Questions to ask in a Nursing Informatics interview


The next request I had was to go over possible questions that entry level candidates can ask in an interview. I have gone over questions candidates get in two parts found below:

Nursing informatics interview questions part 1
Nursing informatics interview questions part 2

The main advice I can give about this subject is to incorporate your questions as the interview moves along.

For example, most likely one of the first questions will be to describe the job you’re applying for, or if you understand the role of the job that you applied for. Once you answer this question based on what you know and been told about the job, then you can finish the response by saying, “…that’s what I understand about this position. Is that a fair understanding, or can you give me more specific details about this position and what specific tasks I will be doing?”

About the Culture

Of course, to incorporate the questions, you would have to know what to ask, which is what I’ll go over.

When I do job interviews, one of the first questions I always like to ask the employer is to describe me the culture of the place.

Do people get along? Do they help each other?

Usually, you get an interview with a hiring manager and later with the group you’ll be working with, but regardless of person or group, I always ask this question and I assess facial expressions as they respond.

Is Training Provided?

I would also find out how I would be trained in the applications being used.

Will I be sent somewhere for training? Is there somebody else that knows the application or am I the only one, and if so, are there any resources that can help me while I learn the application?

In other words, many times you might be hired for an application that nobody is in charged of and if something happens, since you’re new to the application, how can you solve the problem?

The Dreaded Role of Any Informatics Position

If you’re applying for a hospital, most likely you will have to support the application by being on call to take after hour phone calls, weekend phone calls and holiday phone calls.

I would ask how the rotation works. If you’re the radiology application expert, and you’re on call, and the pharmacy application breaks at 2am on a Saturday, what’s the process for the person on call to follow when they are not the experts in pharmacy?

Also, what happens if you’re assigned to a weekend where you’re attending somebody’s wedding, how easy is it to switch with another person?

Obviously, you might want to refine the question and ask it as, “Is it possible to switch on call days with others?”

What About the Documentation?

Another possible question to ask is, “Are previous projects well documented? Is it possible for me to review past projects’ documentation?”

A lot of hospitals do a good job documenting their projects and by reading these documents, you can get an idea of what to expect for the next project. If the documentation is poor and that is something you like to do, that might be a good bonus to keep in mind…

Working Hours?

What are the standard hours that people work? Or what hours am I expected to be in the office?

As a consultant, I always try to be in the office by 7:30 AM because a lot of the clients I have tend to be in the office by 7:30 AM. However, this is not always the case.

When working with doctor offices, for example, you can come in later, but if you’re working with surgeons, you might have to come in a lot earlier. Good to know what to expect.

Any Traveling?

If you’re applying for a job in a hospital that belongs to a national network, travel might be required and is always a good idea to ask if there will be any traveling involved with the position, and if there is, you might want to also ask how frequent is the travel. Also, it could be that you might be sent to local hospitals in the area, so you might have a central office that you go to, or you might be scattered in different locations in different weeks.

Getting Reviewed

I also like to ask about the review process.

Does the employer have a complicated review process or an easy review process? Or what does the review process entail?

This is really not a required question to ask, but I like to ask this question to managers and then I like to have fun asking the same question in the group interviews.

Comparing manager answers v. group answers is always interesting as you get to find out the 2 sides of the story.

Finally, I leave you some other possible questions to ask:

  • If there is a person with the same role as the one you’re applying for in the interview, you can ask, What do you like the most about your role? What do you like the least about your role?
  • Are people in this organization allowed to work remotely?
  • What procedure or change control process is followed when requests for changes in the system come in?
  • What’s the structure of the department and who will you report to?

 

Other topics you might be interested in:

Tips for an informatics resume.
Interviewing tips for an informatics position.
Nursing Informatics interview questions.
More nursing informatics interview questions.
Nursing Informatics interview questions video

Chris (25 Posts)

Chris Smith works as a clinical analyst consultant with 9 years of experience working in the nursing informatics field. He started this blog to help others learn more about nursing informatics because he got tired of reading a lot of misinformation about this field on the web. You can connect with Chris on Google+


2 Responses to Questions to ask in a Nursing Informatics interview

  • donna says:

    I am graduating in Jan with my masters in informatics, I have to do a portfolio and I have no idea how to do this, any suggestions?

    • admin says:

      Google nursing informatics portfolio and you will see a few examples. I personally have never done one of these, as no professional job has yet asked me for one, but they seem to be popular in universities.

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