This can be a daunting and intimidating process for first-time traveler nurses, or really anyone who has never done a phone interview. Some companies will have you fill out questions and videos online, and others will just have the manager or hiring director contact you directly for an interview. But either way, it is important to remember that you are interviewing the hospital as much as they are interviewing you, especially since you most likely know very little about the hospital/nursing facility. Remember, this is your license, so you want to make sure you are choosing safe places to practice in. Below you will find some tips for the travel nurse interview.
I have now been through about 15 of these phone interviews, and almost everyone has started with “so, tell me about yourself” after making the introductory greetings. This is your chance to sell yourself by highlighting your most proud nursing accomplishments while also infusing your personality into the interview. Set yourself apart from other applicants that have been asked the same question, express your desire to be in that specific city, throw in some humor and appropriate sarcasm, but most importantly let them know who you are as a person. They asked a generic question, so you get to sell yourself in whatever way you choose! Managers are looking for people that will meet the required standards, but that will also mesh well with their existing staff. It does not good for either party to pretend to be someone you aren’t, because there is a chance that you will not be the best match for the position and could potentially be miserable for the next 13 weeks.
One of the most important things I have learned through this process is to ask them plenty of questions. Even if you can’t think of super deep, insightful questions, just ask a bunch. This puts the manager in a position to offer as many details about the unit as possible so that you have the best picture in your mind about what it might be like.
Ask hard ones in a polite fashion, because these can be very telling about the unit culture, the drama included, the ratios, and potential issues that might arise on the assignment. I have had people that re-frame or completely divert the question entirely which is a huge red flag, and ones that seem to see everything through rose colored glasses which can also be a quick indicator. All in all, be yourself, infuse as much personality as you can, be confident, and ask many questions. Most importantly trust your gut. If you have a bad feeling about a place, trust it!
A non-comprehensive list of interview questions:
- Will I be floated to other units?
- Are the hours guaranteed?
- Is there a possibility that I would be a charge nurse?
- Are there mandated ratios?
- Do you have security that stays in the ED?
- What is the general vibe of the night shift crew?
- Will I be working in the Trauma Bays?
- What is the relationship between the physicians and the nurses?
- Am I allowed to pick up OT//How much?
- What is the uniform at that hospital?
- Is there free parking?
- What hours are the shifts (6-6 or 7-7)
- Why are you currently in need of travelers?
- What computer system do you use?
- Would there be a possibility of extending my contract at the end?
- Do you have EMTs, Medics, or CNA’s
- Do I need any specific training in order to do triage?
- Is your psych unit secured? Is security back there with you?
We hope that these tips for your travel nurse interview help you along your way here are a few more articles with even more tips:
- Five Tips for Acing Your Travel Nurse Video Interview
- 10 Nursing Interview Questions And How To Answer
- Travel Nurse Interview Prep