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Preparing for your preceptorship midwife interview: A student's guide

02 July 2016
Volume 24 · Issue 7


This is a busy and exciting time in the academic year, as third-year students come to the end of their programme of study and start to apply for preceptorship posts. While there remains a shortage of midwives (Bonar, 2015), applications for posts are still very competitive and so candidates need to be as thoroughly prepared as possible to ensure they perform at their very best on the day. This article revisits what constitutes ‘a good midwife’ (Power, 2015) and looks at the recruitment process from the perspectives of the interviewer and the interviewee. Paula Briody, matron for intrapartum care at Northampton General Hospital NHS Trust, is actively involved in the recruitment process for her Trust and outlines the key characteristics she looks for in candidates. The article also shares the experiences of third-year students who have recently been interviewed for their first midwifery posts. It is hoped that hearing about the process from both perspectives might be useful for all third-year students currently applying for their first jobs, as they get one step nearer to realising their dream of becoming a qualified midwife.

The Mid Staffordshire NHS Foundation Trust Public Inquiry (Francis, 2013) highlighted how service users were receiving substandard care where staff did not exhibit core values such as care and compassion. In response to the identification of this basic failing, Health Education England (HEE, 2016) published its national values based recruitment (VBR) framework to encourage higher education institutions (HEIs) to introduce the values of VBR into their recruitment process. VBR is defined by HEE (2016) as:

‘an approach which attracts and recruits students, trainees and employees on the basis that their individual values and behaviours align with the values of the NHS Constitution, alongside their skills and aptitude.’

The Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) states that, at the point of registration, student midwives should be able to ‘practise safely and effectively without the need for direct supervision’ (NMC, 2009: 23). The required competencies are divided into four domains:

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