As we discussed in our last post about behavioral questions throughout the interview process, you need to determine a nurse’s experience and their fit for the job. Behavioral questions like these can give you insight into candidate behavior and common situations in the workplace. In the second part of this series, we want to look at questions about adaptability, time management, and core values and motivations. What other questions should you be asking your nursing candidates?
We all know that every day on the job as a nurse will have different challenges and circumstances. So you want to know how someone will react to this kind of change. Ask questions about adaptability such as “Tell me about a time when something didn’t go according to plan. How did you handle that?” This will allow them to share their experience to give you insight into whether their strategies are similar or complementary to yours.
Not Knowing the Answer
Nurses are often expected to know every possible answer to every possible situation, but at the same time we know we’re all human, and that’s not always possible. You want to hire someone willing to find an answer that they don’t have. So ask how they’ve handled that in previous positions and what they do when they don’t know the answer to something pressing.
Things often happen in a whirlwind, especially during emergencies. But nurses need to be prepared for all eventualities, so time management is key. Ask them to tell you how they handle themselves in a fast-paced environment while still providing quality care to patients. This will allow them to talk about their time management skills.
No one is immune to stress in the workplace. And we all know that nursing is a particularly high-stress job. But you need to know what they do when they feel overwhelmed. Some people shut down, but that can be a major issue when lives are at stake. Ask them how they handle it when they’re feeling overwhelmed on the job.
Values and Motivation
You also want to know what makes this candidate tick. And, importantly, if that’s a match for your department’s management style. The best way to find this information is to ask a question like, “tell me about your proudest moment on the job? What was your favorite accomplishment, and why?” Candidates like to talk about the things they love to do, so give them a chance to share their reasons why.
Their reason is a very complex answer, giving them more opportunity to focus on the positive rather than their mistakes or concerns. Ask them about their job satisfaction and what makes them happy on the job. Let them talk to you about their desires for their future career and what would allow them to grow professionally and personally.
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