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The Above and Beyond question in an interview

Nurses   (697 Views | 7 Replies)

1,426 Profile Views; 30 Posts

Every time I'm interviewed for a new job they hit me with the tired cliched phrase "tell me how you've gone above and beyond." I do have an answer but it's so "above and beyond" that it may be too much for them as I always see the hiring managers staring at me with a "wat" look. When the Employee of the Month is posted at work it's always about going "above etc" but truthfully I read the entry and it's well, doing your job.

 

So what is really, above and beyond? I care for my patients, listen to their concerns, pick up trash all over the hallways as well as the patient rooms, bathe and provide oral care to my patients because, well, I can't trust it to be done otherwise. But that's average nursing. So what's your answer to the cliche, how would you tell the hiring managers that you're above and beyond the rest?

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Jedrnurse has 25 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in school nurse.

1,479 Posts; 14,056 Profile Views

You could always tell them that you NETY 30% more new grads than the average staff nurse...😈

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Asystole RN is a BSN, RN and specializes in Vascular Access, Infusion Therapy.

2,283 Posts; 25,402 Profile Views

You are approaching this question very linearly and literally. 

This is considered a softball question allowing you to highlight a strength that was not already covered. You should have a relatively simple but good example of what you did beyond the basics. 

Lets say your strength is time management and you have not discussed that already. You could say that you have a strong sense of time management supported by long experience honed strategies that support that sense. What you did to go above and beyond was to share those strategies with your colleagues and work with a manager to help develop unit based strategies taking a core element from your personally developed strategies. 

Personally I like the harder questions like;

  • How many ping pong balls would fill a limousine?
  • What was the size of the hot dog market in 2018?
  • If you were a shoe, what kind of shoe would you be and why?
  • You are going to open hospitals in Africa, what 3 countries would you open them in and why?

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1 Follower; 3,282 Posts; 45,376 Profile Views

I'd need to know what your answer is that it apparently shocks the hiring manager. I can't imagine why you can't use it as your answer?

I tell about a time I was charge nurse in ICU. Due to sick calls staff consisted of float RNs and LVNS. We, and the patients, survived the night. That morning I sent a note to their managers praising their help and "we can do this" attitude.

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JadedCPN has 13 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in Pediatrics, Pediatric Float, PICU, NICU.

1 Follower; 834 Posts; 7,932 Profile Views

I agree with brownbook, I think your answer may give more insight. If it is the basic run of the mill "above and beyond" type of story, I don't see what the problem is. But if your above and beyond story involves things that may trigger red flags regarding personal and professional boundaries, for example, then that may be where the problem is. 

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Been there,done that has 33 years experience as a ASN, RN.

4 Followers; 6,241 Posts; 69,584 Profile Views

That's a  loaded question.  I always answered with the time I stayed over.. on my own time , to escort my patient out the door. I had worked ALL day to get him home. Wasn't going to make him wait any longer for transport.

 Bottom line is ... the answer is.. how did you improve HCAHPS scores.

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30 Posts; 1,426 Profile Views

6 hours ago, JadedCPN said:

I agree with brownbook, I think your answer may give more insight. If it is the basic run of the mill "above and beyond" type of story, I don't see what the problem is. But if your above and beyond story involves things that may trigger red flags regarding personal and professional boundaries, for example, then that may be where the problem is. 

Boundaries may be exactly the thing. Without outing myself I'll say it was a difficult discharge of a very anxious patient that the CM gave a line of BS to so she could leave for the weekend, leaving the patient and her extreme anxiety in the hands of nursing. I handled it but it was much outside of my scope of practice. I don't know why I haven't made the connection before.

6 hours ago, Been there,done that said:

That's a  loaded question.  I always answered with the time I stayed over.. on my own time , to escort my patient out the door. I had worked ALL day to get him home. Wasn't going to make him wait any longer for transport.

 Bottom line is ... the answer is.. how did you improve HCAHPS scores.

And now I have my new answer. Thanks everyone.

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Davey Do has 41 years experience and specializes in Psych, CD, HH, Admin, LTC, OR, ER, Med Surge.

15 Followers; 1 Article; 6,384 Posts; 79,639 Profile Views

On 1/2/2020 at 1:11 PM, mikeworksRN said:

 "tell me how you've gone above and beyond."

A  Surgeon I once worked with said he had performed a miracle when he made a blind man lame.

Is that going above and beyond? Or under and inside?

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