Simulated employment interviews: A collaborative approach to gaining understanding of the graduate midwife employment process.

Publication Type:
Journal Article
Women and Birth, 2020, 33, (5), pp. 455-463
Issue Date:
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Graduating midwives unsuccessful in gaining employment in their preferred model/location; or finding a job within a year of graduation are more likely to leave the profession. Obtaining post-graduate midwifery employment is competitive with midwifery students needing to confidently sell themselves to potential employers. Whilst midwifery students may be prepared with the requisite midwifery skills and knowledge, there is no guarantee of attaining a midwifery position upon graduation. Increasingly employers are requiring 'soft skills' including communication, teamwork, reflexivity and personal attributes of the individual to be able to effectively respond within different contexts. Demonstrating these skills within an employment interview requires confidence and knowledge in how to prepare. Designed with health service partners, simulated employment interviews were introduced into the final year of a Bachelor of Midwifery program as part of a suite of employability strategies connected to the student lifecycle. An exploratory evaluation study of students 'experiences of a simulated employment interview was undertaken. The simulated interview emulated real employment interviews with students receiving immediate written and oral feedback. Evaluation through surveys, focus groups and individual interviews provided rich data around the effectiveness of this approach. Students, health service partners and academics found the simulated employment interview provided a valuable learning experience, assisting students to reflect, explore and further develop skills sought by employers. Collaboration with health service partners created an authentic process enabling students to receive feedback relevant to the real world of practice. Students were able to work through anxiety, gain confidence and exposure to employers in preparation for employment interviews.
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