Need Guidance From Experienced R.N.'s

  1. Hey everybody!

    It's happening. My dream. I've got an interview on Tuesday for mixed I.C.U. in a city that has very few positions available. I'm shaking in my clogs- I've been told the interview will be in front of a panel of 5 interviewers!

    I have one year of experience as an I.C.U. nurse in a mixed ICU trauma center in a big city, moving to a smaller city. I meet the minimum requirements for the position I have applied for. I want this job so badly, to continue my critical care training, to have a foundation for the future, and to work and learn with fellow professional nurses.

    What am I in for with this interview? In addition to personal questions about my work qualities I suppose there will be technical questions and that's what scares me. I know, I know, if I want to be a critical care nurse then I better darn well know what I am doing, and I feel like I do. Going from new grad to high acuity critical care was an incredible challenge. BUT THERE IS SO MUCH I DON'T KNOW. I don't want to pretend that I know it all, cuz that's simply not true. But they want an ICU nurse with one year of experience, which I have.
    The bottom line is, I work with really experienced nurses, who are pretty rough on me and I probably deserve it- I make some pretty bonehead mistakes. But I love nursing, I really enjoy working with my patients and the hospital that I have an interview at will help me grow so much. I just feel incompetent compared to them.
    How do I kick butt on the interview, oh wise critical care nurses out there?!! What are the toughest interview questions they could ask?

    Thanks guys,
    I'm gonna get this job!
    Sonny
  2. Visit sonnyluv profile page

    About sonnyluv

    Joined: Aug '06; Posts: 107; Likes: 143

    10 Comments

  3. by   blondeoverboard
    be honest. don't pretend you know it all. no one expects you to. there are nurses with years more experience that understand that we never stop learning. tell them why you want the job, stress what you can bring to the position and let your love of your profession and critical care speak for itself. if something comes up in the interview that you have no experience with, say so but also make it clear that you seek out information. often times half the battle is not knowing the information straight from the book but, instead, knowing who your resources are... you know, the old "it's not what you know, it's who you know." as someone who has sat on those panels (and the only LVN on the unit) the applicants who didnt get a second glance were the ones who either a) came across as know-it-alls who couldn't be taught or b) kept appologizing for their lack of experience. we've all been there. my guess is that, once you calm your nerves, you'll do just fine.
  4. by   sonnyluv
    Awesome advice. Thanks so much!
  5. by   blondeoverboard
    you're welcome. good luck!
  6. by   oslogirl
    When they ask you what your biggest strength is, tell them you have an enourmous capacity to learn! Good luck!!!!!
  7. by   NurseCard
    As someone who HATES interviews and often chokes on the tough ones =), I have no advice really; just wanted to say good luck! You sound like a GREAT candidate... relax!! =)
  8. by   ghillbert
    I agree - don't be overconfident. If you don't know, say so and give suggestions for how you'd find out. Having said that, you should know your ABCs. Do you have ACLS yet? Don't forget if the job is for someone with 1 year ICU experience, they know you're a beginner. They need to make sure you are both a SAFE beginner, and someone who can progress.

    I strongly agree that (if it's true) you should emphasize your strengths as being that you are self-initiated, motivated, and self-directed in your learning needs. Tell them that you know you don't know it all, but you're eager to learn.

    A love of critical care is a strong positive for you - be enthusiastic and remember they are there looking for you to succeed and do well in the job if you're the right person. Good luck!!
  9. by   PostOpPrincess
    You have a good attitude. Just bring that with you--your willingness to learn--and your love for ICU.

    Good luck!
  10. by   BrnEyedGirl
    Quote from oslogirl
    When they ask you what your biggest strength is, tell them you have an enourmous capacity to learn! Good luck!!!!!

    Great answer!!! We had over 100 applications for 7 new positions in our ER trauma center. We interviewed 57, and I was part of the panel for 23 of those interviews. It was very hard, because there were at least 12 of those we interviewed that we felt would be great co workers. I'll try to list the attributes that seemed to "impress" me or my fellow interviewers:
    1. Be on time,.I know that seems obvious, but I was surprised at the number of people who were late, and we were on a tight schedule. It may help to walk around the day before and know exactly where you are going to park and the exact place you need to be.
    2. Don't show up in jeans. This didn't really bother me so much (nice jeans and a blouse with sandals) but it did bother several of my coworkers.
    3. If you don't know the "correct" answer,.inform them that you know how to use your resources,.ie pharmacy, drug book, coworkers, charge nurse, Chaplin, hospital/unit protocols etc.
    4. Don't give the impression that this job is a stepping stone to "bigger and better things".
    5. Be prepared with a list of questions for them. How long are your shifts? Is on call involved? How much over time is available or required? What educational opportunities are available? How much orientation time will you have? Pt/staff ratios? etc.
    6. Remember that often the question asked isn't asked to see if you know the "correct" answer, but more to see your thought process in coming up with an answer.

    Best of luck to you! I'm sending happy thoughts your way!:wink2:
  11. by   blondeoverboard
    "6. Remember that often the question asked isn't asked to see if you know the "correct" answer, but more to see your thought process in coming up with an answer."

    excellent point. nursing involves critical thinking. you may not always have the right answer but show me you can think the problem through and you're steps ahead.
  12. by   sonnyluv
    Quote from RN-Cardiac
    Great answer!!! We had over 100 applications for 7 new positions in our ER trauma center. We interviewed 57, and I was part of the panel for 23 of those interviews. It was very hard, because there were at least 12 of those we interviewed that we felt would be great co workers. I'll try to list the attributes that seemed to "impress" me or my fellow interviewers:
    1. Be on time,.I know that seems obvious, but I was surprised at the number of people who were late, and we were on a tight schedule. It may help to walk around the day before and know exactly where you are going to park and the exact place you need to be.
    2. Don't show up in jeans. This didn't really bother me so much (nice jeans and a blouse with sandals) but it did bother several of my coworkers.
    3. If you don't know the "correct" answer,.inform them that you know how to use your resources,.ie pharmacy, drug book, coworkers, charge nurse, Chaplin, hospital/unit protocols etc.
    4. Don't give the impression that this job is a stepping stone to "bigger and better things".
    5. Be prepared with a list of questions for them. How long are your shifts? Is on call involved? How much over time is available or required? What educational opportunities are available? How much orientation time will you have? Pt/staff ratios? etc.
    6. Remember that often the question asked isn't asked to see if you know the "correct" answer, but more to see your thought process in coming up with an answer.

    Best of luck to you! I'm sending happy thoughts your way!:wink2:

    AWESOME! Couldn't ask for better advice-to everyone who has replied and especially to this post. Great material to study and help me formulate my practice questions.

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