Travel nursing was an industry born out of the crisis created by shortage of nurses. As a travel nurse, you are expected to work as a temporary nurse at institutions and at private accommodations. Travel nursing jobs are popular career options because they are among the few that come with decent pay packages AND relative flexibility in scheduling. Travel nurses may be required in hospitals, in agencies or by private individuals.
Travel Nurse Interview Questions and Answers
Given below are some of the most common travel nursing interview questions, and how to answer them which would help you prepare for interviews.
1. What do you think makes you a good candidate for this job?
While it is expected of you to be stressed, you need to make the interviewer understand what makes you eligible to be chosen over the other candidates. These are questions you should deal with your corporate best. Remember that here not only is the answer important, but also the presentation:
Sample answer: I would say that it is my tenacity of purpose and my passion for caring that should determine my selection. Even as a child, I have gone out of my way to help people and pets who have been inconvenienced, and that combined with my training today makes me who I am – a well-qualified being who loves her job a lot.
2. What are your strengths?
It is very important that you answer such questions honestly because not only do you make your self-conception clear, but also help your employers in understanding which are the areas where you can put your best. So it is necessary for you to list out as many strong points as relevant in very precise and confident terms.
Sample answer: The answer to this question should include all the relevant qualities that you have – good management practices, patience, communication capabilities, anything that you know would work.
3. What are your weaknesses?
Again, you should honestly put out your weaknesses in such interviews because it helps your employer to understand which areas of your job you are not comfortable dealing with and help plan out your assignments accordingly. You must also mention in your interview the steps you are taking to fix the problem. In case you have made some mistake in your previous job which is not mentioned in your records, it is best not to mention it.
Sample answer: Like the answer to the previous question, here too it should be the important things you are not confident about, like fear of public speaking, inability to manage assignments or emotions, and other such things.
4. What do you do to stay up to date?
Through this important question, the interviewer wants to know how dedicated you are in your job, and whether you can be depended upon long-term. You need to make an honest answer to this because eventually, your quality of service would be reflective of your claims.
Sample answer: I often enrol myself in advanced courses and workshops to stay at the top of my form. I also participate in a number of well-regarded conferences and subscribe to a number of journals to keep myself updated with the latest information available.
5. How do you tackle stress?
Discourses on stress are increasingly making their way into serious conversations across the table, and such questions serve a number of purposes for the employers- they make them understand whether you acknowledge stress as important in the first place, what you do to deal with it, and whether or not that is compatible with them.
Sample answer: I deal with stress mostly by prioritizing- concentrating only on the work at hand. I also resort to a number of easy and soothing practices like listening to music, drinking coffee now and then, getting as much sleep as possible in between shifts, and meditating.
6. What are your future plans?
A commitment toward improving yourself also translates to being committed to your work. Such plans are obviously different for different people. In any case, it is best not to mention those that do not include the place of employment you are currently seeking, for very obvious reasons.
Sample answer: I expect to have improved myself considerably from what I am now, and will work toward ensuring that more patients benefit from my experiences and better services.
7. How comfortable are you being a part of a team?
While it is an added advantage for a travelling nurse to have very good communication skills, even possessing that does not mean that you would be an awesome team player. So it is best to lay down your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to team situations in professional terms right at the beginning to ensure a better work experience. At the same time, you should talk about your willingness to adapt.
Sample answer: I would say that I am a good team player as far as professional requirements are concerned. Yet, I would also say that I am not comfortable forming personal bonds at work, which takes away from me developing a better understanding with my colleagues.
8. Why do you want to work with us?
This is a very specific question, so do not generalize your answers. Have good prior research to back you up before you head for the interview. Do not use flattering terms, but be precise. Understand that your answer must show you to be very sorted and precise in what you expect from your job. In case you are applying for a particular patient, show your interest in the case.
Sample answer: I happen to have a lot of experience with patients suffering from [a particular disease or problem] and I feel that I would really help in improving the quality of life of the patient through my experience.
9. How would you resolve a disagreement with a colleague?
This question is applicable especially for those associated with hospitals or who have to interact with other nurses under the employment of the patient. As these are very common scenarios, you are expected to have a practical approach to this question.
Sample answer: I understand that things can become very tricky in such situations, especially in case of emergencies. In case quick reasoning does not help, in matters of daily affairs, I would consult an involved family member. In case of an emergency or a hospital setting, I would immediately contact my RN (in case you are not one) or the doctor.
10. Why are you leaving your present job?
This is one of the most common questions asked during job interviews because the interviewer wants to know if there is something in you they should be guarded against. It is advisable not to create a bad impression by badmouthing your previous employers.
Sample answer: I would say that in my previous job, I had reached a point where I felt that I have nothing much to contribute anymore. I must say that I have learnt a lot from there, but now I want to expand my horizons and concentrate on areas which would allow me to grow as a professional.
11. How would you deal with an anxious patient?
Pain and discomfort and fear often make patients very anxious, and things get more difficult in case they lose the proper faculties of communication. So your answer is to be well thought out.
Sample answer: I would primarily rely on my communication skills. I may say that I have a lot of patience, and I would try my best to alleviate the patient’s discomfort and make myself understood. In case it does not work, I would seek the help of my colleagues and get in touch with the RN.
12. How would you deal with sudden change in plans?
While schedule is of the utmost importance, unexpected circumstances are very common in travel nurse jobs. There may be problems with logistics or health emergencies. As a travelling nurse, adaptability is a much sought after quality. At the same time, you need to be careful of not being exploited.
Sample answer: As a travelling nurse, I am very aware of the importance of having access to emergency service providers. In case of unforeseen situations, I would, of course, get in touch with them and the family and proceed accordingly.
13. How much would you expect as payment?
Since you applied for this job only after the position was made available, you are expected to know an expected value of your travel nurse salary. In case you are an RN, your median annual salary is to be around $70,000, while for a licensed nurse, it is to be around $45,000. Having said that, keep in mind that a travelling nurse works under varied conditions, so the payment should be adjusted accordingly. It is best not to demand a specific figure yourself but wait for your employer to say it first so that there is room for negotiation.
Sample answer: I would expect my remuneration to be according to my qualification and the services I am expected to offer.
14. What is the most challenging aspect of your job, according to you?
Letting your employer know what is the most difficult aspect of your job is always a good idea. But to such a question, you should make it understood that not only are you qualified enough to deal with those challenges, but also love doing so. An employee in a highly demanded profession who cannot or does not deal with challenges would be overlooked in all probability, which you are surely aware of.
Sample answer: The aspect of my job that challenges me the most is maintaining emotional boundaries with patients. I find it extremely difficult to remain highly professional with people who rely on me so much on their darkest days. Yet, it is their dependence that drives me in my bid to not let them down.
15. What qualities do you think all nurses should possess?
You need to have good interview skills to deal with this deceptively simple question. Through this, your employer would not only understand what you prioritize as a nurse but would also get to decide if they too think the same. So it is best to play it safe by giving as generic a response as possible.
Sample answer: I would say that the qualities essential in a travelling nurse are dedication to the job, willingness to adapt, a good qualification, experience and trustworthiness.
Questions to ask during travel nurse interview
You may be given a chance to ask some questions of your own during the interview, and you should definitely use it. You can solve your doubts by enquiring in greater detail about your employers, their policies and why the previous person in your position left.
Yes, being a travel nursed is fun, and many people not only become one only because of their passion but also because of the adventure they get to take part in. So take a deep breath, face your interviewer, and you are all set. All the best!