Firing-Discipline Interview

I interviewed Chase Hanssen who works as a manager at a French Bakery up in Northern Utah for this assignment.

What are automatic grounds for termination at your workplace? Insubordination, dishonesty, frequent absences or chronic tardiness, theft or other criminal behavior, sexual harassment, physical violence or threats against other employees are all automatic grounds for termination.

What is the process you use to discipline an employee who is constantly late? We have a policy in which an employee has five verbal warnings, followed by a written warning, followed by suspension. (If there is a sufficient excuse for the tardy we do not punish them for it) If an employee has repeated “no call/no show” offenses, they will be at a very high risk of termination. 

What is the hardest part of discipling an employee and firing an employee for you? I honestly just feel bad when having an intense conversation about discipline or while firing an employee. I especially feel bad when I have a good relationship with the employee. These conversations are never fun but they are needed. The most difficult situations, are when it’s an employee you know has been trying their best but they simply aren’t competent in the role. 

What tactics have you found be effective when disciplining/firing an employee? If you approach a situation in a positive light instead of negative, the response is always more receptive. When an employee is terminated, the final meeting should be in person and the employee should be given documentation and an explanation as to the exact reasons for the termination. If every issue has been documented every step of the way, the employee won’t be able to argue with a wrongful termination lawsuit.

What are good indicators which help you know if your disciplinary actions have been effective or not?

Indicators are measures that demonstrate whether a goal has been achieved. For example, if an employee’s tardiness and absence’s have not decreased the disciplinary actions would not be considered effective.

When you need to discipline an employee, do you have someone else there to help be a mediator? It depends on the situation.. sometimes I have other managers help mediate a disciplinary meeting and other times it’s one-on-one. If the issue is more serious, most times I have another person in the room with me to discuss disciplinary action.

How many “chances” do you give an employee before they are terminated? This totally depends on the offenses the employee commits and how serious it is. For example, if an employee sexually harasses or physically harms another person they are not given any more chances.

What is the main reason why you need to fire an employee? This is a hard question, but I would say it’s a combination of unethical conduct, poor performance, and dishonesty.

After firing an employee how does the workplace change/react to the firing? Depending on the employee, other employees in the workplace could be upset or relieved. There have been times when I have fired an employee who had positive relationships with those they work with and people have come up to me and argued specifically why it wasn’t fair or necessary. You have to use your best judgement and do what’s best for the company instead of giving into peer pressure. 

When a termination needs to happen due to budget issues, how do you choose which employee it will be? I usually approach this situation while budgeting by making a list of employees who have repeated offenses. I make a pro and cons list for each individual. With help from other managers I then narrow the list down to one person. 

This interview was interesting because I was able to learn the reasons why an employee could be fired, how to approach a disciplinary situation, and what areas of concern to look for in employees. I have seen so many examples of people who don’t act appropriately at work (in both managers and fellow employees.) Just last week I had a manager who was suspended because he got into a huge yelling argument with an employee after he made a racial comment. I think it’s important when not in a management position to not be afraid to stand up and voice concerns about disruptive behavior in the workplace- it’s for the benefit of everyone. 


I interviewed a manager of a local restaurant in Utah County for this assignment.

1.What is your least favorite thing about performance appraisals? I don’t particularly enjoy making an employee feel bad about themselves while we are discussing ways that they need to improve. (Even though they need to hear it, this can be awkward at times.)

2.How do you approach an interview with an employee who struggles performing their job duties adequately? I usually go into a performance review by asking them specifically what areas they feel they need to improve in. Instead of just telling them every little thing they are doing bad, I find that asking them for their thoughts first is a better approach. I also ask them why they feel they are struggling. Is something going on outside of work that is interfering with their ability to perform their job duties adequately? How can I help them succeed?

3. What behavior do you look for in an employee AFTER their performance review? I try to see areas of improvement in specific things we’ve talked about. If they are making a sincere effort to improve that shows they care. 

4. What things do you focus on in a performance appraisal interview? I focus on what the employee is doing well, and what they need to improve on. We can start by setting specific goals about certain things such as attentiveness to costumers, time-management etc. 

5.How do you help your employees improve after a performance appraisal? I usually help them set goals and ask in what specific ways I can help (more training, one-on-one personal education or training, a different schedule, etc.)

6. How often do you hold performance appraisals for full-time vs part-time employees? I hold performance appraisals as needed with certain employees, but other-wise I would say I hold more for full-time employees compared to part-time employees.

7. How long do your performance appraisals last? I try to make my performance appraisals last about 30 minutes to an hour depending on what we’re discussing and how much improvement they need. 

8.What does your performance appraisal criteria look like and how is it implemented? I go through categories and discuss each area with the employee. (Tardiness, time-management, customer interaction, competency, personal attitude, goals, concerns, etc.)

9. How do you prepare for a performance appraisal interview with an employee? I usually sit down and go over notes I’ve taken while observing their behaviors, and especially look at any concerns other employees or costumers have brought to my attention. 

10.What is the most common issue that comes up with employees during a review? The most common issue is tardiness. This is a common problem, and seems to take a while to fix if they are in the habit of being late consistently. 

It was interesting to learn about performance interviews and what employers expect of their employees. I want to exceed expectations in my job and career so it’s good to learn about the main areas of concern in the workplace. I like how this manager pointed out that using good communication and asking them to voice concerns first is a good way to approach a conversation about improvement! I hope to be able to work on things such as time-management, and competency in my current job in the OR. 


This week was filled with good discussions about ethical issues. I also conducted an interview regarding performance appraisal and was able to define areas for appraise development, set clear objectives, learn how to conduct appraisals in a confident and professional manner, and understand the steps required in disciplining employees. I think it’s important to conduct performance review interviews periodically so that any concerns can be resolved. Throughout our discussions this week, it was interesting to discuss ethical issues in today’s world. We talked about abortion, physician assisted suicide, DNR/DNI, etc. I think these discussions are important to have because it allows us to become more educated in topics we might not have a lot of experience with in our clinical experience. I liked hearing the opinions of others which brought me a new perspective. For example, there was an article that was shared about a man who had DNR tattooed on his chest. The person who brought this up shared her perspective that it might be best to respect the patient’s wishes and take into account the tattoo because he couldn’t speak for himself. This is a tricky subject because what if the tattoo had a different meaning? As nurses it’s our job to be a patient advocate, however if the patient cannot speak and express feelings it becomes harder to know what they would want.  I will continue to educate myself further on subjects such as abortion so that if an ethical dilemma arises I can speak up and voice an opinion. 

Reflective Journal- WEEK 5

This week we learned how to plan and prepare for reviewing employees job performances while remaining fair and avoiding bias. We had a group activity of coming up with questions to ask someone who conducts performance appraisals. It was interesting to come up with our own criteria/benchmark for each of the five grading levels (Poor, Below Average, Average, Above Average, Exceptional). I was able to self-reflect in how I’m doing in the areas that each of us used as criteria such as– organizational skills, communication, being on time, helping others, etc. We had a couple discussions this week and one was about determining how to discipline a nurse if they didn’t pick up an extra shift. Our group came to the conclusion that it would be hard to keep emotions out of the situation because this nurse was a single mom whose husband died just recently. While making decisions, it’s always best to get a clear picture of the whole story before making any rash judgments. I’ve loved hearing the thoughts of my group members this week.. I definitely learn better when I work with others. I read an article this week that talked about a brand new hospital being built in Michigan. It explained that patient crowding was an issue in the previous hospital. This crowding led to infections and a decrease in patient safety. This new hospital being built will provide jobs to thousands of healthcare workers, have new innovations, and provide better standards for patients! I have loved seeing innovation at the hospital where I work at and the improvements we have made for patients in the new Operating Room! 


For this assignment I interviewed Bret Charles Elzinga who works at the MTC in Provo, Utah. He has many years of experience interviewing throughout his career.

1- When do you start looking for people to hire? I don’t start looking until the job and job requirements are approved and posted.
2- What is one question you always ask in an interview and why? I always ask, “Why do you want this job” because I want to understand how badly they want the job. I need to understand how passionate they are and their reasons for applying and how it fits into their career and how meaningful they think the work will be. It’s important for someone to be totally devoted to a job because then their passionate about the work and will stick with the job and work hard if that’s something they really want.
3- What is one quality that you are always impressed with in an interviewee? I am impressed when they have prepared well for the interview by researching the company, the product, the position, the people that are employed by the company that relate to that position, etc.
4- How do you personally prepare for an interview with a candidate? I read their resume and cover letter, (and then I score these in a spreadsheet), write down some observations and think about questions I might want to ask them. I look for qualifications as well as visual layout and spelling/grammar in their writing.
5- What, if any, deal-breaker qualities do you look for? They must meet the minimum requirements for the job- so if they don’t meet those, they are disqualified. Other deal breakers are if they are overqualified, underqualified, the availability of their schedule, etc.
6- How do you avoid your own personal biases during interviews? It’s basically impossible, but you can decrease the effect. I usually do a panel in the second round of interviewing. There might be two or three multiple people giving input and interpreting the results of the interview. Using tests are helpful because then you have an unbiased way of testing who is best fit for the job. We also do a silent voting formula where each interviewer rates interviewees on a scale of 1-10 and then averaging the scores. Sometimes I do phone interviews so I can’t see what the person looks like. Even though you try your hardest to be unbiased it can be very difficult at times!
7- What do you look for when you first meet your interviewee? I do look at appearance; if they are well groomed, if they look neat (not overdressed or underdressed), no unusual smells, the presence they bring to the room (their attitude). I notice their body language: (the way they look at you, if they smile or not, their confidence level, etc.)
8- Do you have an interview panel? If so, who do you have in on that panel during the interview? Yes (ranging from 2-4 people). My panel consists of coworkers, supervisors, managers, team leaders, etc. Anyone who they would be working closely with! Panels protect the person who is making the decision and it decreases bias.
9- What are you looking for in a candidate? Someone who is passionate, who meets the qualifications, someone who has good reasons to want the job, someone who will fit in with others but also has a diverse prospective, usually look for someone who has higher GPA (not as big of a factor), someone who gets along well with others and has good recommendations about themselves.
10- What is your least favorite thing about hiring? Rejecting good people who are qualified and would do well in the job. I hate having to turn people down- I wish I could give everybody an opportunity.
11- Is there a certain time limit you try to stay in while conducting an interview? Yes kind of- it depends on the position. Usually one hour for the first interview and one hour for the second. I usually tend to go longer instead of shorter. You need to take the time to get to know each interviewee.
12- Do you take time to learn about your candidates prior to meeting them in real life? Yes I do take time to get to know my candidates prior to them interviewing. I don’t want to interview everyone that applies so I need some rational way to sort and rank them.. I do this by analyzing their cover letter. I know some people who look at social media prior to hiring (I don’t do this though).
13- Are you impressed when your interviewee speaks up when they have a chance to ask questions? Which questions are you most impressed by? I am very unimpressed with candidates that don’t ask any questions. I like it when they ask questions that show they have researched the job. I like very specific questions that show they are genuinely interested.

In summary, it was very interesting to be on the other side of an interview to gain an in-depth perspective of what interviewers look for in candidates. One thing that was interesting to me was how Bret said that being completely unbiased is almost impossible. It’s hard not to let how someone looks effect our opinion of them. He does use a variety of techniques to overcome bias which I think is important. I am going to take what Bret said and use it to increase my interviewing skills in the future!


Team building and organizational skills are very important for nurses to practice and become proficient in. This weeks activities were all about teamwork and our specific group had a lot of fun getting to know each other better. I was able to learn about communication and organizing time throughout this week! Building relationships that are positive creates a positive and safe environment. I have seen how this can effect patient care in the hospital. As a team, we had a big activity to complete this week. We played a series of games to get to know each other better. There was a scenario where a boat crashed and we had limited space on lifeboats. We had to choose, as a group, 9 people to save and bring with us. It was interesting to hear everyone’s perspectives and opinions on what was most important when choosing who to survive. Understanding team dynamics can help when solving problems in a team. Every individual has their own unique set of strengths that add value to the group. It was nice to see that although we didn’t agree on every point, we all compromised and were respectful of each other. We were able to think innovatively together towards a common goal. As we got to know each other we also developed trust and effective communication. This week we interviewed someone outside of the heath care field about how they approach interviewing. It was interesting to be on the other side of an interview and get an in-depth perspective on what I can work on while interviewing in the future.

This is the quote I came up with for this week- COMMUNICATION IS THE KEY THAT OPENS THE DOOR TO SUCCESS!



This week I was able to watch Ender’s Game and observe attributes that both good and bad leaders in the movie had. I was able to analyze and conclude which I could adopt into my own life and career. It was interesting to self-reflect and really think about what leadership skills I have and which I should work on. Ender was considered an elect leader because he was empathetic, listened and valued opinions of others and never gave up! I took inspiration from his work ethic and I have tried to incorporate this type of leadership into my career in the operating room this week. From this weeks activities, I took a personality test which was interesting. I was not surprised that some of the traits that described my personality were things such as positivity, inclusion, good communication, sociable, friendly, hard-working, etc. I try my best to have a positive attitude every single day at work. That energy will radiate from me and influence those around me for the better! It was interesting to learn about different aspects of leadership and how different approaches can either increase or decrease rapport. I love that this class continues to help me to see what I can work on so that I can become a more competent nurse and leader.

Reflective Journal 3

1. What did you actually learned from the unit.

It was interesting to learn about the interview process including how to conduct an effective interview, and what questions to consider while interviewing. It is essential that a unit is equipped with sufficient staff who are competent so I thought it was interesting to learn about this process. I was able to create five Behavioral-Based Interview Questions I would use (as the nurse leader). I actually thought about how I would respond to each of these questions myself if I was being asked (which made me reflect on my nursing career so far). 

2. Discuss your feelings/experiences from the team activities? Did it change your opinion on the subject? If so, how? If not, why? For this weeks team-building activity, we put together a list of questions to ask a person who conducts job interviews about the actual process of interviewing. I loved how each team member was able to come up with different questions I wouldn’t have thought of asking. Multiple minds are better than one that’s for sure. We had a case study where we were presented two different candidates who were interviewing for the job of department manager. It was interesting to be on the other side of the interview and actually determine who qualified most for the job. 

3. How you will utilize the information learned in your nursing practice. I was able to read an article discussing culture and ethics in healthcare. This helped me to reflect on my own cultural competence in nursing. Through learning about the interview process this gave me an in-depth perspective on what it means to be a qualified candidate. I want to encompass all of the positive qualities myself that I would look for if I was the one hiring a nurse. I need to be always willing to challenge myself so that I can become more competent and experienced in my skills and abilities as a nurse.


Who were the leaders in the movie? Why? 

Ender is definitely a leader in this movie. He was given the responsibility to command his own army at the young age of 9! Graff could also be considered a leader as well. He was the head of the Battle school, and trained many people.

What are the traits of effective leadership you identified in the movie? 

Ender had many traits of effective leadership throughout the movie. He had compassion towards people, treated others equally, had the desire to hear ideas from others, wanted to work as a team instead of just telling everyone what to do, took responsibility for mistakes, learned from others perspectives, etc. 

Explain why you feel these traits are effective in the workplace.

Each one of these traits are effective in the workplace because they have one thing in common- they all help to build and strengthen relationships. If you create healthy positive relationships with others, they will have your trust and follow you in stride. The trait of being compassionate and asking others for their opinions and thoughts is important in the workplace because is shows you value people.

What are the traits of non-effective leadership you identified in the movie?

Some traits of non-effective leadership I saw were through the character Griff. He was manipulative and very demanding. He didn’t care how he won- as long as he won. The character Peter is ruthless and he manipulates people without a care in the world. Peter does not care about others.

Explain why you feel these traits are not effective in the workplace.

Being manipulative to get what you want is not effective in the workplace. It will push people away and not build trusting relationships. You cannot have teamwork when people don’t actually want to work together. A leader who is selfish will eventually fail because his followers will desert him.

After watching this movie and learning this material, how will you incorporate this into your nursing practice/personal life?

It was interesting to see different themes of leadership in this movie and learn which I want to practice in my own life. But more fundamentally than this, I learned to be human is to have compassion. The ability to feel for others is one of the most important traits you can have. I want to earn respect while learning from others everyday. In nursing, I want to be the kind of leader that people are drawn to; one that people can whole-heartily trust.

Nursing Role Activities

1.       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).

2.       Leadership is about values – Nurses demonstrate leadership when they set behavioral standards for all employees that are aligned with the organization’s values, mission, and standards. As a leader, nurses should role model the standards and use them in everyday conversation with both patients and other healthcare providers. (ANA 2019)

3.       Leadership is about service – Nurses demonstrate leadership when they go out of their way to serve both patients and their families with personalized care and compassion. While serving it is imperative to be humble, open, and available to seek for opportunities to provide service. (ANA 2019)

4.       Leadership is about people and relationships – Nurses who are relationship-driven leaders are more empathetic, patient and tolerant. They approach decision-making subjectively, using personal values as a guide and examining how each option will impact others. They are approachable, strive for harmony among their employees and work to build consensus and trust.

5.       Leadership is contextual – Nurses demonstrate leadership by becoming capable to discern trends in the face of complexity and uncertainty as well as adaptability while still trying to shape events. This is especially relevant in the Operating Room, where the best nursing leaders can adapt to change in a split second.

6.       Leadership is about the management of meaning – Nurses demonstrate leadership by prioritizing what things mean the most in each particular situation. Analyzing the importance of actions is important in nursing because it can prevent a patient’s state from declining. 

7.       Leadership is about balance – Nurses demonstrate becoming a leader by learning how to efficiently balance. Balanced leadership requires continuous, delicate adjustments to maintain homeostasis. Balance changes with different circumstances. A nurse who is a leader must evaluate situations and make a series of decisions every day. What worked yesterday may be completely inappropriate for today!

8.       Leadership is about continuous learning and improvement – Nurses demonstrate becoming a leader by using wisdom and maturity and by being willing to let go of the notion that they understand how things work and embrace the possibility that they really don’t. 

9.       Leadership is about effective decision making – Nurses demonstrate leadership by realizing that the reality is that regardless of the value of multiple ideas, some prioritization is needed to determine actions to be taken. This is an exercise in decision-making. Nurses should consider the problem from a number of perspectives and then pose options to obtain the best outcome. More perspectives is always better than just one when making effective decisions!

10.   Leadership is a political process – Nurses demonstrate leadership by understanding that organizational politics can cause low morale and an unpleasant work environment. As a leader, it’s important to stay focused on the organizational outcome. By applying favorable leadership qualities, such as integrity and inspiring employees so they perform at their best, a leader helps to set a positive example.

11.   Leadership is about modeling – Nurses demonstrate leadership by doing what he or she expects those around them to do. If a nurse expects people to speak respectfully to each other, they should speak respectfully to them. Leadership behaviors and organizational values should be specifically identified and every leader be held accountable for modeling them. Actual behavior will always outweigh a list of values hung on the wall.

12.   Leadership is about integrity – Nurses demonstrate leadership by setting an example to employees and patients of integrity and trust. “Followers determine how trustworthy a leader is based on their ability, their benevolence and their integrity,” he claims. “Followers are willing to be vulnerable in a good way to leaders they trust, and are more inclined to be satisfied with and committed to them.”