If you’ve read the firstfourparts of this series, you’re well on your way to going into your nursing interview with confidence. This last post will help you approach the questions on the topic that makes nursing candidates the most nervous: Money.In Part 1 of this series, we explored how every question you might be asked will fit into one of four categories:
4. Can we work the money out?
In this post, Part 5 of the series, we’ll examine the last category of questions:
Can we work the money out?
Questions like these are asked far less often than the other three types of questions and most entry-level nursing jobs come with a standard starting pay. You don’t have to be a master at negotiation to come to an agreement on salary.Here are three examples of “Can We Work the Money Out” questions you should be prepared for:
1. What is your desired salary?
- DO your research! This is really the best advice for being able to talk about salary with an interviewer. There are many sites online that can give you median entry-level salary figures for the specific field you’re entering. Look at the national and local numbers and be prepared to talk about anything that makes you different from the norm if you’re going to shoot for anything higher (examples: years of experience, education, awards, etc)
- DON'T bring up this question first. In fact, let the hiring manager do it. Not only do you have zero room to negotiate from the position of interviewee, but it makes you look like you’re only in it for the money. Be patient and negotiate when the time is right.
*Bonus Points: This question often comes up on forms you must fill out before the interview even starts! All you need to remember when filling out this box is that you shouldn’t over-shoot. No hiring manager would waste their time interviewing someone who expects twice what their standard entry-level salary is, so aim for the median (you’ve, of course, looked this up!) or slightly lower.
2. If we were to hire you, how much time would you need before starting?
- DO emphasize that you don’t want to burn any bridges at your old job. Always speak highly of other institutions/employers, if you speak of them. Criticizing others in an environment like this only makes you look bad.
- DON'T give an exact number unless you actually have an exact number. Always opt to give a range when asked these types of questions. An even better bet would be to ask the hiring manager this question as they will put their cards on the table before you.
*Bonus points: While this question isn’t specifically related to compensation, employers want to know that you are flexible in making the onboarding process as smooth as possible. If there are specific money-related conditions you have that would make the transition process easier, now is the time to bring them up. (Examples: moving costs, when you can expect the first paycheck, etc...)
3. Do you have any questions for us?
- DO have 3-5 questions prepared. Hiring managers want to see that you’re engaged and curious about the job. This is a great time to broach further about compensation, but you must do it in a tactful and strategic way.
- DON'T not prepare for this question. In fact, you can almost count on this being the final question of your first interview. Avoid being a “deer in headlights” and write your questions out in order to find out the information most important to you. You can often use the answers to many of these questions in negotiating salary later on.
*Bonus points: In order to broach the money subject without explicitly asking about money, here are a few questions you can consider asking:
What are the next steps in the interview process?
How will I be trained?
What are the performance expectations for this job, and how will those change the longer I’m in the position?
Can you talk about development opportunities for this department and any advancements I might work toward?
Is there room for negotiation in salary?
Now that you've gone through this comprehensive 5-part series, you should be set to answer any question that comes your way in an interview. Clipboard Health makes it easier than ever to match nurses and CNAs with jobs, so if you haven't already, be sure to sign up today!If you haven't read the rest of the series, be sure to click on the links below for example questions in each category and tips on how to answer them: