The dreaded “job interview”.
Just the thought of those two words and butterflies take flight in the pit of your stomach.
You’re not alone.
If you’re worried about how to prepare for a nursing phone interview, we can help.
Here are our top tips along with 4 of the most commonly asked questions during travel nursing interviews.
Table of Contents
- How to Prepare for a Nursing Phone Interview —- Understanding the Difference Between Phone Interviews and Live Interviews
- How Do I Prepare for a Nursing Phone Interview? Our Top 5 Tips
- Prepare by Practicing Answers for Nursing Phone Interview Questions
- Do You Have Experience as a Nurse and Want to Try Something New? Trusted Staff Nursing Needs Travel Nurses Like You
How to Prepare for a Nursing Phone Interview — Understanding the Difference Between Phone Interviews and Live Interviews
As you interview for nursing positions, you will come across two types of interviews: in-person and over-the-phone.
In order to put your best foot forward, it’s important to understand the ins-and-outs of each type.
In-person, face-to-face interviews are generally more formal.
During this type of interview, you will have the opportunity to present your style, and impress your interviewer with your overall demeanor.
You can rely on body language and nonverbal cues to display your friendliness and confidence.
A phone interview, of course, is a bit different.
During a nursing phone interview, you won’t have the benefit of…
- Body language
- Visual clues
- Office environment and culture
This means you will have to pay more attention to intonation and tone.
But on the positive side, you don’t have to sit face-to-face with an interviewer.
You will be in your own home, with comfortable surroundings and a familiar environment.
Plus, a phone interview keeps you from potentially spending hours on the road just to complete the hiring process.
And since travel nursing assignments are typically just 13 weeks long, you will most likely be doing a lot of phone interviews, so they are worth mastering.
How Do I Prepare for a Nursing Phone Interview? Our Top 5 Tips
If you are thinking that the phone interview is the worst part of applying for a new travel nurse assignment, think again.
Building rapport, impressing the hiring manager, and selling yourself during a telephone interview is totally doable.
The key is knowing exactly what to do to get yourself ready to go in a way that boosts your confidence and allows your skills to shine.
If you’re wondering how to prepare for a nursing interview over the phone, look no further.
Here are our top five tips for helping you become a nursing phone interview expert.
#1: Learn About the Job and Company Before the Interview
If you’re wondering how to prepare for a nursing phone interview, the first thing you want to do is to learn about both the job and the company you hope to work with.
Do a quick Google search for the hospital or clinic you’ll be interviewing with.
Familiarize yourself with the layout.
Does their location make them unique in any way?
Find out about their:
Are there certain areas of the medical fields that they specialize in?
Why does this facility need a travel nurse and which departments are they hiring for?
Make sure you understand the ins and outs of the job description and recheck to be sure that you meet all the criteria.
Take a few minutes to check out several travel nursing websites.
Periodically, they will highlight certain hospitals or clinics.
They may be able to put you in touch with other traveling nurses who have previously worked or are currently working in the same facility where you’re interviewing.
This type of earnest preparation will not only give you peace of mind that you are fully prepared, but it will also help you to stand out from other candidates who may not have done their research, or who may be just “looking for a job “.
#2: Stay in Business Mode
Next, always maintain the highest level of professionalism.
Don’t cut corners or get lazy just because you’re doing a phone interview rather than meeting the person in real life.
You may be on your couch wearing leggings and a t-shirt, but your interviewer doesn’t need to know that.
In fact, some people find that it helps them stay in a business frame-of-mind by dressing for success, even though no one is going to see them.
Here are some ideas on how to stay in the business zone during your nursing phone interview:
- Sit in a quiet location. No TV. No music.
- Don’t eat or drink during the interview. Listening to your slurping sounds on the other end of the line not going to impress your interviewer..
- Be sure you are free from distractions. This means you may need to get a babysitter or ask a friend to take your dog for the afternoon.
- Be punctual. Be sitting down and fully ready to go 10 minutes prior to your scheduled interview time.
- Keep it positive. Don’t talk down about previous co-workers, or former job assignments. If you’re asked about things you dislike when it comes to the nursing field, be honest, but try to keep it as upbeat as possible.
- Mind your manners by being pleasant and respectful. Don’t forget to say please and thank you. Bonus points for addressing your interviewer as ma’am or sir.
Remember, you’ve got one shot to make your first impression, so go all out.
#3: Be an Active Listener
You will want to be sure to brush up on your active listening skills.
Of course, since you’ll be interviewing over the phone, this will look a bit different from interviewing in person, but here are the basics:
- Don’t interrupt your interviewer while they are speaking
- Smile! Yes, this is a phone interview, but your interviewer will be able to “hear” the smile in your voice.
- Repeat back what your interviewer is saying by using phrases such as,
- “What I hear you saying is… “
- “In other words, what you are saying is…”
- Keep your questions open-ended, in order to keep the dialogue going.
- Show you are interested in the conversation by asking questions to clarify what your interviewer is saying.
- Ask for clarification if there’s something you don’t understand.
- Give the interviewer your undivided attention by staying completely focused on the conversation at hand, rather than trying to think ahead or formulating your answer to the question.
A fun idea for helping to prepare for your next interview is to set aside some time to watch a few TV interviews. Critique the active listening skills, or lack of them, as you watch.
#4: Always Have Questions Ready for the Interviewer
Of course, you’ll be fielding most of the questions, but at some point, your interviewer is going to ask if you have any questions for them.
This is the perfect opportunity for you to show just how interested you are in the job.
Here are a few ideas for nursing phone interview questions you may want to write down to keep in front of you during your interview:
- What is the hiring process like?
- What type of on-the-job training can you expect?
- Tell me a little about the culture of the facility.
- What are some specific expectations you have of your staff?
- How does the staff relate to one another?
- What is your management style like?
- When can you expect to hear back from the interviewer?
Asking questions of your interviewer reinforces that you are passionate about the job and have spent time considering just how you might fit in as a part of their nursing community.
#5: Be Prepared
Your final step in how to prepare for a nursing phone interview is to be sure that you are fully prepared.
This is HUGE.
A bit of prep work can give you a lot of peace of mind.
For starters, as obvious as it may seem, be sure that your phone is fully charged.
Next, have everything that you may need right in front of you.
- Your nursing phone interview questions
- Your pocket Critical Care book (so you are ready to go with any specific drug or diagnosis questions that may come your way).
- Your resume and cover letter. This will come in handy if you’re asked about specific dates, certifications, or job titles.
Contemplating an interview can give anyone anxiety, and a phone interview can be particularly nerve-wracking if you’re not prepared.
One of the very best ways to prepare yourself is by working through our list of potential telephone interview questions for nurses.
Prepare by Practicing Answers to 4 Common Nursing Phone Interview Questions
Aside from taking the four tips into consideration, it’s also important to go over potential nursing phone interview questions.
This helps you to prevent stumbling over your thoughts and words and keeps your confidence at its peak throughout your interview.
A great way to up your interview game is to take a friend to coffee and have them help you practice.
Together you can go through our list of potential nursing phone interview questions, giving you plenty of opportunities to work through your answers until you feel confident in your responses.
And keep in mind, you already know what you’re doing, or you wouldn’t have made it this far.
This extra bit of preparation should be just what it takes to curb your pre-interview jitters so that you’ll be able to speak clearly and confidently and to present your very best self.
#1: Why Do Your Qualifications and Work Experience Make You a Good Candidate for This Position?
This is one situation where it’s okay to low-key brag about yourself and your abilities.
Are you self-motivated and competent?
Let them know this by showing your knowledge about the position you’re interviewing for.
Brush up on any information that is unfamiliar or that may be a little rusty.
In what areas do you especially shine?
Is there anything in particular that you are working to improve upon?
Finally, be prepared for at least one hypothetical patient situation, including what you’d expect from the doctor, and what your diagnosis and treatment as a nurse would be.
#2: Do You Consider Yourself a Good Team Player? Why?
Next, they want to make sure that you’ll be a good fit for their team.
How do you convey this?
As you share about yourself, use words and phrases such as:
- Team player
- Hard worker
Don’t hesitate to express to your interviewer just how excited you are to become a part of the nursing team and that you can’t wait to learn from your future co-workers.
And of course, you always want to keep it sincere.
#3: Tell Us About a Time When a Patient Was Dissatisfied With The Care You Provided. How Did You Handle The Situation?
While this may sound a bit scary, it really Is a great question because it tells your interviewer a lot about you.
What’s the best way to answer?
For starters, humility goes a long way.
Your interviewer hopes to hear you say that you know you’re not perfect.
Every nurse, no matter how experienced, is going to have a disgruntled patient at some point.
The question is, what did you do about it?
How did you handle the situation while still providing optimal patient care?
#4: Why Do You Want to Work with Our Company?
This is a question you can pretty much expect for every single interview you’ll ever encounter.
Basically, your interviewer will want to know what motivated you to apply for this job, and why they should choose you over the other applicants.
There is an effective, concise way to answer this question while still keeping the focus on the fact that you are the best individual for this position.
First, It’s always impressive when an applicant knows something about the company where they are hoping to work, so express your enthusiasm about the specific facility you’re interviewing for.
“When I was researching your hospital, I was impressed by…”
Next, you want to sell yourself by letting them know exactly why you are the best person for this job.
This can be done in one of two ways, by focusing either on your:
- Experiences – The things you have accomplished thus far
- Skills and training
“The thing that really impressed me about this particular travel nursing position was…”
Finally, you want to help them understand how this position makes sense in your career goals.
“I’ve been interested in working as a traveling nurse for a while now because…”
Incorporating these tips should help you create a very impressive answer.
Do You Have Experience as a Nurse and Want to Try Something New? Trusted Staff Nursing Needs Travel Nurses Like You
At Trusted Nurse Staffing we’re looking for nurses just like you.
Whether you’re preparing for your next phone interview, or ready to hit the road as a traveling nurse, Trusted Nurse Staffing is here to help you find your dream job and get started on your travel nursing adventure.