When supervisors at hospitals and healthcare facilities are interviewing candidates, their primary concern is whether or not the prospective employee has the requisite clinical skills. While this is a crucial aspect of the hiring process, it’s equally important to evaluate soft skills, such as how a candidate works with a team, his or her communication skills and ability to collaborate.
Hiring a nurse who doesn’t fit within your organization’s culture can quickly disrupt the stability of your team and the efficiency of your organization. Here are a few tips to keep in mind the next time you conduct a nursing interview.
1. Ask Staff Members for Input
Staff nurses can offer valuable insight regarding the characteristics and qualities of an ideal nursing team member. Since they’ll be working closely with the new hire, they’re usually interested in helping you ensure the candidate is a good fit for the department or unit.
Using their feedback, you can create a profile of the ideal candidate and develop questions that will eliminate applicants who don’t have the skills or personality to succeed in the position.
2. Use Behavioral Questions
Behavioral questions allow you to judge a prospective candidate’s personality. You can see how an individual has behaved in the past, how he or she behaves on the job now and how you can expect them to behave in certain future scenarios.
Ask the candidate to give you examples of times where they encountered the following situations:
- They had to work with a difficult patient. How did they handle the situation?
- They received negative feedback from their supervisor. How did they react and what changes did they make?
- They were asked to take on a new assignment because of staffing issues. They anticipated a problem. What steps did they take to prevent it?
- They worked as a part of a team to accomplish a goal.
- They had a particularly hectic day. How did they handle being pulled in several different directions?
- They disagreed with a decision by a supervisor or administration. What did they do?
3. Avoid Making Hasty Decisions
When you need a position filled now, you may be tempted to make a quick hiring decision and hope for the best. Unfortunately, if the new hire isn’t a good fit, you’ll soon have to start the interviewing process again—and deal with another staffing shortage.
Every candidate may not satisfy every one of the requirements on your wish list, but if an applicant doesn’t fit within your organization’s culture, or you’re concerned about soft skills, it’s best to move on. A poor hiring decision can affect the team, which may cause a negative impact on your patient satisfaction scores in the long run.
Looking for ways to increase patient satisfaction? Read our free guide, The Ultimate Patient Satisfaction Checklist for Nurse Managers.