Pregnancy & Interviewing

Updated on August 21, 2009
K.A. asks from Walnut Creek, CA
6 answers

Has anyone ever been visibly pregnant & gone on a job interview? How did you handle it? How did the employer react? Is it even possible to get a job while pregnant & not face discrimination? Or maybe you have been the hiring manager & interviewed a candidate who was pregnant? I would love any feedback on this subject. Thanks!

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answers from San Francisco on

I have had this situation with both of my children. I tend to do things the hard way and have changed jobs both times that I was pregnant. With my first son, who is now 7, I was going to decline the interview because I figured they would not hire me but that is why you never say never. I was picked out of six other candidates and they waited for me to return from maternity leave to start.

With my two year old, by the time I got called for the interview, I was not showing yet. I was conflicted and got opinions from a lot of people who most of said to not let them know until I received an offer letter. At that point, they said I would still be able to give them enough time to prepare for my absence because I would not actually have the baby for another six months. That is what I decided to do and I felt good about my decision. Once I received the offer letter, I informed the staff in my pre-employment medical exam that I was pregnant and that they were free to tell the employer.

I called my future immediate supervisor after they received the medical report and said that I wanted to start planning for my absence. I think you should do what you feel is right. Some employers will not discriminate, as you can see from my first experience, but there are those that will and you never know which one that will be. Go with you gut and what you feel is right. I felt very good about my decision once I got other opinions. Most of the opinions you may get may say to let them know. You will have to make the call. I don't think that not be forthright about this makes you a liar unless they specifically ask you on the interview if you are pregnant, which they would not do. Your pregnancy actually has nothing to do with the interview process and your ability to do the job, unless it is something stenuous.

I love the job that I have now and would have been crushed if the only reason I would not have gotten it was because I was pregnant but I will never know if that would have been the case or not. The HR Director told me when I was hired that she probably would have done the same thing.

My two cents.



answers from Sacramento on

I interviewed for a job when I was 8 months pregnant. Luckily I was able to wear blazer/jacket? type thing that pretty much disguised it. I can't say I wasn't hoping that it would hide it, of course if they asked I would've told them I was pregnant. So, I ended up getting the job and only told them after they offered, and I accepted, the position. They were pretty surprised when I told them, they didn't say so, but I could tell. I was there for 4 weeks, went out on maternity leave for 6 weeks, and came back, and I am still with them. That was 8 years ago. Unfortunately, I do think that the situation would've been different if they could tell I was pregnant.



answers from San Francisco on


Honesty is the best policy. A potential employer cannot legally inquire about such things, but if I hired someone and they then announced their pregnancy, a planned vacation, the need for an unusual amount of time off; their integrity about all other things would be questionable in my mind.

If there is a position you really want, tell the truth, let your potential employer know what your game plan will be. (i.e. When you plan to take maternity leave and when you plan to return, what kind of childcare you have in place; on a regular basis and if your child is sick. By this I don’t mean extremely ill, I mean general childhood illnesses that are not life threatening.)

If you just need a job, sign up at all the temp agencies. You will go on several assignments and employers will get to know you, your work and work habits. If you are good at what you do, the company may approach you to see if you would be interested is full time employment after your baby is born.




answers from San Francisco on

I did the same thing..I went on an interview when I was about 5months pregnant and I gained weight just everywhere...and tried to cover it up..and of course if they asked I would have said yes but they didnt ask. I did get offered the job and accepted it..on my first day there while doing the paperwork I did mention that obviously I am pregnant and I just wanted them to be aware of that...and I could tell they werent completely happy about it but they had already offered me the job...I ended up having to quit due to pregnancy complications..being born premie



answers from Sacramento on

this is what happened at my husbands work...a woman interviewed for the job and was offered it. she accepted and then revealed she was pregnant. needless to say, this did not sit well with her bosses or her coworkers. why? because they were busy as hell and really needed someone that was going to be there and do their job. instead they ended up having to carry her weight for an additional three months when they could have had someone in there working. the lady who's position she was taking (and would be training her) would be gone by the time she actually came to work. so the lady who had done the job before that had to take time from her position to teach the new one her job. her fellow employees do not trust her. why? because if she thought it was perfectly okay to not be truthful and make others do her work for three months what else would she be capable of? and she has unfortunately turned out to be a horrid employee, never taking responsibility for her errors and still expecting her coworkers to carry her weight. so my question would be how far along are you? what type of job are you after and what would the hardship be on your fellow coworkers if you got the job then were off for three months? are you able to wait until the baby is here and you have spent some time with it THEN go look for a job? withholding information is the same as lying. how do you want to start out at your new job? what kind of person do you want your employer and coworkers to think you are? I believe strongly that honesty is the best policy.


answers from Fresno on

I think it depends what kind of job, what kind of company you're interviewing with, and how pregnant you are. I would certainly not offer up any information about your pregnancy unless you are specifically asked (which they won't if they have any brains at all - legal issues etc). If, for instance, your job would involve a lot of lifting, standing for hours on end, etc, where you wouldn't be able to do the job, then you should say that you might need special accomodations - however you do not have to specify why.

I am a hiring manager in a boys' club sort of industry, and I was completely shocked when I was asked in my interview if I was done having children (the implication being that if I'd said yes, I wouldn't have been offered the job). Then when I was interviewing candidates for a position reporting to me, the CEO told me that I shouldn't hire one candidate because she was pretty, therefore she was more likely to get pregnant and leave the company!! It's appalling some of the things that go on in the world of business - bottom line, what's going on in your body is none of anybody's business. What IS their business is how well you can do the job. If you were a man, what guarantee would they have that you would not take paternity leave at some point in the following year after hire? What guarantee would they have that you wouldn't get injured playing flag football with your buddies and need to be out for surgery? Maternity leave costs a company nothing in that you would be out on disability pay. They may have to hire a temp employee to take your spot while you're out - but they'd have to do that for any employee out on medical leave.

So my advice as a hiring manager is to go to your interview and focus completely on what you can provide the company. Don't say a word about your medical condition EXCEPT as it relates to your ability to do your job. If they ask if you might have a need to be out on leave in the coming year, be honest and say yes, you need to take x weeks off (but would be available via Blackberry, or whatever you're willing to do). Be as brief as possible about it and then return to your qualifications and why you're the best candidate for the job. I won't lie, interviewing while obviously pregnant in this market won't be easy, so make sure you go to your interviews completely prepared and rehearsed. Good luck!!

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