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Please be prepared for your interview...

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Specializes in Trauma/ED. Has 10 years experience.

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mmc51264, ADN, BSN, MSN, RN

Specializes in orthopedic; Informatics, diabetes. Has 8 years experience.

I apologize Larry. I was mistaken. Please accept my apology. It was another poster.

Larry,

Your article was an excellent tip sheet for interview preparation. Especially, being prepared to give examples of your performance. Very helpful.

jalyc RN

Specializes in L&D, CCU, ICU, PCU, RICU, PCICU, & LTC.. Has 40+ years experience.

I am in the middle of selecting summer externs ... and can say many of the same things about some of our applicants. Some are wonderfully prepared, but others are clearly not ... Some of the students are barely articulate when I talk to them over the phone. Some seem to have no ability for reflection and self-assessment. Some seem totally incapable of seeing employment from the employer's point of view. They really do seem to think it is "all about them and what they want." I could go on and on.

I have always wondered about the schools that accepted these types of people. How can they expect them to learn properly and give quality care when they could not even do that in high schools!

I sell myself short all the time during interviews!!!! Always, always, always!I look up the hospital, learn their mission and values and I wrote down frequently asked questions! I also write down my answers, repeat, repeat, repeat! I get so nervous, my anxiety escalates and this is how I sell myself short!

I am always honest, naive at times and I use simple language when I speak, no fancy vocabulary!

Why are you interested in this position? My honest answer would be, I am a new graduate, although I have enjoyed all clinical rotations, I am still a newbie, it is difficult for me to know my place in nursing at this time, I have not had enough experience on a floor to really know if my heart is in OB, PEDS,ICU, ONCOLOGY etc. As a new grad , all I want is a JOB so I can apply the theories and skills I have learned in school. I just want to be a NURSE, I want to take care of patients, work as a team and in a good environment and this is what makes me happy!

From my experience the honest person never wins anything, always loses!!!!!

One of my friends always wanted to do OB, and could not stand taking care of adults- med surg

It is very difficult to get a job in OB as a new grad, so she applied for med surg position!

She was asked, why are you interested in working in med surg? Her answer: throughout nursing school, I always enjoyed med surg , I want to take care of adults, I want to be able to communicate with them. Med surg will help develop my skills by taking care of variety of pts with complicated history! I always knew I belonged in med surg!!!

Everything was fake- guess who got the job! This girl!

I believe the best way to know someone is to give them a chance, take a risk and get to know them while in orientation! Not everyone is a good speaker, or good at answering interview questions! It is very possible for someone to be a great nurse but not very good at answering interview questions!

Honesty has failed every single time!

Creative liars always win!

Sad truth :(((((

all I want is a JOB

Yeah, I don't think that works at Burger King even. Yes, you just want a job, but try to personalize it to the job you are interviewing for- why do you want THAT job? (Because this job will give me a great foundation and this hospital has a reputation for clinical excellence particularly your recent ____ initiative that earned you a nomination for _____ award......Because this job will give me a broad foundation in nursing skills and allow me to develop as a novice nurse......Because I have heard many positive things about how this hospital/nursing home supports new grads while providing for excellent patient care.....etc).

Find a way to be genuine and excited about the job you're applying for.

The sad bit is I've met some ED nurses who have over 20 years experience and are TERRIBLE...honestly surprised stable patients didn't go "bad." Maybe experience isn't everything? I know new nurses are expensive to train, but I think (for some of us at least) our enthusiasm and willingness to learn, combined with a lack of complacency say something, don't they? I just wish more directors would give us a chance!!!

Yeah, I don't think that works at Burger King even. Yes, you just want a job, but try to personalize it to the job you are interviewing for- why do you want THAT job? (Because this job will give me a great foundation and this hospital has a reputation for clinical excellence particularly your recent ____ initiative that earned you a nomination for _____ award......Because this job will give me a broad foundation in nursing skills and allow me to develop as a novice nurse......Because I have heard many positive things about how this hospital/nursing home supports new grads while providing for excellent patient care.....etc).

Find a way to be genuine and excited about the job you're applying for.

I know that " all I want is a job " is the answer no employer wants to hear! I would never say just those words alone! I am not crazy or unprofessional.

Personally as a new grad all I want is a job as an RN, I don't care about the shift or specialty at this point! It is hard enough to find a hospital that hires new grads, it's not the right time to start being picky by focusing on the salary, shift , vacations, specialty! I will learn to love it or hate it! As long as I get to provide care to patients that's what makes me happy.

joanna73, BSN, RN

Specializes in geriatrics.

With all the tips on resume writing and interview skills these days, there is really no excuse for not being prepared. In fact, some of the resumes people post on AN....I can see right away why they are having a hard time. Poor grammar, spelling mistakes, and lists that go on forever. A good resume and interview pays off.

redhead_NURSE98!, ADN, BSN

Specializes in Med/surg, Quality & Risk. Has 9 years experience.

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.

The person with a disability is not the employee in the piece you quoted, so no, they'd not be discriminating against a disability. They'd be trying to fill a position with a person who could actually perform the requirements of the job, such as being available when they are needed. There's no legal protection for people to have afternoons off to take a child to therapy unless they meet the requirements of FMLA, which no brand new employee does. Want flexibility for your personal life, don't ask for a full time job at a hospital.

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?

Agreed, just because a nurse has loads of experience does not make them a instant hire...I have worked with nurses with years of experience who are unpleasant, not a team player and think they own the place because of their years of experience. A good nurse has experience, is a team player with a positive attitude!

Edited by JustBeachyNurse
Formatting

I don't know if it's been said so I'm going to say it. I'm an amazing employee, and I get along with pretty much everybody. However, I'm horrible at interviews. Those interview questions are ridiculous! As an employee I go into work deal with a problem(very well) when it arrives, and forget about it. I don't keep it in my memory bank for your interview questions. Maybe you should realize you missed out on a great employee just because she/he couldn't answer one of your "situation when" questions. I'd be way more concerned about people who can remember/do such things as "gets slightly emotional thinking about a touching story or proud about how they handled conflict with a coworker and actually became friends"

I don't keep it in my memory bank for your interview questions. Maybe you should realize you missed out on a great employee just because she/he couldn't answer one of your "situation when" questions.

That's why it's called preparation. I can't remember situations like that either off the top of my head when I'm nervous. But at home, on my own time, I can spend a few minutes thinking and come up with something. I write it down, and then glance over the situations that I've come up with before leaving my car at the interview. There are tons of guides out on the internet and on this site that can give you an idea of the more common situational questions asked.

It takes a little more effort to consider what questions might be asked and what talking points you want to make sure to hit in an interview, but it really makes interviews much less painful. And, as other hiring folks have pointed out here and elsewhere, yes, we are being evaluated on whether we appear to have made an effort.

texas2007, BSN, RN

Specializes in NICU. Has 2 years experience.

My strength is being a nurse in a clinical setting, it is what I do when I go to work. I am terrible at answering contrived scenario questions in an office setting, I only do that a handful of times a year. There's only so many situation type questions you can prepare for before someone throws you a curveball. I moved last year and I spent quite a while researching these type questions and rehearsing my answers and situations. When the interview came only a few questions that I had even practiced for were asked and there were several others where I had to make something up on the fly. Perhaps I came off unprepared but I HAD prepared- just the ones I had prepared for were not asked.

Instead of focusing so heavily on these kind of interviews, have you thought about placing part of the interview in the setting where the interviewee would be in the clinical setting where they would work? Have them shadow someone for an hour or two. I really think you'd be able tell so much more a candidate's abilities in that time rather than evaluating how well someone is able to BS their way through silly interview questions that are only minimally correlated to how good of a nurse/employee someone may be.

joanna73, BSN, RN

Specializes in geriatrics.

I get through those interview scenario questions by keeping a word file of actual clinical scenarios that I can refer to. My superiors are going to ask for scenarios for my performance reviews anyway.

So true, one has to always be prepared in interviews. It is what professionalism is.

I prepared for interviewing like studying for a test... A very personalized test where the goal is presenting yourself in the best light while using your experiences. I studied behavioral questions online, wrote down situations (you can use the same situation for different questions), and practiced in front of the mirror. I sold them on the fact I was the right person for the job and only had to take the test once. I think confidence can be faked. Eye contact, firm handshake, and breathe. I'm living proof that it doesn't have to be perfect, just convincing that you are a good risk to take, a hard worker who will get along with people and work to make the company a better place.

Larry77, RN

Specializes in Trauma/ED. Has 10 years experience.

Instead of focusing so heavily on these kind of interviews, have you thought about placing part of the interview in the setting where the interviewee would be in the clinical setting where they would work? Have them shadow someone for an hour or two. I really think you'd be able tell so much more a candidate's abilities in that time rather than evaluating how well someone is able to BS their way through silly interview questions that are only minimally correlated to how good of a nurse/employee someone may be.

My wife is a manager in dental and she is able to hire people after a "working interview" but unfortunately there seems to be too many hoops to jump through to get a person "released" to do patient care in a hospital or to even be in the department. It would be nice though.

Some responses on this thread have surprised me, my intent was to help others be more prepared than some of our first day interview candidates (second and third were much better BTW). I don't think it's realistic for management to be able to evaluate someone's skills as a nurse and actually with the modern style interviews these skills are assumed to be present with your certs, experience, and reference checks. We are more importantly shopping for personality and fit...some seem to be saying that's crap and they are terrible at interviews and we need to take them anyway because they are good nurses--that doesn't really make sense to me. The questions are not there to trick you merely to see what kind of person you are. "Can you think of a time when you made a connection with a patient or a case that really sticks out in your head that was emotional?"...would you really not be able to answer that? I can think of at least 5 right now, more if I had time. These are not crazy difficult questions or trick questions. The more difficult, more traditional questions are "What are some of your weaknesses?"...we don't even ask that one in that way anymore. Another question I like to ask is "What are some of the words your coworkers would use to describe you?"...do you think you would have a problem answering that one?

I understand some may have had bad interview experiences but my team is very careful and friendly. Our recruiter's prescreen and warn about the panel style interview, we do a lot of reassuring if the candidate seems nervous. We make sure they know silence is fine if they need to think about an answer, we give them time to ask us questions when we are done and we make sure that we call each one who sits for an interview, whether they are chosen for a position or not. Heck, we even offer each one water :-)

Altra, BSN, RN

Specializes in Emergency & Trauma/Adult ICU.

Just thinking out loud here ... if I were interviewing one of these "great resume nurses" who couldn't be bothered to be prepared to give me examples and sell me on his/her greatness ... how am I to know that you can contribute to solving system problems? Adapt to different levels of intensity? Work cooperatively with your coworkers without drama or tantrums? Where am I going to see that spark in you that says *great patient care*?

It is to both the candidate AND the employer's benefit to hire a **person** not just a **skill set**.