Any interview can be intimidating, especially for a position in the medical world. However, being a good interviewee is key to any career, and being prepared for one (or several!) can help ease your mind. Below are a few tips to prepare yourself when applying for a travel nurse position.
Get plenty of rest and relaxation beforehand
Interviewing can be stressful enough, and if you don’t get enough sleep beforehand, it can be even more so! Make sure to get plenty of sleep before your interview, so you feel refreshed and ready to go. Refrain from making any late-night plans that will deter you from preparing for your interview. You only get one first impression, so set aside some time for self-care.
Dress for success
While interviewing for a travel nurse position, you want to put your best self forward. If you have an in-person interview, you want to dress and act for the part. This also includes any video or Skype interviews. Hospitals are professional settings, so you want to dress towards the business-formal side. Basic makeup, simple jewelry, and neutral colors are all go-tos, however, feel free to show some of your personality (like a fun scarf or bright nails). Don’t be pressured to wear anything that makes you feel stiff or too overdressed. Finding a balance of professional and comfortable will make you feel and look good for your interview.
Research the hospital prior to your interview
If you’re interviewing for a specific hospital, research it beforehand. Know the basics of the hospital, like its larger departments, important employees, and the area it’s in. By showing your interest, it’ll reflect motivation (a key attribute of an ideal candidate). While researching, write down any questions you may have, so you can ask them during or after your interview.
Have your employee history ready
As an ideal candidate, you want to be organized. Take a moment to sit down and collect all of your personal history that may be pertinent to your future travel nurse position, like any schooling and previous-related experience. If the interview is over the phone, physically write this out in a list so you ensure you don’t forget to communicate any related experience. If the interview is in person, bring this list with you and read over it a few minutes before your interview to refresh your mind. As stated on the Stability Healthcare FAQ page, “the expectation for travelers is to hit the ground running so the stronger your background, the easier it will be to acclimate to a position.” So, be honest with your experience, but make sure you don’t leave anything out.
Additionally, your interviewer will most likely ask you overall questions about your work history and ethics. Have a few examples ready for likely questions. Here are some you may be asked:
- Have you ever had conflict in the workplace? If so, how did you handle it?
- Why did you leave your last position?
- What are your best qualities in the workplace?
- What are some qualities that you need to work on?
- Name some particular accomplishments you’ve had while being a travel nurse.
- Why are you qualified to work in this position?
Have handy tools nearby
The more organized you are, the more professional and less frazzled you’ll be during your interview. If you’re interviewing over the phone, keep other tools at arm’s length, like your smartphone so you can reference its calendar to plan ahead any big life events, etc. that you’ll have to work around. Also, keep a pen and paper (or another note-taking device) so you can write down key information you learn during the interview.
Think of which qualities are desired in a travel nurse
There are a few qualities that places tend to look for in travel nurses, so communicate how you fit into those expectations. As the Stability Healthcare site points out, these qualities include, but are not limited to flexibility, a good attitude, being organized, friendly, and having a sharp mind. As previously stated above, travel nurses are expected to hit the ground running, so being flexible is a key aspect. As a travel nurse, you have to learn hospital regulations and people rather quickly, so learning on the fly is a desirable characteristic. Overall, you want to have a good attitude, so show up to the interview with a smile on your face and a friendly attitude.
Prepare questions to ask your interviewer
Ahead of your interview, write down any pertinent questions you have, especially those specific to the position you are interviewing for. Not only will this show that you’re involved and motivated to learn more about the position, but it will give you a better insight into expectations for the position.
A few general questions you can ask:
- What does a typical shift look like?
- Is there a dress code?
- Are there any overtime shifts and will I be expected to work on the weekends?
- What is the time-off policy?
- How are people scheduled?
- Will I float between units?
- What are the main expectations for this position?
Following these tips can make your interview seem less daunting. If you have multiple interviews, most of these tips can be applied to each one. However, as mentioned in tip #2, research each position you’re applying for so you’re best prepared. Good luck!