Sept 2009 Traveler Times
Our Top 10 Tips for a "Got-the-Job" Phone Interview
How to Lock Up your Next Travel Nurse Job with a Winning Interview
Your consultant has arranged for you to be interviewed for a travel nursing job that sounds perfect. You really want the job, and you know you'd be great at it. But first you've got to get hired. And that means successfully negotiating the all-important phone interview. Whether you're new to travel nursing, or you've been traveling for a while, it's always a good idea to refresh yourself on the essential interview skills.
First, the basics. Keep your cell phone with you, and answer it every time it rings. The hospital's caller ID may not display, so bear that in mind around the time you expect the call. If by chance you do miss the call, return it right away. If you've been asked to contact the hospital for the interview, do so as soon as possible. In today's job market, employers have more choices than ever. They're able to make hiring decisions quickly, so don't miss your moment.
Once you've made the connection, keep these Top 10 Tips in mind:
- Stay and sound alert. Minimize distractions — tv, radio, pda, well-meaning family members — so you can stay focused. Some people find that standing during the interview keeps them "on their toes."
- Do some research on the hospital you're interviewing with. Ask your consultant for information or look the facility up online. Be sure to write down the name and phone number of the travel nurse jobs manager who's doing the interview. Using the manager's name once or twice during the interview can help establish a more engaged conversation.
- Stay on topic and answer questions fully and to the point. Avoid casual conversation and conduct yourself professionally.
- Know your resume and skills checklist like the back of your hand. You’ll be asked specific questions about your qualifications and answering quickly (just as you would make quick decisions as a travel nurse on the floor) will help you make points in the travel nursing job interview. Always present yourself as competent and reliable.
- Write down any questions you may have for the travel nurse manager, and be sure to ask them. Questions regarding available shifts, floating, nurse patient ratios and travel nurse job scheduling will give you insight into the quality of nurse management. Be sure to ask any clinical questions you many have about the travel nurse job. Will you be administering meds or transporting patients? Is the hospital using a computerized patient care system? What type of travel nursing job orientation can you expect?
- Smile during the phone interview. Believe it or not, smiling will help convey a positive, upbeat tone which nurse managers consider an asset to their staff – some say they can "hear" the smile in your voice.
- Flexibility with dates, shifts and schedules will increase your hiring potential. Make sure the travel nurse manager knows you have a reputation for being prompt and are a team player. Avoid the need for specific requests for time off while on an assignment; however when they are unavoidable be sure to let your Consultant know in advance and be sure to bring this up during the phone interview. Be flexible and offer something in exchange such as an extra weekend or holiday shift.
- Keep paper and pen handy so you can take notes. Asking interviewers to repeat themselves may show that you’re distracted.
- As the interview comes to a close, verify important travel nurse job details such as start date, shift, unit, floor and length of travel nursing job. Some of these details may have changed since your consultant first presented the travel nursing job to you. If the interviewer doesn’t specify, ask what the next step is in the travel nurse job interview process. Will the hospital being calling your American Traveler consultant for a follow up, or will they be calling you?
- Ensure that you are available for the dates and times discussed in the interview. Enthusiasm for the job is key ... so don’t forget to tell the interviewer that you want the travel nurse job, and call your American Traveler consultant immediately after the interview to discuss how things went.
For more tips on getting that travel nursing job, click here »