#1: Be Specific
Behavioral interviewing constitutes a significant portion of nursing interviews and many nurses struggle to succeed during this portion of the interview. Hiring managers want specific instances that showcase a particular skill. They are less concerned about how you feel or think about a characteristic and more concerned about what you did in the past that highlighted the characteristic. For example, a hiring manager will want to know how you have exemplified critical thinking in the past because how you exemplified it in the past will be the best indicator as to how you will exemplify it in the future.
Luckily, as a travel nurse, you will have a diverse background of experiences to pull from and should be able to prepare numerous specific instances where you shined. You shouldn’t be thinking of these situations during the interview; they should have been developed prior to the interview.
#2: Speak to Resource Utilization
As a travel nurse, you don’t have the luxury of longevity. Others will be around for the indefinite future, but you are here for a relatively short period of time. This means that you will have to know and utilize the resources provided by the organization. The most notable resource is your co-workers. Make sure that you don’t come across as hyper-independent as you will struggle without the help of those around you. If you can let them know you are not afraid to ask for help and will utilize the resources you provided, it will put them at ease and make hiring managers comfortable extending an offer.
#3: Exemplify Flexibility
It is hard to find a better characteristic for a nurse than flexibility. All the more so for a travel nurse who changes jobs on a consistent basis. If you come across as rigid and resistant to change you won’t be helping your chances of acing the interview. Share instances where you adapted to change. Let them know that you like variety and can thrive in a variety of settings. Any manager appreciates staff members who are flexible.
#4: Demonstrate Professional Communication
Nurses interact with numerous other professions depending on specialty. Strong professional communication skills will help give the hiring manager confidence in you during the interview as well as help you to gain the confidence of your colleagues in the future. A great way to express this is through proper utilization of the SHARE (situation, hindrance, action, results, evaluation) model (or a similar model) during behavioral interviewing. Showcasing professional communication during an interview will set you apart from other candidates.
#5: The Right Attitude
A positive attitude goes a long way in an interview, similar to other characteristics such as integrity and respect. Often healthcare organizations hiring traveling nurses are short staffed and staff can be stressed out. Hiring managers don’t want to risk bringing in a negative candidate who complains and brings down morale. They want someone who is going to infuse energy and life into the unit. Bringing a positive attitude to the interview is a key piece to acing your nursing interview.
Acing a nursing interview doesn’t require extensive knowledge but some tact and preparation. Add these tips to your skillset and you’ll ace your next travel nursing interview.