When it comes to interviewing candidates for nursing positions in long-term care, there are several factors you need to consider. The best nurses have the right knowledge, skills, and experience combined with an ability to work under pressure while delivering exceptional care to patients and their families.
To identify all of these qualities, it’s crucial that you ask the right questions at the interview stage. Here, the Conexus team provides top 5 questions to ask long-term care (LTC) nurse candidates, so you can drill down to the specific hard and soft skills that you’re looking for.
1. What LTC experience do you have?
This is the candidate’s opportunity to provide specific LTC work experience, so you can check what they say matches the information on their resume. However, the candidate might not have acquired any dedicated LTC experience, so instead ask them to tell you about relevant modules they studied or any developmental programs they’re currently undertaking related to LTC.
2. What have you done to improve your knowledge of LTC in the last year?
Here, you’re looking for the candidate to demonstrate positive self-improvement and their dedication to continuous learning and development. Most employers prefer goal-oriented candidates, so listen out for examples of self-sufficiency, time-management, and motivation in their answer.
3. Tell me about a time when a patient or their family were particularly pleased and appreciative of your care.
This answer should indicate a candidate’s commitment to patient care and willingness to go the extra mile. Ensure you find out precisely what they did to make the patient or their family happy, and how the candidate knew they were happy. Also, enquire about the outcome of this situation, i.e. did it result in a change in approach or processes?
4. Tell me about a time when a patient’s family was dissatisfied with your care, and how you handled it.
While this sounds like a negative question, it’s not about getting the candidate to confess their mistakes for you to judge. Find out what happened from both the patient’s family and the nurse’s perspective, and look out for the candidate taking ownership if they were indeed in the wrong. The main thing you’re trying to find out is what they learned and what they do differently now.
5. How do you approach communicating with people who don’t know medical jargon?
LTC nurses are required to keep patient’s and their families informed of any changes in condition, medication or process. It’s their role to ensure they are understood every step of the way to avoid any confusion, frustration or dissatisfaction. This questions is a chance for the candidate to demonstrate flexibility and adaptability when addressing a patient and their family. Try to find out the steps they took to communicate and the specific words and terminology they used. Crucially, how did they know they had been understood?
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We consult with many long term care facilities and provide workforce solutions to help them find effective retention strategies for the long-term.