7 Questions Every Nurse Traveler Should Ask During a Phone Interview

As your Go Healthcare Recruiter, we get as excited as you do when we hear that you are about to get THAT call:  the phone interview!   Make sure you get answers to these seven interview questions before hanging up.

We have planned for this call.  We have planned, reviewed the job description, and discussed the location.  Based on your current experience, this travel nurse contract would be perfect for you.   However, we remind our nurse candidates that it’s the conversation with the hiring manager during the phone interview that can “seal the deal” on whether this is truly the right travel contract for you.

So before you pack your bags and gas up the car for this 13-week travel assignment, let us share the experiences from previous Go Travelers’ phone interviews.   You will get a lot information during your 15-20 minute conversation with the hiring manager;  make sure to take notes and get these seven questions answered:

1.  Ask about Floating. “If I need to be floated, what unit(s) will I be floated to?”

It is always good to know what is expected of you.  Keep in mind as a Joint Commission certified company, Go Healthcare ensures you can only be floated to units where you have had previous experience.

2.  Ask about “call-offs”.  “What is your policy regarding call-offs?”

Nurse Travelers are hired because the unit/facility has staffing needs, but on occasion, census does drop and if you can’t be floated, you may be called off.   Also, worth noting, most contracts do guarantee your weekly hours,  but if there’s not a weekly guarantee, know what to expect.

3.  Ask about Orientation.  “What can I expect for orientation?”

Ask specifically about what you can expect for unit orientation besides the general hospital orientation.

4.  Ask about your schedule.

This is the appropriate time to inquire about what type of schedule you will be working.  Oftentimes, the travel nursing job order you’ve been submitted to has a specific shift assigned; however, the interview call is a great time to clarify the actual times.  Other questions you may want to ask are:

“Are there other shifts open/available?”

“Is it okay to have to block my schedule?”

“Can you confirm the weekend requirements?”

For Dialysis, PACU, OR in some cases, ICU nurses, ask, “Should I expect to be ‘on call’ and “how many hours per week should I expect to be scheduled ‘on call”?    -You won’t know unless you ask.

5. Ask and get approval for your “Time Off Request”

Any time off request must be included as part of your submission that we forward to the hiring manager prior to your interview.  Make sure to discuss your time off request and get the approval before you end your call.  In our experience, additional time off requests after your interview delays the final job offer.   Final take away:  get the time off request approved during your interview.

6. Ask “Is it okay to call you back if I have additional questions?”

The ability to get back in touch with the hiring manager is critical should there be further questions or concerns about the final offer we received.  This may be one of the most important questions to ask.  Don’t end the call without making sure you have the hiring manager’s full name and contact number and/or email.

7.  Ask “When can I start?”

Once you’ve completed your interview and feel that you are a good fit for the unit, it’s perfectly all right to ask, “When can I start? or “Will my start date work for you?”.   This question shows the hiring manager that you are serious about accepting the position.  This can let her know she does not need to interview/call another traveler for the position.   She should feel confident that she has just talked to her new RN traveler for her unit.

Our goal at Go Healthcare is to make sure you are in the know before you GO.   Whether you’re a seasoned traveler or this is your first contract (congratulations, by the way), it is always a good idea to keep these seven questions in mind before you have your phone interview.    Are you looking for your next travel contract?   Explore all of our available travel nursing jobs!

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