Quote from DEE S.
MSTICU (Med/Surg/Trauma ICU)
I am a new graduate, this is my first job interview
for nursing and I am very excited about this opportunity. Please give me some interviewing tips. Especially questions I should have and be prepared to answer. Strengths and Weaknesses, 5-10 year plan I am prepared for. That's just about it though.
I occasionally participate in panel interviews of candidates for our ICU.
You will need to be able to explain WHY you want critical care - what draws you to it. If asked your future plans, it is generally not wise to say that you want 1-2 years of CC experience as a prereq for applying to a CRNA program. That would be an instant "fail."
Experience as a PCT/extern (especially if it's in a CC unit) is very helpful. ACLS certification isn't a requirement, nor is it really much of a "plus" for a candidate. If hired, you'd be going through a bunch of added classes in any case.
Be able to express excitement, a willingness to learn, and the fact that you do not know it all. Teamwork is a biggie. You would need to be able to fit in with your coworkers, and be willing to offer help and ask for it when needed.
Be able to tell about the sickest patient for whom you cared during nursing clinicals. What did you see/experience/learn?
If you could shadow for a shift in the ICU (and were well received), that would also help your candidacy.
During your interview, you might have a clinical question or two thrown in your direction (stuff involving DKA, DIC, HIT, sepsis, ARDS, renal failure, cardiac arrhythmias, ...). You will not be expected to know everything. You may not even be expected to know the "correct" answer to the questions. What you will be expected to do is to be honest & say "I don't know, but here's how I'd find out" rather than trying to BS your way through things.