As a nurse seeking work, there are several questions you can make sure to ask your future employer when going to an interview. Asking questions not only shows the employer that you’re actively interested in the position, but it also shows that you have initiative and drive during the conversation.
There are a few basic questions that you can ask to make sure the position is right for you.
- What’s your facility culture like? Do you provide a healthy place for teamwork and collaboration?”
- If the answer isn’t positive, then consider removing yourself from the interview. A nurse’s job relies heavily on collaboration and teamwork, so a facility that doesn’t encourage this behavior can mean bad news.
- “Do you provide training?”
- Knowing if the workplace provides training is key to understanding if the environment is good for you. On-the-job training can be exceptionally helpful in that it allows you a period of adjustment into a new role, position, or facility. However, some facilities may not offer training, and that’s something to consider.
- “Is there a probationary period?”
- If there isn’t a probationary period, wherein your benefits, increased pay, or high wages are delayed, it’s a bad sign on the facility; facilities that don’t have probationary or “trial” periods are oftentimes desperate for new employees, and that only makes you wonder if the old ones left for good reasons.
- “What skills are you seeking for this position?”
- Clearly, they think you’re qualified- you were offered the position! But this question also allows you the opportunity to learn what the facility is lacking and how you can help the facility fill that gap.
- “How long are your shifts? Do you have an overtime policy?”
- Knowing how long your shifts will be can help you prepare for long workdays. Some facilities rely on a simpler 8-hour schedule, whereas others offer 12-hour shifts. Knowing the overtime policy also helps you know what kind of overtime you may be looking at. Do you have to wait to hit 40 hours to meet overtime policy? If not, what are the specific policies?
- “How much of your staff works overtime? What is the staffing to patient ratio?”
- Knowing this allows you to prepare for stretched-thin coworkers. If 50% or more of the employees work overtime shifts, then most employees aren’t going to be happy or eager to come into work. This also lets you know how much overtime you can expect in your new role. Asking about the staffing ratio allows you to learn about the in-depth functionality of the facility. If there’s only one nurse for every 30 patients, then you can anticipate how much work you’ll be doing while on-duty.
- “Do you supply scrubs?”
- Some facilities do provide scrubs while others do not. This question gives you time to prepare by buying your own scrubs and getting ready to get on duty.