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How to Answer “Why Should We Hire You?” Interview Question

note: This is from notes I jotted down when I took part recently in a panel interview to hire new grad nurses. The examples given are composites.

Why Should We Hire You?

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“Why should we hire you?”  is one of the Classic Interview Questions that you can prepare for. “Why should we hire you?” is code for “Tell us how you are a perfect fit.”

It’s your chance to show us how you meet our needs, not a time to talk about what you want.

  • Don’t compare yourself to other candidates (or say “I can’t speak to the other candidates, but I can tell you about myself)
  • Have three key points about yourself prepared
  • Delivery- be confident, smile, make eye contact with each person. Convince them they should hire you before you leave the room today and get snapped up by another employer!

Be prepared. It’s not the time to freeze. Do not try to wing it. Rehearse and practice ahead of time with a friend. Then practice again with someone else. Don’t memorize your answer, but know your three talking points and get them in. Don’t repeat and don’t ramble, you will lose your punch.

Unprepared: Some candidates started out strong, but then couldn’t stop talking, and drifted off into places unrelated. And then circled back around again.

Prepared: Some candidates visibly perked up when the question was asked, as if they had been waiting for it and were anxious to respond.

One of them said, “There are three reasons you should hire hire me. The first is…” and he proceeded to give us the three reasons. Very nice! He came across as confident, organized, and prepared.


What makes you stand out from the other applicants?

To start with, do some self-reflection, and identify your strengths. You have to know  yourself before you can tell us who you are.

Are you a natural leader? Always the group project leader, class president,  jury foreman? Are you highly organized and efficient? Maybe you were a waitress, and have mastered the skill set of juggling ten things at a time (prioritization). Or maybe you’ve organized a large wedding or your class graduation. Give examples. Speak in stories.

One applicant said she cared for her Grandmother at home in her last days of a long illness, and admired  the Hospice nurses. She knew then she was meant to be a nurse. She also said she has been a caring, caretaker-type person all her life.

Next look at what the employer is seeking. An RN who is competent, with good attitude, and who is loyal. Finally, match the two- your strengths with the employer’s needs.

[Tweet “Give us examples. The more detail you give, the better your answer will be.”]

We asked one candidate from out of town, “Tell us why should we hire you? We have several applicants that live in the area.” She replied:

 I can tell you are looking for nurses who will stay in the area. I’ve been looking to re-locate, and my cousins have been trying to get me to move here. I would love to live in the same town as them, and help take care of Grandma. I would be so excited to be able tell them I’m moving here. I tend to be very loyal, and once I settle in someplace, I stay. I’m looking for a work family where I can grow as an RN and find my niche.”

On your special qualities: “I’m really likable, and I get along with everyone. It’s one of my main strengths, I’ve always been that way. Every place I’ve ever worked, people want me on their team. In school, everyone wanted me to work with them on their group projects. I get my energy from connecting with others.”

One outgoing  candidate threw her hands up and exclaimed:

“Because I’m amazing!”

I’m not recommending that for everyone, I’m saying be yourself and be genuine. She pulled it off, her timing was perfect, and we all burst out laughing. Did she stand out? Yes!

I really hope this helps you get ready for your next interview. Good luck!

You must read the article that has been shared so much on Facebook that it’s currently banned:  TOP TEN INTERVIEW QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS  


Nurse Beth

Author, “Your Last Nursing Class: How to Land Your First Nursing Job…and Your Next!

Come visit me at Ask Nurse Beth career column at for all kinds of  entertaining and informative career questions and answers, and to submit your own question :)

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About Beth Hawkes (146 Articles)
Nice to meet you! I'm a Nursing Professional Development Specialist in acute care, a writer, speaker and career columnist.

2 Comments on How to Answer “Why Should We Hire You?” Interview Question

  1. I always consider the manager has to justify hiring you to themselves and to their boss. It becomes my job to spoon feed them reasons they can sell up the food chain.

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