Preparing for the Interview Process

This is merely an extension of your admissions essay except now it’s an opportunity for the faculty members to see a face to the application that was submitted. Be enthusiastic. Be positive. Show them your best self. Easier said than done, but again, I’m going to go back to if you spent a lot of time really buying into the idea of what it means to be a leader in nursing and you’ve spent that time trying to embody those values, this whole process should be extremely easy because you’re just being yourself. We’ve all heard it before. Whether it’s applying for a job or trying to get into school, being genuine is THE best route one can take. Even if you don’t get in, while a bummer, it shouldn’t really matter because honestly, if you’re being true to yourself and putting your best foot forward and it turns out that you’re not selected for the job or for a position in a program, that should already tell you that perhaps the program/job was not the best fit for you; which is okay! You’re better off knowing that in this stage than several months in and thousands of dollars of tuition later and realizing that it was a mistake for you to have gone to that particular program.

As an extension to my previous point, you should be approaching the interview as an opportunity for you to ask pointed questions to the faculty members as well. In the same way that they’re trying to determine if you’re the best fit for their program, you too, should be trying to determine if they’re the right fit for you. However, that doesn’t mean you should be asking pointed, confrontational questions, but take this opportunity by coming up with a list of questions that you want to know about the program. What those questions are depends on the program you’re applying to, but some basic questions to ask should be:

  1. What kind of clinicals do students typically rotate through?
  2. Where are the clinical rotations located?
  3. How many clinical hours do students accumulate at the end of the program?
  4. What are job prospects like in the surrounding area? How many students find jobs upon graduation?

As far as your curruculum vitae is concerned, just know that whatever you decide to put on there, it’s fair game during the interview process. So, be ready to able to answer whatever random question may be asked from your CV and be able to answer it at length and in great detail. I truly believe that this demonstrates that you’ve put a lot of thought into your career and that you’re not just listing items on a CV to make yourself look “good.” You’re doing it out of a genuine interest in growing personally and professionally.

Some talking points you will want to think about and to be prepared to expound in great detail:

  1. Why do you want to be a CRNA? Go through your work experience and extracurricular activities and related them to why it is you want to be a CRNA.
  2. Think about your strengths such as personal attributes, education, professional experience and again, relate them back to your definition of what it means to be a CRNA.
  3. Think about some challenging clinical situations you’ve been in. How did you react to them? How did you function within a team environment and again, relate it back to being a CRNA (getting the picture here?)
  4. Think about why you’re applying to the specific program. Look at their mission and philosophy and be able to describe how they will help you achieve your goal in becoming a CRNA.
  5. Be able to talk about your shadowing experience.
  6. Talk about how you’ve prepared yourself for graduate school.