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Phone Interviewer Tips for Nurse Leaders

As the war for clinical talent in the healthcare industry intensifies, hospital leaders need to interview their candidates quickly to attract the best and brightest. If you don’t have a managed service provider to interview candidates for you, Medical Solutions’ Clinical Nurse Manager Natalie O., BSN, RN offers the following tips for phone interview success:

  1. Review the Candidate’s Resume: First and foremost, you should properly prepare for the interview. “The first thing I do is review a candidate’s resume, their references, and their skills checklist,” said Natalie. “I make sure the nurse meets the basic requirements for the job. Then, I really dig deep into their skills checklist and compare it with their resume. For instance, would it be possible for them to have all the skills that they indicate they have on their skills checklist?”


  1. Ask Behavioral Questions: A resume can tell you a lot about a nurse’s clinical experience and abilities, but it’s just one piece of the puzzle. Natalie recommends asking behavioral questions to gauge a nurse’s intangible skills, such as leadership, positivity, and compassion. “Sometimes, a hospital has a core value that is very important to them, like human kindness,” said Natalie. “So, we like to ask our candidates what quality patient care means to them.” Natalie also believes asking a candidate about their conflict management style can be telling. “Do they immediately run to their charge nurse or director when they have a problem or do they try to resolve the issue on their own?”


  1. Let the Candidate Do Most of the Talking: Let your candidate do a fair amount of talking throughout the interview, so you can get a feel for their communication style. “Since these interviews are done over the phone, you don’t have that face to face interaction,” said Natalie. “So, making sure that person has good communication skills is important. Are they personable and able to have an everyday conversation? Do they answer your questions clearly?”


  1. Remember Your Candidate Is Interviewing Your Facility Too: Don’t forget to highlight your facility’s selling points. Perhaps your hospital made the U.S. News Best Hospitals List or maybe your facility has an amazing culture. Whatever sets your hospital apart, make sure the candidate knows about it. The widespread nursing shortage means that your candidate typically has multiple jobs offers on the table, so let them know why your hospital is the place to be. Overall, Natalie reminds interviewers to relax. “Just enjoy talking to the nurses and learning more about their experience.”


See Natalie’s full video on phone interviewer tips for nurse leaders here.


Elena Barker

Elena Barker is a content copywriter for Medical Solutions, one of the nation's largest Travel Nurse staffing companies. Elena develops and edits content for Healthcare Staffing Blog which covers healthcare staffing industry news and trends.

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