Nurse Interview Primer
Many people dread the interview process. As a nurse, you may find that in addition to being a qualified healthcare professional, you also have to become proficient at handling interviews. One piece of advice that is often thrown about when people are discussing interview tips is to ask questions. “Make sure you have questions to ask the interviewer!” While that is good advice, it is sometimes easier said than done. When in the moment, even the best interviewers can lose their train of thought, so here is a handy-dandy collection of potential questions to have written down before your interview (Or, feel free to print this post and keep it handy.) For organization purposes, the questions are grouped into categories.
Ask about the Unit you will be working in:
- The number of beds/types of patients/nurse to patient ratio?
- Is there special equipment in use?
- What type of charting/documentation system is being used?
- If scrubs are required uniforms, is there a required color being used?
- How often are travelers utilized in the unit?
- What would be my daily responsibilities on the unit?
- How many travelers usually work on the unit?
- What is the expected start date?
Ask about the Schedule:
- What is the work shift? Is it a rotating shift, if so how does the rotation work?
- Are split shifts utilized?
- Are weekend shifts required? If so, how often?
- Is a “Charge position” available at any time?
- Is Overtime available or mandatory?
- Please explain your Call Policy, if it is required?
Find out about any Float Policies:
- Will floating be required? If so, how often?
- Does travel staff float first or in rotation with perm staff?
- Do travelers float into similar units? Can you give me examples of which ones?
- Will I float throughout the hospital? Will there be times where I float to more than one unit in a shift?
- What is the orientation policy for units to be floated into?
Important first-day information to answer:
- Can you describe the orientation process for the facility and/or the unit?
- Do you know who will be my preceptor or specific resource person?
- What types of testing is required? Are study guides available?
- Where do I report on Day one and at what time?
- Who should I ask for upon arrival?
- Should I wear a uniform on Day one?
- Is there free parking? If not, what is the cost and where is it located?
The above questions are a guideline, and many will be answered in the normal course of the interview process by the hiring manager or interviewer. At a minimum, you would be doing well to have an answer to any of these questions when applicable to the upcoming assignment.
Time-saving Tip: Instead of writing down all of the above questions, copy the text from this blog post and paste it into a Word document. Then, add some spacing so you can jot down the answers as you go through the interview process.
What are your go-to questions for travel interviews? Help your fellow travelers and share your insights in the comment section below or head over to our Facebook page and share your best questions.