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Nine great questions to ask at a nursing interview

The day has come for your big interview; you’ve secured the right visa and certifications, made it through the initial stages, and now you’re face-to-face with your potential new employer.

As a savvy job candidate, you will have researched the organisation or hospital, know the job role inside-out, and be prepared for whatever questions you’re asked. But, have you prepared any questions for the interviewer?

Whether you’re interviewing for a job as a registered nurse (RN) or for another healthcare position in a US facility, Conexus Medstaff has put together a list of top 10 questions to ask the interviewer.

1) What kind of further training do you provide?

Enquiring whether there’s a formal training and development programme in place will show a potential employer that you take your career seriously and are looking to develop your skills. Listen carefully to their answer to make sure this is an employer who values its staff and wants them to succeed in the long-term.

2) Do you supply scrubs?

In the US, depending on what kind of organisation you’re working in, it’s not uncommon for nurses to provide their own scrubs. Most hospitals do provide scrubs, but it’s always worth addressing uniform requirements at the interview stage.

3) What are the main challenges of working in this department/facility?

This question will help you gain an understanding of the specific requirements of the job role, and what might be in store for you on a day-to-day basis.

4) Are there any specific skills that the department is currently lacking?

Not only does this question tell you the skills that your potential workplace are short on, but it also provides an opportunity to highlight or reaffirm any of your skills to the interviewer that you think might help to plug these gaps.

5) Ask a question about the job role

If there’s anything in the job description that you’re unsure of, now is the perfect time to ask for more information. This allows you to delve deeper into some aspects of the role that may not have been addressed in any significant detail up to that point. This will also show the interviewer that you’ve paid close attention to the job description, and that you are likely to take the role, with all of its responsibilities, seriously.

6) How would you describe the style of the management team?

This shows that you respect the role of the management team, and take what they do seriously. Asking about the wider team gives you an idea of your colleagues and their style of working. Armed with this information, you’re likely to find it easier to slot in from day one.

7) Why are you recruiting for this role?

It could be that the team is growing, or that members of staff have left; whatever the reason, you’ll get an insight into the way the department is working right now. Also, finding out how many new members of the team they’re recruiting for can help you spot possible employee retention issues.

8) Will the successful candidate be mentored or supervised?

As you know, nurses work in high-pressure and often varied workplaces, so, depending on your experience, the opportunity to be mentored can be invaluable for your development. This question will not only let you know whether this is possible, but it will also give you an idea of how the employers expect you to work, i.e. autonomously from day one, or with close supervision and support.

9) What is the ratio of patients to nurses shift-to-shift?

This will give you an idea of how busy you’ll be on your shifts and whether the facility’s nursing team is currently under strain. This is key when it comes to deciding whether this is the right workplace for you.

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