INTERVIEWS / JUL. 12, 2013
version 2, draft 2

How to Answer Questions about Your Intentions to Have Children

If you are planning on having children at some point in the future but are not currently pregnant and are in the process of interviewing, then this information is personal to you and you are not required to share it during an interview. Furthermore, the interviewer is not at liberty to ask you about your intentions to have children.  If you are asked questions of this nature then you are under no obligation to respond, as such questions are personal and have nothing to do with the interview at hand.

Dealing with maternity-related questions

While the law varies from country to country, there are a number of taboo questions that interviewers should not be asking during the course of the interview under any circumstances. These include questions about your intentions to have children.

If you have been asked a maternity or child related question it is important to remember that in many cases, such questions are illegal if directly asked. There are a number of ways around providing a response, while remaining calm and professional.

Remain diplomatic

If the job that you are interviewing for is your dream job and you have been asked a personal question relating to your future intentions, remain calm and diplomatic. Don’t be deterred by such a question; instead provide an answer that is tactful, such as: “My future plans bear no significance on the interview at hand,” or, “I prefer not to answer questions of this nature”.

Although in many countries the question is an illegal one, the company has good intentions in asking and just approached the subject tactlessly. After all an employee that goes on maternity leave must be temporarily replaced until she returns.

It should be noted that just because an illegal question has been asked, this doesn’t necessarily mean that a crime has been committed. It is up to you to determine whether or not the question has been asked in a discriminatory manner and if it has been, speak up. If you feel that you have been victimized during your interview, express your concerns following the interview.

In any interview setting, questions should be focused on your behavior, skills and experience, as opposed to your intentions to have children. 

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