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Interviewing for ER Residency


I have an interview for an ER residency in about 3 weeks. There's a group of 10 of us going for 6 openings. They are taking us all on the same day, addressing us as a group first, explaining the residency program, expectations, etc. and then interviewing us individually. It will be an all day affair, and we will be interviewed by a panel of people.

Any suggestions, hints, advice for how to prepare for this? I just graduated with my BSN, did a 267 hour preceptorship in the ER (at a different hospital), and REALLY REALLY want to land this job, as it is in my desired specialty area. I know I'm really lucky to have the chance to interview in the ER as a new grad and I don't want to blow it! Thanks in advance! :)

nurse2033, MSN, RN

Specializes in ER, ICU.

If you look and act the most professional you will probably get the job. Do some research on the hospital and ask some intelligent questions. Dress conservatively and show maturity and flexibility. Good luck.


Specializes in Emergency. Has 1 years experience.

Remember the interview panel's names and dress NICE but not ridiculous. dont wear too much makeup...

KNOW the mission, vision, values of the organization AND department.

Think of a situation where you had use critical thinking, talk about experience.

Know the answer to this question: "why do you want to work in the ED?"

They will ask you a specific medication and what it does/contraindications/what to do pre and post admin and outcomes...(think ER meds: nitro, pressors, pain meds, etc..

Know how to answer conflict resolution questions

They may ask "what would you do if you learned that a fellow RN was diverting narcotics

Think of a sick patient that you had - know their dx, what you did, what you should have done, what their outcome was (nursing process question.)

If they ask you how you're doing, be honest. Tell them you're nervous because you really want this job. On my interview they said "good, because I dont think we'd hire someone who said they weren't nervous in a stressful situation."

Bring a list of legit questions to ask them...and YES, bring the list with you, it's OK to look prepared. QUestions to ask have to be relative to the job. for example: when can i be trained in trauma, when can i get my CEN, what are the goals of the department, how long is residency, what are your expectations of me after residency... DONT ask questions like "what are benefits like"...thats HR stuff


I recently interviewed for an ER spot in a versant program and I got it! Out of the different units that I interviewed for, I would have to say that ER was the most intimidating. For my second interviews (with the units) some are only with the floor manager. ER was with a couple of the floor managers, some of the nurses.. there were 6 people total on my panel!

Definitely dress professionally! That should be a given. Be ready to answer more basic questions (tell me about yourself, why nursing, why ER, why this hospital). Know the mission statement and try to incorporate it into your answers! Show them that you WANT ER!!!! With my panel, I know that they had a TON of people interview before me, many of whom said they were between ER and ICU or another unit. Obviously, be honest- but if you really want ER and nothing but ER, let them know (: (: ER is a unit that you really have to love to be successful in, and I think they will probably want to know that from you!

Be prepared for questions about dealing with difficult doctors, upset patients, prioritization, etc. I was also given 4-5 scenario questions in my interview regarding commonly seen diseases/disorders in the ER, as well as some medications. Most of mine was basic stuff (they don't expect you to be an expert!). Also, if you are really serious about ER- look into taking your CEN if you haven't! It's something that I started pursuing before I even knew I had the interview, I let them know, and they loved that!

Just try to stay calm and be confident in your education!! Don't worry if you mess something up in a scenario (I did!). They know you are nervous!

Good luck, let us know how it goes!!


Specializes in Emergency, LTC. Has 1 years experience.

It looks like your in my neck of the woods! I wish you the best of luck and definitely keep us updated on how it goes.

I just saw an opening at Tacoma General for 6 residency positions in the ER, I wanted to apply because that is absolutely where I want to go after graduation, but I don't finish school for another 3 months.

Best of luck!!!

Let us know how ya do and some of the things they asked!


Just got home from my interview. 20 candidates for 6 residencies. I honestly have no idea how I did. It felt like it went so quickly after having to wait so long. I did the best I could, I think. I feel like I fumbled a bit with parts of the critical thinking , but with other parts of it I feel like I think I did ok, maybe even well, so hopefully they balance out.

I am a brand new grad, this was my first nursing interview, and I have zero connections here, so I am probably looking at long odds... Fingers still crossed though.


Specializes in Emergency, LTC. Has 1 years experience.

Your first interview is always a scary one!

What kinda questions did they ask?

I feel like I don't have too many connections either here, which sometimes is what lands you a job.

Best of luck! Ill keep my fingers crossed for you!


It's been a week and I still haven't heard anything yay or nay. Beginning to think I'm not gonna get this job. :( Trying to study for nclex while job hunting is sooo stressful!

Any word yet? The waiting can sometimes be more stressful. Good luck!

dont fret things happen for a reason, keep applying at other places think and stay positivw

GleeGum, BSN, RN

Specializes in ED. Has 9 years experience.

Stony Brook ER in NY has new grad openings for Residency Program.

@GleeGum, i am about to submit my application, any suggestion or advice for STONYBROOK ER program?

Larry77, RN

Specializes in Trauma/ED. Has 10 years experience.

Do you think not having your RN yet was a factor? You said you are studying for your NCLEX..?

No... They knew many of us were new grads, and I asked it, if I needed to mive my date up (residency starts Feb. 11) and she said I had plenty of time... I just didn't stick out enough, I guess.