SBARQ & Interviewing?

Over the past couple of years I’ve completed several interviews. Something I use to dread. However it wasn’t until I attended a shared governance retreat where Liz Jazwiec was the opening keynote speaker. She has three published books, but the book I received was Eat That Cookie. The book focuses on workplace positivity (a future blog post), however what resonated from chapter 11 – Destination Unknown: How to Get Control of Your Career Destiny was her recommendation to interview once yearly. Why? “It gives us perspective of our own strengths and weaknesses.” There was so much truth to her recommendation once I implemented into practice. I embraced interviews more and became less nervous and anxious in the process.

New graduate nurses are taught the SBARQ format for communicating to advance providers as well as each other in handoff report. So what if, we mimic this process and apply the SBARQ concept for nurse communication to an interview structure? How would this look? Let’s see…

S = situation. The situation is you’re looking for a change. But why are you looking for a change? Have you articulated your answer aloud to yourself or someone else? Sitting on the opposite side of the table now, I appreciate an honest and well thought out response. 

B = background. The interviewer has your resume in hand, but hearing your nursing story regardless if you’re a new graduate or experienced nurse is a great opening question. One, this is your story and opportunity to sale yourself and explain how your experiences are transferable! It also hopefully alleviates any anxiety you might be experiencing. 

A = assessment. Have you assessed your qualifications based on the job description? Have you prepared for the interview? For example, as an external applicant have you researched the organizations mission, vision, and/or values? As an internal applicant have you connected with anyone in the department or contacted the hiring manager? What do you know about the position or organization? 

R = recommendations. Business professional attire! Regardless of applying for a clinical or non-clinical position when in doubt business professional.

As we move toward more social responsibility as few copies of your resume may not even be necessary, but have a few on hand just in case. One of my most interviews I had 17 copies of my resume available (definitely wasn’t necessary, in fact I handed out less than a handful). 

Q = questions. The interviewer will allocate time for questions. This is a given, therefor come prepared. I’m intrigued when an applicant ask me questions as if I’ve now become the applicant. Refrain from asking questions related to compensation; if references or background checks are verified, social media activity monitoring, etc. 

Be prepared to answer behavioral based questions and most importantly practice answering these kinds of questions either aloud or with someone else. As the saying goes, practice does make perfect!

I hope you’ve found these suggestions beneficial. I value feedback and would enjoy reading comments of suggestions/recommendations below! Happy Sunday!

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