7 Important Nurse Midwife Interview Questions to Ask

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Written by Diana Campion, MSN, APRN, ANP-C Education Development Nurse, Content Writer, IntelyCare
A nurse midwife meets with a client to discuss their birthing plan.

Nurse midwifery is a field that requires special attention when interviewing candidates. Certified nurse midwives are advanced practice registered nurses who provide primary care to patients of childbearing age and support them in their prenatal, labor and delivery, and postpartum care. Knowing which midwife interview questions to ask to find the right candidate to help your patients and organization thrive is as essential as writing a professional nurse midwife job description.

As a hiring manager, you appreciate that selecting the right candidate means finding a nurse midwife with top qualifications who demonstrates the emotional intelligence and critical thinking skills to meet your patients’ needs. We’ll facilitate your selection process by providing seven key questions to ask a midwife that will help you skillfully identify your top candidates.

Midwife Interview Questions

Before any interview, it’s always good to remember that this is a mutual process. The nurse midwife candidates will have questions of their own. They’ll also interpret your manner and social cues as a reflection of the organization. So, we’ve organized and worded these questions to exemplify a positive company culture.

1. Describe why you became a nurse midwife?

This question allows you to set a positive tone for the interview. It can give the candidate more direction than the standard “tell me about yourself” midwifery interview question. It’s an excellent way to learn about the nurse midwife’s intrinsic factors that drew them to the profession and what drives their commitment to excellent care.

While there isn’t a single perfect answer, consider the energy in how the candidate responds, as it likely reflects how they’ll engage their patients and families. All parties benefit from a nurse midwife who is dedicated to — and excited by — their profession.

2. What is the role of the nurse midwife?

This is one of the most popular midwife interview questions, and for good reason. It allows you to assess the candidate’s crucial understanding of their professional role and responsibilities within your state’s scope of practice.

The candidate’s response should contain a high-level overview of the following nurse midwife duties and functions specific to your focus of practice:

  • providing care during a patient’s pregnancy, childbirth, and the postpartum period
  • educating patients on sexual and reproductive health, and family planning services
  • providing primary care from adolescence throughout their lifespan as well as care for the healthy newborn during the first month of life
  • performing initial and ongoing comprehensive assessments, diagnoses, and treatments
  • conducting physical examinations, independently prescribing medications, ordering and interpreting laboratory and diagnostic tests, and home health services
  • performing health promotion, disease prevention, risk assessment and management, and individualized wellness education and counseling

3. Can you describe your nursing and midwife experience?

This is one of the questions to ask a midwife that will help reveal how well they can meet your practice needs. If the nurse midwife’s previous experience matches your current practice, they’ll be better able to integrate into your practice without extensive training or orientation. However, if you want to add to your current skill set, this is the perfect opportunity to hire a nurse midwife with a different background to complement and balance your team.

4. What can a nurse midwife do to help a patient feel comfortable and safe?

Nurse midwives care for their patients during a sensitive and vulnerable time in their lives. Each pregnancy is different and has varying risks to both mother and baby. The nurse midwife must be able to build a trusting relationship with their patient as early as possible by creating a comfortable and safe space for them.

This is one of the midwife interview questions that offers insight into the candidate’s interpersonal soft skills required to be effective in their role. Their answer should contain elements of person-focused care that include the following:

  • compassion
  • empathy
  • respect
  • responsiveness to the needs, values, and wishes of the patient

If the candidate has trouble answering this question, consider providing a typical scenario in your practice. When it comes time to make a decision, you’ll want to know your decision was based on the response that most reflects the nurse midwife’s practice style (and not simply their ability to interview).

5. Describe how you managed a birth experience that quickly turned high-risk?

A seemingly normal pregnancy or birth can present with unexpected complications at any given time, placing both the mother and baby at risk. It’s important that your nurse midwife candidate can confidently identify and manage medical emergencies during pregnancy, the birthing process, and postpartum. This entails knowing how to quickly and calmly treat complications, and when to escalate or consult for help, always keeping within their scope of practice.

As you consider how the candidate responds to urgent or emergent situations, reasonable follow-up midwife interview questions might include what they would have done differently or what they learned from the experience. Healthcare practitioners are constantly growing in their practices; and with every experience, there is a learning opportunity. An overly confident candidate with nothing left to learn can pose a significant safety risk to your patients and organization.

6. How do you address healthcare disparities in your patients?

The U.S. has the highest maternal mortality rate among the developed nations in the world, with black mothers having a three times higher death risk from pregnancy to postpartum compared to their white counterparts. These statistics are not new to practitioners working in maternal health. Midwives, supported by their healthcare organizations, are in a prime position to help improve these dire circumstances.

Asking these types of midwife interview questions allows you to better understand a candidate’s knowledge and experience so you can determine the training or support the candidate may need during orientation. It can also help identify candidates who can strengthen your program if they have solid experience implementing solutions to identify and treat at-risk populations.

7. What has been your proudest achievement as a nurse midwife?

After answering these vital but difficult questions, it’s the nurse midwife’s time to shine as they share their most meaningful career moment with you. It’s also the perfect opportunity to end your questioning on a positive note before giving them the opportunity to ask questions.

The nurse midwife’s nonverbal communication should relay enthusiasm or excitement as they recall this special event. A lackluster response may warrant a follow-up question to assess their intrinsic motivation.

Looking for Staffing Support?

After using these midwife interview questions to help you fill this critical position, you may also need additional nursing professionals to support your patients and healthcare teams. By partnering with IntelyCare, you can maintain a highly-skilled nursing pool that is flexible and available at the ready to meet your staffing needs.