Avoid this big interview mistake

Image: Eldon Doty | Photodisc | Getty Images

A while ago about I wrote about not burning your bridges with other nurses, because nurses talk to each other. That goes for managers as well.

This week at work I had something a little different that happened, but still makes the nurse look bad in the eyes of a hiring manager.

I am currently recruiting for a day shift RN for my unit. Although I have a stack of new grad applications, and many are very good on paper, I really wanted to get a nurse with experience so that I could spend less time orienting and get them on the schedule as soon as possible. I spoke with two experienced nurses. One used to work on this unit before I was the manager and had great references from the current staff, and the other was a nurse in the float pool that had great references from my staff.  Both interviewed well, and had great experience.

The one from the float pool was leading the pack and was going to get the job. She already worked for the hospital, so no hospital or nurse orientation, she knew the computer systems and the staff already knew her.

I still had a couple of interviews left before I could offer her the position, and she called me to tell me she was going to pull her name out for consideration. I said “okay” and thanked her. The next day she called to say she still wanted the job after discussing it with her husband. So, after all the interviews were completed, I came into work on Monday ready to make her an offer, but in my email was a message from her stating she couldn’t do the job now but she wanted to be considered for a future position.

To a manager this is not a good sign of what she will be like as an employee. She can’t make up her mind. If she can’t make a decision like this, then is she going to be a flake about showing up to work on time or showing up at all? Is she going to be difficult about the schedule? Is she going to fit with my team when she is here on full-time basis?

What  I am saying is, how you act during the interview and hiring process will give the manager an idea of how you will be as an employee. If you act flakey during the pre-employment process, I am pretty sure you will act flaky as an employee.

I hired the experienced one that worked here before, and am happy with my decision. And…the flakey one will most likely never get the opportunity to work for me.

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