Like many of you who freelance, I spend a good deal of my professional time looking out for my next gig. It is the invisible work behind all the actual work that I do. And it is takes up a decent amount of time and energy. All that effort is meant to lead up to the interview for my next birth doula client.
It is not uncommon for me to go to a job interview several times in a month. Many people are unsure how to interview some for a job. This is probably because most of us don’t have much opportunity to practice. I often walk people through it because I want to make them comfortable enough to speak their mind. I ask them how they found me, what made them decide to interview me, what they are looking for from a doula. I reflect back what I heard from them – addressing any or concerns they may have.
There are a series of typical questions people ask me – how long I have been a doula, how I became a doula and how many births I attend during a month. Many people ask happens if they are in labor at the same time as another client or if something prevents me from being able to attend their birth. This is a very important question and everyone should ask it.
Yesterday at an interview I was asked the best question I have ever been asked at an interview. It made me think back on nearly a decade of interview questions and consider which ones fostered the best communication between me and potential clients. I highlight them here not because I think I have the best answers but rather because I think these particular questions provide a window into any doulas personality, style and way of working. Open ended style questions give you a chance to find out if you can connect with particular doula. If you believe your communication styles well work together and that the connection is established, then you can grow that into a trusting relationship.
Here are my top 10 doula interview questions:
1. What is your relationship to my other caregivers? How will you help me make your presence as a doula work for everyone in the room?
2. What do we do if we, as a couple, decide we need some privacy during our birth, even from you?
3. How will you support me if my birth for any reason becomes more medical than we hoped? For example, what if I need a plan induction or planned cesarean?
4. What are the things you can do for me that no one else might be able to do, such as my partner, a friend, or family member?
5. How will you respond if I choose to have an epidural or other intervention that doesn’t fit into the “natural childbirth model” way of doing things?
6. What are the most important things you think I should be doing right now to prepare for my birth?
7. After the baby arrives, then what? How long do you stay? What are the ways you are helping us in that time period? Do you just go poof?
8. What is my labor is super, crazy long? How will you help me? How will you have the energy? When is too much, too much? Do you leave?
9. What do you know about postpartum depression?
And my all time favorite question to be asked at an interview,
10. What do you love the best about being a doula? What motivates you and excites you about this work?
I am sure there are hundreds more interesting, insightful, open-ended questions to ask when interviewing a doula. What would you add? What kinds of answers have you heard. Stick around to hear mine in the coming weeks. If you are a doula, share yours in the comment section.