Tips for Nailing Your Travel Nurse Interview

Tips for Nailing Your Travel Nurse Interview

You’ve filled out your application and are so close to your dream travel assignment in The City That Never Sleeps, or Sunny Los Angeles. The next step is often the scariest: the interview. If you’re a people person, kudos to you as these interviews are probably a piece of cake. If you’re like me and you prefer cats, then read up as some of these travel nurse interview questions might seem daunting at first, but with a little preparation, you can be ready to knock this portion of travel nursing out of the park!

Before thinking about which travel nurse interview questions you might get asked, do some homework so that you come prepared.

  1. Research the medical facility

As you know every medical facility operates a little bit differently. From charting systems to facility culture, there will always be nuances to getting situated in a new location. Consider asking your recruiter if they’ve heard anything in particular about the facility as chances are they’ve probably staffed a nurse in that location before.

Also, consider reaching out to people in your own network that have worked there, or if they know anybody that has worked at that location. Just 1 conversation with somebody that’s worked there before can make a world of difference. For example, the interview for a university hospital that’s known for its research will be very different from the interview at traditional facility focused on holistic health. The more information you have about the facility the better.

While it’s good to know the technicalities, also make sure to get to know the culture of the medical facility. Hiring managers are always looking for candidates that fit their culture so you’ll need to know about their culture to demonstrate that you’ll fit.

  1. Get to know the position you’re applying to

While many openings may appear to be similar, the hiring managers and therefore the expected skill sets can have a ton of variety. Get to know what the hiring manager is looking for through your recruiter who should have a list of “must-have” qualities the candidate needs.

It also helps to know why the position is available. If you’re coming into a seasonal role in a facility overloaded with tourists who went too hard too soon, you should know that so that you can bring up your most relevant experience in the interview. If the previous nurse didn’t work out, find out why so that you can make yourself come across as a great candidate in the interview.

3 Types of Travel Nurse Interviews

  1. Preliminary interview

Usually, the initial screening process that’s needed in order to schedule a full interview for a later time and date. The questions in this portion of the interview process are usually designed to ensure that the candidate meets the position’s minimum requirements

  1. Full interview with Unit Manager/Supervisor

If you’ve come with your research done and questions ready, this is the best-case scenario for you. All of your questions can be answered here because you’ll be speaking with the person in charge. While most interviews occur in this scenario, but group 3 is picking up steam.

While this scenario is the most frequent, it’s also the least predictable as varying managers/supervisors manage and supervise differently from one another. There is no clear set of questions you’ll receive as everyone handles this part a little bit differently.

They might make a verbal offer to you during these interviews, but you shouldn’t accept unless to are 100% clear on all of the details. Feel free to politely decline and ask if they to send the offer to your agency so you can iron out all of the kinks before signing on the dotted line

  1. Full interview with the MSP representative.

MSPs offer interviewing services which medical facilities are becoming increasingly open to. The representative is usually a healthcare professional licensed in the field. These interviews are usually very structured.

Usually, there’s a template of questions that the hospital & MSP have agreed together to ask. Expect questions about tasks/medications specific to the unit you’re applying to. Also, expect a situational question or 2.

If you came to an interview with an MSP rep prepared with questions, you probably won’t get many answers. As the MSP rep doesn’t work for the hospital, they won’t have many specifics. But feel free to ask as the MSP rep may surprise you every once in a while.

There is also the possibility that no interview will be necessary. While it might seem like this is a bad sign indicating the medical facility lacks professionalism, that may not always be the case. There could be a multitude of reasons that a hiring manager doesn’t require an interview and you can feel free to ask your recruiter any of the questions you may have.

Travel Nurse Interview Questions

1. How would your past managers describe you?

2. Do you have specific certifications required by the unit?

3. What kind of learner are you?

4. What are some of your biggest strengths as a nurse?

5. Here’s a specific situation, how would you approach it?

6. How do stay up to date on the latest developments?

7. Why do you want to work with us specifically?

8. How do your qualifications and work experience make you a good candidate for this job?

9. Why are you the best person for this job?

10. What is your greatest accomplishment and why?

11. In a high-stress situation, how do you respond?

12. Why are you a nurse?

13. Are you willing to learn? To what lengths?

14. Do you consider yourself a good team player? Why?

15. Have you ever participated in a code blue?

16. Are you proficient with IVs?

17. What’s your biggest weakness?

18. What are your career aspirations?

19. What has been your biggest failure and how did you overcome it?

20. How do you envision success in this role?


Questions for you to ask:

The worst thing you can do in an interview is not to have any questions. If you don’t have any questions, chances are you probably haven’t done your homework or you’re disinterested in the role. Always have 3-5 questions to ask your interviewer. Even if they’re unable to answer them, it’ll show that you’re interested in learning about the position

  1. What specific qualities make for a good candidate for this job?
  2. What’s the typical workload like?
  3. How do you measure job performance?
  4. How would you describe the facility’s culture?
  5. Why did the previous nurse stop working there?
  6. Are there any other travelers on the unit?

Things not to ask:

The hospital or hiring manager has no say over your offered pay package, so if you have any questions about pay then direct those to your recruiter who should have all the answers you need.

We hope you’ll feel more prepared for your next interview after reading this blog. For more support in our community, join our Facebook group for Travel Healthcare Professionals here. We’re here for you every step of the way.

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