What a stupid question, isn’t it? Don’t the people sitting opposite to you get their salaries for an ability to assess your qualities as a nurse, and decide whether it makes sense to hire you? So why do they need your help? Well, like with many other questions in a job interview, things aren’t always as simple as they seem to an eye of an outsider. Let me explain, before I proceed to some great answers to the question.

First of all, people interviewing you for a nursing job in a hospital, clinic, medical practice, nursing home, prison, or any other facility employing nurses, aren’t always professional interviewers. On the contrary.  In many cases, it goes about healthcare professionals just like you. They do not specialize in leading interviews. Logically you cannot expect from them the same level of professionalism as you’d expect from experienced recruiters, headhunters and hiring managers, when it comes to questions they ask you.

Secondly, they may have their reasons for asking why they should hire you. Perhaps they’ve already made their opinion about you, and can tell your strengths and weaknesses. But they ask nevertheless, in order to understand your level of self confidence, and whether you consider yourself worthy of the role. And also your level of empathy, which matters a lot in any nursing role.

Last but not least, they may find themselves in a precarious situation. Perhaps they’ve got dozens of applications and can hire only two or three nurses. That would be a tough nut to crack even for a skilled recruiter with specialization in recruiting nurses, let alone for a healthcare professional or hospital director who happens to lead your interview. And since they find it hard to choose, they will ask candidates for a helping hand.

One way or another, “why should we hire you?” is still a common question in nursing interviews. Let’s have a look at 7 sample responses to it, including some interesting and unconventional answers. I suggest you to read all of them, think about the message each one conveys, and then pick one that resonates with the message you want to convey, and adjust it to make sure it makes sense in your particular interview, in a place where you want to work.

7 sample answers to “Why should we hire you as a nurse” interview question

  1. You should hire me because I have a particular motivation to work exactly for your hospital. First of all, I really like your mission statement, the fact that you work with vulnerable communities here, and that you basically don’t refuse anyone. In the age of inequality we are living right now, it is something truly special. Secondly, I live just 10 minutes walking distance from here, which would make it easy for me to come to work as a last minute replacement, or if a pair of helping hands is needed in emergency situations, basically anytime. And last but not least I know the management of this place, and really like the way in which they run it. I basically handpicked this offer, and believe my motivation is stronger than that of other job candidates.
  2. Speaking honestly, I believe I stand out with my level of experience. Certainly I haven’t met other job candidates, but I’ve worked in the ICU for ten years already, and that’s an experience hard to beat. Of course, experience is not everything. Good nurse needs right attitude, empathy, and also a strong mind, to manage to handle and process all they see in the job. But I believe to have all these things in me, plus my extensive experience. Perhaps it makes from me the best candidate for the job.
  3. You should hire me because of my attitude to this work. I see nursing as my personal mission, something I want to do for the rest of my life. I do not care about money really. Other things matter to me. If you hire me, you can be sure I will give my 100% every day at work, and I will try to become the best nurse I can be. Of course, I know I am just starting my professional career. I do not have much to show here. But I have all the motivation in the world, and I am as eager to start as anyone. If you give me a chance to prove it in your clinic, you won’t end up disappointed.
  4. To be honest, I cannot say whether you should hire me, or one of the other job candidates. I have my qualities, and I am sure you’ve had time to understand them in this interview. And I would love to work for your practice. But I am sure other job candidates also have their qualities and their dreams. And I am humble enough to admit it isn’t impossible that some of them are even better than me. Anyway, you know better than anyone else who exactly you are looking for. I tried my best to answer all your questions honestly, and to show you who I am. Now it is up to you to consider whether it makes sense to hire me, or you should opt for one of the other candidates. I cannot give you an advice here.
  5. A better question would be why you shouldn’t. I meet all job criteria, and I’ve been working in the same field for seven years already. What’s more, I sincerely believe to have the right personality for the job of a correctional nurse, because I can keep my distance, and I am a person who can stick to the rules in 100% of cases. If there is any reason why you should not give me a chance, I cannot see it from my perspective, which is certainly slightly biased.
  6. Maybe you should choose me because of my recommendations. Please have a look at them. As you can see, my former managers and employers say just the best things about me, and all of them were actually sad to see me leave. But life is a change, I married again and moved, and now I am looking for a new job in this city. New job, but with the same attitude, motivation, and goals–to be the best nurse I can be, for each and every patient I meet, just like I’ve done it in my former hospital.
  7. If for nothing else, you should hire me simply because you need me here. Let’s be honest. One doesn’t have to be an insider to quickly spot that this ward is heavily understaffed. Maybe I do not have the best resume, or the desired level of experience. But I can assure you that I have the right attitude, I do not mind to work in a psychiatric ward, and I really want to bring some value to your team. With the low number of nurses working in the ward currently, can you really afford to refuse me?

Ready to answer this one? I hope so! Do not forget to check also other tricky questions you may face in your nursing interview:

Matthew Chulaw
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