Working in maternity care is one of the most popular and sought-after careers in the NHS. Since you’ll be working with vulnerable mothers and infants, it’s safe to say that the requirements for this role as really strict. With this in mind, it’s vital that you have an understanding of what the role is about, and how to pass the interview, before you start the application form.
In this blog, we’ll provide you with some top tips on how to ace your maternity care assistant interview – and these tips will be useful for other NHS job interviews too!
What is a Maternity Care Assistant?
Maternity Care Assistants conduct their work under the supervision of midwives. They have a wide range of responsibilities within the maternity ward, including:
- Providing care and support for mothers and infants.
- Conducting blood tests, and other medical observational tasks, to ensure patients are in good health.
- Working directly with parents to provide support and information about newborn babies.
- Performing routine admin tasks around the ward.
- Ensuring hospital equipment is in good, working order.
As you might have guessed from the name, maternity care assistants are there to support and assist patients within the ward. To do this, they must have a particular set of skills.
Maternity Care Assistant Interview: Essential Qualities
Working around mothers and infants requires a particular type of person and skillset, which is somewhat different to those in a normal ICU ward. Although many of the skills do cross over, it’s even more important that maternity care assistants can take an empathetic and dedicated approach to those under their care. The types of qualities that would be expected from a maternity care assistant include:
- Caring and non-judgemental;
- Capable of dealing with unpredictable scenarios and situations;
- Flexible, in terms of shift patterns and working practices;
- An ability to closely follow set rules and procedures;
- Able to empathise and show an understanding of other people’s feelings;
- Willing to assist and take part in (somewhat) unpleasant situations, such as childbirth.
How To Use The Essential Qualities In Your Maternity Care Assistant Interview
In order to pass any NHS interview, it’s fundamental that you can display the essential qualities. This is the case for Maternity Care Assistant too, as it’s imperative for the NHS to make sure you are the right type of person before they hire you. So, make sure you go through the job description carefully before your interview, and study up on the following:
- What type of person the NHS are looking for. Do you have the personal qualities they require? If so, how have you demonstrated these in the past?
- What type of jobs the role will require you to do. Think about what kind of person would be suitable for these tasks, and the personality attributes that would make them successful.
- How you have demonstrate the core responsibilities linked with the role in the past, and how you can use these during your interview.
The better you can link yourself with the requirements of the role, the better your chances of success will be.
Now, let’s run through some sample NHS Maternity Care Assistant interview questions and tips on how to respond.
NHS Sample Interview Question 1
Thank you for coming to see us today. To start off, please tell us a little bit more about yourself, and what you are like as a person.
This is a very typical starting interview question, and you will hear this question in almost any type of interview, whether that’s for NHS roles or something else. However, that doesn’t mean you should take it lightly. Particularly when applying for a role as an NHS Maternity Care Assistant, it’s imperative that you can show the interviewer that you are a caring, approachable, and empathetic person, who can follow rules and procedures. So, make sure you sell yourself!
- Show the interviewers that you are a caring, compassionate person.
- Study the personal qualities of the job description, and match these with your answer.
- Link your personality with the requirements for the job role – showing knowledge and research in the process!
NHS Sample Interview Question 2
Why do you want to work in a maternity ward? Is there a particular reason for this?
This is a great question, and serves as a natural follow up to the previous question. It’s important for the interviewers to establish that you are applying for the right reasons, and not the wrong ones. The ‘wrong’ reasons would include: you just want to earn some money, you feel more comfortable working as an assistant than a lead midwife, or liking babies. The ‘right’ reasons would include: wanting to make a difference for mothers and their newborn babies, getting a start within the medical profession, and training with the goal of becoming a fully qualified midwife.
Furthermore, this is your chance to show the interviewers that you have researched their hospital. Show them that you don’t just want to work in ‘any’ maternity ward – but in this one, and this hospital, specifically. This will really impress the interviewers, and go a long way to helping you secure the position.
- Demonstrate to the interviewers that you want work in a maternity ward for the right reasons.
- Don’t tell them that you are only applying because you want to earn some money!
- Research the hospital beforehand, to show knowledge and commitment during your interview!
NHS Sample Interview Question 3
What would you say is your biggest weakness?
This is a common interview question, and therefore is one that you must prepare for. When answering this question, make sure you give a response which is a) honest, and b) doesn’t indicate a problem with your ability to do the job. After all, you’re there to sell yourself. The most common answer to this question is tell the interviewers that you set such high standards that you sometimes expect too much of others, or that you are not very good at delegating. These are good responses, but interviewers have heard them thousands of times before, likely from every candidate who walks through the door. So, as mentioned, give an honest response. For example, you could tell the interviewer that you sometimes struggle with numbers and figures, but that you are taking sustained steps to improve this. This will show your commitment to improvement and development, and demonstrate to them that you are an honest and authentic person.
- Don’t tell the interviewer that you are perfect and have no weaknesses. This will make you look arrogant and dishonest!
- Demonstrate to the interview that although you have weaknesses, you are working hard to improve these.
- Try not to give a weakness which would compromise your ability to do the job.
If you want to further increase your chances of securing an NHS career, then we’ve got the perfect resource for you! Our NHS interview hub is jam-packed with tips and tricks on how answer just about any medical interview question that you can think of. So, don’t hang around. Sign up below, and get notified on how YOU can join the NHS!