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I applied for midwifery last year but was unsuccessful, should I apply again?

It is very difficult when you have put all the time and effort into applying to university only to be told that you are unsuccessful. Sometimes you might get minimal feedback, so how can you know what to do differently next time?

I knew someone that applied and her feedback was ‘you just didn’t shine’; that would be such heart breaking feedback when you really want to be a midwife. It may seem easier not to apply again.

It is not a bad thing to keep applying when you’ve been unsuccessful – it shows how much you want a place and what you have done to make your application even more impressive from last time.

Every university will have a different interview process but we will look at each possible stage separately.

So let’s look at the different scenarios:

Submitting your application

If you have applied for a place on a midwifery course but been unsuccessful at this stage you need to look at what the issue might be. You need to make sure that your application next time is different.

Firstly it is good to get feedback. It could be as simple as there are so many applicants and there were others that had more experience to offer.

So let’s focus on your personal statement

  • Is there anything that leaves unanswered questions?
  • Do you show your passion for being a midwife?
  • Have you got someone to proof read your statement before submitting it for typos, grammatical errors and structural issues?
  • Is your personal statement unique? Writing phrases like “I work well in a team and I am hardworking” is a waste of your word count unless you make it interesting and relevant to why you are applying.

Are you submitting with the best version of your personal statement you possibly can? This really is your chance to demonstrate why you should be offered an interview. If you struggle with this, we can help you to make sure that it is the best version possible and that you haven’t overlooked something that could make all the difference.

Being offered a group interview

If you have been offered a group interview then your personal statement would have shown that you are the right type of person to apply for midwifery. Not every university offers group interviews, some will skip straight to the individual ones. If you were invited to a group interview, this would normally happen at the beginning of the day. Some would let you know that you have been unsuccessful by lunch time and will not be offered an individual interview, whereas other universities will score you separately based on how you perform during the group/ individual interviews.

If you have been told that you are not successful at this stage then it could due to many reasons:

  • Were you too quiet, reserved, timid and didn’t speak out?
  • Were you loud, overpowering and consistently making yourself heard, but at the expense of others in the group?
  • Did you contribute to the conversation?
  • Did you avoid offering opinions or have too much of an opinion (eg over-riding those of others?)

The group interview is formatted to demonstrate aspects of your personality that you might not realise including whether you can work as a team, empathy, compassion and dedication.

If you were not successful at this stage, it is always important to ask for feedback. Maybe practice a question in a group environment, perhaps where you work or study. Ask friends and family about your communication style and see whether there is anything you could do differently. The more you practice the more confident you will feel when you next apply.

Taking the selection tests

Some universities offer selection tests depending on their admission requirements. The selection tests may be an essay or a maths test.

If it is an essay they would give you the topic before the day, with plenty of time to research what you would like to write about and what you are going to include. This would be done from memory.

If you are not successful at this stage, ask for feedback. Was it structure, spelling, grammar or not enough research into what you are writing about? (If you can’t get feedback but want to know about your writing style then email us here as we can help you find out).

If you are not successful from your maths test then did you practice maths questions before the day? Is there anything you could do to improve your level of maths before you apply again?

Being offered an individual interview

If you are offered an interview then this is a massive achievement. So many people apply and to get an interview is really difficult, so firstly well done for getting this far last time.

If you were unsuccessful after your interview then the panel would have made notes on your answers, so you could ask for feedback based on this. They may or may not be able to oblige.

Common issues from being on the panel include:

  • Not being prepared enough before the interview, even for simple questions such as ‘why do you want to be a midwife?’
  • Wanting to be a midwife just because you watch ‘One born every minute’ or have had a baby yourself is not a good answer.
  • Try and answer every question; if you really ‘don’t know’ then try and think what about what it could be or ask the panel what they mean by the question.

The panel are not trying to catch you out, they want you to do well and completely understand that it is stressful and you will feel anxious.

Prepare yourself fully for your next interview.

  • What have you done in the last year to show that you are even better prepared for being a student midwife?
  • Have you done more reading about what interests you in midwifery?
  • What is happening in the world of midwifery that you think we will ask you about?

Read, read and read more to show your interest and widen your knowledge.

Just remember midwifery is VERY competitive and they really do want to offer places, so give 100% to be in with the best chance.

The MidwifeCareer team are here to help you every step of the way, whether it is your personal statement, practice maths tests or getting you ready for your interview. We want you to be the one that ‘shines’ and is successful at getting the place you deserve!

Article written by Emily Seddon

Emily is a midwife with many years of experience. She is passionate about supporting midwives of the future. As a clinical mentor, student link and being on university interview panels, she knows what it takes to get a place!

2 comments

  1. I applied for the midwifery course and got as far as the interview and then was told I was unsuccessful. I have asked for feedback so will see what they say. It was heartbreaking and tears were shed.
    I am now considering doing an Access to Midwifery Course alongside a GCSE in Biology.
    I have also been contacting anyone and everyone in the NHS to gain some experience. Hopefully this will place me in a better position to apply again next year.

    • It is so heartbreaking when you get so far and to not be offered a place. Feedback is really important so know what could be done differently, if anything.

      To get as far as interview shows that you must have the relevant qualifications, so it may be something to do with your interview or experience.

      If you wanted to do an Access to Health care, you would not need to do GSCE Biology as the same time, as long as you have GSCE in maths and English, then an access course will give you the equivalent qualifications as A levels.

      My main advice would be, don’t give up, keep preserving with feedback and make sure it is specific feedback to you. I would say the more experience prior to applying does get you in a better position for interview, so this would only be seen as a positive. Good luck!

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