I’ve had a few requests from you lovely people over on Instagram about how to be successful gaining a place on a midwifery degree on the first cycle.
It is no secret that most universities have far more applications to get onto the midwifery course than the number of places they have to offer but lots of people do secure places so stay optimistic and confident. If you don’t get a place – pick yourself back up and try again next cycle.
I feel like a bit of a fraud advising people on how to get a place because I’m far from an expert but I have put together a few tips, these are just what I did so if you disagree then that’s entirely fine. (Most of these can be applied to a lot of health courses, especially nursing but if you do have questions about nursinf specifically I have friends who were successful at getting places so I can ask them.)
- Interview outfits, need to be comfy (especially shoes) but also make you feel confident. You are applying for a professional course so you need to look smart. I don’t personally think a full suit is necessary but looking presentable in relatively smart clothing is. I’d always personally avoid anything too low cut or extremely short dresses. Feel free to look at the outfit I wore here.
- Be prepared, in every sense. Try to find out as much as you can about the style of interview that uni holds, normally they will email you an overview. Previous students probably won’t be able to tell you much about the interview process as it could get them into trouble for giving you an unfair advantage over others.
If there are exams brush up on your maths, spellings and grammar. Research what you might be asked and have answers prepared to predictable questions
Multiple mini interviews were held at 2 out of 3 of my interviews so it is probably advisable you practice these. MMI’s tend to be hypothetical situations that test your judgement, morals and ethics. I found the best way to answer these was in an unbiased way, this meant I weighed up the situation and didn’t commit to one answer. Remember never to answer in a deragatory, racist or attacking way as this won’t show you in a very good light.
- Plan your journey, as best you can. Allow yourself plenty of time to travel there. Plan how you are getting there. If you are going to be moving quite far away from home it may be easier to book into a hotel near the uni the night before your interview so you aren’t tired and stressed from travelling. Also, make sure you know how long the interview lasts so you can plan in how much food, drink or money you need and your journey home.
Ok, so that is an overview on tips now for the actual interview
Mock interviews are really useful. We had a couple of mock interviews at college then I got my mum to do a couple with me.
The 6 c’s need to be etched into your memory for the duration of any midwifery or nursing interview. Slide them into any conversation with the interviewer to show them you have researched them.
Be confident (or fake it,) show your have strength to be confident as this will be essential as a midwife. Shake their hand, speak slowly and clearly, sit upright and make eye contact.
Group interviews/tasks can be tricky. If you don’t speak you won’t do well. If you speak over others you won’t do well. It’s about finding the middle ground. If you are a more confident person try to bring the less confident people into the discussion or task. The interviewers will probably be looking more at the way you communicate rather than knowledge.
Practice the predictable questions, the typical ones are
Why do you want to be a midwife?
Why do you think you will be a good midwife
How will you cope with the pressures of being a midwife?
What do you think the role of a midwife is?
Show you know what the course entails, midwifery courses can be constructed in different ways and have different positives and negatives so discuss these with your interviewer if appropriate.
Read the NMC, any midwifery journals and recent news. Midwifery is changing all the time and facing new challenges and issues so make sure you’re aware of these in enough detail to have a discussion about them. The Francis Report is also a hot topic so learn the basic gist of what it is and how it came about.
Know how to make the most of you, how you word things can make things sound dull and irrelevant or interesting and make you seem like a more appealing candidate.
For example if they ask what experience you have –
“I volunteered in a Sure Start center because we had to volunteer one afternoon a week at Sixth Form but I only did paperwork”
“I volunteered at a Sure Start center in my spare time, from this I gained knowledge abouy confidentiality and keeping paperwork filed securely. I also learned how to communicate with different types of people. I have shown commitment to this role by being punctual, attending every week and staying longer if they required more help.”
The first answer shows a person who didn’t really want to be at their voluntary placement and gained nothing from the opportunity. Where as the 2nd response shows someone who was passionate about what they had gained and could demonstrate the skills whilst slipping in a couple of the 6 C’s. To take the second answer further I would expand on how those skills can be transfered to midwifery.
They understand you aren’t a midwife, so don’t worry if you don’t know certain things in depth. Show your true character and be honest.
If you have any other questions leave me a comment or ask over on Instagram