Virtual Interviews Give Nurses More Options, Less Angst Onward offers tips for online nurse interviews that can get you working sooner Travel nurses are normally eager to start a new assignment, but the interviewing process may not hold as much welcome anticipation. Now Onward Healthcare, an AMN Healthcare company, is making it simpler, more convenient and less stressful with an online interview system that lets nurses complete an interview on their schedule. Many of Onward’s hospital clients use these virtual nurse interviews, allowing recruiters to get candidates placed more quickly. Nurses can also cut down on the number of times they need to interview. “Virtual interviews have sped up the process from application to placement at a facility,” said Myla Mason, RN, BSN, director of clinical operations at AMN Healthcare. “The clinician only needs to interview one time each year, rather than at each facility.” When Onward recruiters identify a nurse candidate, they will set up an interview. The nurse receives an email from the company, with an invitation to begin the online interview process. Candidates can access the web interview at any hour of the day. Once they begin, they are asked to complete written questions about their skills and how they would react to several clinical scenarios. Then the system will prompt the candidate to answer three behavioral questions.“The questions are similar to what a nurse manager would ask,” Mason said. The flexible scheduling seems to be a hit. Mason reported that nearly half of the virtual nurse interviews have been completed outside of normal business hours. The system offers digital video and traditional telephone options and technical support. Nurses can ask the recruiter written questions, as well. Tips for a successful online interview Candidates should plan their virtual interview for a time when they are relaxed and alert, have the time to prepare and can focus on the interview. As with traditional interviews, nurses should research the company before interviewing, dress appropriately for the interview, wear simple jewelry and be well-groomed. Candidates should keep the login ID professional. Select a quiet, softly lit and distraction-free place with nothing in the background to distract the nurse recruiter or hospital hiring authority. Likewise, close the windows, turn off the stereo or television and put pets in a quiet place. Nurses can think through responses, although some interview questions have time limits for answers. Recruiters recommend that candidates give concrete examples when possible, and stay focused and on topic. During the written portion, proof for grammatical errors or typos. During the digital interview, candidates should look at their web camera, making virtual “eye contact” with the recruiter and hiring managers who will be watching. Avoid swiveling or slouching in the chair, and position the camera to take in the head and shoulders. And don’t forget to smile! Virtual vs.traditional interviews Hospitals contracting with Onward Healthcare have the option to participate in virtual interviews or interview candidates on their own. The AMN/Onward team provides each facility with the written and oral components of the candidates’ interviews. Some hospitals still prefer to let their nurse managers interview candidates or to conduct a second telephone interview. The virtual interview often is faster, and every candidate for the available position is asked the same questions in the same way. That gives clinical reviewers and hospitals a way to compare answers. With traditional interviewing, it might take 72 hours or longer to schedule a telephone interview with the candidate and clinical interviewer. Each interview can take about 45 minutes or longer, and the transcription is up to the interviewer. Mason pointed out that it can be hard to catch every word in a telephone interview, so the new system that records each candidate’s answers adds an extra level of accuracy. Additionally, nurses typically complete the virtual interviews within 24 hours, allowing faster time for placements. Nurse candidates and hospitals seem to appreciate the virtual interview; it gives nurses an opportunity to showcase their talents. “I think the answers are better,” Mason said. Want to know more about travel nursing? Contact Onward Healthcare today to move your career onward and upward, or sign up for our free job alerts.