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Bridging Boundaries: Best Practices for Interviewing International Healthcare Talent 

By Kara
|Nov 17, 2023

During this live session, we address how to tackle interviewing internationally educated nurses. What questions can you ask? How to ease the applicants during the first few minutes of the interview? What insights to share in order to attract the applicants to your facility? 

 

Chandler, a PRS global client service manager and Paul, a nurse at a well-known university hospital, both share their perspectives in order to make it easier for you to understand what needs to be done. 

 

Chandler shares some of the practices his clients had success with international applicants. The top 3 practices are discovery, engaging and informing. He advises facilities to get to know their applicants, ask them about the 4 W’s, and give them some insights on how things would look like if they worked with your facility to paint the picture for them. 

 

During this live session Paul gave a nurses’ perspective on the interview process. He also shared some things that really made a difference and concluded with some recommendations that could really come in handy for interviewing internationally educated nurses that were applying to the US. 

 

The live session explores what goes into the making of a clear and successful IEN interview. Watch the live session to grab the key practices you as a facility can use in order to stand out and attract international nurses to work with you. 

 

Start of Video 

 

Kara Murphy (0:08)  

All right, well, welcome to our first LinkedIn live session, which is very exciting. And today we are tackling the topic of interviewing internationally educated nurses. 

 

Today, we have Chandler, who is one of PRS Global’s client service managers. And Paul, who is an internationally educated nurse, was very successful with an interview and has a position in the United States and is currently going through the immigration process, which is very exciting. 

 

Chandler is really known for facilitating these successful onboarding interviews between internationally educated healthcare professionals and US-based hospital systems or skilled nursing facilities. He just has a really great way of bridging and has seen many, many interviews. So if you want somebody who can really share with you what different hospitals are doing and some of the best interviews he has seen. So, we’re excited to have you, Chandler. 

 

And Paul is going to be able to share the perspective of just his experience and what he found really helpful when he was doing the interview and ultimately helped him choose to go with that hospital. And so together, they’re going to share some best practices. 

And with that, I’m going to hand it over to you, Chandler, you want to kick this off? 

 

Chandler (1:29) 

Yeah, absolutely. I’m excited to be on this platform with you guys. Yeah, I mean, I think that we’ve identified really three key practices that clients that have had the most success with international applicants that we found. The first thing I would say would be the discovery. So best practice would be to discover about the applicant, right, like these are asking the four W’s of who they are as a working professional?  

 

When did they decide to become a nurse? Why did they decide to become a nurse? And what their long-term goals are? I think that discovery process, you know, PRS is going to be doing our due diligence of presenting qualified applicants, and now just making sure that they’re going to be a good fit for the organization. I think, Paul, you said earlier, before we hopped on that, you had some questions that, you know, a nurse manager might ask that really helped you out. 

 

Paul Garcia (2:26) 

Yeah, I think the question, tell me about yourself. It’s very important to be asked as the first question, the initial question, because, you know, the applicant is a bit nervous for the first five minutes of the interview process. So at least it’s a more personal question, rather than jumping to your job, your experience, and so on and so forth. So at least these personal questions will give elbow space for the applicants to gather his thoughts, and, you know, manage his emotions. And it really helped the applicant to relax, answering those questions. So, I think that is a very good question.  

 

And also, the question, what are your priorities? So that is a very good question also to be asked to the applicants, at least, you know the priorities of that person. And that’s discovering who you’re hiring, right? 

 

Kara Murphy (3:36) 

That’s great. And it’s really a way to connect at the beginning. But I love how you’re just sharing with managers out there that are interviewing internationally educated nurses – it’s nerve-racking, right? Because you’re not just interviewing for a new job at a new hospital, you’re interviewing for coming to a new country.  

 

And so, I love, Paul, that you share that tidbit that just asking “tell me a little bit about yourself” helps to kind of take down those nerves and helps you be really present during that interview. That was great. 

 

Chandler (4:11)  

Yeah, I would say the second best practice is to make sure that you’re engaging, right, be enthusiastic about this opportunity that you’ve got. So, I mean, your excitement that you’re going to be portraying to the applicant, based on your demeanor, and how you’re interacting with them, is really going to sell that work environment and see that they’re going to be stepping into an opportunity that’s not just for the short term, but it’s a long-term career option.  

 

So, I would say being engaging also helps settle those nerves that Paul mentioned. And Paul, it sounded like you had a pretty good experience whenever you had your client interview. Is that right? 

 

Paul Garcia (4:49) 

Yeah, yeah, I did. I remember during my interview, the manager smiled at me. He called me by my first name and then he asked questions, he asked me, how am I. So, this really helped me to engage with that manager. So I think that’s a good practice. 

 

Kara Murphy (5:11)  

I love that. So just a simple smile and using your first name really helped you feel connected. So it’s important with who the manager is that’s going to interview you, right, like that. Just taking that extra time to find people who can really connect makes a difference. 

 

Chandler (5:32)  

Yeah, it’s definitely just like, even something as simple as, “Hey, make sure your video camera’s on”, you know, make sure that you’ve got good lighting and that you’re not doing a million other things. And that there’s a portrayal that like your attention is solely on what’s happening in this interview process. So that type of engagement is really going to yield the best result for sure. 

 

Kara Murphy (5:53) 

And Chandler, I remember you telling me one time that when managers are all in the same room, and they’re at a table, and they’re further away, you’ve noticed that it’s not as easy to connect with the healthcare professional. So having Zoom and having each face right there is a little bit easier to connect. 

 

Chandler (6:17) 

Right? Yeah, absolutely. Yeah, make sure that it’s not just one big group, because audio issues and things like that, from a technical standpoint. But also, maybe there’s some of those folks who are behind the scenes in the hiring process, but maybe they’re not going to be the person who’s really making the decision. So making sure that you limit it to the people that need to be on the call, and then having your own individual logins that just gives a little bit more of a personal touch to it. 

 

Kara Murphy (6:44) 

That’s great. Thank you for that. 

 

Chandler (6:47) 

Certainly, yeah. And I would say our third best practice is to inform. So, you’re 10 minutes into an interview, right? You’ve gotten to know Paul, the nurse, and you’re like, “Oh my goodness, like he’s amazing, we’d love to have him if we could have him tomorrow, like we would do it”. You know, make sure that once you’ve kind of identified that in the middle of the process, this is an opportunity to begin informing the candidate about all of the things that make the facility great. Perhaps it’s the benefits, it’s the career ladder, it’s the work environment that they have. 

 

And maybe it’s something as simple as just talking about the parks and the neighborhood and all the fun things to do in the community. Because, you know, a lot of people that are going to be coming, they’re gonna be coming not just by themselves, they’ll be coming with families. And so they want to know things about like the school systems, safety, the cost of living, things like that. So, it’s going to be an opportunity for you to paint the picture to show them like, hey, this is how it would look for you to live in our community, to work in our facility, but also to make a broader impact within the community as a whole. 

 

So, Paul, I mean, I can just say, as somebody that hasn’t had to make this experience, or to make this jump, probably being informed about all those things is gonna put you at ease and help you make an informed decision. And I would, I would say some of those things about, you know, Paul, what would you say, you know, as somebody who hasn’t been to the United States, what were some of the things that they shared with you, that helps you say, “Okay, I think this is going to be the best fit for me and my family.” 

 

Paul Garcia (8:24) 

Oh, well, the manager told me the opportunities that the US can give to my family, to my wife, who is also a nurse, the education, the free education for my kids. So actually, those are my priorities. So when I heard them from the manager, I said to myself, “Okay, this is the country that I want to grow old”. At least, you know, I will have a better life. Because I’m here in Saudi Arabia and one of my concerns is, you know, I’m working far from my family, and the US is the, you know, the country which will give me the opportunity to work at the same time to be with them. So I think that’s the breaking point of choosing America, aside from the fact that nurses receive a good salary here, there. 

 

Kara Murphy (9:26)  

Now, that’s great. And Paul, I, you know, I didn’t even think of that part. But right now, you’re working in another country, and your family isn’t there with you. So that was really important to you, for the manager to be sharing about the school and a little bit more than typically we share in the United States when we’re having these interviews so that’s great that you shared, you know, just adding a little bit more information on beyond just the hospital. So that’s great. Paul, anything else that either when you interviewed for the University Hospital, something that they did that really made the interview fantastic, or any other recommendations that you have, for managers who are going to be interviewing internationally educated nurses. 

 

Paul Garcia (10:18) 

Perhaps they can give promotional videos of the health care facility to the applicants, that would, that will really help us. Because there is a waiting time before you are being interviewed. So we can maximize that time by, you know, sharing a video of the healthcare facility. At least before the interview, the applicant has an idea. Okay, this is the hospital, I can relate with the hospital because I have some information about the hospitals. So I think if they have some video clips about the hospitals showing to the applicant. 

 

Kara Murphy (11:03) 

That’s great. I love that, Paul, that’s, that’s great advice. And we do have some clients that even put together a video to welcome those that are going to be interviewing, it really does make a difference. I think that’s great advice for best practice. 

 

Chandler, anything else that you see in those healthcare, or hospital systems that have a better conversion and any tips that you have that you see that are really best practices. 

 

Chandler 11:37  

I think it really kind of boils down to the, just the common phrase, you get what you put in, right. So if you’re putting forth your best foot, and you’re making an investment from everything from how you present yourself on the interview process, all the way to how you greet them at the airport or welcoming them when they arrive, that’s what you’re gonna get out of this, right. So some things that you can do, like Paul had just mentioned, like leverage your marketing collateral to really paint the picture prior to that interview happening. So that way, when a nurse like Paul gets to step foot virtually, in an interview, they’re going to be able to know exactly what they’re getting into. And they’ll be able to even do a self-assessment to make sure that they’re qualified, and they see themselves working in that institution.  

 

So you know, really just put your best foot forward, make sure that everybody that’s going to be interacting with these nurses, whether you’re in a senior leadership position, all the way down to the hiring manager that will be working and training them, and make sure that everybody is well aware of this program that’s going on and how it’s going to, you know, just drastically impact culture positivity, all these different things. So that’s what I would share. Just make sure that you put your best foot forward. 

 

Kara Murphy 12:54  

Yeah, I love that, Chandler, because there’s a lot of those touch points along the journey that the client has and the healthcare professional nurses or med techs have is as well. And it all starts with that interview.  

 

Well, I had such a great time. I learned some things and Chandler as always, thank you for everything that you do. And thanks for being on today to share some best practices that you see for many different hospital systems.  

 

And Paul, thank you so much for just taking the time to give us a perspective from a nurse who went through an interview on some things that really made a difference and some recommendations. Those were fantastic.  

 

So I appreciate you both. Thank you all for joining and we’ll see you next time. 

 

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