Congratulations! You scored an interview at one of your choice CRNA programs. You should be proud of yourself, not many make it to this step in the process. The key to having a successful interview is to be prepared. Here are three mistakes to avoid during your CRNA school interview.
One of the things that people dread the most is getting a clinical question that they know they should know, but either blank, or can't quite remember the answer to. It's okay! You can't possibly know everything. But what you do need to get across to the admissions committee is what you do know. You may not know the exact mechanism of action for Precedex, but surely you know SOME side effects, some dosages, and some types of patients that you do use it for. Extrapolate what you can, and make sure you are communicating what you DO know.
You might get a question such as, "You look up at the monitor and notice that your patient is in SVT, what do you do?”
You might say, “I’d check a blood pressure, page my attending, and if the patient is unsedated, ask them to bear down. If that doesn’t work, I’ll prepare some adenosine.
OR you could show a bit more of your thought process.
“First, I check the blood pressure because I'd like to know if the patient is symptomatic. I know that when the heart is pumping that fast there isn't enough filling time, and this could cause hypotension. While I’m waiting for the team, I'd ask the patient to bear down, as a vagal maneuver. If that doesn’t work, I’ll prepare some adenosine and some flushes.”
We get it. You're nervous. But you need to learn how to wrap up a thought. Make sure you answer the question succinctly, or you're going to lose the attention of your interviewers. When you're telling a story, don't tell a bunch of my new details that don't matter, stick to the main points and remember why you're telling this story. The best way to prevent yourself from rambling on and on is to talk slow, and practice your answers ahead of time. Of course you're not going to know every single question that you will get asked, however, there are a handful that you should definitely be expecting and prepared for. For example, “why do you want to be a CRNA?”
There's a fine line between displaying a humble confidence and coming across as arrogant. Yes, we get it you're an ICU nurse in a prestigious CVICU. But sorry, you're not the only one. No matter what your story is, and how much you have achieved, there are definitely applicants out there that have done more. The key here? Remember, they’re judging your character, demeanor, and attitude. Your stats aren’t everything. Be confident, but not cocky.
Overall, the best way to prepare for your CRNA school interview is to prepare a head of time, do a mock interview, and practice practice practice. Fine tune the art of storytelling, and paint the picture of who you are as a person. At the end of the day, be yourself, and remember, your interviewers are human, too!
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