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By Pat Mahan, Founder,

In this second article about the interview, I want to give you some insight about questions recruiters typically ask applicants. Basically, after an interview, the recruiter will have made at least five major judgements about you:
Are You A Team Player?
Do You Have Aptitude For The Job?
Do You Have Empathy & Compassion?
Do You Have Integrity & Honesty?
How Are Your Communication Skills?
To make these judgements, they will ask you questions that may not always seem to be what they are. Some examples of each are given below. Remember, they won't be reading from a script and could rephrase these questions a thousand ways. So have a seat, make yourself comfortable and let's see if you're the right candidate for the position, answer the following questions:
1) Team Player
Tell me about a time you were really busy at work and needed help. What did you do?
What could your last employer have done better?
How did you enjoy working for your last employer?
What kind of people do you like to work with? What makes them pleasant to work with?
What were some of the things about which you and your supervisor might occasionally disagree?
Describe the most difficult personality you had to work with. How did you handle that person?
What kind of people do you find it most difficult to work with? What is about them you would like to change?
2) Job Aptitude
Tell me about a really busy day you had recently; how did you prioritize your responsibilities?
What specific strengths do you think you can bring to this position?
What did you do the day before yesterday on the job - in detail?
What is it about your job that interests you?
What do you like about being a nurse? What don't you like about being a nurse?
What kind of pressures did you encounter in your previous job?
3) Empathy & Compassion
Tell me about a time you dealt with an angry family member. How did you handle it?
Tell me about a time you disagreed with your peers about how to handle a task. What did you do and what was the outcome?
4) Integrity & Honesty
Tell me about a time when you had to take a short cut in patient care. What did you do?
What kind of references do you think your previous employer will give you?
5) Communication Skills
For this, employers won't ask you any specific questions. They will make this assessment based on observation. Keep in mind these few rules:
Non-Verbal communication-at least 70% of what you communicate is done this way (body language, eye contact, subtle eye movement, tone, facial expressions and volume).
The quality of your questions (do the questions relate an understanding of the position, an interest in the job or in the pay and benefits)
The questions you didn't ask.
A good recruiter will use an 80/20 rule. That is they will listen 80% of the time and talk only 20% of the time. As I mentioned in last months article, think before you answer questions. Silence after an employer asks you a question is okay. When you do answer, try to answer completely and accurately.

I hope you enjoyed this little series. My next article will be on communication. It seems so easy, yet it's so complex. I firmly believe the majority of "problems" that you encounter in life are a result of direct or indirect miscommunications. I think you'll enjoy this stuff - I always do. If you have topics you would like me to write about, please feel free to send me your suggestion. You can write me anytime at In addition to being an entrepreneur, I have had a very broad experience including ICU, SICU, PICU, Management, Med-Surg, Rehab and of course always a "student".  I believe ours is a truely blessed profession and calling. Keep your focus when extrinsic factors try to blur your way and before you know it, you'll have achieved your goal.

About The Author
Pat Mahan is the nurse proprietor and designer of In his over 20 years of nursing, Pat has practiced in most clinical areas and has over 15 years management experience. Prior to launching, he was employed as a recruiter for the fifth largest long-term care company in the United States.

Pat’s eclectic range of titles include certified adult educator, speaker, parent, spouse and community volunteer. Other works of his can be found in many areas on the Internet as well, including some done as contributing editor for nursing at, and publisher of Nurses~4~Nurses, a bi-monthly nurs-e-zine. The sponsor of Top 100 Nursing Sites, Nursing Excellence Awards, and, he regularly returns to the nursing community that has been so good to him.

In March, Pat is sponsoring two half-day motivational workshops that will be offered free to nurses. The programs will be held in Melbourne, FL. These “Fanning The Flames” workshops will be presented by Linda Marie Sands of DreamQuest International. For more information you can write

 The Year 2020:  For the First Time in History, Infectious Disease Will Not be the
Primary Cause of Death Worldwide.
by Stephanie Thibeault, The Student Nurse Forum

Throughout human history, infectious disease has caused more deaths than all our battles, wars and natural disasters combined.  Historically, small pox, cholera and the plague have been  responsible for millions of deaths across the globe.  Even today, the biggest causes of death world-wide are infectious diseases.  The top two killers are pneumonia and diarrhea, with malaria, tuberculosis and AIDS quickly gaining ground.

In the latter part of the 20th century, we began to see a large increase in emerging diseases (diseases that were increasing in occurence or that were expected to increase in occurence).  This was due to a growing resistance to antibiotics, an exploding world population, easy access to international travel (which afforded diseases the opportunity to visit new countries overnight) and a decreasing public health infrastructure.  Additionally, new tools and technology allowed us to identify diseases that had always been there, but had yet to be discovered.

By 2020 however, current factors not-withstanding, infectious diseases will be replaced as the number one killers of mankind by heart disease, depression and car accidents.  We can already see the alarming rise and impact of these new threats in the United States and other industrialized nations.  Heart disease is the number one killer in America, which is directly related to smoking and the growth of the elderly population.  Motor-vehicle accidents kill more American children each year than infectious disease, which topped the list in 1945.  Depression, often hard to diagnose and treat, has become a silent epidemic in our country.

The advent of immunizations and modern treatments have greatly reduced the impact of infectious disease.  We have better control over them through prevention and early detection of outbreaks, so their effect is decreasing proportionately.  By 2020, the major health organizations of the world agree that infectious disease will no longer be the primary killer of mankind.

Will infectious diseases cease to be a threat?  Absolutely not...infectious diseases are not going to go away, but through the combined international effort of public health agencies and ongoing medical break-throughs, we have finally been able to diminish the severity of their impact.  The alarming increase in the new killers of the 21st century, heart disease, motor-vehicle deaths and depression, should garner increased research and public health attention, so we can adequately focus our resources on prevention and effective treatment for these new epidemics.

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