As you are preparing for your travel nursing interview you are bound to run across the suggestion that you have questions to ask the interviewer on hand. Three questions usually come to mind when this recommendation is made:
- Why is asking questions during my travel nursing interview important?
- How do I ask questions during my travel nursing interview?
- What questions should I ask during my travel nursing interview?
Why is asking questions during my travel nursing interview important?
There are several reasons why it is important to be prepared with a set of questions you want to ask during your travel nursing interview.
- This is your chance to get answers about somewhere you may be working the next three months of your life
- Asking questions shows that you are engaged during the interview and being engaged shows that you are truly interested in the job
- Well thought out and researched questions will impress the interviewer, which will make you stand out among other candidates
- You will be better able to gauge if the assignment is going to be a good fit for you
- Good questions will help you learn more about the unit than your recruiter may know
How do I ask questions during my travel nursing interview?
Now that we’ve gone over how important it is to ask questions during the interview, the challenge is knowing how to go about it. Obviously you will want your questions to be well thought out and clear, but you also want them to actually get you the information you need to make a good decision about the assignment. Some basic rules to keep in mind include:
- Have your questions written out ahead of time
- Don’t ask questions that can easily be answered by web research or asking your recruiter – this is your chance to dig deeper
- Stay away from yes/no questions and instead ask open ended questions
- Phrase your questions in a way that shows you have done your research, for example, “I saw on your website that you _______________, but it didn’t talk about the role of _____________. Could you explain more?”
- Stay away from pay questions; those are something for you and your recruiter to discuss
- Use behavioral questions that are based on how they have done things in the past, not hypothetical situations. For example instead of asking, “Is your unit friendly to travel nurses?” ask, “What are ways that your unit has shown it is traveler friendly in the last year?”
- Don’t go overboard with tons of questions, but do have enough to get the answers you need to feel comfortable taking the job
- Typically you are offered the chance to ask questions at the end of an interview, but also when appropriate try to ask them throughout the interview to make it more of a conversation than a Q&A session
What questions should I ask during my travel nursing interview?
Here is a list of questions to get you started:
- What type of orientation should I expect? A brief 1-2 day introduction or is it more in-depth? Will it be a general orientation or of a specific floor?
- Where will I be working?
- What systems are used for charting and documentation?
- Is any testing required during orientation? What is it?
- What shift(s) will I be asked to work? What shift(s) need filled?
- Am I going to required to be on-call? If so, how many hours and how often?
- Am I expected to work holidays and/or weekends? How many?
- Is there ever the possibility of having to change shifts during my assignment?
- Will I be asked to float to other units? Which ones?
- What is the nurse-to-patient ratio in your unit?
- Do you have other travelers on the floor? How many? How do they like it there?
- Why do you have positions that need filled?
- Who will schedule me? Do you have self-scheduling?
- Is it possible I could be cancelled on a shift?
- What potential is there to extend the assignment? How long?
- Do you follow a specific nursing management model? What is it?
- Will overtime be available? How often?
- What is the area like? Traffic? Safety? Culturally?
- What do other travelers think of the housing nearby?
- Is parking easy to find? What does it cost?
- Are lockers and uniforms provided?
- Can you tell me about the community?
Hopefully now you feel a little more prepared to ask questions during your next travel nursing interview. For those of you have been through plenty of them before feel free to add to this list of advice for our readers who are just starting their travel nursing careers. They would love to hear what you have to say.