Preparing for a job interview can be nerve-wracking for anyone, but for expectant mothers, there can be added stress and uncertainty. As a pregnant woman, you might be wondering if your baby bump will get in the way of landing the job you want, especially with things like maternity leave and the possibility of discrimination on your mind. Pregnancy discrimination while job searching is a legitimate fear for any mother-to-be, but this shouldn’t stop you from giving your best performance and landing the job. Keep reading to learn everything you need to prepare for your interview.
Should I Disclose My Pregnancy to the Interviewer?
You are under no legal obligation to tell a prospective employer about your pregnancy, but there are several reasons why it might be a good idea. It is best to be open and honest about important aspects of your personal life that will affect your employment. Hiring managers will certainly appreciate your readiness to make them aware of your pregnancy, and it will show them that you’re someone who is dependable and upfront — key qualities for any employee. Although parental leave could be a concern of theirs, your potential employer will prefer applicants to be forthcoming during their job search.
It’s also worth noting that hiding your pregnancy in an interview can cause problems down the line if you get the job. For example, the company might not have adequate time to prepare for your maternity leave and may question why you didn’t disclose your pregnancy earlier. Of course, it is your choice whether or not you consider it appropriate to share the news of your pregnancy in an interview, and you may be wondering if doing so could place you at disadvantage. Your decision might depend on how many months pregnant you are, as some women wait until the second trimester to share their news of their baby girl or boy.
Facing Pregnancy Discrimination
Could your skills and qualifications be irrelevant just because you’re expecting? Unfortunately, an employer’s unconscious bias can be an obstacle for pregnant women when job hunting. You might find that if you reveal your pregnancy, the interviewer’s questions become family-focused rather than job-focused. This can be a sign that they’re apprehensive about your commitment to the company and your future priorities.
Obviously, these kinds of assumptions are prejudiced, unfair, and are actually forbidden under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the act prohibits unfavorable treatment toward pregnant women by employers at any stage of hiring and employment, including the interview process.
However, there are some tips you can keep in mind for disclosing your pregnancy while keeping the focus on your skills and qualifications for the job. It can help to tell the hiring manager how many months pregnant you are, as this information can help them understand how best to accommodate your maternity leave, time off for appointments, etc. Again, being upfront with a potential employer is more likely to work in your favor than trying to hide something as important as your pregnancy.
Additionally, you might want to emphasize your commitment and eagerness for the role despite your situation. You could even use your pregnancy to your advantage. For example, if you’ve worked while pregnant recently or in the past, you could use this as an example of your ability to multitask and prioritize.
Preparing for the Interview
It is discouraging for any woman to feel like an employer’s hiring decision could go against them simply because they’re pregnant. But being adequately prepared for the interview with this in mind can put you among the top contenders for the job.
As we have already mentioned, you might be faced with more questions about your pregnancy, family commitments, and priorities than about the actual job you’re applying for if you’re interviewing while pregnant. That is why it’s crucial to anticipate this type of situation and know how to negotiate these questions in your favor. Perhaps the most important thing to remember here is that you should be linking everything back to your capability for the role.
It is also worth thinking about the months ahead and what they will mean for your potential employment. Having a plan for your maternity leave and discussing this in your interview will show the employer that you are committed and reliable. It’ll also hopefully dispell any unfair doubts they might have about you as a pregnant woman.
Interviewing While Pregnant: What Questions to Ask
Once you feel confident and prepared to tackle any question they throw at you, you might want to consider asking the interviewer some questions. It is important to know about the benefits the company offers, their policies for taking leave, and whether it is paid or unpaid. But of course, if you have decided not to disclose your pregnancy in the interview then you should avoid giving it away by asking closely related questions.
While you will undoubtedly be doing your best to impress — especially as a pregnant woman — you need to consider whether the job is really for you. If you ask the relevant questions and learn that the company cannot provide adequate support to pregnant women and families, then maybe the role is not worth pursuing. Additionally, if you experience significant discrimination in the interview, why should you offer this company your talent and skill? If you are interviewing for what you hope will be a long-term role, then you should consider whether the company will be suitable for your needs in the long run.
Searching for a job while pregnant can be tough, but with the tips and tricks discussed above, you’ll be able to approach any interview with confidence.