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Published by McGill Career Planning Service (CaPS)
Visit us online: www.mcgill.ca/caps

Fall 2010


CV Clinic!

Two CV clinics will be held at the School of Nursing (Wendy Patrick room).  Janice Tester will review your CV with you for 15 minutes.  These CV clinics will run on:

Friday, October 29th, 2010, from 3:15 pm to 5 pm

November 2nd, from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm.

Please sign up ahead of time with Tieghan Killackey by email at: Tieghan.killackey@mail.mcgill.ca


Career Fair with Wine and Cheese

Friday, November 5th, 2010
4:15-7:00 pm
Holiday Inn
420 Sherbrooke Ouest

Free for Nursing Students

RSVP: mcgill@cnsa.ca


Job Search Tips from your Career Advisor

Get prepared in advance!  Don’t wait until the last minute to start thinking about the job search.  This will make the process stress free and you will be able to target the organizations where you will fit better.  Start by attending our workshops, update your CV and prepare a cover letter you will be happy with.  It takes time to prepare them so write them sooner than later.  Once you have written them come to one of our CV drop-in hours so you can get some feedback. 

I look forward to meeting you!

Janice Tester, Career Development Advisor


Contact me

If you have any suggestions about how we can better serve you, don't hesitate to contact me.

Janice Tester, M.Ps.
Career Advisor
(514) 398-8581
janice.tester@mcgill.ca

 

Dear Nursing students:

Fall is here, time seems to be going quickly, and the Nursing Explorations conference will soon arrive.  In particular, its Career Fair which will take place on Friday, November 5th, 2010 and we hope to see many of you there.

In preparation for the Career Fair, as your Career Advisor at McGill CaPS, I am here to help you with all your career needs.  You can come and see me to help you with your CV, cover letter, have a mock interview, or attend any of our workshops. 

We have selected a few articles that will be of interest to you and one in particular written by our very own Madeleine Buck, on interview techniques.  From her experience, learn what do to in preparation as well as what to do during the infamous interview.  Also, on the topic of interviewing, you will find an article written by an employer, the Jewish General Hospital, so get the inside scoop on what is to be expected.

For more information on our services please visit our website at www.mcgill.ca/caps, and myFuture, our online database.

--Janice Tester, Career Advisor, McGill CaPS--

In this issue:

Nursing Career Fair: Friday, November 5th!
How to Win a Nursing Job in One Interview
Ensuring a Win-Win Job Interview
Workshops of Interest to Nursing Students
Contact me


Nursing Career Fair: Friday, November 5th!

This year the Canadian Nursing Student Association (CNSA) McGill Chapter will be organizing a Career Fair with Wine & Cheese on Friday, November 5th, 2010 at the Holiday Inn on 420 Sherbroke Ouest.

The Career Fair and the Wine & Cheese are FREE to all McGill Nursing students.  

Please bring your CV and your charm because there will be 30-35 employers attending.

The fair is from 4:15-7:00 and we ask that you please RSVP to mcgill@cnsa.ca with "Career Fair Attendance" as the header.

Hope to see you all there,

Evan Jolicoeur
VP CNSA 10'-11

Irene Chu
AD CNSA 10'-11'

The Career Fair is your chance to check out over 30 organizations offering employment to nurses upon graduation! Even if you are not graduating, this is a great opportunity to make contacts in your field.

To name a few, we have had employers from agencies such as La Croix Jaune, employers coming from other provinces represented by the Marskell Group, our local hospitals such as the Jewish General Hospital,  the MUHC, rehabilitation centres such as Jewish Rehabilitation Hospital, geriatric centres such as Maimonides Geriatric Centre  and even the Canadian Forces Recruiting Centre Montreal.

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How to Win a Nursing Job in One Interview

by Julie Fréchette, N., M.Sc. (HR)

Jewish General Hospital- Nursing Recruitment and Retention
3755 Côte-Sainte-Catherine Road
Montréal (Québec)  H3T 1E2
Tel. 514 340 8222 Ext. 2639
jfrechette@jgh.mcgill.ca

As new graduates and evolving professionals, we are faced with many decisional moments in our careers, especially our first nursing job interview. As we try our best to follow all the tips from family, friends and experts in the field, we sometimes get lost in the array of contradicting advice. This article attempts to clarify the situation by providing a foolproof 5-point guideline for nursing candidates.

1. Present yourself at the interview looking groomed and ready to work!
One of the important roles of nurses is infection prevention and control.  If you do not attend to details about your appearance, especially your hair and nails, it can leave the interviewer with an impression that you may not really be attentive to a variety of matters especially in patient care.

2: Dress professionally.
As nurses, we are expected to look and behave in a certain way to uphold the reputation of our profession and the organization we work for. The way you dress may give indication of the motivation you have for the position and if there will be a good fit with the organization. You may dress casually, but be careful of the message you send by not dressing for the business event that an interview is.

3. Prepare yourself for the interview.
As graduating students, we are expected to have a solid knowledge base and critical thinking skills. It is possible that you will be confronted with case scenarios during the interview and you will feel more comfortable responding to these if you have reviewed your notes.

4. Express motivation.
Head nurses and human resources’ recruiters are looking for candidates that are highly motivated for the job and the organization. Demonstrating that you are hard-working, passionate about nursing and ready to learn highlights characteristics that most organizations look for in new hires.

5. If you do not know the answer, be honest.
Interviewers are aware it is impossible for graduating students to know everything about the nursing practice. When faced with a difficult interview question, answer to the best of your knowledge and mention that if an unknown situation presented itself in practice, you would consult an experimented nurse. This answer demonstrates to the interviewer that you place the safety of your patients first and have an awareness of your own limits.

Conclusion: Be yourself.
Recruiters are aware that the interviewing process is a stressful one and that a candidate does not always have the opportunity to shine. The interviewing process is also your chance to evaluate the institution and decide if it is the best fit for you. Nurses are currently in high demand on the international job market, take advantage of the situation and take your time to choose an institution that will suit your nursing philosophy and your career aspirations. Also take the time and make the effort to present yourself at your best. This will go a long way towards making the interview an opportunity both you and the interviewer can enjoy!

What the Jewish General Hospital has to offer you?

The Jewish General Hospital is a 637 bed, bilingual McGill University tertiary and quaternary care teaching hospital, serving multicultural patients and families from across the province of Quebec and beyond. Committed to the highest standards of patient care, teaching and research, the Hospital has earned a reputation for excellence in care.

The Jewish General Hospital offers:

  • Preparation Workshop for the OIIQ exam
  • In-depth Orientation Program including Critical Care courses
  • Flexible work schedule including 8-hour and/or 12-hour shifts
  • Guarantee of at least 50% of schedule on day shift

  • Salary scale recognizing the Baccalaureate
  • Clinical support through Clinical Nurse Specialists and Educators
  • Possibility to have a position shared between two departments
  • In house French and English courses
  • Bursaries for Baccalaureate and Graduate Nursing studies
  • Support for CNA certification program
  • In house educational workshops
  • Support for attending local, provincial and national conferences
  • Individualized career planning
  • Excellent career growth opportunities

Ensuring a Win-Win Job Interview

Madeleine Buck, B.Sc.(N) Program Director, McGill University Clinical Associate, McGill University Health Centre

Whether you feel exhilarated and confident or worried and anxious about an upcoming job interview, we hope that the following points will be of help to you as you embark on choosing and being chosen for a job as a nursing extern or graduate.
Despite a nursing shortage, human resource representatives and nurse managers continue to strive for a ‘good fit’ between the nurses they are hiring and the nature of the clinical setting. That being said, you must also make your own assessment as to whether the clinical setting you are interviewing for is a good fit for your needs, goals, and personality. In the end, it should be a ‘win-win’ situation – you get the job you want in the type of environment you want to work in and the clinical agency gets you – someone who can offer them quality nursing care and a solid team member!

Before the interview
The more you prepare the better the chance you will arrive at the interview feeling confident and able to respond to whatever questions are posed of you; you will also be in a better position to ask important questions that will help YOU decide if you want this job!

Become familiar with the agency  - the interviewee will be impressed that you took the time and initiative to understand the agency and you need to know if there is a good ‘fit’ between your expectations or pre-conceived ideas about the agency and what it really has to offer.

Visit the agency website or obtain a copy of the annual report (generally available on-line) – know about the mission, vision and values; the population that is served; is it an accredited agency? Do they have an environmental policy? Who are the nursing leaders and what is the nursing philosophy? Is there a nursing research unit?

Physically visit (if possible) before the actual interview – is the atmosphere welcoming, organized, respectful? Is there a staff library and are there nursing books available? Are people practicing infection prevention measures?

Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse

Anticipate the range of questions that could be asked of you – see below for some; websites are available such as www.nursecareers.com/QuestionstoAnswer.html; consult CaPS to set up a mock interview!

Anticipate generation gaps

For the first time ever, there will be three and possibly four generations of nurses working together! Chances are the nurse manager will be a baby boomer and that you are from Generation Y or Generation X; it helps that the different generations understand and respect each other’s ‘general tendencies’ when it comes to things like work ethic and work-life/family balance.

Prepare yourself physically

Some people say that the decision to not hire someone can be made on the first impression of how you present yourself physically! Try to become aware of any behaviors that may be ‘annoying’ or demonstrate lack of confidence (e.g., like, do you use ‘like’ a lot; are you always touching your face – not good for infection control! Do you slouch?). Try to get a good night sleep before the interview and be sure to dress professionally (when in doubt, ask someone with more experience!)

During the interview – what’s behind the question.
Interviewers generally have preset questions that aim at getting to know you in a very short time. Regardless of the question, try to think about what it is about you that the interviewer is trying to understand.

Situational questions

While knowledge is important, most employers will know that you are entering the workforce as a ‘generalist’ and are prepared to help you gain the specific knowledge needed to work on any particular unit. They are most interested in learning about your ‘soft skills’ such as how good you are at working in a team, how you deal with conflict or uncertainty, and how you deal with stress. To get at these types of skills, you will invariably be asked a question such as ‘give us an example of how you demonstrated professionalism in a situation of conflict’. Reflect on examples BEFORE the interview – most interviewers are not looking for a ‘perfect’ answer but want honesty and maturity. 

The open ended interview

Some interviewers give you the chance to take the lead by opening with a general question such as ‘tell me about yourself’ – now the ball is in your court!  Glowing self reports about how knowledgeable and ‘excellent’ you are at various skills usually sends a message that you are overly confident and won’t deal with ‘negative’ feedback very well. Most people have strengths and areas to improve and employers appreciate a balanced perspective – so, be prepared to give examples of what you do well and areas that you want to improve in. Keep in mind that most nurse managers are less concerned with what you don’t know than whether you are aware if you don’t know something and will seek help!

The devil’s advocate

Some interviewers take a position that he/she does not agree with to be provocative. For example, a nurse manager might ask how many IVs or urinary catheters you have inserted giving the impression that being able to perform this skill is of utmost importance when, in fact, the question is getting at your character. Are you the type of person who thinks they are an ‘expert’ after having inserted ‘X’ number of IVs? Are you the type who belittles your skills or bashes your nursing program for not providing opportunities for catheter insertion? OR, are you the type of person who can say “I have never inserted an IV – or only two or three – but I understand fluid and electrolyte balance, know about sterile technique, am good at preparing patients for potentially uncomfortable procedures, have an up-to-date procedure manual, and am not afraid to ask for help to make sure I am doing a procedure properly.” This response scores ‘A’ for professionalism and initiative!

During the interview – what you want to know
Interviews should not be one-sided – after all, you need to make a decision about whether you want to work for the agency or on a particular unit.

Unit/agency culture

Asking questions such as ‘what type of reaction can I anticipate from other nurses or staff on the unit when I make a mistake?’ or “How would a patient describe your unit to a family member?” will get at the culture of safety on the unit and ensure that the interviewee reflects on the atmosphere of the unit.

Quality of care and leadership

It never hurts to ask questions such as: what is the level of patient satisfaction in your agency/unit? What is the skill mix of staff? What is the failure to rescue rate, morbidity and mortality rates on the unit and how are you working to improve these rates?  How does the unit/agency ensure that best practice guidelines are in place and updated? Describe a situation on your unit that illustrates interprofessional collaboration. You may even be as bold as asking the nurse manager “can you describe your leadership style and identify two things that are your key priorities on your unit at this time”!

Professional development

As a novice nurse, you should expect (and will need) support and mentoring from the clinical employer. Asking questions such as “how can I expect to be mentored during my first year of work here” or “what are your expectations of my professional development over the next 12 to 18 months” will help to get at the values and beliefs of the leadership.

These ideas provide some background for helping you succeed in your job interview. Be sure to visit CaPS for other ideas and help with a mock interview!  Keep in mind, the more prepared you are, the better; But strike a balance to not sound over-rehearsed.  Just be your best professional self.

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Come and meet us at the Jewish General Hospital Nursing Open House!

Click here to view the information in a larger format.

November 16th from 16:30 to 19:30

Room A-102 (Côte-des-Neiges entrance)

For more information or to apply, please visit: www.jgh.ca/nursing

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Workshops of Interest to Nursing Students

The Career Planning Service offers several workshops for students to approach the job search.  You will find the list of relevant workshops below.

  • CV, cover letters and interview tips for Nursing students
    Oct. 29, 12:15-1:30pm, Wendy Patrick Room 

This workshop will be held at the School of Nursing by your Career Advisor, Janice Tester. We wish to see many of you there!

  • CV Clinics for Nursing Students
    Oct. 29, 3:15-5:00; Nov. 2, 11:30-2:30; Wendy Patrick Room

Two CV clinics will be held at the School as well.  Janice Tester will review your CV with you for 15 minutes.  These CV clinics will run on Friday, October 29th, 2010, from 3:15 pm to 5 pm and on November 2nd, from 11:30 am to 2:30 pm.

Make sure you sign up with Tieghan Killackey for your spot at Tieghan.killackey@mail.mcgill.ca

Registration for all of the following workshops is available through myFuture. Click on the "Workshops/Events" tab and select the "Workshops" tab.

  • LGBT Students: Heterosexism, Career Choice and the Workplace
    Nov. 2, 3:30-5:00pm, Brown 3001

  • Workshop #3 = Perfect your Professional Image (business etiquette, school to work transition)
    Nov. 3, 2:00-3:30pm, Brown 3001

  • Workshop #2 = Discover the Hidden Job Market (cold calling, networking, researching employers)
    Nov. 9, 10:00-11:30am, Brown 3001

  • Workshop #4 = Practice your Networking (prerequisite: workshop #2)
    Nov. 16, 2:00-3:30pm, Brown 3001

  • Workshop #1 = Build your Job Search Tools (CV, cover letter, interview)
    Nov. 17, 10:00-11:30am, Brown 3001

  • Medical School Applicants: It’s all about the interview
    Nov. 18, 1:00-2:30pm, Brown 3001

  • Workshop #5 = Practice your Interviewing (prerequisite: workshop #1)
    Nov. 23, 10:30am-12:00, Brown 3001

  • Where to find Worldwide Work: Passport to Adventure
    Nov. 24, 1:30-3:00pm, Brown 3001

  • Where to find Internships: Test the Waters
    Nov. 25, 1:00-2:30pm, Brown 3001

  • Workshop #1 = Build your Job Search Tools (CV, cover letter, interview)
    Nov. 30, 10:30am-12:00, Brown 3001

To register, log on to myFuture. Click on the "Workshops/Events" tab and select the "Workshops" tab.

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