As a CRNA (Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist), you have a lot of responsibility.
You are administering anesthesia and monitoring patients during surgical procedures and although you are supervised by other physicians, much of the work is independent.
When looking for a CRNA job, you will have to answer CRNA interview questions about your education and work experience as well as your care philosophy.
Preparation is key to making sure you aren’t surprised by any curveball questions.
The interviewer will be looking for you to show confidence and competence in your field, so it’s important to be prepared for some standard CRNA interview questions.
Common CRNA Interview Questions and Answers
A helpful way to get ready for your CRNA interview is to understand what is likely to be asked of you so that you can prepare your answers ahead of time.
The interviewer will be looking for you to show that you have the clinical skills to do the job as well as the appropriate demeanor.
Here are 5 common CRNA interview questions that you are likely to encounter during the interview process.
Prepare clear, concise answers to these questions as a great baseline to prepare for your upcoming interview.
1. What drew you to the CRNA career path?
The interviewer will want to know what made you decide to become a CRNA in the first place.
This tells a lot about who you are and what your career motivations are, so your answer is important.
Whether it’s that you had experience with an excellent CRNA who motivated you to pursue the field for yourself or because you enjoyed learning about anesthesia during nursing school so it was a natural fit, share your story.
What initially excited you about the job and what has kept you working as a CRNA is so important for your potential employer to understand so that they can determine if you are a fit for their existing team.
2. How would you calm a patient who is anxious about going under anesthesia?
Although much of your job as a CRNA is to administer anesthesia, there is also a large patient care component.
You are meeting patients during a very vulnerable time while they are about to undergo a medical procedure.
Your ability to help them stay calm and make them feel comfortable is important.
To answer this question, describe a scenario in your past work experience where you have calmed an anxious patient.
Explain the methods that you use to provide comfort and soothing to show that you possess the bedside manner that is essential to your role as a CRNA.
See also: LPN Interview Questions
3. What would you do if you administered the wrong dose of anesthesia?
It’s never easy to talk about making mistakes on the job, especially with something as serious as administering anesthesia.
Making a wrong move with anesthesia can have devastating consequences if things aren’t quickly corrected.
It’s important to acknowledge that mistakes happen and have a plan to rectify the issue swiftly.
To answer this question, present your interviewer with a hypothetical (or real) situation where you gave too much or too little of the anesthetic you were responsible for administering.
Share the details of the situation and the steps you took to correct it including:
- alerting other team members for help if needed,
- administration of counteractive medications,
- close monitoring for complications,
4. How would you deal with a conflict with your coworker?
Conflict is something that exists in every workplace, including hospital operating rooms.
See also: OR Nurse Interview Questions
As a CRNA, you may find yourself in tense situations where you experience disagreement or conflict with coworkers about the care plan for a patient, how to handle a complex situation, and more.
This is another question where you can draw on real-life work experiences where you handled coworker conflict well.
Explain how the situation transpired, the way that you diffused the situation, and the positive outcome.
Even if you didn’t handle the situation well in the first place, share that with the interviewer and tell them what you would have done differently.
Self-awareness is a huge part of being a good CRNA because sometimes you have to admit you were wrong or that you needed help.
See also: Research Nurse Interview Questions
5. Are you comfortable working with minimal supervision?
One of the major soft skills required for success as a CRNA is leadership.
See also: Nurse Leadership Interview Questions
CRNAs work with a fair degree of autonomy in most hospital settings, so candidates must show that they have the education and experience necessary to do the job well.
Lean heavily on your professional experience and training to answer this question.
Explain the types of procedures you have attended, medications you have administered, and the volume of patients you have regularly seen.
You should demonstrate that you can think quickly on your feet and that you are comfortable educating patients about what to expect.
Being able to do all of this on your own with some collaboration from anesthesiologists and other physicians is necessary as a CRNA.
How to Prepare for CRNA Job Interview Questions?
The best way to prepare for CRNA job interview questions is to have an idea of what will be asked of you so that you have your answers ready.
Don’t memorize your answers because you don’t want to appear rehearsed, but ensure you feel confident and able to speak about yourself.
While it’s impossible to know exactly what will be asked of you, you must be comfortable talking about:
- your education,
- clinical experience,
- patient care philosophy,
- and career goals.
See also: APRN Interview Questions
Conclusion: Interview Questions for CRNAs
Interviewing for a new CRNA position can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be.
With some simple preparation, you can ‘wow’ your interviewer by showcasing confidence and clinical acumen.
Show the interviewer that you possess a balance of soft skills like assertiveness and compassion along with the clinical experience and knowledge to back it up.
Success as a CRNA requires a balance of these types of skills, so be prepared to speak about your knowledge, experiences, and goals.
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