1. Hill, Karen RN,MS, FACHE
  2. Ingala, Judith RN, RPh, MS, CHE

Article Content

Interviewing a potential employee is a lot like a blind date.


When you seek a new employee, you target certain qualities and skills just as you plan for and anticipate the personality and characteristics of that new special someone.


Set the mood

To find someone who offers the personality and interests that will fit well with your existing staff, screen candidates over the phone to identify pitfalls before investing a large amount of interview time. Then, carefully select the location of your first encounter with chosen interviewees. Because candidates often don't commit to job change at the onset, a positive first meeting with a prospective manager can help them to make a decision.


You'll want to ensure a level of privacy during the interview, so consider using a quiet room or office. Is an office near the unit appropriate, or would a more private area work better? This detail is particularly important when the potential candidate hasn't given notice to his or her current employer or wants to keep the initial interview confidential.


Keep the interviewing environment as organized and uninterrupted as possible to ensure an acceptable amount of time for the candidate to respond to questions and to support a positive first impression of an organized department. Chaotic indifference can leave interviewees with the impression that you're a leader without sufficient time for staff or the department because of paperwork.


Use this introductory meeting to share insight about your organization's mission, vision, and values, as well as how your specific department fits into this overall strategy. Consider asking candidates to a second interview during which selected staff members can also meet them. Select staff representatives who are interested and willing to participate. Your organization's human resources department can educate staff participants about interviewing techniques, suggested questions, and areas to avoid to protect candidates' privacy rights. Through forewarning, coordinated scheduling, and a large enough pool of members, the team can provide at least one or two members to each interview.


Discuss details

To encourage further questions before the interview ends, take the candidate on a tour of your department and the facility. Tours serve as a culmination of the interview, enabling candidates to feel informed regarding job expectations, co-worker concerns, and the work environment. Also clearly communicate expectations through a job description and a written copy of your organization's staff bill of rights or employee handbook.


Finally, discuss salary and benefits and completion of pre-employment screening, including employee health and vaccination requirements or verification. When negotiating salary, remain mindful of the salary of internal personnel with similar experience, both in years and skills.


Great beginnings?

Plan your interviewing process as well as any social experience. Assess the potential candidate's personality, interest, and expectations about the new position to ensure a good match. Your solid interviewing techniques will help you land the best person for the available position. And then you can enjoy a bright future together.