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Strange interview question


Specializes in Cath Lab, EP. Has 10 years experience.

So I'm interviewing for a per diem job in an ICU at a trauma center in the metro and one of the questions the HR guy asks me is:

"Do you like to clean up after parties?"

First I chuckled because I caught myself almost saying "No, I'm usually waaay too hungover to do ANYTHING:smokin:." Then I said: "I will help out if need be, but I would GLADLY pay someone else to do it."

What in the hell kind of question is that???? What kind of person LIKES to clean up after parties....


Specializes in ER, OR, PACU, TELE, CATH LAB, OPEN HEART. Has 33 years experience.

HOW ODD. I am not sure how that pertains to your skills as an ICU/TRAUMA nurse for PRN pool.

Seriously? Did he mean to say, "Do you like to clean up after patients?"

Well that question definitely came out of the blue.......Who knows what his ultimate plan was??????? :lol_hitti

Hope you get the position and stay away from the HR Guy!


Music in My Heart

Specializes in being a Credible Source. Has 11 years experience.

I think that sometimes these out-of-left-field questions are intended to probe how easily you're thrown off stride. Some people might respond with an attitude or simply be dumbstruck... or respond with your "too hungover" comment (which would be bad, I think).

You responded with a rational, reasonable reply to what was an irrational, unreasonable question... and you emphasized your willingness to pitch in and get the job done.

Dumb question but nicely handled.

classicdame, MSN, EdD

Specializes in Hospital Education Coordinator.

maybe he was trying to determine if you will stay till the work is done, or leave as soon as you can hit the door.

smn2010, BSN, RN

Specializes in Psychiatric Nurse. Has 11 years experience.

the question does sound wierd for an interview but i understand it...

i worked on a pediatric unit for 2 years. there were several nurses who were always putting together pot luck events. they would set the date and then make sure staff would sign up to bring something in to eat/drink. after the pot luck was over....the food, drink would sit, and sit, and sit... it was the expectation that "others" would clean up the mess. of course, the nurses (managers included) that always arranged the pot lucks felt that it was beneath them to clean up. the day shift would always organize the event--often leaving the night shift out of the loop. so, often, the night shift was "expected" to do the clean up. most of the time, the night shift never even knew anything about the pot luck. we (night shift) usually brought our own lunch/dinner to work (or would order out as a group) to eat on so we didn't really eat the pot luck items that were sitting out. it became very annoying for us, working nights, to have to clean up the "mess" left by the day shift. eventually, it was decided that all pot luck items would be put away at the end of each shift and if the on-coming shift wanted to eat any of the pot luck food, they could get it out of the refrigerator/freezer, themselves.

the question sounds wierd and out of place; but, i would imagine the person asking the interview question was/is a person that likes unit parties....but doesn't like to clean up afterwards.

one thing for sure, that question lets you know what the interviewer (a manager i would imagine) thinks "clean up" is an important skill to have on their unit.

good luck with the job! :up:

I guess what the HR guy was trying to dig was How well do you do after care. I've had my related learning experience in an ICU years ago and it was a total care..that included after care of the patient. It was a one on one care, which means you are in-charged of everything. From giving medications to cleaning up all the patients stool or urine or in layman's term "POOP". Now a days, some facilities are laying off CNA or LVNs that is why most of them requires nurses to be ALL-IN-ONE function. They need nurses who can function well in terms of knowledge, skills, and Attitude. That if the case need them to clean up a messy patient who just defecated in his bed, she/he will not give any negative attitude towards it. ^^

The question thrown to you was actually appropriate, though the real intention and meaning was hidden. Instead of using medical terms, he chose to use layman's term. He works in a HR department thus his medical terms and ideas were limited, but the whole essence was actually there. He will get an idea on how well you will respond to such scenario, esp. for the position you applied for. ^^


Specializes in Home Care.

"Do you like to clean up after parties?"

Definitely a "are you a team player" kind of question that determines how you feel about assisting co-workers in not so pleasant tasks as well as determining if you're going to stick your nose up when it comes to bathing a patient and other "dirty" work.

I think its a good question :)

My husband is a head of a department and often conducts interviews. When he just started the job he bought a book "how to conduct a successful interview". One of the suggestions in the book was to ask a totally unrelated, strange question to throw the interviewee off in order to get them thinking on the spot in case they have rehearsed answers to expected questions. Once he came up with a question " if you would be an animal, what would you be? "

It could be that your interviewer was doing just that.

Music in My Heart

Specializes in being a Credible Source. Has 11 years experience.

Once he came up with a question " if you would be an animal, what would you be?"
Why a nurse shark, of course... not only is it a nurse, it's nocturnal so the NOC shift is a-OK with me.


Specializes in Cath Lab, EP. Has 10 years experience.

I totally figured it out guys:

"Analytical Style: Financial Manager (or programmers, engineers, and accountants). They like systems and procedures. They are slow to make decisions because they will analyze things to death--but their decisions are usually very sound. They prefer working independently and are usually not very good in team environments, but they are also dependable. They buy cars with good resale value and great gas mileage. They are conservative dressers. At the party, they want to know why so much money was spent on Michelob when we could have purchased Busch. They come to the party with their laptops.

Amiable Style: Human Resources Manager. Very people-focused. They are dependable, loyal and easygoing; very compassionate. They will give you the shirt off their backs and the last nickel in their pockets. They are good listeners and value team players who don't "rock the boat." They are usually conformists and followers--rarely leaders. They avoid conflict and are not good decision makers. They drive four-door sedans or mini-vans to take the kids to sporting events. They usually clean up after the party is over.

Expressive Style: Sales Manager. Very outgoing and enthusiastic, with a high energy level. They are also great idea generators, but usually do not have the ability to see the idea through to completion. Very opinionated and egotistical. Money motivated. They can be good communicators. They prefer to direct and control rather then ask and listen. They drive red convertibles with great stereos; to heck with the gas mileage. They come up with the idea for a company party, but never help clean up. They are on their way to another party.

Driver: Corporate CEO. Intelligent, intense, focused, relentless. They thrive on the thrill of the challenge and the internal motivation to succeed. Money is only a measure of success; it is not the driving factor. They are results/performance oriented. They have compassion for the truly disadvantaged, but absolutely no patience or tolerance for the lazy or whiners. They drive prestige cars, not because the car attracts attention, but because it was a wise investment. They want to know why we had a party; what were the benefits of the party, and did we invite the banker?"

This makes MUCH more sense in the context of all the other questions they asked me like "do you consider yourself a sales or a caregiver personality?" Anyway, here's the link:


CoffeeRTC, BSN, RN

Has 25 years experience.

Only if I was invited to the party:D


Specializes in LTC, Memory loss, PDN. Has 23 years experience.

"I don't party all night, so I always leave early".

I think it's a question regarding your character." If you are a team player. " But if I was in your situation and I was asked the same question, I probably wouldn't have get it as well after a few seconds. You answered your interviewer well.

geesh, this BS reminds me why i work strictly agency.....

freesia29, LPN, RN

Specializes in Urgent Care. Has 8 years experience.

We get weird questions at the border all the time....going between Canada and the US..I figure it's because they want to see your natural reaction, and they can learn a lot about you that way.

Last time DH was asked if he had a "body in the trunk?"......***???? LOL!! I guess if someone was hiding something...they would freak out.....we just laughed and said " I'm sorry, did you just say body in the trunk?"......