4. Scenario: The Interview

In this lesson, we will explore some of the practical applications of open communication as we view an interview scenario between an internationally educated nurse and a nurse manager.

In considering what happens before, during, and after an interview, we hope you will be able to recognize ways in which you can help improve open communication in an interview, allowing you to make the best possible decision about who you should hire.

The Interview

In the following video, we will watch Amisi’s interview with Joan, the nurse manager. As you watch the video, think about their communication styles and Joan’s interviewing skills.

(To read along click here.)

Self-Reflection: Interview

The Beginning

Consider building 15 minutes into the schedule for all candidates before the official interview begins so that they can read over the questions that they will be asked, compose their thoughts, and plan out their answers. This makes for a more useful interview all around.

At the beginning of an interview, breaking the ice with small talk is a good idea. But keep in mind that your organization is being assessed right along with the candidate. It’s important to set the stage properly for the interview so that both sides can make educated decisions about whether to move forward.

As the interview begins, you can put the candidate at ease by going over what they can expect throughout the interview and by reviewing the description of what the position involves. You may also want to provide an overview of the company and any advantages of working there.

Research shows that gestures, body language, and speaking style can account for over ninety percent of a first impression. In order to find the best candidate for the job, someone with the knowledge, skills and abilities needed, it’s in an employer’s best interest to be aware of this area for potential bias, and to work through it.

During the Interview

Be sure to speak at a normal speed with short, simple sentences. Make the questions short and straightforward instead of trying to cover several points in one long question. Try to avoid stumbling blocks like colloquial expressions, jargon, and acronyms. Allow time for your candidates, who may be speaking English as a second or third language, to formulate their responses. Giving the candidate permission to ask questions or ask for clarification also helps them to do their best so you can get an accurate picture of their suitability for the position.

Here are some other tips to consider:

  • Ask each question in sequence, and avoid jumping around. Sticking to one topic at a time allows the candidate to understand the context of what you’re saying.
  • If you hear a confusing or unexpected answer, the candidate may have simply misunderstood you. Be prepared to rephrase your question.
  • Ask for examples of past work experiences. This will allow you to get a clearer picture of what the candidate is capable of, giving them a chance to truly show their competencies.
  • Listen effectively. If you don’t hear or understand a word or phrase, ask for clarification. If a response sounds unusual or unexpected, validate what you heard. Try to listen past errors, focusing on the intended meaning. Monitor yourself to make sure you’re remaining engaged and not tuning out.

All of these components will help to ensure you hire the right person for the job—and that you don’t overlook someone for reasons unrelated to the job.

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