You’ve selected a great location, your paperwork is completed, but the most crucial step is nailing the interview with the prospective hospital. We’ve compiled a list of top travel nursing interview no-no’s to ensure you avoid them and have a successful interview.

#10 Travel Nurse Interview Mistake: Not Following Up:  After the interview, it’s a good idea to follow up with your travel nurse recruiter. Let him/her know how the interview went and whether you’re still interested. Your recruiter will notify you promptly after hearing back from the hospital about the travel nurse assignment.

#9 Travel Nurse Interview Mistake: Forgetting to Smile:  A smile will change the tone in your voice significantly during the travel nurse interview. So be sure to plaster a toothy grin on your face when answering questions. Your cheek muscles may be sore afterward, but it’ll be worth it when you land the job.

#8 Travel Nurse Interview Mistake: Making Excuses:  If the travel nurse job is important to you, don’t make excuses about why you can’t have an interview at the designated time. Putting off the interview may have a negative impact, and you may miss out on the job to a more available travel nurse.

#7 Travel Nurse Interview Mistake: Lying on your Resume:  It may sound like a no-brainer, but you don’t want to get caught in a lie during your travel nurse interview because you “fibbed” on your resume to make it look better. If the interviewer inquires about it, you’re going to be embarrassed. And that’s a definite way not to get a call back.

#6 Travel Nurse Interview Mistake: Being Demanding:  A big turnoff for an interviewer is a demanding travel nurse. It’s understood that you’ll have expectations about the details of the position, but hospitals want travel nurses who are positive, flexible and team players. Be firm on what matters most to you without being difficult.

#5 Travel Nurse Interview Mistake: Being Unprepared:  One of the worst mistakes you can make is not being prepared for your travel nurse interview. Make sure you know the name of the facility and do some research on it. Learn as much as you can beforehand so you can ask questions during the interview. Plus, check and see if it has been in the news lately for new technology, specialty case, etc.

#4 Travel Nurse Interview Mistake: Getting Distracted:  If you want this job, then show it. When the time comes for your travel nurse interview, put aside all distractions and focus on impressing the interviewer. Don’t try and put away groceries; turn off the television, and have someone else watch the kids for an hour. First impressions are lasting, so make sure you give a great one.

#3 Travel Nurse Interview Mistake: Forgetting to Ask about Vacation Time:  During your travel nurse assignment, it’s inevitable that you’ll want to take time off to visit family, explore your new city or take a trip with friends. It’s imperative to ask about the hospital’s vacation policy and request any foreseeable time off so you don’t miss out on any fun travels. A smart tip: wait until the end of the interview, so you don’t come off as pushy or demanding.

#2 Travel Nurse Interview Mistake: Acting Unprofessional:  Professionalism is key when you have your travel nurse interview. Be polite and conversational, enthusiastic and interested. Avoid slang/empty words such as “like,” “um,” “you know” and “cool” during the interview. Also, make sure your phone outgoing voicemail message is interview-ready, with a cheerful and straightforward message.

#1 Travel Nurse Interview Mistake: Not Asking any Questions:  As a travel nurse, you’re not just the interviewee, you’re also the interviewer. Be sure to ask at least three questions during your travel nurse interview (floating policy, types of patients, etc.). Remember that you are trying to figure explanation if this hospital is the right choice for your travel nurse assignment.

Written by Kay Slane, RN, BSed, CGM (Certified Grad-level Nursing Management) Matriarch of Travel Nursing. The CEO of Highway Hypodermics®, LLC, the longest running travel nursing website by a traveling nurse. Author of “Highway Hypodermics: Travel Nursing 2019.”


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