So you’ve already fielded the preliminary phone call from potential clients and they're interested enough in your doula services, lactation services or childbirth education classes to set up an interview. Now how to do prepare for basic interview questions? And what are good interview clothes?
Deciding what to wear for this interview isn’t as easy as an interview for a nine-to-five job. In a nine-to-five job, you’re expected to wear a suit or other professional clothes. But birth work tends to be casual so you should be able to dress casual to an interview too. Jeans are probably fine, but khakis, a casual skirt or other pants would probably be better. While long flowy skirts might be expected, if it’s not something you don’t normally wear, don’t wear it.
In addition, clothing shouldn’t be tight or revealing. It should be in good repair, not stained and not wrinkled.
Usually interviews take place in people’s homes, though they can happen at restaurants or coffee places. You may be going to neighborhoods or towns you’re not familiar with. Make sure you use MapQuest, ask for directions and if possible do dry runs before you go to your interview. You should also give yourself plenty of time—it’s better to be a little early and wait in your car until the interview time then be a little late.
Review the basic interview questions birthing professionals get asked and figure out how you’re going to answer them. But don’t prepare so much that you can’t handle the random questions. I’ve been asked about religious preferences (they wanted to make sure I believed in God), if I had pets (they were concerned I was allergic to their dogs and cats) and where I bought my shoes (they were really cute shoes).
See this article for a list of questions expectant parents might ask.
While it’s common for women who have just met to complement each other on their clothes, shoes or jewelry it gets trickier beyond that. While saying that you like a piece of art or a book on display is a great ice breaker, if it’s not true, chances are you’ll come off a little fake. Same with saying that you love a TV show or a song playing in the background if you don’t actually. Compliment freely, but don’t lie.
Come prepared to accept a deposit, sign a contract and give out your contact information. You should also have a business card, contact information and/or a handout you can leave with the couple to review later.
No matter how good a birthing professional you are, not everyone will hire you. Some people you interview will be very nice and will contact you to let you know they’ve made another decision. Others won’t be so brave. Assume potential clients are interviewing other professionals and if they don’t sign the contract at your interview, then they’ll make another decision. This will prevent you from turning down other clients, “just in case”.