Going on a job interview can be quite stressful. Now imagine you are pregnant while going on this interview. It adds a while new layer of complexity. We decided this was a such a tricky topic that we needed experts and people who had been through this to weigh in the subject. Here is everything you must know about job interviewing while pregnant.
- You are not obligated to say anything and they cannot discriminate against you either at the time of hiring or later for not revealing that you were pregnant at the time of the interview, says Lynne Eisaguirre, workplace expert, former employment attorney and author.
- However, you may want to reveal your pregnancy because you may want to know their policy on maternity leave and so on, says Eisaguirre. Also, as a matter of values you may feel obligated to reveal your situation so that they can make an informed decision but you are not required to do so.
- It’s important to have a maternity/post-maternity plan that serves both the new family and the work, says Julie Winkle Giulioni who went through this experience and landed the job. “The candidate needs to think that through and be able to communicate how she can hit the ground running/add value immediately, possibly use maternity leave to research/read/prepare, and come back ready to contribute powerfully to the new employer. “
- Disclosing if you are pregnant is not required by law, says Thommi Odom, Certified Career Coach, Human Resources Professional and Mental Health Counselor. “If your pregnancy requires special accommodations, I would advise disclosing the info ASAP so that the employer has the opportunity to meet the requirement.”
- Employers can not discriminate but this is hard to measure, says Odom. “On the flip side, not disclosing and then requesting maternity leave three months later could potentially jeopardize the future of the employee in the organization. The employee may be viewed as untrustworthy despite their high skills and abilities.
- The decision to tell versus not to tell is personal, says Odom. If you know the company culture is one that supports work/life balance, then it may be okay to disclose. If the company is known for being a mill, it may cause you to lose the position. “I advise clients to use LinkedIn to find people who work in the organization and ask them about the company culture, work environment, hiring manager, etc. Get the insider’s point of view.
- Donna Ballman, an employment lawyer and author of the upcoming Stand Up For Yourself Without Getting Fired, said pregnancy should not prevent women for applying for new jobs. “Assuming the employer has at least 15 employees, it is illegal for them to discriminate against pregnant applicants.
- Ballman said if they do ask if you’re pregnant, it’s not an instant lawsuit, but it may be evidence that they’re discriminating. Make a note when you leave the interview on who asked the question, date, and your best recollection of the exact question and your answer. You should have an answer planned out just in case. Don’t lie, and don’t apologize. Let them know when you’re due and how long you plan to take leave. If you’re turned down and they’ve asked if you’re pregnant, take that information to your attorney when you meet.
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