Quick Interview Tips for Traveling Nurses

When you’re getting ready for your next travel nursing assignment, the interviews can be a nerve-racking part of the process. But if you get prepared with these interview tips, you’ll ace it!

Nurse Managers, or other hiring professionals, aren’t just going to settle for any candidate that can do the job. They want to find someone that fits the requirements of the job description, is good cultural fit for their team or hospital, can adapt quickly to the unit, and (probably most important) has a positive and helpful attitude.

So how do you ace the interview? By preparing and practicing!


Being prepared for the interview is the best way to calm your jitters. You’ll feel more relaxed and will be ready for anything the interviewer could come up with. Here are three essential interview tips for the preparation stage:

  1. Research the Facility: Read through the facility website and become familiar with their core values. One way to really impress an interviewer is to use some of their core values in your question responses! Go to some websites like Glassdoor.com to see how the facility is rated. Facebook has a large number of groups you can join where you could ask some fellow travelers about their experience. It’s a great way to get some feedback before you jump in.
  2. Know Your Resume: Most travel nursing interviews will happen over the phone so you can keep your resume close by during the interview, but know it well! All the information the interviewer has about you is on that sheet of paper. Refer back to your resume when you’re answering their questions. Give them some context to what you have highlighted on it. The better you know your own resume, the better prepared you will be.
  3. Prepare Your Own Questions: Interviews are a two-way street. While the interviewer is determining whether you’re a good fit, you should be doing the same thing! Come prepared with some questions of your own. It will show the interviewer that you are genuinely interested in the position and, more importantly, it helps you determine if the job would be a good fit for you.

One of our recruiters, Heather B. has had a ton of experience helping our nurses get ready for interviews. She suggests, “When you know you’ve been submitted to a few jobs and are waiting for an interview, keep a little notebook handy. Jot down any questions you want to ask ahead of time and some bullet points of what is most important to you. This is a great way to keep your priorities top-of-mind and avoid the ‘interview freeze’ we all get when we’re under pressure. Plus, then you can easily make notes about the call—what charting system they use, how they schedule, what the scrub colors are. Don’t forget to write down the name and title of the person who interviewed you!”

Here are a few questions to jot down ahead of time:

  • What is the nurse-to-patient ratio?
  • What kind of support do registered nurses receive in this healthcare setting?
  • What is the scheduling process?
  • What specific challenges do the nurses at this facility face?
  • What shifts are available, and which shift am I being considered for?
  • How many other travelers have you had in this facility in the past?
  • How many days of orientation would there be for someone in this position?
  • Which units will I float between when the census is low?


Practice DOES make perfect. Find an honest friend that will sit down with you to run through some potential interview questions and give you some feedback. Travel nursing interviews typically have two different categories of questions. They will ask you about your experience and expertise, but they also want to review your character and your ability to handle stressful situations. Here is a list of some of the questions you can practice with:

  • Where did you receive training and in what specialty? Did it include any certifications?
  • How do your training and experience fulfill our job requirements?
  • What have been your most significant accomplishments to date?
  • What do you consider your strengths and weaknesses as a nursing professional?
  • Why are you leaving your present job?
  • What did you like and dislike about your previous position?
  • Why do you want to work in our hospital and/or community?
  • How do you stay current with the nursing profession?
  • Can you describe a situation in which you handled a patient that was difficult?
  • Are you capable of wise and fast decision making? Please provide an example of this.
  • Have you ever disagreed with a colleague over the management of a patient? How was this resolved?
  • What changes have you contributed to established practices to improve patient care?
  • What was a typical day in your previous job like?
  • How do you manage stressful situations?

When you prepare and practice for your next interview, you can nail any question the manager throws your way and you will be one step closer to your next adventure!

Apply nowWhether you’re just getting started or you’re an experienced traveler, trustaff’s team of career specialists are always at the ready to help you become the most successful traveling nurse you can become! Contact us at 877-880-0346 or apply online today.

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