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Questions to Ask in Your Job Interview

Posted in Nursing, Nursing Jobs, Travel Nursing

Questions to Ask in Your Job Interview

When preparing for your job interview, here are some of the questions you should consider. Be sure to adapt them to your own needs and goals. Add or subtract from this list as appropriate for your unique situation. Make your own list and take it with you to the interview.

Understand the orientation and continuing education process offered

  • How long will my orientation last?
  • Will I be offered additional time if I feel I need it?
  • Will my orientation be provided on the shift I will be working?
  • Will I have a preceptor or mentor?
  • Is there an internship program for new grads?
  • How often do you offer in-services and other education opportunities?
  • What are your expectations for new hires during the first six months?
  • Are nurse educators available on all shifts?

Ask about the working conditions.

  • What is the typical nurse-to-patient ratio on this unit? Is there a maximum?
  • What are the days/hours available? How long are the shifts?
  • What is the policy for weekend and holiday rotation?
  • Is there flexibility to the schedule? Can nurses trade days off with each other?
  • Who does the scheduling?
  • Is there mandatory overtime? How often?
  • Is there an on-call responsibility? If so, explain the requirements and conditions.
  • How many nurses work on this unit? On each shift?
  • How long have most of the nurses worked on this unit? (Turn over rate?)
  • How long has this position been vacant? Why did the previous person leave?

Then ask about the management and administration.

  • How do you motivate your employees?
  • What do you do to boost morale?
  • What is your management style?
  • How much autonomy do your nurses feel they have?
  • How do you demonstrate that you value your nursing staff?
  • How often are performance evaluations done and what is the process?
  • How much input does the staff have about patient care and other issues on the unit?
  • How do you handle conflict between staff members?
  • Are there any challenges that this unit or facility is facing or anticipates in the next year?
  • Would you support a nurse looking to transfer for career growth or hold him/her back due to your own staffing issues?
  • How do you ensure safe working conditions for your staff?
  • What are the career growth opportunities?
  • Why would I want to work here?

Salary and Benefits
Typically the interviewer will bring up this subject first so wait and follow their lead, but be sure you understand thoroughly and make your negotiations up front.

  • What is the salary? Is there a shift differential involved?
  • What is the salary policy regarding weekends, holidays and overtime?
  • What is included in the benefits package? Is there a salary adjustment allowed if some benefits are waived such as health insurance that your spouse provides?
  • How much vacation, sick leave and other time off and how is the time accrued?
  • How are raises handled? Are there merit increases, cost-of-living adjustments, etc.? How often are they given? What is the typical amount?
  • Are there any tuition reimbursement plans?
  • Are there any incentives such as sign-on bonuses, concierge services, mortgage or housing assistance plans, etc.? What are the specifics of these options?

Have a clear understanding of the position and assess how it measures up to your needs and goals before accepting any offer of employment.

By Kathy Quan RN BSN
Kathy is the author of The Everything New Nurse Book and the owner/author of

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