MockQuestions

Critical Care Nurse Mock Interview

To help you prepare for your Critical Care Nurse interview, here are 29 interview questions and answer examples.

Critical Care Nurse was written by and updated on November 21st, 2018. Learn more here.

Question 1 of 29

Working with critical care requires a great deal of attention to detail and often multi-tasking. What do you do to help keep yourself from becoming overwhelmed?

How to Answer

Managing the care of a patient in a critical care unit requires the ability to multi-task and ensure all details are checked and double-checked. A critically ill patient may be sedated, have several I.V. pumps and require regular doses of varied medications. In a critical care nursing interview, discuss your understanding of the importance of maintaining detailed records, performing multiple assessments and handling medications and procedures efficiently and accurately.

Written by Darby Faubion on November 21st, 2018

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List of 29 Critical Care Nurse Interview Questions & Answers

  • 1.

    Working with critical care requires a great deal of attention to detail and often multi-tasking. What do you do to help keep yourself from becoming overwhelmed?

      How to Answer

      Managing the care of a patient in a critical care unit requires the ability to multi-task and ensure all details are checked and double-checked. A critically ill patient may be sedated, have several I.V. pumps and require regular doses of varied medications. In a critical care nursing interview, discuss your understanding of the importance of maintaining detailed records, performing multiple assessments and handling medications and procedures efficiently and accurately.

      Written by Darby Faubion on November 21st, 2018

      1st Answer Example

      "I am very detail-oriented. One of my strengths as a critical care nurse is to manage multiple medical tasks with the highest degree of excellence."

      Written by Darby Faubion on November 21st, 2018

      Entry Level

      "I have learned to recognize the things that may cause me to feel overwhelmed and try to address them before a situation gets out of hand. For example, I always like to make sure that all physician orders are clear before I begin a shift and report anything that seems to be out of order or any changes in patient status as they occur. This keeps things from piling up and leaving me feel overwhelmed later on."

      Written by Darby Faubion on November 21st, 2018

      Experienced

      "Nursing does require the ability to multitask while handling situations that may create stress. I feel it is important to know our own personal strengths and weaknesses. For instance, I am very detail oriented and always write very detail nurse's notes. I like to make sure that I know what the patient goals for my shift are and make sure that I have a mental list of what needs to be done and in what order. It makes most situations less overwhelming."

      Written by Darby Faubion on November 21st, 2018

      Community Answer

      "Organization at the beginning of the shift, I find is key for me and continuing to reprioritize my tasks throughout the day. For example, I use cheatsheets and post-it notes. Also, I set timers on my watch to remind myself of time-sensitive medications or other interventions. I like to know the plan for the patient so I can make sure that their care and responses are in line with achieving those goals."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Cindy Ramsey

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Cindy Ramsey Reviewed the Above Answer

      Good answer! Explaining your process helps the interviewer envision how you'd stay in control, regardless of the circumstances. However, I would give an example of how you used your techniques. For example, how does a cheat sheet help you organize and stay in control?

  • 2.

    Have you ever considered relocation? If so, what area would you be willing to travel to?

      How to Answer

      While relocation may not be a determining factor for employment, larger companies almost always ask this question. The important thing to remember is, if you are 100% confident that you are willing to relocate, answer yes. However, if there is any hesitation, there are ways to answer this question without an emphatic NO.

      Written by Darby Faubion on November 21st, 2018

      1st Answer Example

      "I have never really thought about relocating. However, I think it would be something I would consider within reason."

      Written by Darby Faubion on November 21st, 2018

      Entry Level

      "I love to travel, so I am definitely open to the idea of traveling for work. My goal is to find a position within a company where I can grow. So, if I am offered a position with your company, I would be happy to discuss what area I would be most valuable to the company."

      Written by Darby Faubion

      Experienced

      "I have not considered the idea of relocation. Actually, my parents are older and my brother and I help one another care for them. I prefer to stay within a 50 mile radius of where I am located now, if possible."

      Written by Darby Faubion

      Community Answer

      "I recently relocated to Squamish and bought our first home so I do not see us relocated in the next couple of years."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Cindy Ramsey

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Cindy Ramsey Reviewed the Above Answer

      Ok, fair enough. An honest answer is important to set expectations.

  • 3.

    What are your primary interests outside of work?

      How to Answer

      No matter what profession a person chooses, everyone needs some time to unwind and relax. Psychologists today say that a healthy balance in life allows a person to recharge and refocus which can result in better productivity at work. The interviewer simply wants to know what you do for you. Maybe you have a favorite pastime or hobby. This is yet another way for the interviewer to get to know you as a person.

      Written by Darby Faubion on November 21st, 2018

      1st Answer Example

      "One of my favorite pastimes is writing. After a busy day at work, I like to journal or write articles for a blog that I author. Both of these forms of writing allow me to release any feelings of frustration I may experience, especially after a stressful day or a difficult situation at work. The writings in my journal are private and my way of 'letting it all out.' The blog articles, on the other hand, are my way of using creative writing to share stories with my followers."

      Written by Darby Faubion on November 21st, 2018

      Entry Level

      "I really enjoy working out at the gym and, I also take a kickboxing class twice weekly. After a good workout or class, I always feel like I can rest better and wake up energized and ready for the next day."

      Written by Darby Faubion

      Experienced

      "Although I love my work, I am definitely not married to it. I have children and grandchildren that I enjoy spending time with. I also like to travel when time is generous."

      Written by Darby Faubion

      Community Answer

      "I believe in a good work-life balance as much as I love being a nurse I also make time for other activities outside of work. My primary interests include playing in the mountains; hiking, biking, and just recently started rock climbing. Getting outside is how I decompress and recharge. I also enjoy journaling and recently got back into painting as a creative outlet."

      Written by an Anonymous User

      Cindy Ramsey

      Our Professional Interview Coach
      Cindy Ramsey Reviewed the Above Answer

      Good! It sounds like you are well-rounded and able to keep the balance well!

  • 4.

    Have you ever been in a situation in which a co-worker put a patient in jeopardy? If so, how did you handle it?

      How to Answer

      If you have ever been faced with a situation that resulted in you having to make a judgment call that may have affected the job of a friend or co-worker, you know how disheartening it can be. However, nurses are bound by law to protect patients and other co-workers by reporting anything in appropriate or dangerous. The interviewer wants to know that you are capable of identifying and reporting a situation if needed.

      Written by Darby Faubion on November 21st, 2018

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  • 5.

    Why do you think critical care nurses often report experiencing 'burn out' and what do you do to help try to prevent that?

      How to Answer

      Being a healthcare provider is a great responsibility. Unfortunately, because of the great responsibility, many providers do report experiencing the need to take a break. The interviewer wants to know that you are capable of handling stress and that you know when to ask for help.

      Written by Darby Faubion on November 21st, 2018

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  • 6.

    Do you feel comfortable working with clinical nursing students in the critical care setting?

      How to Answer

      While not every nurse is required to mentor students, most healthcare facilities have nursing and other healthcare students who rotate through different departments to achieve their required training hours. If you are comfortable mentoring or would like an opportunity, this is a good time to share that with the interviewer.

      Written by Darby Faubion on November 21st, 2018

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  • 7.

    What is a risk that is associated with a patient being in critical care and being bed bound?

      How to Answer

      There are many risk factors associated with people who are ill. Being bed bound creates additional risks. A critical care nurse understands what risk factors patients in requiring critical care have. Share an example with the interviewer.

      Written by Darby Faubion on November 21st, 2018

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  • 8.

    Has there ever been a time when you received negative feedback, and how did you handle it?

      How to Answer

      Receiving negative feedback can be discouraging, but it doesn't have to be something that leaves you feeling incapable of doing your job. The important thing to remember when answering this question is don't talk negatively about the person who gave you the feedback. Rather state what was said and how you grew from the event.

      Written by Darby Faubion on November 21st, 2018

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  • 9.

    In addition to providing care to seriously ill patients, critical care nurses must attend to stressed out family members. How do you approach offering support to family members?

      How to Answer

      Patients in a critical care unit are facing uncertain outcomes. Family and patient supporters are naturally fraught with fear and anxiety. Communicating your compassion and knack for comforting others will show a hiring official how well-rounded you are as a nursing professional.

      Written by Darby Faubion on November 21st, 2018

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  • 10.

    What would you say is your greatest strength as a critical care nurse?

      How to Answer

      Understanding one's own strengths and weaknesses is critical. It is always a good idea to read over the job description of the job for which you are applying while preparing for an interview. Compare your strengths to the required skills listed in the job overview highlight those when the interviewer asks this question.

      Written by Darby Faubion on November 21st, 2018

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  • 11.

    Why do you think you are a good critical care nurse?

      How to Answer

      This is a chance for you to 'sell yourself' to the interviewer. Share what you think sets you apart from other critical care nurses who may be applying. Remember, be positive. Make sure to mention some of your personal qualities, such as compassion, rather than only your hard skills.

      Written by Darby Faubion on November 21st, 2018

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  • 12.

    What about your job as a critical care nurse gives you the most satisfaction?

      How to Answer

      We all have things that give us a feeling of accomplishment or satisfaction. The interviewer uses questions like this to get to know you, not just as a nurse, but as a person. Often the things that bring us satisfaction at work have a parallel in our personal lives that affect us in much the same way.

      Written by Darby Faubion on November 21st, 2018

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  • 13.

    In your opinion, what personality type is best suited toward this specialty?

      How to Answer

      Each person you meet has his own personality. Certain jobs require specific characteristics of those who are performing the job. The interviewer really wants to know what you would consider a valuable characteristic or trait of someone who is providing care to critically ill patients.

      Written by Darby Faubion on November 21st, 2018

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  • 14.

    What advice would you give to a nurse looking to enter your field of nursing?

      How to Answer

      When you are asked to share advice, remember to always be positive. Anyone can find a negative about something, and true enough, there are some days that are more difficult than others. The interviewer wants to know that you are confident about your decision, confident enough that you can share this with others.

      Written by Darby Faubion on November 21st, 2018

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  • 15.

    Nurses at our facility often work on rotation. Are you willing to work, nights, weekends, holidays, or overtime if needed?

      How to Answer

      Being flexible with the schedule you are willing to work is always a plus. However, many people work more than one job or have a one parent home which requires them to have a flexible schedule. Others simply prefer to work one shift rather than another. Being upfront with the interviewer about what schedule suits your preference could help prevent conflict later on. It is easier to plan a schedule you can agree on than it is to fix problems that arise due to fear of being rejected. Be honest and direct.

      Written by Darby Faubion on November 21st, 2018

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  • 16.

    Working in the ICU can be very stressful. What are some ways you manage stress on the job?

      How to Answer

      Providing care for critically ill patients is inherently stressful. Each shift presents what could be a life or death situation. A hiring official needs to know that you can handle stress. Moreover, how you handle it, speaks volume. In a critical care nursing interview, be prepared to provide examples of how stress impacts you.

      Written by Darby Faubion on November 21st, 2018

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  • 17.

    Have you ever considered choosing a different career?

      How to Answer

      Many employee candidates are unsure of how to answer this question. Most feel that if they say they may have other interests that the interviewer will not recommend them for employment. This is not necessarily the case. This is simply an opportunity for the interviewer to get to know your interests.

      Written by Darby Faubion on November 21st, 2018

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  • 18.

    Tell me about a time you were trusted with confidential information regarding a patient's care.

      How to Answer

      Working within the medical career field you are trusted with sensitive information each day. Don't fall into this trap and answer this question with a story containing confidential information, people will view your answer negatively and view you as not being trustworthy. If you choose to tell about a situation be sure to be vague and not use names or too many details.

      Written by Darby Faubion on November 21st, 2018

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  • 19.

    Salary is often commensurate with experience. How do you feel about someone with more experience than you having a higher salary but doing the same job?

      How to Answer

      Most employers do offer higher salary incentives to get more seasoned employees. This is not meant to devalue a person's knowledge or experience, but rather paying for more experience. It is important to note that the interviewer is not saying you will definitely make less than someone with more experience. Many times this question is to see how you respond and how badly you want a position. If an employee is willing to put in the work and earn the pay increase, employers often see them as someone worth investing in. This is a good time to ask what the beginning salary is and discuss options that are negotiable such as benefits and paid time off.

      Written by Darby Faubion on November 21st, 2018

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  • 20.

    If you were the person responsible for hiring new employees, what qualities would you look for in a candidate, and do you think you possess those qualities?

      How to Answer

      There is more than one reason for asking this question. First, the interviewer wants to know what qualities you think are important to perform this job. Second, and most importantly, your answer will tell the interviewer if you hold yourself to the same standard as you do others. If you want to see certain characteristics in your peers, you should be able to tell the interviewer with confidence that you possess those traits, as well. This question is one that interviewers often use to distinguish sincerity on the part of the candidate.

      Written by Darby Faubion on November 21st, 2018

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  • 21.

    Do you have experience working with peers from diverse backgrounds?

      How to Answer

      In an industry as large as healthcare, diversity among peers is inevitable. To be successful, it is crucial to learn how to work with a diverse group of people. Some people are intimidated when faced with learning new cultures and beliefs, but in the healthcare industry, it is crucial to provide effective care. The interviewer wants to know that you are open to meeting and learning about new people and becoming an integral part of the team. Be positive with your response.

      Written by Darby Faubion on November 21st, 2018

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  • 22.

    What makes you feel you will be a good fit for our organization?

      How to Answer

      Rather than just sharing how you have gone above and beyond expectations in the past, focus on how your qualities will help you meet and exceed expectations with their organization. Discuss the reasons why will you be great at this job. Talk about your qualifications and skills that will help you to do this job well. If you can, match your strengths to the requirements outlined in the job description.

      Written by Darby Faubion on November 21st, 2018

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  • 23.

    What is your greatest fear about being a critical care nurse?

      How to Answer

      We all have things that make us feel afraid from time to time. Recognizing them is the first step in overcoming them. This question is an opportunity for the interviewer to get to know you on a personal level. Being willing to talk openly to someone about things like this shows your softer side, which is important when you are trying to build a good rapport during an interview.

      Written by Darby Faubion on November 21st, 2018

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  • 24.

    Do you anticipate any significant changes in your life within the next 2-3 years that may prevent you from continuing employment here if you are offered a position here?

      How to Answer

      Knowing what goals you have and any changes you anticipate in your life will give the interviewer an opportunity to evaluate two things: 1. what positions are available that won't disrupt your plans and, 2. are you interested in having a long-term relationship within the company? Either way, being upfront and honest is always appreciated.

      Written by Darby Faubion on November 21st, 2018

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  • 25.

    What would you describe as your biggest weakness?

      How to Answer

      This is probably one of the most dreaded questions in a job interview. Answering this question requires self evaluation and honesty. Remember, whatever weakness you decide to share, make sure it is not a key characteristic needed to perform your job as a phlebotomist.

      Written by Darby Faubion on November 21st, 2018

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  • 26.

    Do you feel like you have strong relationship building skills?

      How to Answer

      Building strong relationships is essential for success of any business. The healthcare industry is no exception. Share why you think you have good relationship building skills.

      Written by Darby Faubion on November 21st, 2018

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  • 27.

    What are some aspects of your specialty that make it unique compared to other specialties?

      How to Answer

      This question really gives the interviewer a chance to see what your personal thoughts are regarding being a critical care nurse. There is really no right or wrong answer to this question. This is another opportunity for you to show what you thought was special about this specialty that led you to choose it as a career.

      Written by Darby Faubion on November 21st, 2018

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  • 28.

    Do you feel you have good problem solving skills?

      How to Answer

      An interviewer is aware of the importance of a critical care nurse who has strong problem solving skills. Each shift brings unexpected challenges and issues. Show your understanding and strength as a problem- solver. Further, explain how you know when a physician should be called in to help with the situation.

      Written by Darby Faubion on November 21st, 2018

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  • 29.

    Do you participate in any outreach or volunteer work?

      How to Answer

      Although being a community volunteer is not a requirement for employment, willingness to give of your time and resources to others without compensation shows the interviewer that you have a sincere desire to serve others. If you have volunteered, share a positive experience you had as a volunteer. If you have not volunteered, it is not necessary to embellish your answer. Stating that you have not volunteered previously is not going to disqualify you from employment.

      Written by Darby Faubion on November 21st, 2018

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