Skype Interview with Cruise Line - page 2

I have just gotten the opportunity to interview via Skype for a cruise ship nurse position. I have never used Skype before, let alone have an interview that was not in person. I plan on doing a few... Read More

  1. by   NedRN
    It is legal not to hire anyone for any private reason. It is if you state publicly a reason or if there is a provable discriminatory pattern of hiring that you run into trouble with EOC.
  2. by   brillohead
    My career game-plan includes becoming a cruise ship nurse after my son graduates and moves out of the house. I love cruising (going on a cruise with three girlfriends over spring break to celebrate my upcoming graduation, in fact) and have no family besides my son, so no problems with not being "home" for eight months straight, etc.

    Each line's program is a little different, but usually your assignment is longer (6 months) than a typical travel assignment to a land-based hospital. If a land-nurse just doesn't work out after a couple weeks, the hospital can get rid of them and replace by having regular staff work OT, bring in another traveler, use PRN staff, etc. But on a cruise, it's not that easy to replace someone on a moment's notice.

    Cruising is just a different mentality -- you have to be an ER Nurse and a Community Health Nurse and an ICU Nurse and an Occupational Health Nurse and a Doctor's Office Nurse all at the same time. You're also dealing with a culturally-diverse population (both staff and customers hail from around the globe) and a wide range of socio-economic backgrounds. You're living in a very small space with very limited options for shopping, entertainment, socialization, etc. Not everyone realizes what it's like to sign up for a stint on a cruise ship.

    I can totally understand why a video-conference-call would be requested for this type of interview, as you need to evaluate the person's ability and willingness to meet all of those varied needs. Body language and facial cues can be important.
  3. by   NedRN
    Great post! Thanks for the insights.
  4. by   wanderlust99
    The cruise job is a travel/contract job? How did you hear about it?

    I don't think the video interview is to see how attractive or skinny you are. It's to show how personable you are and get a better idea of who they are hiring. Many professions outside of nursing utilize video interviewing for this reason.
  5. by   NedRN
    Exactly right: "outside of nursing" (and I don't think it is "many" - most will insist on a interview in person). Again, tens of thousands of assignments are awarded annually to nurse travelers, often without even a phone interview. Video interviews demonstrate nothing about clinical ability and that is why not a single agency or hospital utilizes them. References and evaluations provide that. I'm not sure how a video interview can show how you interact with a patient, only with an interviewer.
  6. by   brillohead
    Quote from getmethisnownurse
    The cruise job is a travel/contract job? How did you hear about it?
    Go to any cruise line's website and check out their jobs link. Some of them hire directly, some of them have a management company that handles their medical clinics which will be mentioned/linked on the website.

    As for the video interview, being a cruise ship nurse is much more than just being a clinician. You are considered to be an officer of the ship, and you have to be willing/able to function as such even when you're not "on duty" as a nurse in the medical clinic. There are expectations of behavior associated with being a ship's officer that don't apply to land-based jobs. When you clock out at the hospital, the hospital doesn't care if you go to the corner convenience store in your jammies on your day off to pick up milk and toilet paper. However, a ship's officer isn't afforded the same freedom.

    If doing a video interview is objectionable, don't apply for a job that wants one. But I don't see how a Skype interview is any different than going down to the HR department at a hospital. If you wouldn't have a problem showing up for an in-person interview, why would it be a big deal to do a Skype interview?
  7. by   NurseRies
    I have read about dialysis nurse cruise jobs, which do things a little differently. All you have to do is prove you are competent, have 3 years experience (current), certification, and register. There are only so many cruises that offer dialysis treatments, so you look at availability. Most are carnival, enchantment of the seas, ya know the popular ones. You are put on stand-by for your cruise. They will either need 1 RN, 2 or 3. If you are stand-by RN II, you may get your cruise job cancelled at the last minute if there aren't enough dialysis patients. They pay for your trip only. You will share a room with same sex nurse. If you want to bring your spouse, they will pay regular price. They said you will work 3 out of 7 days (often 18 hour days on "at-sea" days). On the other 4 days you can do whatever you want including enjoying the pool, bars, islands. You may be on call one of those off days just in case of emergencies. So you don't get paid. But you can enjoy a free cruise and see some awesome sites. If you've ever been on a cruise, it gets expensive!!! Drinks $6-10, excersions extra. So anyways, that's just for The "Dialysis at Sea" company. Even the nephrologists don't get paid! But they get to bring their spouse for free and reimbursements for flights.

    Good luck with your interview! The nurses there do have to be very experienced I bet! My husband had a medical crisis while on the ship on our honeymoon, and when you're at sea, it's pretty scary! I dialed 911 from the room phone bc he couldn't move. Thank god the nurse was able to help. He is okay now .
  8. by   NedRN
    I had dinner tonight with the director of OB/peds at a medium sized hospital (not my specialty area, nor my assignment hospital). She mentioned a bad traveler just hired by one of her managers and wished she could do Skype interviews as she believes she gets a lot from body language. Not practical to do at this point - she say if she doesn't interview presented travelers in 8 hours, they have taken another assignment already. Cruise ships have their pick, and can afford to demand a video interview that is still technically difficult for most people.

    She did do one Skype interview of a long distance manager candidate at the candidate's request. In her units, the docs like to participate in the interview process for managers so they all gathered together for interview. When the candidate came online, she was wearing a t-shirt and sweatpants! What an error in judgment for someone wanting a manager job. Needless to say, she was seriously considered.
  9. by   mattfro60
    So this is my experience. I am currently on a cruise ship right now. They did do a SKYPE interview and it is the head doctor from the company that gives you TNCC and ACLS megacode senarios and they want to see how you react to them. At one point I motioned a "sweeping movent" to suggest clearing the airway and the doctor said to his scribe "note he used a sweeping motion to clear the airway." Its a good tool that I think most companies will eventually go to....we convey 90 percent of communication through body language.

    As for cruise nursing what can I say. If you love paperwork, clinic work and more paperwork than this is for you. I come from a ER background and it is too boring and I feel more like a secretary than anything else. The rooms are smaller than prison cells, the food is well **** and most the crew hate their jobs. The company I am with make the nurses on call 24 hours so there is a ZERO tolerance for any alcohol and you are not allowed to go to the crew bar even to just hang out. Also you are an officer so you always are in uniform and are really restricted in your movements. In the last 3 weeks I have only been able to get off the ship once so Im a little bitter right now and wont be returning to this job.

    It would be better to work a fastaff job and just pay for a cruise so you can actually have fun on it becuase let me tell you cruise ship nursing is NOT FUN, very serious and the nurses always get the brunt of the crap from the staff captain, lead doctor and even the captain sometimes. My coworker got called to the bridge 3 times her first week and quit week 2. Another american just quit after 3 weeks. I am putting in 70-85 hours a week and there is no overtime just salary rate. In my opinion it was set up for 3rd world workers that are willing to do that kind of hours for very little pay if you do the math.

    I put a lot out there but thats that.

  10. by   brillohead
    Quote from mattfro60
    I put a lot out there but thats that.

    Just curious, are you with one of the "major" lines cruising out of a North American port? Have you ever worked with any other line?
  11. by   EMSnut45
    I took the advice of others and "practiced" a few days before-hand to make sure that lighting, clothing, etc. looked ok. The actual interview went well, it was much like the generic interview you would have with an HR recruiter. At the end, I was asked to interview with the Medical Director the following week.

    The Medical Director ran through a few scenarios, some of which were pretty intense! The combination of my EMS and ICU experience really worked well, although I leaned heavily on my EMS experience.

    Immediately afterwards, I was offered a position that starts in a few months and was told which ship I would be assigned to. There is a huge amount of paperwork that needs to be completed as well as a VERY detailed physical exam that I must have completed by my PCP (I believe I will get reimbursed for this once I board the ship).

    I have accepted the position, but I'm looking for the answers to a few questions that I'm still fuzzy about. I know the company does not deduct taxes from their employee's paychecks, so I need to figure out how I end up filing my taxes at the end of the year. I'm also unclear on what passenger areas are off limits to "officers" (since a nurse is an officer) during their time off. I don't want to end up being confined to my cabin-- some outside time would be nice!

    The itinerary for the ship that I was assigned to is fantastic! It will take me to places I have dreamed of seeing (even if only from through a window), but would never be able to visit otherwise.

    Thanks, all, for your words of wisdom!

    Mattfro-- I'd like to pick your brain about some of the questions that I have, but you don't have enough posts for me to PM you.
  12. by   NedRN
    Hopefully they will provide a 1099 form for the IRS. If not, you will need to keep careful track as it is all reprtable income tax. You will add a schedule C to your return. Self employment taxes take a big bite at 15.3% of your income (after any business expense such as travel to the ship). You are supposed to file and pay estimated taxes quarterly.

    Congrats on the cool job! To paraphrase our president, "you are attractive enough."
  13. by   sheronep
    When I appplied for my first RN position I was in Baltimore and the job was in Georgia. We did the interview via skype and it was video. It gave me a chance to see them and for them to see me. I thought it was a great inexpensive way for me to interview.

    Quote from NedRN
    What would be your theory then to require a video interview? Never happens for the placement of over 50,000 travel assignments every year by hospitals dependent on passing close regulatory scrutiny on the clinical abilities and performance of their contingent staffing.