Trying to clinch a new job while expecting a new-born is tough and daunting. How do you tell the interviewer that you are keenly interested in the job while being an expectant mum? Employers will be worried that you might be physically or emotionally absent with a new-born baby instead of work focused, and may question whether you will return to work after you give birth.
Relax! People deserve to have babies and a career too. The good news is that a potential employer can’t just refuse to hire you because you are pregnant. Also, you are not obliged to tell the employer that you are pregnant. If you are wondering how to go about surviving the interview while being pregnant, read on to plan your strategy and ace the interview…
To say or not to say…
As previously mentioned, you are not obliged to reveal your pregnancy. But should you opt for revealing it, make sure you know who you are talking to. If the interviewer is a woman she will more likely relate with you and ask you about the pregnancy out of genuine interest and give you a chance to broach your pregnancy plans. A man interviewer though may be more prone to approach the issue with scepticism. However, whether you deal with a male or female interviewer, try to entertain potential fears by stating why you are looking for a job at this time, when the baby is due and why you make a perfect fit for the job.
How to say it
When explaining your child care plans and expected leave length, use the wording the company has for its family leave policy. Make sure to lay down your plan for returning to work. Ask the employer if there is an option to work as a consultant until your due date and then become permanent when you return to work. Highlight your enthusiasm about working in a family-friendly place and show that you are looking for a long-term commitment. Most importantly, tell the prospective employer how you plan to balance the demands of a new-born and your career.
Show them your value
Approach the interview confidently and ensure that the seemingly negative effects of pregnancy are put in the background for the sake of those skills, experience and expertise that highlight your value as a candidate. Once you have covered the pregnancy topic, let the discussion revolve around your qualifications and expertise. Provide the employer with exact sales numbers, stats and figures, great personal achievements, awards gained at your previous job or participation in clubs and societies as well as memberships in professional associations. Try to communicate an authentic and realistic image of your value and explain how this will benefit the employer.
When the interviewer asks you “Do you have any questions for me?” do take the opportunity to determine if you’d be happy working for this employer and whether the company’s policies and culture will help you balance pregnancy and work life. Ask the interviewer whether there have a family and leave policies in place, what benefits these policies cover and compare them to your current employer’s benefits.
Last but not least, be courteous and thank the interviewer when the interview is over, and follow up with a well-crafted and thoughtful thank-you note. If you are turned down, don’t automatically assume that you were rejected because you are pregnant. If possible ask for feedback, and when given, use it as a weapon to strengthen your next interview.
All in all, proceeding to an interview as a pregnant woman can be a tricky and awkward situation. But marketing yourself the right way and shifting away employer’s attention from your pregnancy to how you can be the ideal fit for the job, is vital for acing the interview.
Image source: iStock