If you have an upcoming interview for a nurse’s position at the ICU of a leading hospital, it is essential that you are well prepared for your interview. Besides having technical knowledge, answering interview questions correctly and confidently also plays a very important role in whether or not you are selected for the job. We have compiled a list of intensive care unit nurse interview questions and answers that will help you ace your up coming interview. With the help of these frequently asked questions and pre-drafted answers, preparing for your interview will become very easy. Here’s the list:
Critical Care Nursing Interview Questions
1. How do you handle extreme pressure when performing your duties as a nurse in the ICU?
As an ICU nurse I’m well aware of the high stress levels that I may have to face. An ICU nurse always has to handle a lot of pressure due to the sensitivity and urgency of the cases that are handed over to her. In my previous job place I found that pressure often played the role of a catalyst and encouraged me to perform my job in the best way I possibly could. I work best under pressure and my performance during that time is always outstanding. There are occasions where I have also purposely put pressure on myself to bring out the best in me. There was once a case where an accident victim was brought into the ICU and the on call doctor wasn’t available, I took on the responsibility of making sure that I kept the vitals of the patient stable until the doctor arrived and that played a major role in saving the life of the patient.
2. What job duties and field work have you handled in the past in your nurse job?
I have handled all kinds of different job duties as an ICU nurse. From changing the patient’s drip to changing casts, dressings and monitoring the patient’s vitals, I can pretty much handle all jobs and field work that any other senior nurse of an ICU can handle. I also have years of experience in using computers and medical software to upload and maintain patient’s files, important medical information and other related data. When I have completed attending to the patients in the ICU I can take care of the technological aspects of the job on the computer as well. I can confidently say that I’m well trained in all the ICU nurse skills that one would require in order to be a successful nurse.
3. What would you do in order to increase your knowledge in nursing skills?
The medical field is one where medical technology and services are constantly changing and getting upgraded. Being an ICU nurse I prefer to stay on top of my game and make sure that I’m completely updated with all the latest technology. I often take up advanced level nursing courses to brush up my skills and adjust my ways to meet new industry standards. Besides nursing courses, I also attend management and personality development seminars. Such seminars help me to grow professionally and also play a vital role in helping me interact with patients in a more professional manner.
4. What would you say is your greatest strength as a ICU nurse?
As a nurse I can confidently say that I have a great amount of patience to handle difficult and frustrating patients. In the medical field and as an ICU nurse, I have often come across patients who have been extremely difficult to deal with. While most of my colleagues would lose their minds when dealing with such patients, I handled these same patients with calmness. I didn’t lose my cool and calmly explained to the patients what needed to be done. In the same way that a mother would handle a stubborn child, I handled things smartly and coolly. There have been times in the past when family members of patients have raised their voices in frustration at me and my colleagues. I have very gently yet firmly made such family members understand the circumstances at hand and calmed them down in my own ways.
5. Why are you quitting your current job?
As much as I love my current my job, there isn’t much room for growth there. I have always had an excellent relationship with my seniors, colleagues and bosses at my current work place and deciding to leave it was a very difficult decision. But since the current hospital is a very small one and specialises only in cardiology for the most part, there’s no way that my career can expand any further. I love to learn new things and I want my responsibilities at work to keep expanding. Stagnation at the work place becomes extremely cumbersome. I have reached that point of stagnation at my current work place and the only way to grow out of it is to find a suitable alternative at a larger multi-speciality hospital.
6. What salary are you expecting for this job position?
As an ICU nurse with over 7 years of experience I’m well aware of the current industry rates for a job position like this one. The salary that I’m expecting from your organisation would be around 10-20 percent higher than my current salary. My current job requires only 8 hours of duty and has a limited number of beds in the ICU. Your organisation on the other hand has multiple ICUs and requires at least 10 hours of nursing duty.
7. Describe what your ideal work week would be?
According to me and on the basis of my previous experience, a work week begins on Monday morning and ends on Saturday evening. When I enter my work place on Monday morning I make sure that I browse through all my emails, take instructions from seniors and take feedback from colleagues who have been present the night before to follow up on the progress of the patients. Based on the tasks given to me by my seniors I plan out the the rest of my week meticulously and keep a to-do list prepared so I don’t miss out on anything.
8. Why do you think that you’re right for this job?
I am a very committed and dedicated individual who has always been extremely passionate about working towards helping the sick and needy. Even as a college student I would visit senior citizen homes and paediatric facilities to help the sick and elderly. Even after all these years I look forward to waking up each morning and getting to work and helping patients getting better and healing faster. I’m also ready to work longer hours if required and if the hospital is falling short of staff. Since I have no children or domestic responsibilities, I can come to work really early and leave late without any hassles.
9. Why do you feel like working with our organisation?
When I did a little bit of research about your organisation I found that a lot of the goals of this organisation match my own professional goals. Not only will I be able to work towards helping your organisation achieve its goals, but I will simultaneously end up achieving my own goals while working here. I also wish to work with your organisation because it’s a multi-specialty hospital and it will help me increase my knowledge in the medical field. These are some of the reasons that I would love to work with your organisation.
10. What’s your greatest weakness?
Even after years of experience as an ICU nurse, I still get a little stumped when I see deeply wounded accident cases. When I first began working as an ICU nurse, my mind used to go numb when I would see a patient with horrible injuries. There were times when I couldn’t even be proactive and handle the matter smartly. When I realised this weakness I started meditating regularly to train my mind to remain calm in emergency situations. Over the years the meditation truly helped me and I was better able to handle gory wounds and accident cases.
11. For a year in between you had taken a break from your job position as an ICU nurse, why is that?
The job of an ICU nurse can be one that is emotionally exhausting and in some cases mentally traumatic. As an ICU nurse I was repeatedly dealing with accident victims, burn victims, victims suffering from different kinds of cancers and more. All of this took a major toll on my mental health. I started getting so emotionally involved in the cases that it triggered a slight depression. When this happened and I realised that if I wanted to successfully continue my career as an ICU nurse and treat patients in an appropriate manner and bring them back to excellent health, I would need to be mentally strong. I decided to take a year off to stabilise my mind and also to train my mind to handle such traumatising cases with strength and detachment. When I went back to work a year later, there was a lot more professionalism in my way of working.
12. What about your job as an ICU nurse satisfies you the most?
As an ICU nurse one thing that really satisfies me is when I see a patient’s health improve over the critical care days. As such I have a very extroverted nature and I make it a point to make ICU patients who are suffering from pain and trauma smile or laugh. A lot of patients have thanked me for my warm and friendly demeanour and have said that it helped them recover much quicker. When given a feedback form at the time of discharge, most of my patients give me a 5 star rating for my excellent nursing services. Receiving this excellent rating for my skills and services gives me the ultimate professional satisfaction.
13. What did you dislike about your previous work place?
To be honest, there was nothing that I disliked in my previous work place. Working there was always something I looked forward to every morning. There was one thing however that I was slightly uncomfortable with. My previous work place had two hospital buildings and each building has its own ICU. Both the hospital buildings were at a distance of 5 kilometres from each other. Public transport in my previous work area was limited and not easily accessible. When there was a shortage of ICU nurses I often had to shuttle between both the buildings and handle the patients in both ICUs. This often got a little exhausting and made me slightly irritable.
14. Do you think you’re ready to handle a small team of junior ICU nurses under your wing?
I don’t think I’m ready to do that as yet. Like I mentioned before my previous work place specialised particularly in accident cases and cardiovascular cases. Your hospital is a multi-speciality hospital that handles cancers, nephrology, cardiology, neurology and other such medical aspects. If I was required to handle a team under me, I would require a minimum of one to three years experience in your hospital before handling juniors.
15. Do you take leave often?
No. I am an unmarried woman and I have limited domestic responsibilities. I may take a break of a week for a short holiday and to rejuvenate my mind, but besides that you will pretty much find me at the work place everyday.
All, in all if you thoroughly read through all these basic critical care RN nurse interview questions to prepare for your interview, there are very high chances that you will bag the job. Most of these sample questions are common interview questions that are asked by interviewers for nursing role jobs. You can follow the guidelines of the answers but can edit the answers to suit your job history.