ASK GREG – Preparing For a Successful Interview




Greg- why didn’t I get the assignment? My paperwork was complete and my recruiter said I had just what they needed.




You’ve gotten your credentialing completed on time, you have all the necessary skills and have documented them on your skills sheet, you interviewed on a timely basis, and yet you didn’t get the job!! What happened? It is true that much of the interview process is streamlined because you are working with a reputable agency. However, communication skills and personality still play an important role in landing that travel job. Are you prepared with honest and well communicated examples of your nursing life to date? I have prepared a short list of questions that have been asked of travelers over the years to help you land that dream assignment:

Q:  How many years of direct experience do you have in (your specialty)?
A:  Describe the number of years of direct patient care you have your specialty area.  Be prepared to give examples of extraordinary circumstances and how you handled them. Don’t forget to mention particular topics of extra experience that is highly related to such patients.

Q:  What is your average nurse to patient ratio OR average number of patients you see and/or cases you perform daily on average?
A:  Be prepared to give examples of the lowest NTP ratios/average patient cases and the highest NTP ratios/average patient cases as well as your average daily NTP ratios or patient cases.

Q:  Have you even been terminated from a contract?  Why?
A:  Be specific and tell the truth.  If you were at fault, say so and tell them what you learned from it and how you have progressed moving forward.  Nothing, absolutely NOTHING takes the place of accountability.

Q:  Tell me about the types of patients you usually care for.
A:  Outline the most major or complex as well as the minor patient/cases of your specialty and then outline the typical acuity of patients that you most usually receive. Don’t forget to point out any equipment or procedures that are state-of-the-art, complex or in high demand.

Q. How have you dealt with conflict in the past?
A. Again be honest, even if you were at fault. Tell them what happened, how you learned from it and give an example of how you have used these new learned skills in another situation.

Q:  Are you licensed in (state)?
A:  If you already have a state license or compact license, please answer specifically which.  If your license is unencumbered, please state so.  If you have applied, state that you have already applied and the date you applied as well as the date you expect to have the state license in hand.  If you have not yet applied, chances are that you will be disqualified from consideration.  When a client needs a traveler, they are not going to wait for someone to obtain a state license with the exception of a “walk through” state license (only a few states have this program).

Q: Why do you think you are a good nurse? A. Be prepared with specific examples of how you have demonstrated the values of the “six C’s”: care, compassion, competence, communication, courage and commitment.

Q: Do you have any questions for us?
A. Do not be afraid to ask your questions. Need help with that? We will discuss in the next installment of ASK GREG!


Have a burning question? Email me!