As a travel nurse, telephone interviews for your next assignment are very common. Have you ever wondered what nurse managers would really like to hear, or exactly what to say? We have gathered the following advice from top recruiters on how to make a great impression in your next telephone interview!
Before picking up the phone, take a moment to gather your thoughts, take a deep breath, and smile to yourself. You can always tell when someone on the other end of the phone is relaxed or nervous, and preparing for a few moments beforehand can make a world of difference. If you make the call and there is no answer, leave a message including your name, a brief reason for your call (i.e. the available position), a call back number, and a time when you are available to conduct a nursing interview. Be proactive with your message. If your call is answered, but the nurse manager is not available, follow up by asking if there is someone else who can conduct the interview. If not, find out when would be a good time for you to call back? People have a tendency to speak quickly on voicemail, so slow down and be deliberate in what you say!
Speak slowly and clearly, and have a strong introduction, i.e. “My name is Betty Smith. I am interested in your 13 Day position in the ER. I have over 7 years experience working trauma, I am licensed, and I can start in 4 weeks. Is this a good time to interview with you?”
During the nursing interview, sell your nursing experience. “I come from a teaching hospital” or "I have over 5 years experience and I am already licensed.” Remember, this is your opportunity to provide as much information as you can to someone who may only know you through a resume, and that is only if he/she has had a chance to read it. Be yourself while remaining professional throughout the interview. Keep in mind, the interview is not only an opportunity for the NM to get to know you, it is also your opportunity to get to know the position and the facility. Make the call count!
Completing the Interview
Your introduction will set the tone for the interview. How you end the call will set the tone for how you are remembered. Ask questions! Gather as much information as you can to leave yourself with the knowledge to make an informed decision. If you feel great about the position, inform the NM of your interest, and follow with a question such as, “What is the next step?” or “Will my start date work for you?” The answer to these questions will leave you with an idea of what to expect next.
Remember, the nursing interview, especially for traveling nurses, is your opportunity to provide as much information as you can about yourself while gathering as much information possible about where you are expressing an interest to work. Prepare yourself for the interview in advance, relax, and be yourself! And remember, if for some reason you don’t get the offer or you decide after the interview that you are no longer interested, there will be many more opportunities available to you. Interviewing is great experience and the more you do it, the more comfortable, natural, and relaxed you will feel.
Read what your nursing peers have to say about travel nurse assignments.
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