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Everything you need to know about: Phone Interviews

For traveling healthcare professionals, one skill you need to hone is your ability to conduct thorough phone interviews. As you are submitting to assignments, you could have managers from multiple facilities calling you. It’s important to be prepared for their questions and equally important, you should be prepared to ask them questions.

This blog post will uncover some tips and tricks when it comes to phone interviews.

Phone interviewsBe Prepared

You might not receive a phone call from every facility you submit to. Some hospitals might do auto-offers. However, you should always be prepared for someone to call you. It may be tempting to let a call go to voicemail if it’s from a number you don’t recognize. But it’s good to be in the habit of answering calls that come through – even if you don’t recognize the number.

One way to help field calls is to look up the area code for the hospitals you are submitting to. If you applied to Lake Havasu, Arizona, be on the lookout for a phone call from a 928-area code.

If you still decide to let a call go to voicemail, it is imperative to check your voicemail. Managers will leave voicemails for phone interviews, but they won’t wait forever for you to call them back. They likely have a list of other candidates they can call. If you miss a call because you were working, because you were asleep, or even because you didn’t recognize the number, check your voicemail and call back as soon as possible.

On this note, if you don’t have a voicemail set up, now is the time to do so. Additionally, you should not have a full voicemail. Travelers receive a lot of phone calls from their agency, recruiters and potential employers. If a manager cannot reach you for a phone interview, most of them will simply move on to the next candidate. This is why it is so important to have a voicemail set up, and to keep it clean.

Be Professional

Our Senior Recruitment Specialist, Melissa Pritchard, has a list of dos and don’ts that she shares with her travelers when it comes to phone interviews:

– Do your research on the hospital before your interview.
– Do go to a quiet place, where you know you have good cell coverage. Clear the room of distractions/turn off the tv or anything making background noise and shut the door if there is noise in a nearby room.
– Do have questions ready (details below on this).
– Do keep your resume in clear view and have a short list of accomplishments available to discuss.
– Do have a pen & paper readily available to take notes.
– Do compile a list of your strengths and weaknesses – just in case you are asked.
– Do keep a glass of water handy.


– Don’t chew gum or eat.
– Don’t use speaker phone, if possible.
– Don’t interrupt – listen carefully to the question and answer to the best of your ability. Be concise and to the point without rambling.
– Don’t forget to smile – smiling improves your state of mind and gives your voice a cheerful boost, even over the phone!
– Don’t complain about previous assignments or staff positions. Stay positive!

If a manager gets your voicemail, this is now their first impression of you. Having a simple, professional message on your voicemail goes a long way.

Things to Discuss in the InterviewHealthcare professional

Make sure to have a list of questions you have for the manager. Some common things to ask about are call, requested time off, scrub color for the unit, charting systems and scheduling requests. But you can ask about anything you’d like!

Make sure to mention all your time off requests in your interview. If you think of additional dates after your phone interview, there’s a good chance it will not be approved. For this reason, we recommend looking over your calendar and writing down all your time off prior to the phone interview.

Try to keep time off requests during the holidays to a minimum. Many facilities will require that travelers work a certain number of holidays for each assignment. Just remember that as a traveler, you are there to help fill staffing needs. If you request too much time off for your assignment, the manager might decide to move on to the next candidate.

Sometimes, hospitals will list “shift varies- will discuss in interview” as the shift information. In this instance, make a note to discuss this in your phone interview. If you are wanting block scheduling or a set schedule, make sure to ask about this in a phone interview. Keep in mind that the manager might not be able to give you a set schedule. You will have to decide whether this is a deal-breaker or not.

Even if you are applying to an auto-offer position, you can still create a list of questions for your recruiter to ask on your behalf if you receive an offer. Your recruiter should advocate for you to have your questions answered before you accept a contract.

To start your next assignment, email us at to connect with a recruiter.

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