Performance Appraisal Interview

I had the opportunity to interview my current manager on the Renal Neurology Unit at Utah Valley Hospital, Courtney Cherrington, regarding performance appraisals. 

I was able to learn and gain a deeper understanding regarding the purpose of performance appraisals. Conducting these appraisals helps bring employees together and reinforce unit goals. It helps ensure that everyone is following certain policies and procedures. They can make sure that everyone feels appreciated and as if their work is making a difference as well. These appraisals are a good way to touch base with all employees and improve the quality and safety of the unit. 

Reflective Journal Week 5

I learned a few things from this unit. I was able to get a better understanding of why nurse leaders conduct performance appraisals. When conducting these performance appraisals the most important thing is to remain consistent and to show the employee that they matter. I also learned about the disciplining process and why it is important. Disciplining is not a bad thing, it is to correct the inappropriate behaviors happening and help employees be successful at their job. In order to discipline an employee, the nurse leader must prepare and investigate the situation prior to meeting with the employee. If not prepared, the disciplining may back fire and create even more inappropriate behavior to occur. 

I can utilize this information during my next employee performance appraisal with my nursing manager. We meet quarterly to go over performance ratings, review goals, review common issues seen on the unit and discuss the areas I specifically could improve as well as the areas I am succeeding in. When I was a new employee, I did struggle with the feeling like a failure when being rated with average scores. But as I have come to understand throughout the year is that average is not a bad thing right now. Especially as a new nurse. Using this information during my next appraisal can help me realistically evaluate myself more and gain a better perspective on my nursing managers view.

I personally feel that this material is important to understand in any area of work. Performance reviews are there to help you succeed as an employee and not bring you down. Disciplinary action is not just punishment. It is to help correct behaviors and certain actions in order to become more successful at your job too. Both things are necessary in order to ensure employees are growing, developing and feel successful in their career. 

Reflective Journal Week 4

I learned a lot about the interviewing process and how critical it is to make a good impression in such a short time. I learned a lot about team building this week too. It is so hard to find times and make everyones schedule work together. But it is worth getting to know the people I am working with and will help us better succeed throughout the semester together.

I will use the information I learned from my mom about interviewing when preparing for future job interviews. I know more about what interviewers are looking at and can make sure I succeed in these things. Team building is always important when working with groups of people. The games we played can be used when I am working with groups in the future for us to bond and learn how to work with each other. 

I can use this information in nursing practice in many ways. I can develop better relationships with my unit by using team building activities. Understanding that we can be more successful at our jobs when we work together in harmony. 

I feel that these things are so important to learn. Interviews are how you achieve the career you always wanted. Knowing how to navigate them gives me another step forward to landing a future career goal. I also am a firm believer in team work. Working alone and feeling stuck, helpless or behind creates burnout. Working as a team instills confidence, success and creates better outcomes for everyone involved. 

Hiring Interview

I had the opportunity to interview my mom, Darci Evans, as she hires many new employees every month. She works for the insurance company, Humana, in Kansas City. My team and I came up with these 15 questions and here are my mother’s responses:


How do you usually prepare for an interview with potential employees?

“I typically look over their resume, their credentials, their references as well as their social media to get a good idea of who this person is and how they presented themselves. By doing this I am able to gather specific questions for this person based on their experience and better determine if they are a good fit for my team.”

How many candidates do you like to interview before making a selection and how much time do you allow for each interview?

“The number of candidates depends upon how many applicants I get and for which position. For a position that is higher up in the company, I typically interview a smaller amount of people. Normally around 5 applicants for those positions. For a position that is lower down in the company, I am typically hiring multiple employees at a time for the same position. Normally around 15-20 applicants are interviewed.” 

What do you believe are the most important questions to ask or most important characteristics to look for when interviewing a candidate?

“I always ask candidates what they like to do in their free time or what their hobbies are. You can find out a lot about a person’s work ethic this way. I get worried when candidates say they like to play games on their phone, look at social media or just watch tv. This could indicate laziness and or indicate they may get distracted by their phones while working.”

Do you prefer group setting interviews (multiple interviewers and multiple interviewees) or one-on-one interviews?

“I prefer one-on-one interviews. I like to be able to focus on one person at a time and give everyone an equal opportunity to shine in a more comfortable setting.”

What causes you to pick the candidates you do? (I.e what resumes stand out?)

“I pick a candidate based on a number of different things. But specific to resumes, I pick candidates that have a clean and easy to follow resumes. Ones that use proper grammar, spelling and punctuation. For some positions, the experience doesn’t necessarily matter though. Just as long as it looks like they put thought and care into making a clean resume.”

How do you advertise the position? 

“Advertising for a position can happen a number of ways. Since we are a pretty large company there are always multiple ways someone could apply to the position I am opening. Through the Humana website, instagram, word of mouth for in office positions, references and websites like indeed.”

What characteristics or answers would cause you to cut an interview short?

“When a candidate will bad mouth a previous employer, if they are just plain arrogant, if they lie on their resume and my biggest pet peeve when they touch or look at their phones. I will usually cut the interview off around there and not consider that candidate.”

Is it important to you to make the applicant at ease? What do you do to make them feel more comfortable?

“This one kind of depends. If the position is more high stress, I want to know what that person is like under pressure. I will make them a bit uncomfortable to see how they react. If it is a low level entry position with a new graduate, I will be a bit more warm and inviting.”

Do you attempt to establish a rapport with the applicant at the beginning of the interview?

“I like to try to get to know the applicant. Developing rapport can help bring skeletons out of the closet that the applicant may not have shared if you didn’t.”

What is your process after an applicant has left your office? 

“I write down notes on that person. I try to describe in short whether they looked professional and their demeanor. I write down what I really liked about that person, their characteristics and why they would be beneficial to my team. I also write down red flags and reasons they would not work out in the company.”

Do you prefer a structured interview or unstructured interview format?

“I prefer structured interviews. I think it is more fair and that way I can compare candidates answers to the same questions.”

Have you ever hired a candidate on the spot?  What was their response that made you know they were the best candidate?

“Only once. It was an interview with someone who was already my employee and the interview was for a promotion. It was easy because I already knew her very well, but despite this she remained very professional throughout the interview and came more prepared than most other candidates. The drive and motivation is what made me hire her on the spot. It was evident that she truly wanted this job and wanted to show that she cared to improve upon our company.”

Do you ever making judgments on candidates based on how the look, how they are dressed or their social media accounts?

“Always. It is a professional setting so dress like it for the interview. If you dress like you don’t care, then I assume that you just don’t care either. Social media is tricky. But we definitely look through social media and ensure the candidate is a good fit.”

Do you ask each candidate the same set of questions?

“I ask the same core set of basic questions. I have different and specific questions that I ask each candidate too that is only pertinent to their experiences or the answers they give me.”

Do you ever offer the candidate feedback after the interview is complete?

“This depends on the candidate. If it is someone that I know very well and already working for me, then yes I would to help them out in the future. If it was some random person that just did not fit for the job, then I normally don’t give any specific feedback.”


Interviewing my mother about how she hires employees taught me a lot. I learned that so much time, effort and thought goes into that one little interview. I learned that you can learn so much about a person just based on a 15 minute interaction. It is important to be able to make a good impression and learn to stand out in these situations. 


Week 2 Journal

I learned that I have an Influential personality. I also learned the different styles of leadership and when they can be used in practice. 

The team activity taught me that everyone can have very differing definitions regarding what makes up a person a great leader. It helps me open up my eyes and realize that there isn’t just one right answer. It also showed me that a leader can have many differing characteristics and still be considered great. 

I can apply this to my future career by noticing leaders on my unit and recognizing their leadership styles. I can also learn from these leaders and discover how best I can lead my unit to greater success. 

Week 3 Reflective Journal

This week my eyes have been opened to all the minor details that go into the hiring process. It made me look back at the interview I had for the nursing job I have now. Over a year later, I can still remember some of the exact questions they asked me and my answers to this day. 

The team building activities helped open my eyes to other opinions and helped me learn to work in a group to come up with the overall best decision for the hiring process. 

I will use the information learned in preparation for any future nursing interview. I know what can and cannot be asked. I am more knowledgeable about the step by step process as well and can use that to my advantage. 

12 Characteristics of Leaders

These are my personal examples of nursing role activities for these 12 characteristics leaders hold. 

Leadership requires personal mastery – Nurses demonstrate leadership when they show competence and mastery in the tasks they perform. Nurses are deemed competent by means of a license to practice nursing (NLN 2010).

Leadership is about values – Nurse leaders have a strong sense of their own core values. They make decisions that align with their values and beliefs. 

Leadership is about service –A nursing leader assesses the needs of those around them and continually inquires other about how he or she can assist them to promote their teams professional development. 

Leadership is about people and relationships – Nurse leaders that are people oriented and relationship driven empowered others to create effective and strong teamwork.

Leadership is contextual – Nursing leadership roles utilize evidence based practice within their environment to continually improve the quality and safety measures.

Leadership is about the management of meaning – Those in nursing leadership roles clearly communicate their vision in order to create a culture that sustains that vision.

Leadership is about balance – The role of a nursing leader must be able to practice balance between autocratic, democratic and laissez-faire leadership styles when appropriate. 

Leadership is about continuous learning and improvement – Nursing leaders promote continuous learning and improvement by setting a good example, continually seeking learning opportunities, providing continuing education opportunities, setting professional development goals and encouraging degree advancement.

Leadership is about effective decision making – The role of a nurse leader must be able analyze varying information and data as well as utilize critical thinking skills to make decisions that are appropriate for the situation.

Leadership is a political process – Nursing leaders are taking action in the improvement of quality healthcare by promoting the involvement of others and participating in the development of healthcare policies. 

Leadership is about modeling – Leaders in nursing set a good example and are role models to those around them not only in the work place but in their communities.

Leadership is about integrity – Nursing leaders demonstrate integrity by being reliable and honest in everything that they do. 

DISC Personality Test

The DISC personality test was developed to provide people with a way to measure behavioral styles and preferences. It provides a person with a general understanding of how a person operates. After completing the test, my DISC personality type is Influential. This honestly did not surprise me at all. I have always been a social butterfly and thrive in social settings. I get energy from being around others and love to make connections with people wherever I am at. 

Now that I know my personality type is Influential, I have a better understanding of my strengths and weaknesses within the professional setting. I can use my strengths of confidence, sociability, positivity and social awareness to make new employees around me feel welcome. I can become a friend when in need, I can help them develop a sense of belonging and support them as they may feel uncertain in the clinical field still.

This test provided me with insight on not only my strengths but my weaknesses. I am a people oriented person and not task oriented. This can mean that I am less meticulous with tasks and may miss details in my work that might be important. Acknowledging this as a potential weakness of mine can help me work on not overlooking the little details at work and help me focus in more on little tasks that are important. 

Madison’s Nursing Blog

This blog was created as an assignment for my one of my classes, Nursing Leadership, to provide each of us students with a personal way to write down and reflect upon our nursing experiences. This blog is a journal of my steady learning progression in the field of nursing. The purpose of this journal is to help push me to further explore what I have learned and why learning this thing has helped me in my career. Ultimately, I think creating this blog will further assist my growth in the nursing field and help shape my professional future.