Interviewing to Find the Right Nurse for Your Practice

By: Yolanda Smith - MedicalSearch Writer
14 July, 2015

Your staff are at the very core of your medical practice and finding the right nurses to give the best patient care is essential. Given that you usually only have a resume and an interview to guide your choice when hiring a new nurse, it is important that you get the interview right.

Establish your priorities

You need to have a clear idea of which skills and characteristics are most important for a potential candidate, in order to hire the best person to fit the position.

A good point of reference is your current staff, because they often have the best understanding about which qualities will be the most important for a new member of the team. Consider asking them what strengths they would like new co workers to have or if there are any particular points you should be wary of in new applicants.

Do you need someone with superior technical skills? Or are non-clinical soft skills more important? In many cases, it is easier to train new staff to learn fine technical skills related to a position, particularly when they are already equipped with adequate soft skills to communicate with other staff and learn quickly.

Ask the relevant questions

You have limited time during the interview to gauge if the candidate is the best person for the role, so it is vital to use the time wisely and ask the right questions. Open questions that prompt people to tell you about relevant experiences are a good option, as they allow applicants to respond in depth and show you how they would fit into your team.

Remember what characteristics are most important and tailor the questions to draw out the information you need. It is worthwhile to keep questions the same for each interview, to ensure that everyone is given even ground to begin with, and to help you choose the right person.

Specific questions can help to uncover how the individual is likely to interact and behave at work. For example, you might ask about a time recently at work when they felt productive and fulfilled, which depicts a lot about their motivations.

Create the optimal environment

Even the best nurse to fill the role at your practice is likely to get nervous before and during a job interview. It is helpful if you can make them feel at ease and allow them to showcase what they can offer to your practice.

Allow time for silence and reassure the candidate that it is okay for them to think about each question before answering. If they give an answer too quickly when you were hoping for a more in depth response, you might prompt them by saying, "I realise that was quite a difficult question. Feel free to think about it for a minute, if you need."

Finally, never be in a rush to hire. Many medical practices find it is beneficial to run interviews continuously, even when they are not short-staffed, to ensure they have a few suitable candidates on file. This can help to lessen the pressure on the interview process and help you to find the best new nurse for your team.