How to Prevent an Awful CRNA School Interview

You probably already know how important your CRNA school interview is to gaining acceptance into a program and finally becoming a Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist. Yes, doesn’t that sound like music to your ears!  

I remember my first CRNA school interview was at Virginia Commonwealth University way back in 2011. Boy, I felt really good about it. But unfortunately, I didn’t get accepted. I picked myself back up and moved on to the next interview which was awful all the way around. Needless to say, I didn’t get in. 

The pain I felt from that one bad interview almost kept me from pursuing my dreams. Until 3 years later I decided to try again. And the rest is history because I am a CRNA today!

Well, I know you are thinking what changed? How did you get past the admissions committee? The truth is- It’ all about how you prepare so you stand out from the other candidates. Simply put, I was more prepared than I ever was before. I formulated a plan and executed it. Which is actually the foundation of CRNA Chase Academy

5 Ways to Prevent an Awful CRNA School Interview


So let’s look at some ways you can prevent having an awful CRNA school interview as I had back in 2011:

1. Do your homework on the program and faculty

Hopefully, you’ve already researched the CRNA school prior to applying so this shouldn’t take long to do. Your research should focus on some key areas about the school and faculty as well. Being able to conversate with the faculty on a topic of interest will allow you to make a great impression. It also shows you are serious about joining their nurse anesthesia program. I would focus my research on areas like:

  • Their interview format
  • Their mission, culture, curriculum, requirements
  • Faculty education and accomplishments 
  • Information on questions they tend to ask. Is it more clinical or get to know you type questions?

These are just a few things to include in your research. A great place to start is with the CRNA schools website. Also, you can contact peers who may have gone to that particular program. And you can do an online search as well. 

2. Do mock interviews

The truth is you will never ever feel completely prepared or ready for your CRNA school interview. Because it’s new and you don’t quite know what to expect. So the whole point of a mock interview is to get you ready by learning what you need to brush up on. Although I never did any mock interviews in preparation for my interview, I believe they are essential to you performing well in your interview. 

In fact, I would do a mock interview at the beginning of my preparation, one in the middle, and right before the actual CRNA school interview. I believe in them so much, I will adding them as a service hopefully in the near future.  

3. Practice your answers to common questions 

It always pained me to see a candidate come into their interview and not be able to tell me “Who they are?” or “Why they want to be a CRNA?”. These are the type of questions you must be prepared to answer. While it may seem easy to come up with something on the fly, it is actually more difficult than you think. 

These are two of the most difficult questions to answer and you will likely encounter them during the interview. I hate the saying practice makes perfect, but it does make all things better when done properly. So just practice your response to these questions because they trip people up because they are so open-ended or broad. 

4. Prepare smart questions ready for the committee

If you’re trying to brainstorm questions that would impress the admissions committee you’re approaching this the wrong way. While you want to wow the committee, you genuinely should only ask questions you want to learn more about. And in the process, this is what shows your commitment and enthusiasm for the CRNA school. Since you’ve done the research you should have a clear idea of what information you are still lacking and need further clarification on. 

Also, consider the role of your interviewer before you start asking a ton of questions. Because your interview might be conducted by a faculty member, a clinician, or maybe even a student. And also come to the interview with a handful of questions. The questions should range from need further clarification to just being curious about something. Either way, you should always have a question to ask.  

5. Lead the interviewer with your answers 

Ok. So this is a big one! Those that do exceptionally well in CRNA school interviews, where clinical questions are asked, have figured out how to lead the interviewer questions. 

Basically, they only mentioned things in their response they have knowledge of. So when the interviewer asks a follow-up question they already know the answer. 

So, here’s what I mean. 

Interviewer: Kiki, tell me about a challenging patient you had recently? Me: Yes. My last patient was so challenging they were on multiple drips. Interviewer: What kind of drips? Me: Yes they were on a Phenylephrine drip and … Interviewer: Tell me everything you know about Phenylephrine. Me: It is an alpha-adrenergic agonist, constricts the arterial and venous blood vessels, very high doses cause beta effects which leads to ischemia, causes rebound bradycardia, is used for hypotension, etc. 

Ok. So this is where they either get you or you get them because you know the topic well. This is what I mean about leading the interviewer. If you get this down you will likely seal the deal and become part of the next cohort of SRNAs!

Bottom Line

Just because you’ve secured an invite to interview at a CRNA program, doesn’t mean you’re home free yet. You still got work to do! Since you’ve made it to the interview phase, it’s likely the determining factor in whether or not you get into that CRNA program. Hopefully, this article gives you some insight on how to prep for your upcoming CRNA school interview. The ultimate goal is for you to nail the interview and gain acceptance but also remember to enjoy the process as well. 

P.S. Looking for a vault full of CRNA school interview questions, then Join CRNA Chase Academy so you can get accepted into a CRNA program ASAP!

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