New Grad ICU Interview


  • Specializes in Cardiac, NICU, ED. Has 2 years experience.

I recently applied for a critical care intership for new graduates.

Today I got the call, and have an interview set up the 12th.

Is there anything that I should do to prepare? There was not much critical care taught in my program and I don't know if that is typical or not. There are a couple of books for the Incredibly Easy series that focus on critical care nursing topics. Should I buy one to learn more for the interview? This will be my first interview for a real RN job and I don't know what to expect. If anyone has any advice, (ICU related or not) I would greatly appreciate it.



85 Posts

Specializes in NICU.


Congrats. I am a new grad that is a few months into my first RN job. I went on four interviews when I graduated. All four where for NICU. Each interview was a little bit different, but not one hospital asked me clinical questions (like textbook stuff). Most of the questions were general or type questions. A couple of the questions were about clinicals or tech stuff, but I did not have to name drugs or anything like that. I studied the questions on with my husband to prepare. You can spin many of the questions however you want, so try to bring up the ICU or step-down as much as you can.

Good Luck!


61 Posts

Specializes in ER, ICU, Med-Surg.

When I graduated in May 07 I applied at 4 different ICUs (MICU and SICU at 2 different hospitals). At all of the interviews they never asked me textbook questions. The questions more seemed to be related to selling yourself as to why you are the best choice, and basic behavioral questions. If I was you, I would concentrate more on basic nursing interview questions. Type in to google "nursing interview questions" or something like that. That's how I prepared. I would write out my answers to each question and study them.

Good luck!


208 Posts

I interviewed last spring for a few critical care jobs, with hopes of getting a critical care internship or medical-surgical ICU day ship job at a big, teaching hospital (what I got). I'll attach some questions I was asked...might help you prepare.

  1. Tell me a little about yourself, what you've done, and what you're interested in.
  2. Describe a situation where you went above and beyond the call of duty with a patient during a clinical or work experience.
  1. If you had to pick one area to go into during this internship, which would it be? (ICU, Step-down, Medical-Surgical)
  2. Give me an example of a time when you had a difficult patient and how you handled that. How did this turn out, how did they act/respond (later on)?
  3. What type of person do you have a hard time getting along with/working with, and how do you handle that?
  4. What was your easiest clinical and why?
  5. What was you most difficult clinical and why?
  6. Which was your favorite clinical and why?
  7. Why did you choose to apply to this nursing internship (over the others)?
  8. Why should we pick you for this internship, selecting from a very competitive group of candidates?
  9. What would your manager say about you? What would your charge nurses say about you?
  10. Are you applying to other internships in this area?
    • Keeping options open.

  1. Why cardiac? Why are you interested in this group of patients?
  2. What did you like most about where you work now (med-surg floor)?
  3. What did you like least about where you work now?
  4. What made you decide to go into nursing? Why the change from pre-med/med school to nursing? What do you like about nursing?
  5. Where do you picture yourself down the road, in terms of your long-term goals?
  6. Give me an example of a situation from your clinical experiences when you used the nursing process. How did the patient react/handle this?
  7. What kind of duties did you perform as a PCA (since people have different and varying duties depending on where you work)?
  8. How did you like having your clinicals where ou worked? Were the nurses able to treat you as a nurse, or did they treat you as a PCA still? How did you handle this?
  9. Where all have you had your clinical experiences?
  10. What do you think are advantages/is attractive about the university hospital over other hospitals?


117 Posts

Specializes in SICU. Has 2 years experience.

I have been working ICU for about a year and a half and started with an ICU internship program. I wonder if you are applying where I work fellow Michigander

Questions I remember from my interview:

1. There was a scenario question. The painted a picture of the classic MI what would you do (Think MONA- Morphine, O2, Nitro, Aspirin)

2. What are are you interested in (CPCU, SICU, MICU, MPCU, CCU) Why?

3. Explain a situation where you went above and beyond for a patient you have had in clinical or in your work experience.

4. Tell us about a difficult situation you have encountered with a coworker/peer. How did you handle the situation.

5. Why should we choose you

6. Why do you want to work for our hospital

That is a little of what I remember. Focus on your leadership abilities and customer service understanding (Hospitals are all about that). If you don't know the answer or are unsure let them know. They need to know that you can admit that you don't know it all and are comfortable asking questions. Believe me, as a new Grad in the ICU you must ask for help/advice from your coworkers all the time. The most experienced nurse in the ICU (if they are a safe clinician) has no problem asking for the opinions and help of coworkers. Previous work experience is a major plus, especially if that experience is at the hospital you are interviewing at. Most hospitals give priority in hiring to internal candidates as a rule (I think that has to do more with ease of transition and the fact that it is cheaper to hire internal logistically speaking).

Good luck!:welcome:


5 Posts

Thank you very much! This website has helped me prepare for an interview and land the job!

Now I am a full-time ICU nurse!

Thank you for this advice! I have my first panel interview for an ICU new grad program. I both nervous yet excited as I've always wanted to work in the ICU.

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