In the world of travel nursing, making a good first impression during the job interview is essential – mainly because you only get one impression. Interviews are almost always done over the phone, and there is no second or third round. We’ve made a list of things travel nurses can do and say during an interview that will make Nurse Managers remember (and hopefully hire!) you.
- Sell your experience
As simple and obvious as it may sound, many applicants find it difficult to brag about their previous experience, especially when put on the spot. It’s important to be able to succinctly summarize your experience without sounding too rehearsed. Understand what experience is needed for the position you’re interviewing for, and make sure to dive into your own experience in this area – don’t undersell your skill-set!
- Let your personality shine through
This is where a phone interview versus an in-person interview can make things tricky. You are solely relying on your voice, and won’t have mannerisms or expressions to showcase your personality – be aware of your tone because the interviewer can’t see your face. Extra enthusiasm and bubbliness helps you come across confidently in the interview. If you’re enthusiastic on the phone, Nurse Managers envision you bringing that same enthusiasm to your job.
Nurse Managers also want to hire someone who will have great rapport with patients and the rest of the staff, so professionalism and friendliness are other aspects of your personality you should embody over the phone.
- Understand and set expectations
When your Nurse Recruiter submits your resume to a Nurse Manager, we always include any time off you’ve requested (which should be minimal on 13-week assignments). However, this can sometimes be overlooked, so it’s beneficial to mention any specific days you would need to take off during the assignment. This can head off any potential misunderstandings later on, and save time if this is somehow a deal-breaker.
- Ask questions
Be prepared with your list of questions so you’re not empty handed when you hear the inevitable words: “Do you have any questions for me?” Here are a few ideas to get your wheels turning.
- Ask about the unit. What is the patient to nurse ratio? What is the patient population like? Is there anything unusual about the unit that you should be aware of?
- Ask what the culture is like. What qualities do you look for when making new hires? What sets the facility apart in terms of internal culture? What is most important to the facility? What is the Nurse Manager’s favorite thing about the facility?
- Ask why they need a spot filled. Is the patient census high? Is someone going on FMLA/maternity leave?
- Wrap it up by stating what you can bring to the facility
Integrate everything you learn about the facility (culture, unit, fellow staff, etc.) with how you can bring value to specific areas. If you learn that the facility’s culture is geared toward evidence-based medicine, highlight your passion for good patient outcomes based on data. If teamwork is important to the facility, describe how you have experience collaborating with other staff to determine treatment plans. Communicate how you can hit the ground running based on your experience.
No matter how many interviews you’ve done, seeing that call coming in from a Nurse Manager can always be a shot to the nerves. Let your Cirrus Medical Staffing Nurse Recruiter guide you through the process to landing your best assignment yet!