Career Development October 19, 2018

By Megan Dunn, Contributor

5 Most Common Intensive Care Unit Nurse Interview Questions

As an ICU nurse, you're probably adept at performing clinically under pressure. But fielding intensive care unit nurse interview questions from a hiring manager or panel of RNs is a different type of stress. 

Prepare by reading about some potential registered nurse interview questions and how to answer them. And when you're ready to make a big change in your career, check out the listings at American Mobile to discover ICU travel nursing jobs.

5 ICU Nurse Interview Questions and How to Respond


1. How do you work as a nurse under pressure?

How you perform under stress is very likely to come up in an ICU nurse interview because this type of nursing is almost synonymous with pressure. Nurses in the ICU have to be able to move quickly, make decisions on the fly and treat patients under circumstances that aren't ideal —all while dealing professionally with patient families and performing all the other duties of nursing, such as charting. 

Be prepared to provide specific anecdotes that demonstrate you can perform with excellence under pressure.

2. What is your greatest strength/weakness as a nurse?

When it comes to nurse interview questions and answers, strengths and weaknesses are often on the menu. Forbes contributor Jacquelyn Smith says not to prepare a canned response. Though you should think about potential answers to this common question beforehand, Smith says you may want to tailor the answer according to what else has happened in the interview.

When discussing weaknesses, Smith says to keep them within job-specific parameters and incorporate how you have made progress in working on that weakness.

3. Why are you leaving your current position?

Sara Clark works in healthcare human resources and says you never want to give a reason for leaving a current position that might make you seem like a poor candidate for the job you're seeking.

That means you need to do your research to understand what the new facility might want in an ICU nurse. If the hospital is looking for full-time staff who can work late shifts, you won't want to say you're leaving your current job because of late-night work requirements, for example.

4. Why do you think you're a good fit for this ICU nurse role?

This is another common intensive care unit nurse interview question where your research can pay off. Don't just tell interviewers what makes you a good nurse. Tell them why you're a good ICU nurse and go further to relate your skills to the needs of their facility. 

If you already know the EMR system for that facility, says Clark, that's the type of detail worth noting.

5. How long are you planning to stay in this position if hired?

With healthcare staffing shortages across the country, hospitals are often looking for RNs who are in it for the long-haul, but you should always be honest about your intentions. If you're looking for work that lets you change facilities and locations periodically, consider chasing your career goals with travel nursing.

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