[QUOTE=dbscandy]As a seventeen year vet of the NICU, I know one thing you should not say in the interview. Please don't say you want to work there because you love babies! We have more laughs about this one!]
I have to laugh about this! I was recently hired into a level III NICU (graduating this June, will start in the NICU in August). At my interview (a few months ago), I felt like my interview had gone really well, felt like I had connected with my interviewers, gotten all of my questions answered, answered all of their's, etc. I was driving home, thinking that there wasn't one thing I would change about the interview, when I realized I had never said even one word about liking babies! Now, I had said much about my desire to work with families in transition, my love of working with new mothers and families as a post-partum doula, my conflict of loving intensive care units but missing the interactions with the patients, but not a word about the babies! I guess what you say must have some truth because I had a message on my phone an hour later offering me the job
I later talked with my soon-to-be manager about my interview (after I was hired) - and she said that she really looks for the 'right person' - meaning whole person for her unit. She looks for a blend of the top notch academic record, life experience, and very strong ability to communicate. I've been told (correct me if I'm wrong) that the NICU is an amazing blend of technology and acuity (ICU), and true bedside nursing (emotional/teaching/support of the new parents). So I was asked many questions about my experience with people throughout my life (nontraditional nursing student with previous careers), my feelings about ethical issues, my personal reasons for wanting to work in the NICU (a very good question to ponder before you interview - for me it is fairly compex), and my communication style. Be prepared to interview with several people at once, spend lots of time (over an hour for me) and to interact with all of them. Start looking early - I know that NICU positions seem to be rather competitive and disappear quickly. Good luck to you!