No matter how long you have been in a field or if you’re entering a new one, the interview process is inevitably the most daunting to experience. Nobody likes to be openly judged, yet with that being the whole point, it can be both uncomfortable and make you not always act your authentic self. What helps with this process? Knowing what’s coming before you enter the door. Thankfully, with all of the travel nurses who entered the industry before you, there is plenty of information available to help you get a good footing on what’s about to come. With that being said, here is your guide to nailing the job interview as a travel nurse!
At this point, it should be pretty obvious you are applying for a travel nurse position, meaning you and the recruiter won’t be in the same place at the same time. Therefore, it’s great to know your interview will generally be set up via phone or zoom call. In saying this, you are also in demand. Therefore, the interview process will move as quickly and efficiently as possible and you will need to be doing the same.
The Travel Nurse Pre-interview
Yes, there may be a pre-interview you will undergo. But don’t worry, it’s not as tedious or meticulous as the actual interview. Think of it more as a fact-checker. They are merely wanting a light conversation to double-check your skillsets, experience and any other information they need before scheduling the actual interview. As long as you have all of your information available i.e. licenses, certifications and details on procedures you are proficient in, then you will be totally fine through this process.
This also isn’t a time to dive into your own questions. You can keep all the prepping you need to do for your actual interview.
The Travel Nurse Interview
Now, while we try our best to prepare you for the process of nailing the interview, there are also some aspects we can’t pin down completely. For instance, your interview could be a 10-minute conversation or an hour-long process of interview questions and curiosities about your experiences. Along with this, there also isn’t much information on who will be conducting the interviews, but we do know there are three options:
- Managers, supervisors or other authority figures: whether it is someone from the hospital or their hiring manager, this interviewing process is a little less set in stone. You could be invited to discuss typical topics or be asked to dig a little deeper into your qualifications and experiences. Not in a frightening way, but in a “be prepared” way. Don’t be surprised by very specific questions. The beneficial part about being interviewed by these individuals is that this is your chance to propose specific questions. You can ask questions about patients, floating, scheduling or even scrub color.
- Managed Service Providers: when the hospital is too busy to conduct travel nurse interviews, they employ representatives to complete the task. This means the list of questions you will receive will be more on the generic side while the budding questions you want to ask will most likely be unanswered. If this is the case, ask your recruiter to retrieve the answers for you.
- Automated interviews: while rare, you could have an instance where you’re talking to a voice recording rather than a person. This means you will be asked a question and your answer will be recorded or you may be asked to have written answers. Once again, easier to prepare for, but not so great if you needed to ask your own questions.
Key Points For Your Travel Nurse Interview:
While we are so used to an in-person interview process, we don’t realize how much is being lost over the phone. Because of this, it would be significant for you to really think about how what you are saying and the way you are saying it can now have an impact on your image. A little bit of a daunting concept but one we are here to help you with.
- Remember to follow the three Cs to be confident, comfortable and capable.
- Make sure you are speaking slowly and deliberately. The last thing you need is for someone to continuously request what you are saying because you are speaking too quickly or nervously.
- Collect all of your thoughts, organize them and stick to the point. Only answer what the question is asking and avoid moving into larger details and stories.
- Along with speaking in confidence, make sure to not up-speak your sentences. This means concluding the sentence with a rise in your voice that causes you to come off as unsure.
- Just because they can’t see you, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still be smiling and laughing throughout the call. Interviewers can hear positivity and lightness in your voice. Keeping the conversation light-hearted while staying serious can make for a more comfortable interview process not only for you but for the interviewer themselves.
What Questions Will The Interviewer Ask Me?
If this all seems a little too easy written down then don’t be afraid to practice. You can achieve this by writing down answers and practicing in front of the mirror to the following questions:
- What is your specialty and what certifications do you carry?
- Where did you receive nursing training?
- What types of hospitals or healthcare facilities have you worked in?
- Do you have any experience as a travel nurse?
- Why do you want to be a travel nurse?
- Why would you like to work here?
- What are your most significant professional accomplishments?
- How do you respond to high-stress situations?
If you’ve become an expert at answering these questions, you can go ahead and carry out more research on deeper questions that interviewers commonly ask online!
What Questions Can I Ask During My Travel Nurse Interview?
It is extremely common to have questions in an interview, especially for a job where we need to be travelling away from home. Do not be afraid to ask questions you need to know to help you comprehend the position more clearly. These can include:
- What will my main responsibilities be?
- What is the scheduling process?
- What will the nurse-to-patient ratio be and what is the patient population?
- How many other travel nurses are working or have worked in this facility? Have any of them been extended?
- What is the orientation process?
- What is the most common challenge nurses face in this unit?
- Will I be required to float?
- Is there overtime available?
- What type of charting system is used?
And any other questions about your travel nurse assignment you may have floating in your mind!
Your Negotiating Process
While you are applying to work for them, it is essential to make it work best for you. In this specific role, making sure you are obtaining everything you need is imperative. Work out the specifics if you can. This can include start and end dates, approved time off, floating, shift schedules, etc. These changes will then be added in writing to your concrete so they will be set in stone!
Where Should I Do My Travel Nurse Interview?
In a peaceful, quiet and non-distracting space (including pets). Wherever feels most comfortable for you is important, but just imagine yourself on the other end of the line with a noisy background. It can get quite irritating. So as long as you can avoid this then you will be perfectly fine.
What Do I Do Next After My Travel Nurse Interview?
Along with waiting, there is a few things you can do.
Firstly, you can reach out to your interviewer via email and thank them for their time. It isn’t a traditional step to take but showing compassion can be a considerable way to help get you through the door and get you one step closer to your dream travel nurse assignment!
Next, look to your recruiter for follow-ups. They will be able to confirm your interview, specify any details that were discussed during the interview and make sure everything will be placed in your contract.
Lastly, and the most common thing to do, is waiting. Don’t sit and ponder over what you did, said or what the recruiter may be thinking. Go for a walk, grab a coffee or see some family or friends. You will have your answer soon enough!
The interview process isn’t all doom and gloom. With the right preparations, you’ll be set to nail your travel nursing interview! If you have any more questions on how the process of travel nursing goes, please don’t hesitate to contact us here!