So you have completed your nursing program and are now looking forward to being a CRNA. You have gone through the application process, and you have received your letter of interview. First, congratulations! You have come so far, and are just a few steps away from securing a place. To make the whole thing easier, read on.
How to prepare for interview for CRNA?
The interview process is actually much easier than you think. You just need to be calm as that can make many tricky situations very simple. Here are some anesthesia job interview questions along with answers to the trickier ones to help you with the interview process.
Nurse Anesthetist Interview Questions
1. Why become an anesthesia nurse instead of going for other advanced areas?
Do not give a manufactured answer centered on ideas like such as your prior experience in administering anesthesia. Remember that the position of a CRNA would not have been considered an advanced practiced registered nurse (APRN) had things really been that simple. Rather, go for something objective, like how you find it challenging.
Sample Answer: I do not consider that the field of anesthesia is of any less concern. Rather, it is continuously developing. Any tiny mistake in administering, and it would lead to serious complications. In fact, the general callousness of perceptions regarding anesthesia is what bothers me.
2. Give a very specific example of a time when you made a mistake.
It is impossible really that you have no mistakes to speak of. And saying so would not go down well with the interviewer either. Chances are you made more than one mistake. So instead of trying to cover up, go for the one you are most comfortable with. Make it seem like you treated that as a learning experience.
Sample Answer:: I once put in a dosage larger than required. That was because then I was new in my job and all the blood in the accident victim really shook me up. Thankfully, my seniors saved the day. From then on, I have made it a point to not let my emotions overcome me.
3. How much salary do you expect?
You are expected to have applied for the position after knowing the expected range of salary. When this question is asked, do not give a figure from your end. That way, you might end up appearing too cheap or too costly for your employers. Let the figure come from the other end before beginning negotiations.
Sample answer:: I would expect to be paid in lieu of what my position, my qualifications and my experience demand and what has been put out by the company with regards to the particular position.
4. What would you do if you received a bad review and felt that it was untrue?
In tense situations, you can’t really control what others feel. This is all the more difficult when there are patients involved, as nerves are jaded everywhere. So if you feel that you have received an undeserved bad review, it is best to avoid an aggressive approach.
Sample Answer: It all depends on how much control I have over that review technically. And how much investment from my side the situation demands. If it is an online review of a serious issue, I would try to reach out to the forum and keep things as short and diplomatic as possible. If I have to face a committee over it, of course, I will be very detailed and calm and accountable in my approach.
5. Technical questions – what are the appropriate interventions for cardiogenic shock?
This, and a host of other technical questions would be aimed at you. So be prepared to the best of your capabilities. A lot of guidebooks are available for this. Revise whatever you have studied in your training program. Make notes of your own. Be as detailed as possible. And most importantly, be very clear with your basic concepts.
6. What would you do if we do not accept you?
This question is aimed at finding how well you are at handling failures as well as testing how open are you to alternatives. At the same time, your interviewer also wants to know how important this particular position in this particular organization is for you.
Sample Answer:: Well, every rejection has its fair share of disappointment. But I would know that there is a lot of ground for improvement. So, I might prepare some more and might as well give this another shot.
7. What would you do if a senior threatened you?
This is one of the commonest scenario-based interview questions dealing with a very common problem. While you should not really shut up and do nothing about it, you should also not be a threat to the company’s reputation.
Sample Answer:: I would first try to understand the logic behind such behavior. If it fails my logic or if the situation is dire, I would be following due protocol and approaching the relevant authorities with my problem.
8. What is your experience in the ICU?
While more experience is, of course, advantageous, you can still bag the job with the proper answer. What you essentially need to prove is that you are more than capable for the job.
Sample Answer: I have an experience of 7 months in the ICU. But within those 7 months, I have had a large number of experiences (here, describe the more complicated ones, with the maximum spotlight on yourself). Besides, I have also been involved in….
9. How well do you handle criticism?
Handling criticism well is an important part of such a job where you regularly need to deal with patients.
Sample Answer: : While I admit that it was really quite difficult for me initially, I have now become rather good at handling criticism. As a nurse, the safety of the patient is top priority, especially during emergencies in the ICU. So, I try to remain honest in my duty. Besides, people make mistakes. I try to learn from mine and not repeat them again. Then I move on.
10. How was your RN in charge?
Make it a point not to badmouth your ex-supervisor. Not only does that mean bad work ethics, it would also make your new employers think twice regarding having you on board, as it might jeopardize their own reputation in case things don’t work out well with you in the future.
Answer: [insert name] was an amazing person to work with. We have had our differences, but I learned a lot from her, and I would be forever grateful to her for that.
CRNA schools interview questions
1. How have you prepared yourself for the position of CRNA?
This is one of the easiest questions asked, and well, the easiest for you to answer. However, keep in mind that your enthusiasm for the subject should show. Do not make it sound like something you did just for commercial benefits.
2. How do you plan to finance your education?
When you are enrolling yourself in CRNA school, you are basically devoting time to learning instead of earning. Schools might just as well want to know how you plan to finance your education for the required length of time, as these programs often involve a lot of money. So this is a very common question asked in CRNA programs. It is a good idea to mention some sponsors or backup funds which would ensure your education in case of some unforeseen emergency. You have to make your education a serious and well-planned venture.
3. What does a CRNA do?
Or alternatively, what do you think the job of a CRNA involves. This question is among the deceptively simple ones as it aims at finding out your priorities.
Sample Answer: I think the most important thing about being a CRNA is having the ability to apply whatever one has learnt in the practical scenario with a cool head. A CRNA is an immensely important position, as the whole functionality of the surgery depends on them [include points to show that you understand this].
4. What do you know about our program?
To answer this, you actually need to be thoroughly aware of the program and the institution you are aiming for. Not a lot of seats are available in a batch in CRNA courses, so you can’t afford to be wrong and beat around the bush.
5. What volunteer work have you done?
Social awareness goes a long way in stating how dedicated you are as a nurse.
Sample answer: I have been a part of a number of organizations dedicated to helping the injured homeless.
6. Mention some of your strengths and weaknesses.
Again, do not shy away from talking about your strengths and weaknesses. You could practice talking about your weaknesses, and highlighting what you are doing to overcome them. Also, focus on detailing your strengths, and how you’re using them to the best of your advantage.
Sample answer: I would say that my biggest strength is to ask for help when required. I also happen to be a good listener, which is an added advantage in my profession. As for my weaknesses, I think the worst would be me losing my head. I find it difficult to detach myself from a suffering patient.
7. How do you deal with stress?
A motive behind this question is to know whether you actually acknowledge stress to be an important part of your job. Times are changing, and mental health is increasingly gaining prominence in conversations. So, not showing enough seriousness regarding this is a bad idea, because employers have realized the economic pros and cons related to worker health.
Sample answer: I would say that I have gotten better over the years in handling stress. I have now learnt to maintain a work-life balance. I switch off when I am at home. I am okay with seeking professional help when I feel the need for it.
Please keep in mind that these are by no means the only possible questions during CRNA admission. Instead of mugging up sample questions, the best way to approach this is to keep in mind the basics, and then personalize them and change them according to the situation. Here’s wishing you all the best!
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