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Old 05-01-2011, 09:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am having post interview issues. I am a new doula, just finished my second interview in a week... good right? Except neither have contacted me : ( I am not sure what to do and say in the first interview. I have been to five births and had 3 of my own. I am confidant with the doula part just not the interview! Any ideas and help would be great.

 

What do you talk about in an interview? 

Do you take notes?

How do you leave the interview?

How long do people take to call you back? Do you ever send an email asking for an answer, in a nice way?

Any tricks? 

 

Any help would be great! Thanks.

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Old 05-01-2011, 01:11 PM
 
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What do you talk about in an interview? I go over what doulas do, my training and experience and how my practice works.

 

Do you take notes? Yes, I bring the DONA Client Confidentiality sheet and have them fill it out at the beginning. I take some notes, which I put in their folder.

 

How do you leave the interview? "I'll talk to you in a day or two."

 

How long do people take to call you back? A few days to a week,

 

Do you ever send an email asking for an answer, in a nice way? Occasionally. I'm more likely to call.

 

Any tricks? I tend to go into it assuming that it's a done deal. They've made the effort to call me, I'm there in their home, I'm pretty likeable. They're going to hire me.


Midwife (CPM, LDM) and homeschooling mama to:
14yo ds   11yo dd  9yo ds and 7yo ds and 2yo ds  
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Old 05-01-2011, 07:54 PM
 
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What do you talk about in an interview? I typically take my contract, HIPAA form, brochure and business card.  When I get there I introduce myself to them and ask them how they would like to get the interview going - either I can explain what I have to offer or if they read my website (which has extensive info) then they can just start by asking me questions.  Depending on which they choose is the path I go.  Typically if I am  talking first then I just explain who I am - how long have I been a doula, my background, and what I have to offer.  From there I ask them if they have no questions and let the conversation go from there, but I keep it short.  

 

When I first started I learned that if the interview was too long and I gave them too much information then they felt they didn't need me.  This is an interview and not a time to educate them that comes in the prenatal.  If they ask a lot of questions that go in that direction then I just tell them "oh that is what I go over in prenatals."  My interviews are usually around 1/2 hour - never more than 45 minutes.

 

Do you take notes? no if they hire me then that is when we will go over what they want for their birth in detail.

 

How do you leave the interview? I typically just thank them for their time and wish them luck either way.

 

How long do people take to call you back? Do you ever send an email asking for an answer, in a nice way? It really varies - I have had people call that same day or people call a few weeks before their baby was coming.  Typically the only way I would email them would be if they e-mailed me first.  I might wait a couple of weeks and then just send an e-mail asking them if they were able to find a doula that meets their needs or if they have questions (I never ask if they are going to hire me).  They will then typically send back an e-mail saying "oh yes we want to hire you" or "hey we hired someone else" and if that happens I send an e-mail back wishing them well.

 

Any tricks? Keep it short and to the point - this is an interview and not a time to educate, change their minds, etc.  They don't want you tossing tons of handouts at them or information - that comes in prenatals.  Also don't look so desperate because when you are really wanting them and if they feel that "you have to hire me" feeling they might not like that.

 


Michelle married to my highschool sweetheart and mom to: DD '88, DS '90, DD '91, DD '94, DD '97, DD '98, DD '01, DD '08, and DS'09

(Non-profit Organization Director and Program Coordinator / Doula / Educator / Massage Therapist)

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Old 05-02-2011, 02:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you both. I totally talk way to much mostly because I am so excited. I really need to work on that! One more question I have; I have been to 5 births plus 3 of my own. When they ask how many births I have attended I feel they didn't look satisfied with my answer. Should I add anything or change the way I say it? AHHH I totally don't like this part of being a doula :( I guess it will get easier. 

 

-M

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Old 05-02-2011, 02:46 PM
 
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I am curious what you say to them in e-mail or on the phone when they first contact you?  That might be the time to let them know your experience level.  Are you charging the same as doulas with a lot more experience?  

 

Honestly when people ask me I never include my own births because I don't think they really are about that part of the equation.  It is all about them and not about you.  Not saying you are trying to make it about you, but I would never tell anyone I have nine kids.  If someone asks I tell them I have attended 122 births (I have my profile on my website so if they really want to know about me they can learn that there).  If they ask how many kids I have I will tell them, but I don't often bring anything about my births into the equation.


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(Non-profit Organization Director and Program Coordinator / Doula / Educator / Massage Therapist)

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Old 05-02-2011, 03:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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True about brining up my own births. As much as its not about me I do feel I learned a lot from each of my births. I pull a lot from my own labours when I am with a labouring woman. ( Not that I say that to a client) I guess I should leave it out unless they ask. So far I have only been reached by email and questions were not asked. It was more, are you available for an interview? I guess I should figure out a response that incorporates my experience so they won't be surprised. Personally I would love not to mention it at all I feel its not important.

 

Morag

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Old 05-03-2011, 11:48 AM
 
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When someone emails me I usually will send back and email telling them when I am available but then will also put some information in there - fees, what is included, etc and will say something like "here is a little information about me and my services....please let me know if what I have to offer sounds like what you are looking for."  My believe is that if what I have to offer isn't going to meet their needs then why should either of us waste our time meeting?  I also refer them to my website for more information.  

 

While you might not think your experience should matter it might to the mother.  For example I have had people not want to hire me because I have 9 kids - some of which are adults so in my eyes I am in a better situation then someone with little kids because I have my husband and at least 4 built in babysitters, but I had one family worry about taking "mommy" away from everyone and that is fine. I wasn't the doula for her.  I know another woman who doesn't have children and has been turned down for that.  I have had people say that for me giving away my services for "free" I have had too much experience and shouldn't do that.  It is just a personal opinion and if they don't want to hire you they may find any reason to do so.  I think it is better if someone doesn't hire me because they aren't comfortable then hire me and both of us be miserable (same thing on my end - I have made the mistake of not feeling that connection with a family and it wasn't a pretty site).  I think both client and doula need to feel that connection and ability to work together and for everyone that criteria may be different.

 

Hang in there.  

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamamorag View Post

True about brining up my own births. As much as its not about me I do feel I learned a lot from each of my births. I pull a lot from my own labours when I am with a labouring woman. ( Not that I say that to a client) I guess I should leave it out unless they ask. So far I have only been reached by email and questions were not asked. It was more, are you available for an interview? I guess I should figure out a response that incorporates my experience so they won't be surprised. Personally I would love not to mention it at all I feel its not important.

 

Morag



 


Michelle married to my highschool sweetheart and mom to: DD '88, DS '90, DD '91, DD '94, DD '97, DD '98, DD '01, DD '08, and DS'09

(Non-profit Organization Director and Program Coordinator / Doula / Educator / Massage Therapist)

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Old 05-04-2011, 09:31 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank you Michelle! You have been a great help. I have lots of idea's of how I can improve my interview skills. 

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Old 05-05-2011, 04:40 PM
 
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This was a really useful thread! Thanks so much for posting it. At interviews I generally tell couples that I would like to hear from them within the next two weeks (depending on how far away their due date it) so that I can keep the time frame around their due date open. I think that can be a good way to let them know that your time is valuable, and that although you're willing to make time for them in your doula schedule, you can't hold it for that long. 

I also have a question, how long do your interviews usually last/do you schedule an end time? Because I love talking to prospective clients but sometimes we get caught up chatting and I find that I start to over share information. I just love what I do and it's hard sometimes not to spill into what I would cover in prenatals. 

 

Thanks fellow doulas! smile.gif


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Birth Doula, Placenta Encapsulator, & Birth Photographer in Southeast Michigan

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Old 05-05-2011, 07:14 PM
 
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Mine are usually 30 minutes - when I used to have problems keeping time I would put my phone on vibrate and have my hubby call me.  It would vibrate and alert me that I need to wind down so I wouldn't over share or over talk.  The longest would be 45 minutes but that is so rare.  I really try to keep it at 30 minutes.  


Michelle married to my highschool sweetheart and mom to: DD '88, DS '90, DD '91, DD '94, DD '97, DD '98, DD '01, DD '08, and DS'09

(Non-profit Organization Director and Program Coordinator / Doula / Educator / Massage Therapist)

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Old 05-06-2011, 01:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I got the job! I guess people take a bit to decide. I am happy because I did feel a good connection. I am happy I was feeling the same as them :) A doula friend just said she likes meeting a neutral place, like a coffee shop. This also helps keep the conversation not to detailed and she feels it is more equal. I like that idea I might try it. Thanks for the support ladies!

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Old 07-27-2011, 10:53 AM
 
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So thankful for this thread. I have never posted here before - actually, this is the first time exploring the "doula" portion of the site. I didn't even know it existed. So here is a little background information and my questions at the end.  

 

I am entering my third year as a doula. The clients that I have had have been very happy and have given me great reviews. I am in an area where hiring a doula is becoming more popular, but is not the norm. For example, out of ten couples in a recent childbirth class at a local hospital, only two couples were wanting a natural childbirth and were considering having a doula. I feel that I am friendly, confident and available to my clients. The problem is not when I have the clients, it is getting them and having a good interview. I feel that something is lacking in my interviewing skills, and I don't know what it is. I interview with several families,  but do not hear back. I send follow up emails and the interviews always seem to go very well. This may be pre-mature, but I had an interview last night with a couple who is 37wks pregnant. They have been very busy, and this is the first opportunity they have had to contact a doula. I was recommended to them by another well known, very good doula in our area. When I  got to their home, I felt comfortable. I was told that they had already been on my website, had a good reference from the other doula and when put out of FB that they were looking for a doula, several people mentioned me, not necessarily through personal experience, but through a friend of a friend. They seemed satisfied with everything I said and told me that I answered all of their questions. They were not interviewing with anyone else. When I went to leave, they showed me the nursery and thanked me very much for coming to their home. It was basically left at "I'll need to know within a few days what you have decided because of the time constraints." They seemed fine with that. It is now almost 1pm and I have been thinking all night and morning about a few things that I quite possibly could have done differently. One was that I asked them if they were meeting with any other doulas and the other thing was that I left it in their hands rather than saying that I would get back to them in a day or two. I haven't heard anything yet and am just afraid that I blew it. 

 

I have several interviews, but nothing usually comes of it. I don't know how to turn this around. I try to get out there. I have written articles, gone to mom events, given talks about what a doula does, am part of a BirthNework, talk with other doulas in my area, left cards and brochures at various places, talked to the manager of a maternity store about doing some sort of presentation, etc. I guess my problem is two fold. I have a website that I need to completely change, but I am not able to do that at this particular time. I have a personal and business FB page. I put informative articles on the business page. I put things out there in hopes of starting a conversation and yet, for the most part, I feel like I am just sending things into the abyss. One - how do I get more people interested in what I am doing and Two - How do I have better interviews? 

 

I feel without a doubt that I am supposed to be a doula. I want things to turn around and will accept any constructive comments. PLEASE, PLEASE help me to figure this out.

 

Thank you so much.

 

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Old 07-28-2011, 09:47 AM
 
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How long is your interview?  If the interview is too long that can blow it.  I used to stay as long as families wanted me to and couldn't figure out why I didn't get hired.  One family actually told me I gave them so much information that they felt like I taught dad all he needed to know to help mom on his own.  When I cut interviews back to no more than 1/2 at the most that is when things started to change.  I go in and start by explaining what I offer as a doula and then ask them what they are looking for.  I leave them with my contract, brochure, resume and business card - that's it.  That is another place I have seen doulas "blow it" again giving too much information before being hired.  

 

Also wanting it too much can make you come across as desperate.  When I was working in massage someone told me that and I remember thinking "no I don't" but then when I really explored it I did come across as really needing the work.  Now when I go to an interview I go into it with the attitude of "whatever is meant to be will happen" and that helps so much.  I am relaxed, not feeling like I truly have to "sell" myself, etc.  
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by doulaloriwade View Post

So thankful for this thread. I have never posted here before - actually, this is the first time exploring the "doula" portion of the site. I didn't even know it existed. So here is a little background information and my questions at the end.  

 

I am entering my third year as a doula. The clients that I have had have been very happy and have given me great reviews. I am in an area where hiring a doula is becoming more popular, but is not the norm. For example, out of ten couples in a recent childbirth class at a local hospital, only two couples were wanting a natural childbirth and were considering having a doula. I feel that I am friendly, confident and available to my clients. The problem is not when I have the clients, it is getting them and having a good interview. I feel that something is lacking in my interviewing skills, and I don't know what it is. I interview with several families,  but do not hear back. I send follow up emails and the interviews always seem to go very well. This may be pre-mature, but I had an interview last night with a couple who is 37wks pregnant. They have been very busy, and this is the first opportunity they have had to contact a doula. I was recommended to them by another well known, very good doula in our area. When I  got to their home, I felt comfortable. I was told that they had already been on my website, had a good reference from the other doula and when put out of FB that they were looking for a doula, several people mentioned me, not necessarily through personal experience, but through a friend of a friend. They seemed satisfied with everything I said and told me that I answered all of their questions. They were not interviewing with anyone else. When I went to leave, they showed me the nursery and thanked me very much for coming to their home. It was basically left at "I'll need to know within a few days what you have decided because of the time constraints." They seemed fine with that. It is now almost 1pm and I have been thinking all night and morning about a few things that I quite possibly could have done differently. One was that I asked them if they were meeting with any other doulas and the other thing was that I left it in their hands rather than saying that I would get back to them in a day or two. I haven't heard anything yet and am just afraid that I blew it. 

 

I have several interviews, but nothing usually comes of it. I don't know how to turn this around. I try to get out there. I have written articles, gone to mom events, given talks about what a doula does, am part of a BirthNework, talk with other doulas in my area, left cards and brochures at various places, talked to the manager of a maternity store about doing some sort of presentation, etc. I guess my problem is two fold. I have a website that I need to completely change, but I am not able to do that at this particular time. I have a personal and business FB page. I put informative articles on the business page. I put things out there in hopes of starting a conversation and yet, for the most part, I feel like I am just sending things into the abyss. One - how do I get more people interested in what I am doing and Two - How do I have better interviews? 

 

I feel without a doubt that I am supposed to be a doula. I want things to turn around and will accept any constructive comments. PLEASE, PLEASE help me to figure this out.

 

Thank you so much.

 



 


Michelle married to my highschool sweetheart and mom to: DD '88, DS '90, DD '91, DD '94, DD '97, DD '98, DD '01, DD '08, and DS'09

(Non-profit Organization Director and Program Coordinator / Doula / Educator / Massage Therapist)

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Old 07-28-2011, 11:47 AM
 
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I wanted to say thank you to Mamamorag for starting this thread, and to Michelle for her thoughts about too-long interviews impacting your hire-rate. I think this exactly what's happening to me lately, and I am definitely going to cut back my interviews to ideally 30 minutes, and no more than 45.

 

There is a lot of competition for doulas in my area (which I think is a great thing!), so I need to stand out in my interviews in order to get the job, but "giving it all away" obviously isn't helping me do that, so I think it's time to scale back, and find another way to seal the deal.

 

Nicole Siswick
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Check me out on DoulaMatch!

 

 


 

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Old 07-29-2011, 03:14 PM
 
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To momtoninekidlets, thank you for your reply. I heard from the family yesterday, and they are hiring me! I still feel that I need more work with my interviews and have learned a lot here. When you say you bring your "Resume" what do you include on it? I have thought of putting a resume together for my clients, but I just haven't done it yet. I like the idea of a shorter interview as I feel that I talk too much and give too much away. One thing that I still feel is an issue is when they ask how many births I have attended. I am just starting my third year as a doula and have been to twenty births. When I say that, they usually say "wow, that's a lot in a short time" but then I feel that they compare that to other more experienced doulas and I don't know how to better answer the question.

 

I feel like I have so many more questions. Would you mind posting your website? I would love to see it. 

 

Thank you!

 

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Old 07-29-2011, 06:39 PM
 
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Congrats on getting hired!!!

 

My resume includes my current work (I have my private business, teach classes at a hospital and  my nonprofit business all listed here), my education (I have a bachelors and masters degree and went to massage therapy so those are listed), then I have a section for my current certifications, a section for trainings I have attended, a section for my volunteer work and a section listing the services I have to offer.  I have it set up very much like one would for any job resume.  In fact I put it together using the resume creator on my computer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by doulaloriwade View Post

To momtoninekidlets, thank you for your reply. I heard from the family yesterday, and they are hiring me! I still feel that I need more work with my interviews and have learned a lot here. When you say you bring your "Resume" what do you include on it? I have thought of putting a resume together for my clients, but I just haven't done it yet. I like the idea of a shorter interview as I feel that I talk too much and give too much away. One thing that I still feel is an issue is when they ask how many births I have attended. I am just starting my third year as a doula and have been to twenty births. When I say that, they usually say "wow, that's a lot in a short time" but then I feel that they compare that to other more experienced doulas and I don't know how to better answer the question.

 

I feel like I have so many more questions. Would you mind posting your website? I would love to see it. 

 

Thank you!

 



 


Michelle married to my highschool sweetheart and mom to: DD '88, DS '90, DD '91, DD '94, DD '97, DD '98, DD '01, DD '08, and DS'09

(Non-profit Organization Director and Program Coordinator / Doula / Educator / Massage Therapist)

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Old 07-30-2011, 09:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Nicole you are welcome. Since starting this thread I have decided at every interview to ask that they let me know their decision as soon as they know, so I am not left hanging. This helps me not stew with it, since I know no answer means they still don't know.

 

I feel I definitely need more experience with interview's, the good thing is when I don't get the job I feel grateful I had the experience. I need to start acting like they would be lucky to have me, sometimes it is hard to switch into the super confident lady. One day I had 3 emails for clients, for the last month nothing. I am not sure what changed. I am hoping it is just summer and people are to busy to think about their birth. I feel it is starting at a good rate but I hope things increase not decrease. 

 

Thanks for all your great thoughts its nice to know I am not alone! 

 

-Morag

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Old 12-20-2011, 07:44 PM
 
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Man, I really needed to read this thread today. I have had a hard time recently. Lots of great interviews, great connection, people saying they really enjoyed meeting me and think I'd be really good... but they decided to go with another doula. I have been a doula for 3 yrs (only FT in the last year) and get referrals from other, more established and well-known doulas. The clients who hire me are very happy with my services. But yeah... interviews... I think my problem too is that I give too much info in the interview. Seems strange though... what would make me stand out? If someone is interviewing two or three doulas, aren't they hearing the same thing from each doula about "what a doula does and doesn't do"? I used to think talking more gave them more of a sense of what I can offer them. It seems I did best BEFORE I started learning marketing stuff. Ugh. I am also realizing that the market who has the money to pay isn't necessarily the market I fit best with. I sometimes find it very uncomfortable to interview with someone who is clearly monied, whereas I am NOT. I don't like feeling "like the hired help".

 

Anyway, I'm just feeling very dejected right now. It's so frustrating to have all these great interviews and to be very respected by doulas in my community, and not get hired. Other doulas hire me!!! And refer me to clients! So why don't the potential clients hire me?

 

I seriously feel like throwing in the towel. Why keep throwing money and energy into something that is not paying?

 

I know I love birth work, I am passionate about it. I am realizing that my best-fit market is not the mainstream one. Or not one I've figured out how to tap. yet.

 

Ugh.

 

Blah blah blah. Thanks for letting me vent.


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