5 Things to Remember Before a Doula/Client Interview
1) There is no such thing as too much information!
Potential clients ask questions. They want to know 3 things during an interview.
- What YOU know
- How YOU can benefit them
Your ability to answer questions about yourself, what you know and how you can benefit them is what helps them decide whether or not to hire you.
Potential clients are not stealing pregnancy, birth and postpartum information from you. That information is available for free on the world wide web. What they are seeking is a compassionate, knowledgeable and inspiring team mate to support them. If you hold back, you’ll miss out. Leave it all on the table! If they don’t hire you, they will still recognize your expertise and share your name with others.
2) Break bread.
This might seem silly but, eat or drink if it’s offered. When you are in someone’s home, enjoying a beverage or indulging in a snack with them signifies your level of comfort. Your comfort in their home, helps them feel more comfortable with you. Food and drink brings people together. Have a snack, take a sip and let these potential clients know that you want to share experiences with them!
3) Listen. The client will tell you what they need.
There is no answer during an interview that is always the right one. The interview is about the client and how you can benefit them. If you are focused on what you offer rather than what the client needs and how your support can enhance their experience, you will likely share irrelevant information.
If the client expresses anxiety about knowing when to go to the hospital and you focus on conveying your professionalism and the fact that you are insured, you are missing an opportunity to share the benefits of them hiring you.
Focus on the client. Listen to what they say. Do not have a preconceived script for interviews but rather relax and enjoy the conversation. Stay present in it and let them lead you in the discussion.
4) My birth bag holds my stuff and yours should hold yours.
What to bring when going to a birth is clearly confusing! Almost every client asks and almost every new doula asks!
So, let’s break it down for potential clients during the interview! Here’s how it goes:
Doula: Have you thought about some comfort items you might like to bring with you to the birth?
Client: Oh! Thank you for bringing that up! Can you share what us what some of your other clients have brought?
Doula: Sure! Well, first, just some basics that everyone should bring when they are going to a birth. I always find that I need a change of clothes, deodorant, a toothbrush and toothpaste, my phone charger and some snacks. That’s what I keep in my birth bag so make sure you guys also have those things! Next you should consider bringing a birth ball if the hospital doesn’t have them, any massage tools you like, maybe some battery operated candles, music, etc…
Client: Thank you so much!!! This is great!
5) Don’t overstay your welcome.
Knowing when it is time to leave is super important to the interview process. While it feels awesome to engage in conversations about pregnancy, birth and the postpartum period, staying too long is not good for you or the client.
Prior to the meeting, express that the visit will last about an hour and that you are looking forward to it. Keeping people longer than anticipated can be frustrating even if the conversation is going well as they may have other plans after it or they may be tired if it takes place in the evening.
Additionally, avoid the awkward good-bye at the end of the meeting. Don’t say it until you mean it! If the meeting is taking longer than you scheduled, end it! A sincere, “I could talk birth with you guys all night but its time for me to head out. Hire me so we can do this again soon!!!” is a fun way to close with people who want the meeting to continue!
Enjoy these client meetings. Whether you are hired or not, the interview is your invitation to participate in this exciting time in the lives of others. It is as much an honor to be considered as someone’s doula, as it is to be someone’s doula. Make your time with them count!
Authored by: Randy Patterson, ProDoula CEO