If you're concerned about being pregnant during job interviews, be assured that the matter of your growing belly is not an area that's open for discussion.
What to Tell about Being Pregnant During Job Interviews
If you are pregnant during job interviews, you may be worried about whether or not to disclose the information. Obviously, if you are well into your pregnancy, the secret is out! If you have not yet started to show or if you are able to cover your baby bump with clothing, you will best be served by not telling the news. Not only is it irrelevant to the job discussion, but it is an area that is illegal for a prospective employer to ask about. If you are the best candidate for the job, then your pregnant belly should not impact your job prospects.
If you are noticeably showing, you can discuss your pregnancy, but try not to make it a major focus of the interview. Your experience and qualifications should be front and center, but you can touch upon minor details of your pregnancy to offer assurances about your plans for maternity leave and your return to work. If you must discuss your pregnancy, put a positive spin on your commitment to your career so the employer knows that you are serious about the job.
Tips for a Successful Interview
With the typical interview advice comes a few additional points to remember if you are pregnant during job interviews:
- Be professional - Dress the part, research the company, and come prepared with a list of questions.
- Decline to answer inappropriate questions - If the interviewer asks any questions about family or your pregnancy, you are under no obligation to answer. This is a violation of the Pregnancy Discrimination Act and you can simply decline to provide an answer.
- Put your best foot forward - Confidently present your qualifications and reasons why you are the best candidate for the job.
If you are pregnant during job interviews, you will want to find out as much as possible about the benefits package. Review the details of health insurance, including how soon coverage begins after your hire date. Also assess the maternity leave information to make sure that you will be eligible for paid leave if you are offered and accept the position. Finally, research the company or organization to see if they are a family-friendly business - do they offer flexibility if a child is sick, is there onsite daycare, etc.?
If you're offered a job, then, of course, you will need to disclose your pregnancy soon enough. If you continue to keep the matter a secret, it may get to an uncomfortable point for you to discuss and the employer may feel like there isn't adequate time to arrange coverage for your job.
Any good employer will understand the situation and accommodate your pregnancy. Giving enough notice of your due date only helps the company or organization as back up plans can be developed for your maternity leave.
Employer's Point of View
While it's illegal to discriminate on the basis of pregnancy, keep in mind that hiring a pregnant woman is a concern from the employer's point of view. Not only will he/she need to find an adequate plan for your maternity leave, but there is also the concern about whether or not you will even return post-pregnancy. It is a reality that many women choose not to return to the workforce, and if that is the case, your employer will need to fill your position and start all over again. While questions about your pregnancy and post-baby plans are illegal for an employer to pose during an interview, if you offer the information or are noticeably pregnant, it may impact the hiring decision.