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Mar
01

Interview Tips

Wow.

Nurse Teeny has had some sh*tty interview experiences in her time, but this one takes the cake. And ice cream.

And to think of the literal hours I spent researching this hospital, looking at discussion boards about preparing for nursing job interviews and potential questions I might run into, and then coming up with the perfect answers to dozens of these potential questions.

In honor of the countless tips I’ve read and received from professors, peers and strangers online, I thought I’d pen a little note to my interviewer to share my own feedback about those glorious 15 minutes that I will never get back…

Dear Nice Interview Lady Scattered Unit Manager,

Thank you for taking the time to meet with me today. Thank you for making me drive three hours to meet with you for a 15-minute screening interview that could have been accomplished via telephone. As a courtesy to the next schmo who walks off the elevator and into your clutches, I thought I would offer you some sage words of advice gleaned from years of experience common sense:

  • Don’t ask me to spend half the (15-minute) interview reciting my clinical and work history. For one, that was posted with my application, which you should have already reviewed. Plus, I brought you a bright and shiny new copy of my resume that you also looked over when I arrived and commented upon with the words, “Quite impressive.” That would have been flattering had you actually read it, which apparently you didn’t (see below).
  • After I’ve recited my clinical history, beginning with my capstone, don’t ask me five minutes later if I did a capstone rotation. That’s just poor form. Did you even listen to me?
  • When you ask me about my work history (see above), don’t interrupt me halfway through the first job to tell me all about your own family member’s similar job experience, and then use non-person first language referring to a person with developmental disabilities. You should have known by my work history that I spent four years in disability support services. And even if I hadn’t, you’re a health care professional. You should know better.
  • When you ask me a behavioral interview question (“Tell me about a time when you _______”), let me answer the question. Don’t hold your hand up halfway through as if you’re ready to move on. I felt like I was at an audition, not an interview.
  • When you asked me to tell you about a difficult patient experience, I told you about one of my most beloved and memorable patients and then tried to explain how often the provider’s perception of a patient’s difficulty is often really a patient trying to communicate unhappiness, or dissatisfaction, or loneliness, and it’s our responsibility to try to get to the bottom of the situation. It goes both ways. But you kept making faces/rolling your eyes and conveying that all you cared to hear was that he was a grumpy old man. RED FLAG! If you’re a manager and that’s the culture you’re fostering from the top-down, I don’t want to work for you.
  • Halfway through the interview, you mentioned off-handedly that I was interviewing for a 0.6 FTE position (24 hours per week). Um, I thought the open position I had applied for was .8? Alrighty, then. I honestly don’t know if it’s worth moving for a barely half-time job. And I love how you managed to just toss that one in as if it didn’t matter.
  • When it came time for me to ask questions, I had a list of what I wanted to know. But your answers were rushed and quickly followed with “Anything else?” and a forced smile. I barely made it through three of my questions before I gave up.
  • I got no vibe from you that this was a wonderful place to work. I got a frazzled, scattered, harried woman who seemed in a hurry to get through the interview and get me out the door.

Thanks for nothin’,

Nurse Teeny

All told, were I to actually receive an offer, my gut says no. I know, I’m crazy. And my bank account would be shaking me silly if it could.

But a job is not just a job. Especially as a new grad. I know I can’t afford to be too picky. But I also can’t afford not to be.

Have I totally lost it?

P.S. On a good note, I got two more interview calls today! Woop woop! One for another Med-Surg position at a brand spankin’ new community hospital, another for a telemetry RN residency at the same hospital where I interviewed today. Different floor though. Can’t hold one manager’s crappy personality against a whole facility!

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