THE NURSING INTERVIEW-WHAT TO ASK & WHY

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THE NURSING INTERVIEW-WHAT TO ASK & WHY

WHY ASK QUESTIONS, WHAT DOES IT DO FOR ME:
Asking questions during an interview shows your interest and also lets the person interviewing you, know what you are looking for as well. It is important to remember a job will be a big part of your life. Ask yourself what is important to you? What do you need and want out of a job? That is always where you should start. Money is very important, but not the most important thing. Remember, a job can change your life in many ways, including how happy you are when you go home. I have found that most companies appreciate when you ask them questions. It shows them that you are seriously considering what they have to offer. You are not simply there just to see what the compensation will be. I think it is very important to also learn a bit about the company before you interview. This shows preparation and interest in what they do and who they are. It is important to know things like how long they have been open, their mission, their hours, their timeline of changes, their growth, their leaders, how many employees they have, and any recent major changes they have made.

ASKING ABOUT THE COMPENSATION:
In the beginning interviews (you may have several), I would gently tip toe around compensation topics. Sometimes companies need to feel you out first and determine what they are willing to pay you. They may base this on your experience, expertise, and/or what value they feel you will bring to the company. Compensation is a very important topic, but that should NOT be your first question. There are so many factors to consider. What hours would you be required to work? What benefits are available (401K, health insurance, life insurance, paid time off, continuing education)? Most employers will be upfront with you on most of these things. They want to persuade you to come on board, so most companies will give you an idea of what they offer. But be very cautious about asking about compensation right away, you do not want to give off the wrong impression that only money matters.

BE FLEXIBLE BUT NOT DESPERATE:
The interview also sets a tone for what you expect & need as well. A key detail is to be open and flexible but avoid being desperate. Acting desperate & being flexible are two different things. When you are being flexible you show that you are a team player, you help others, you care about the company and it’s success. When you act desperate, you will do anything that you are asked even if it compromises your lifestyle, family values, and/or pre-arranged plans. Being desperate can lead you down a path of feeling burnt out, unhappy, and under-compensated. This can lead to lack of boundaries between your work and personal life. Everyone should have some sort of boundaries and many employers understand this (the good ones, anyways). It it is ok to be flexible within your boundaries as well, lets not forget that. But know your limits and what is important to you. The companies usually know what they are looking for, so if your boundaries conflict what they need in an employee, it might be best that a mutual contract is not developed.

HAVING TO GO THROUGH SEVERAL INTERVIEWS, WHAT IS THE DEAL:
Interviewing can be a rigorous, emotional process. It is truly a roller coaster. We would all love to be told, 3 seconds after our interview, “Congrats, we want to offer you the job!”. But that is not how it always works. Be patient but be persistent. Write a thank you letter and address how much you truly enjoyed meeting them and hope to be able to work with them in the future. Give them feedback that you are interest in the job after what you have talked about with them (if you truly are). I have noticed some of the best employers that I have had were the ones who were more rigorous and lengthy through the interview process. If you are asked to more interviews it shows their interest in you. And I would appreciate the fact that they are cautious in who they hire. Who they hire might just be your co-worker or manager!

These are some things to keep in mind when you are interviewing. Don’t get discouraged. You will find something that fits what you are looking for! Remember to think about what you want but also be flexible enough to do something that is different than what you expected. Good luck to you on your search!

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