Andrew Wettengel / Friday, July 19, 2019 / Categories: Work World


Travel nurses are in such high demand that there is no shortage of possible assignments. But even when working with a top travel nurse staffing agency like OneStaff Medical, you’ll still have to interview with a hospital to secure a position. If interviews make you a little nervous, don’t worry. We’ve got your back. To help you nail the interview and get the perfect assignment, here are the top tips for travel nurse interviews.

Do your research

Hospital hiring managers will likely interview several candidates for an open position. If they get the sense that this is “just another assignment” for you, they might choose another candidate. Show them you’re the right nurse for the job by researching the hospital and the position thoroughly. Ask thoughtful questions and answer their questions in a way that shows them you came prepared.

If you’re able to learn the name of the hiring manager you’ll be interviewing with, go to their LinkedIn page and try to learn a little about their history. You don’t need to memorize their resume (that would probably come off a little creepy, to be honest), but making a personal connection can be a big boost to your chances. For example, if you see that you’ve both worked in a particular city, you can mention it and share one of your favorite restaurants from when you lived there.

Phone interview etiquette

In an age where texting is king, proper phone etiquette is becoming a lost art. But it’s also your best chance for getting the job. During the interview, be sure to speak as professionally as possible. Introduce yourself and thank them for the opportunity to speak with them. Talk into the phone so they can hear you and try to avoid using too many “umms” and “ahs” when thinking of an answer. Also, find a quiet place to conduct the interview, because nothing says “unprofessional and unprepared” more than taking an interview on a train or outside where it’s too windy to hear. When you’re finished, thank them again for their time and then cross your fingers that you got the job.

Things to have with you

Because your interview will likely be over the phone, you don’t have to worry about dressing up. But there are some things you should have by your side to ensure a smooth experience. Things to bring with you to your interview include:

  • Your resume and cover letter for reference
  • Pen and paper to take notes
  • Glass of water to make sure your mouth doesn’t dry out
  • Ideally, a laptop to be able to quickly look up information if necessary

Interview questions to prepare for

The best way to ensure interview success is to prepare some answers for common interview questions. A hiring manager will likely be trying to gauge two things above all others: 1) whether you have the skills and qualifications the position requires, and 2) how you will fit in with their existing staff. You’ll want to convince them you’re flexible enough to adapt to their specific hospital protocols, and reliable enough to be trusted with the job. Keep these things in mind as you formulate your answers.

You don’t want to memorize your answers and come off robotic, but just having an idea of how you might respond will help you from getting tongue-tied or blanking completely. Here are some of the top interview questions a hospital’s hiring manager is likely to ask:

  • What makes you a good fit for this position?
  • Do you consider yourself a team player?
  • How have you dealt with stressful situations in the past?
  • What do you think is your best strength as a nurse?
  • What do you know about the hospital?

Ask good questions

At the end of the interview, the hiring manager will likely ask if you have any of your own questions. This is where you can really demonstrate your interest and seal the deal. When conducting your research about the hospital and the position, make a note of something that interests you and ask for more information about it. Also, be sure to ask any clarifying questions about the details of the assignment. These might include:

  • What is the nurse-to-patient ratio?
  • What charting system do you use?
  • What is your scheduling process?
  • How many travel nurses do you typically employ?
  • Will I be asked to float when patient census is low, and if so, between which units?

By following these tips, you’ll be well prepared for your interview and give yourself the best chance at getting the job.

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