't assume your experience will get you hired.

Can we please stop the discrimination topic? I would much rather this thread be about interviewing than about very personal issues like the one used as an example.

bigsick_littlesick

Specializes in General Surgery.

I'll be honest and say I was caught off guard and was unprepared for my first interview. I am still mortified with my performance. I came in with hair pulled in a bun, conservative top, no flashy jewelry or makeup, black slacks pressed with closed toed kitten heeled shoes. Cell phone off. Resumes and portfolio ready.

My mother is a nurse of 36 years and has sat on many interview panels. She said some of the questions I was asked were ones that she would've asked a more experienced nurse. As a a newly graduated nurse, all of my nursing experience has been in clinicals where we have to follow procedures, patient care and protocols to a T. There is no breaking the rules or bypassing the right thing to do, whether you're a student nurse or an experienced nurse, IMO.

The two questions that really bothered me were 1) Tell me a time where you knew what the right thing to do was but you decided to confer with your colleagues first and 2) Tell me a time where you broke the rules. ??? Even one the other managers looked at the manager asking that question and shook her head as if she knew it was sort of a trick question. She wasn't really in agreement that the question should be asked.

As a new grad, I definitely suggest new grads to write down all the difficult situations you were involved with during nursing school, what happened and the result. I feel like the farther I get out from nursing school, the more I forget the finer details of those kinds of situations. Then, bring that paper with you to the interview so you have something to reference instead of freezing in your seat, becoming increasingly tachycardic and diaphoretic like I did. I had to work PM shift right after the interview. I got changed into my scrubs and proceeded to break down at the nurse's station. Not a good feeling. I was so angry and disappointed with myself.

I was prepared to answer questions like why I got into nursing, how I handled caring for a full team, my thoughts on the hospital's mission statement, how I value customer service and realize the importance of patient satisfaction and HCAHPS surveys, why I would be a good fit on that particular floor, my strengths/weaknesses...

Ah wells, I blew that interview so now I will learn from that experience and hopefully, will do better on the next.

mmc51264, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes.

Can we please stop the discrimination topic? I would much rather this thread be about interviewing than about very personal issues like the one used as an example.

You brought it up and if this is an example you use, it is something you think about. There are a lot of nurses, great nurses, great BECAUSE the have a special needs child and you want to blow them off as "high maintenance"??? That's why intermittent FMLA is in place. It's a good thing we don't know where this new hospital is. I would tell people to RUN. I bet Workers Comp is a four letter word to you, too. And getting pregnant. They would have those little brats to take care of.

I just want to say that I know I'm a terrible interview. I don't handle hypothetical situations well at all. Even when I take acls classes, 'faking' a situation doesn't work for me.

Even the interview I had last, the manager tried to get me to relax and I still had the sweaty palms.

It's very hard to be an interviewer. Tough to gauge what you think the person wants to hear. When I thought an interview went well (it was all about pt satisfaction and no nursing) I never got called.

My last interview, I was given feedback and I really appreciated it. I was told I came off quiet and reserved. Not true about me. But it just goes to show; and I hate wearing business casual clothes.

I made a portfolio that included my résumé (longevity), perfect attendance awards, letters of thanks from coworkers and managers and letters from patients. I'm socially awkward but when I'm in my nursing uniform, it's like an alter-ego. Maybe my next interview should include a photo of my closet, which would show a majority of white nursing scrubs over normal clothes.

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