DiversityNursing Blog

Get the Job Before Your Interview Starts!

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Jan 19, 2015 @ 01:19 PM

By Bridgid Joseph

job search resized 600

Changing jobs can be a stressful process for some because of the dreaded interview process. But there are a few pretty simple tips that can help put you, and your interviewer, at ease to make for a much better experience, and lead you closer to that new job you’ve been wanting! Stop letting the interview process paralyze your career.

For most people, the worst part of thinking about changing positions, or getting a new job, is the interview process. Maybe you are someone who gets nervous and sweats, shakes, or just can’t focus on the questions being asked, which makes the interviewing process torturous for you, something you dread, and guess what?

If you feel awkward and uncomfortable, so does the person interviewing you. As someone who has moved around quite a bit, interviewed for numerous jobs, and scored an offer each time (not to toot my own horn), I have learned some tricks to interview well, that are applicable to most people. And as someone who now interviews applicants, I have a whole new perspective of what and interviewer “sees” during an interview; there are some small Do’s and Don’ts that can make you appear more poised and ready than you may feel!

DO Dress the Part:

Even though you may be coming in for an interview for your first job as a nurse, Medical Assistant (MA), Patient Care Technician (PCT), etc. you want to dress as if you are coming in for a job as a Director or the Chief Nursing Officer. I am not telling you to spend a ton of money on some fancy suit, but you want to look nicely put together with clothes that fit you well and look nice.

I was walking from my car to an interview and I was wearing these great fitted pants that I found on sale at one of my favorite stores and couldn't believe they were 60% off, they looked great, fit great, and with a top that I already owned, and a pair of smart black shoes, I felt (and looked) like a million bucks. Until I tripped a little, looked down, and realized the hem gave away on one of my pant legs (probably why such an amazing pair of pants were on such a super sale in my size), so I acted quickly, hobbled quickly to my car, did a little “runway” hem with some tape that I had in my car (i.e. I taped up the hem inside of my pants), and went back on my way. 

Even though it was a bit of smoke and mirrors show, no one knew that my pants were taped together, and I even got complimented on how great my outfit looked. You don’t need to spend a lot, to look like a lot, but looking neat in nicely fitting clothes, shows that you are putting in the effort to put your best foot forward and show yourself in the best light. 

DON’T Dress for a Night Out or a Day of Work:

If you are applying for a clinical job, yes it is awesome that we get to wear scrubs to work everyday, and it does make those of us that work clinically, at a deficit for “business” attire in our wardrobes, but it doesn't make it acceptable for us to wear scrubs to an interview. You also want to make sure that you aren't wearing something that you would choose to wear out to a bar/nightclub with your friends. 

I have seen quite a few outfits in my time that make me think twice about the applicants common sense. Don’t make the interviewer question your common sense; that means you have set yourself up to have to prove your intelligence and critical thinking skills, despite what your resume might say!

(I realize I put this in twice, but I can’t tell you how many times I have seen people really inappropriately dressed for interviews!!)

DO Have Good Posture: 

Did you know that sitting straight up and keeping your shoulders back make you appear smarter, attentive, and more of a leader?

Well, it does. I may be interviewing you for a position in an entry level, but I am more apt to hire someone that shows me they can be a leader within their position and will work hard and role model their leadership skills. And if they stay in their position, they will hopefully move up the ranks quickly.

DON’T Oversell Yourself: 

A big mistake interviewees make is overselling their skills. If you don’t have a certain skill set for a job you are interviewing for, that’s OK. Not everyone is an expert in their field when they first start, right? 

We all start somewhere. So when you are asked, for example, “How comfortable are you taking care of a patient on with an intraaortic balloon pump?” and you think “A WHAT?!?!?”

Don’t sweat it, and give an honest response such as, “I haven’t had the experience of taking care of such a patient, but I have extensive other skills, such as [insert skills here] that I learned quickly, and I would love the opportunity to learn more about those patients and their specific needs. Is this a common patient type on your unit?” 

You do two things with that answer...

You let me look back at your resume to review your skills, and you also show that you are interested in this experience and willing to learn. I may be looking for a more experienced nurse, but I will definitely consider you and your willingness to learn as a huge asset; I would rather hire someone motivated to learn and improve than someone who is stagnant in their learning process and no longer feels excited about their role. 

DO Be Honest on Your Resume: 

Sometimes it is glaringly obvious when people tell mistruths on their resumes, and sometimes it isn't, but it usually becomes obvious during an interview. I have had perspectives that added some skills into their resume that they don’t have, and through standard interview questions, it got quite awkward as I realized they did not have the skills they boasted about. (see don’t oversell yourself!)

DO Be Positive: 

As with all experiences in life, if you walk in feeling positive, confident, with a big smile on your face, and an open mind, you can win over almost anyone! There is no need to be nervous as the worst thing that can happen is that the job isn't a match; so think positively and imagine that you already have the job, and your interview will be a great experience. 

If you want a change in your career/life, send out those resumes and get your interview smile on and go get that new job! 

Source: http://allnurses.com

Topics: healthcare, career, jobs, work, job, resume, careers, interview, job interview, hire, hired

Why I became a human guinea pig

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Mon, Sep 22, 2014 @ 01:36 PM

By Caleb Hellerman

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Earlier this week, Brian Shepherd sat down in a small doctor's office in Bethesda, Maryland. A technician swabbed his arm and gave him a quick jab with a needle.

With that, Shepherd became subject No. 13 in the experiment testing a potential Ebola vaccine.

The trial was launched on an emergency basis earlier this month by the National Institute on Allergy and Infectious Disease. It's the first to test this kind of Ebola vaccine in humans.

"It's not just for the money," Shepherd wrote in a Reddit AMA. "I'm very interested in translational research and experiencing it from the guinea pig side is very rewarding. But yeah, the money helps. This one study will fund most of my grad school application costs, though not in time for application season."

The vaccine doesn't use live virus and can't infect volunteers with Ebola. Instead it uses specific Ebola proteins to trigger an immune response. They're delivered through the body on a modified version of an adenovirus, a type of cold virus.

In the initial phase, 10 healthy volunteers were given a low dose of vaccine. They were monitored for side effects and tested to see if their bodies are producing antibodies. In the second phase, of which Brian is a part, an additional 10 volunteers are being given a higher dose.

All participants will be followed for nearly a year and tested at regular intervals.

Shepherd, who has volunteered for several prior research studies at NIH, spoke with CNN about his experience.

The following is a condensed version of that conversation:

CNN: How did you come to join the study?

Brian Shepherd: I actually work at NIH; I'm a post-doc researcher in a developmental biology lab. Most trials I learn about from reading a ListServ (email list).

I heard about the vaccine study from going to preliminary meetings for a different study.

CNN: When was this?

Shepherd: Less than a month ago. I had my first appointment on August 26. It was just a sit-down, to talk about the trial, go through paperwork and consent forms, explaining what the trial was for. Then they did an initial run-through of my health history.

CNN: What was next?

Shepherd: The next week I had my second appointment. They did a full physical, blood work, health history, breathing checks. A lot of poking and prodding. My third visit was Wednesday. They drew blood, then gave me a shot. Now, my next appointment is Sunday.

CNN: What was it like? You wrote that pulling off the Band-aid was the worst of the pain.

Shepherd: I'm supposed to keep a daily diary for the first seven days, logging my temperature and any symptoms. The next morning, I woke up with a slight fever, 100.5. I took some Tylenol and it went away.

Other than that I feel fine. In fact, I ran a half-mile in a relay race at lunchtime with some people from work.

CNN: You wrote that for each of these regular visits, you're paid $175. How many times have you been a human guinea pig?

Shepherd: This is my second drug trial. Before that, I did mostly MRI studies.

The first one I did, I was in the MRI machine and had three tasks. They gave me two buttons and showed pictures. If it was Spiderman, I'd hit one button; if it was the Green Goblin, I'd hit the other. So I spent 15 minutes playing Spiderman vs. Green Goblin.

CNN: Did you have any reservation at all, taking part in this Ebola vaccine trial?

Shepherd: None at all.

Source: http://www.cnn.com

Topics: healthcare, vaccine, volunteer, medicine, Ebola, testing, interview, cures

NAHN Receives Five-Year Federal Grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH)

Posted by Erica Bettencourt

Wed, Aug 06, 2014 @ 11:11 AM

 

webCropped NAHN logo RGB

The National Association of Hispanic Nurses (NAHN) has received a five-year, $1.24 million Science Education Partnership Award (SEPA) grant from the National Institutes of Health to support NAHN’s collaborative project with the Hispanic Communications Network (HCN) entitled Hispanic Role Models in Health Careers.

This collaborative NIH R25 program has been established to address the need for cultural and linguistic diversity among health professionals by recruiting and interviewing bilingual role models and arranging to broadcast those interviews. Through these efforts, the project aims to inform Spanish-speakers about the range of health careers open to them through proper education, and to inspire them to imagine themselves in careers focusing on health and medicine.

Leveraging HCN’s nationally-broadcast health education radio shows, whose cumulative audiences are larger than NPR’s “All Things Considered,” as well as the social media outreach of both organizations, this project has the potential to reach one-third of the nation’s Hispanic population during its first five years.

“In the United States, registered nurses represent 3 million members, the largest segment of the U.S. health care workforce.Yet, Hispanics still comprise only 3.6 percent of all nurses. I am excited that NIH has provided NAHN the opportunity to be able to reach out to our Hispanic youth with hopes to inspire them into becoming a professional nurse,” said Angie Millan, Principal Investigator of the Hispanic Role Models In Health Careers.

“This new SEPA project, Hispanic Role Models in Health Care Careers, is aligned with NAHN’s commitment to support professional career opportunities for Hispanic nurses and their effort to improve health in Hispanic communities. The project also supports the SEPA’s goals of providing opportunities for students from underserved communities to pursue careers in biomedical fields and to improve community health literacy,” said Dr. Tony Beck, director of the NIH Office of Science Education/SEPA.

In addition to national media outreach, a number of bilingual online resources for health career aspirants will be established, including an extensive database of volunteer professionals who have said “¡Sí!¡Seré Mentor!” (“Yes! I will mentor you!”). These resources will provide Hispanics of all ages and walks of life with the opportunity to form relationships with seasoned healthcare professionals.

Additional outreach to be established alongside the project include: public speaking and media relations training opportunities provided for attendees of NAHN’s annual conference; an Advisory Committee of health organizations, professionals and advocates established to recommend role models and provide periodic feedback; and bilingual independent evaluators associated with the UC Berkeley School of Public Health instituted to conduct rigorous evaluation throughout the project.

To learn more about the Hispanic Role Models in Health Careers program, please visit www.nihsepa.org

Topics: hispanic, NAHN, NIH, grants, HCN, recruit, interview, role models, broadcast, communications

What New Nurses Need To Know About Job Interview Questions

Posted by Alycia Sullivan

Fri, Jan 31, 2014 @ 01:24 PM

By  for HealthCallings.com

Acing an interview: It’s all about how you respond to questions

A strong resume, sent to the right hospitals, practices, or clinics–healthcare employers thatWhat New Nurses Need To Know About Job Interview Questions - Health Callings you’ve researched online and scored tips from other nurses who work or have worked there–is step one in getting the job you want.

Nurse recruiters, hiring managers, and HR staff, who review your resume, are looking for far more than just making a skill set match.  Step two is convincing them that you aren’t just qualified for the position you’ve applied for–you are the position’s best candidate!   And, while your resume gets you the face-to-face job interview, it’s the rapport you establish the moment you sit down in front of the interviewer that will land you that job offer.  They want to know:

  • How you communicate your capabilities, experience, achievements, and skills and your expectations about the position for which you are interviewing; and
  • How you respond (and react) to the questions and situations pitched at you during the interview.

Employers are concerned with three basic questions

According to Mary M. Somers, author of The Complete Guide to Successful Interviewing for Nursing Studentsmost interview questions come from an employer’s concern with three basic questions:

  • What can you do for us?
  • Why do you want to work with us?
  • What are you like once we’ve gotten to know you?

Knowing how to respond to the questions you’ll be fielding during an interview–some predictable, some challenging, and some with no “right” answer–doesn’t just position you as a confident and prepared interviewee, it puts you ahead of the competition, too.

Practice answering job interview questions

Ask friends and colleagues about their job interview experiences to get an idea of what questions to expect.  Practice answering the questions by consciously thinking about how you will answer them and about personal situations and experiences that will enhance your responses.  Below is a list of other useful job interview sources for nurses.

What to avoid during the job interview

According to career expert Somersexhibiting the following traits, characteristics, and actions during an interview will decrease your chances of getting a job offer.

  • Overbearing presence
  • Inability to express yourself clearly
  • Lack of planning for career
  • Lack of interest and enthusiasm
  • Lack of confidence and poise
  • Failure to participate in activities
  • Overemphasis on money
  • Poor scholastic record
  • Evasiveness
  • Lack of tact
  • Lack of maturity
  • Lack of courtesy
  • Condemnation of past employers
  • Lack of vitality
  • Failure to maintain eye contact
  • Indecision
  • Little sense of humor
  • Lack of knowledge in field of specialization
  • No interest in company or in industry
  • Narrow interests
  • Inability to accept criticism
  • Radical ideas
  • Lack of familiarity with company 

© Health Callings, Dice Holdings Inc., 2014

Source: HealthCallings.com 

Topics: nurses, nursing, interview, interviewing, Job Hunting

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