The day-to-day work of a LD nurse can be as long and grueling as a patient’s labor process. With anxious family members, patients in pain, and delivery risks to both the mother and baby, LD nursing is a demanding role.
As such, the interview process for a labor and delivery position is equally as intensive. This ensures that each candidate is well-vetted and prepared for the responsibilities to come.
If you’re crafting your labor and delivery nurse resume and applying for positions within the maternity wing, we’ve compiled a list of eight labor and delivery nurse interview questions that’ll prepare you for the hiring process.
What Are the Most Common Interview Questions for Labor and Delivery Nurses?
While every interview is unique, there are a few labor and delivery nursing interview questions that you can anticipate and prepare for. Let’s take a look at some of the most common interview questions that may arise during your in-person evaluation. Afterall, the first step was learning how to become a labor and delivery nurse. And now we’ve arrived at the second step of actually becoming a labor and delivery nurse by acing your interview
1. What Are Your Qualifications as a Labor and Delivery Nurse?
When asked this question, you’ll want to detail relevant experience or education you’ve had within the labor and delivery sector. If you’re new to the maternity ward, instead detail past positions that involved skills that are relevant to labor and delivery, such as:
- Technical experience
- Interpersonal communication
- Patient advocation
- Treatment assessment
To qualify for a labor and delivery nurse position, you’ll need to start by becoming a registered nurse (RN), which includes graduating from either a bachelor’s or associate degree program that’s approved by your state nursing board.
After that, you must pass the NCLEX-RN exam.
Labor and delivery nurses are specialized professionals. As such, managers are also often looking for one or more of the following certifications:1
- Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN)
- Nurse Practitioners in Obstetrics and Gynecology (a type of APRN)
- Nurse-Midwife through the American Midwifery Certification Board
- Inpatient Obstetric Nursing (RNC-OB) through the National Certification Corporation
2. What Is Your On-the-Job History as a Labor and Delivery Nurse?
A desirable skill set comes from the right mix of education and experience—on-the-floor experience provides you with the opportunity to apply theoretical knowledge to high-pressure situations.
As such, you’ll want to discuss your job history and specific responsibilities that show your expertise within the labor and delivery division. Interviewees may also be asked to:
- Review a patient intake process and list questions to ask the patient2
- Describe how to read a contraction monitor during labor
- Speak about stress tests and how they work
When preparing for an interview, consider a refresher with your current or past employer’s policies and procedures documents. You’ll want to display confidence with the tasks you have completed and how they assisted with each stage of patient care.
3. Do You Have Experience with High-Risk Patients?
Asking about whether you’ve worked with high-risk patients is one of the most common labor and delivery interview questions.
You may be asked about:
- Types of high-risk or high-acuity patients you’ve worked with
- The volume of high-risk patients
- Emergency interventions you’ve assisted with
If you’re interviewing at a facility with a high volume of such patients and outcomes, you’ll want to be clear with the interviewer (and yourself) on how comfortable you are with this aspect of LD work and how you keep patients, as well as yourself, safe in high-stress circumstances.
Are your skills and experience a good match for this environment? OB/GYN nurse practitioners, for example, have specific training to handle very high-risk patients, special circumstances, and complications. Be prepared to answer how your mix of credentials and on-the-job experience prepared you for high-risk patient care.
4. How Do You Handle Conflict?
Workplace conflict arises in the most serene and stable environments—when you add the fear, anxiety, anger, pain, and exhaustion of an LD workplace, you’ll most likely deal with multiple conflicts on a weekly or daily basis.
Below are some questions you may encounter related to conflict management:3
- How do you handle difficult situations?
- Can you describe a situation where you had to resolve a conflict?
- What would you do if a doctor yelled at you directly?
- If you don’t agree with the orders you’ve been given, what would you do?
- Do you have an example of dealing with a difficult patient or family member?
Interviewers want to know if you can continue to work in the best interest of the patient during hot situations and how adding you to their staff will mitigate workplace tension.
5. What Are Your Strengths?
While this is an old-school interview question, you can count on it arising during the interview in some form. Inquiring about your strengths helps interviewers learn about your skills, your talents, your flexibility, and your ability to self-assess and demonstrate confidence.
To prepare for this question, think about:
- How are your skills connected to the job responsibilities detailed in the job description?
- Have you identified needs that led to changes in process, policy, product use, etc.?
- What did you learn in previous facilities that you apply to your work today?
- What are your value-based strengths (such as empathy, integrity, honesty, etc.)?
- Can you describe a time you’ve gone above and beyond your job description?
6. What Are Your Weaknesses?
When answering this question, be honest. Most interviewers aren’t looking to hear an answer that bypasses the question, such as “I care too much” or “I work too hard.” Instead, show that you understand what does and does not come easily to you to demonstrate that you’re realistic about your abilities and have a growth mindset.
If you’ve been lucky enough to work under fantastic managers at every stage of your career, you know that a weakness can be a learning and improvement opportunity. Ask yourself:
- Have I struggled to set boundaries and invest in self-care to avoid burnout?
- Am I conflict-avoidant? Do I find assertiveness difficult?
- Have I set unrealistic expectations for myself or others that have been unhelpful?
Reviewing past performance reviews and having some candid discussions with peers can help if you’re drawing a blank. Instead of saying “I’m bad at setting boundaries,” be prepared to acknowledge your shortcomings and provide a solution, such as, “I learned that setting boundaries didn’t come easily to me, and here were some effective ways that I adapted.”
7. Why Do You Want to Work Here?
This question is an opportunity for you to display that you’re familiar with the values, methodologies, and history of the facility you’re interviewing with. To answer this question thoroughly, you can:
- Do a little homework – Check out websites and social pages to get a feel for patient care strengths and how they position themselves. Does anything stand out to you that you can mention?
- Mention skills growth – How would working here add to your mix of skills? What is different about this facility and its patients that would allow you to learn something new or strengthen your skills?
- Identify skills compatibility – If you’re moving from birthing center A to birthing center B and they seem to be cut from the same cloth, you can also highlight how your work history has prepared you for exactly what they need.
8. What Are Your Goals?
If you’re applying for a permanent position, the goals question is in part about stability—it takes significant resources to attract, vet, hire, onboard, and train a new employee. Managers and an HR team don’t want to have to repeat the process in three months if you seem unlikely to settle in.
For travel nurses and temporary positions, this question is probably less important to an interviewer, but it can still speak to your confidence, your self-awareness, and your understanding of the opportunity and how it connects to your skills and needs.
Take the time to consider and make some notes on:
- What you hope to accomplish in your life and career in the next six months
- Your career hopes for the next three to five years
- What you’d like to be doing in six to ten years
- Whether you have a next-stage transition in mind, such as hospital management
How Can You Prepare for Your Labor and Delivery Nurse Interview?
Depending on the position, your interview process could be a series of in-person meetings with multiple people and teams or a quick phone call. Either way, you should:
- Familiarize yourself with your resume and your interview talking points
- Bring a list of questions you’d like to ask about the position and the facility
- Prepare for interviews with a hired recruiter
- Set up in a quiet, neutral, uncluttered environment for video interviews
- Dress professionally
- Consider light meditation or deep breathing before the interview
- Arrive at the interview early
- Speak slowly and clearly
- Have references ready, and give them a heads up to reply to inquiries
Questions to Ask During An Interview
During the discussion, you’ll want to include a few labor and delivery RN interview questions of your own. These may include:
- What are the day-to-day responsibilities of this position?
- Are there opportunities for training or professional development within this role?
- What are the biggest challenges of this job?
- What’s your favorite part of working within the maternity unit?
Looking for a Labor and Delivery Nursing Position with a Side of Adventure?
When you’re properly prepared for the nursing job interview, you show your future colleagues that you’re prepared for the responsibilities ahead. Fortunately, healthcare professionals continue to be in high demand, including the travel nurse.
A skilled travel nurse can select from many job opportunities across the country with Host Healthcare.
Whether you’re ready to hit the road and see the country or just looking for a temporary change between other opportunities, travel nursing jobs can provide you with the chance to live in a new city and offer you excellent pay and travel and housing benefits.
When you apply to work with Host Healthcare, our recruiters are there with you through the entire hiring process to help you refine your resume and prepare for the interview. Embark on your next adventure today!
Natalie Red Eagle, MSN, RN
Nursing Specialty: Labor & Delivery, Postpartum
I started as a new graduate nurse in San Diego, CA on a medical/surgical/oncology unit. After finishing the 40 week new graduate program, I transitioned onto a cardiac step down unit. Here I cared for patients before and after cardiac surgery and patients recovering from cerebral vascular accidents. While I loved this specialty, my passion has always been women’s health. My next move was to the Maternal Child Health program where I have been for almost 5 years as a labor and delivery and postpartum nurse. I have the privledge of assisting families during some of the most memorable times of their lives.
- Nurse.org. 4 Steps to Becoming a Labor and Delivery Nurse. https://nurse.org/resources/labor-and-deliver-nurse-salary-career-path/
- Glassdoor. Nurse Labor And Delivery Interview Questions. https://www.glassdoor.com/Interview/nurse-labor-and-delivery-interview-questions-SRCH_KO0,24.htm