Finally got an interview....HELP!


I am interviewing this Wednesday for a New GradSTICU position. I am excited and scared at the same time. Any words of wisdom of how to prepare or what to expect? I would appreciate in critical care nurse wisdom as I iinterview for my first RN job!


264 Posts

Specializes in Pulmonary, MICU. Has 5 years experience.

Hope this isn't too late, and if it is, hope it went well anyway!

1) Don't act cocky, because they know that as a new grad you don't know anything. Focus on what you DO know. Did you take an EKG interpretation class in school? Are you comfortable with any aspect of critical care...IE acid-base imbalances/ABG interpretation?

2) Explain your willingness to learn. Not knowing is not damning...being untrainable is!

3) Express your eagerness to be part of the unit and express interest in why you like/desire critical care. To make a difference? To apply nursing knowledge to the best of your ability to deliver high quality and cost effective care? Let the manager know WHY you want to be a CCRN...unless your intent is to get a years experience and then travel/grad school. They don't like that.

4) Express a willingness to stay with the company for AT LEAST 2 years. They like that commitment.

Good luck!

Specializes in Step-down ICU.

Thanks for the info! No it's not too late. My interview was rescheduled for Apr. 29. I have to write an exemplar and a letter of intent (career goals, etc) that must be turned in next week, then they want a week to review it. So that gives me more time to prepare. The Critical care program requires a 2-year commitment after the 8 month residency but I would be willing to give any new employer that. I just feel like in this economy to get an interview is an accomplishment and I certainly don't want to blow it. They are only choosing 2-3 for the Surgical Trauma ICU, so I am hoping that I am one.


264 Posts

Specializes in Pulmonary, MICU. Has 5 years experience.

Phew! Do this now: Go buy a CCRN book. Start reading it. State your intent to obtain your CCRN. Explain that you are studying now in preparation for the job. If you study now maybe you can impress your interviewer with some actual knowledge of critical care stuff. Stuff that is good to know: Ventilator settings, different vasopressors and mechanisms of action, ABG interpretation (acid/base balances). A basic-EKG interpretation book is also not a bad idea. Sinus Rhythm, Sinus Tach, Sinus Brady, A-Fib, A-flutter, SVT/A-tach, 1st degree block, 2nd degree blocks type I and II, 3rd degree blocks, junctional rhythm, idioventricular rhythm, V-Fib and V-Tach. Basic rhythms that you will see and use daily. Well, a couple of them daily, most of them rarely, and hopefully some of them almost never! But studying EKG interpretation is a good preparation for ACLS and will also demonstrate proactivity.

Don't attempt to make yourself look proactive and interested...BE proactive and interested, and let your actions speak. Good luck!

Specializes in Step-down ICU.

CCRN book? Any particular authors or titles? I think I will mention my desire to obtain my CCRN certification in my letter of intent.(they ask us to summarize our career goals for the next 5 years and how the program will help us do so). I will admit EKG's were not my strong suit, but I am in a 2 yr program and we just don't spend a lot of time learning them. However, I LOVED ABG interpetation. I really liked putting the pieces together. A lot of employers like students who have been techs in critical care settings, but I worked in the OR, not in the ICU. I feel flattered they are even considering me. Should I mention I have no ICU experience and maybe highlight what I am bringing to the table instead?


322 Posts

Specializes in critical care, med/surg. Has 9 years experience.

Highlight both strong and weak points. You could say something like..."although I have never worked in critical care, the experience I gained in the OR has been a basis in building my critical thinking skills"...

Most employers with new grad programs will require classroom time as part of your orientation period. This will cover things like EKG interpretation, hemodynamics, etc...just be confident in yourself!

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