“Do you plan to start a family?”. It may seem like an innocent question, but during an interview, it’s very inappropriate. A pregnancy is an important event for a soon-to-be mom, and it’s not impossible to reconcile with a professional life, whether it’s a current or a new position. But sometimes this same pregnancy can be seen as an unnecessary burden for the soon-to-be boss. If you’re expecting or planning to have a baby, and your professional life is still one of your priorities – or if you just want to learn more about this topic – this article is for you! 👍
During an interview
- Recruiter’s point of view
There are several reasons why a recruiter tends to ask that question. First, he can be concerned about your physical ability to work under certain conditions, the maternity leave or any complication regarding the pregnancy and the delivery.
Sometimes it’s because of the stereotype that a woman with children won’t be focused on her professional career anymore – but only on her child – or any other biases. Then, it can be just too much curiosity.
Anyway, you need to know that it’s a forbidden question that you shouldn’t ask during an interview, whatever the reason. Even if it sounds like small talk, it’s inappropriate and too personal.
Instead, you can ask “Are you comfortable with work-related travelling X times per year?” or “These are the hours of work… Are you available to attend work during that period?”.
- Pregnant candidate’s point of view
Going for a job interview is already a stressful situation – and while pregnant it might be even more! In this case, you have the following two options:
First option: you can be totally transparent and mention your pregnancy, but don’t make a big deal about it – this is something natural and not a permanent condition. You’ll have time to organize your work. For example, you can say “I want to share with you some personal news. I’m expecting and the delivery date will be…”.
Second option: if you’re afraid of being discriminated because of your pregnancy or simply if you don’t want to share it with your potential soon-to-be boss, you have every right to! « European case law even allows a woman to lie about her pregnancy during a job interview » says Christine Molitor, Legal Advisor, in an article for Partena Professional.
Even if it’s forbidden, if a recruiter asks you about that there’s no good or bad answer. You can choose to answer or not, to say it’s an inappropriate question or simply to use your right of silence. You’ve NO obligation to disclose your pregnancy.
When to disclose your pregnancy?
There’s no good attitude or perfect time to disclose your pregnancy. It’s your personal life and you’re in charge. Nevertheless, if you want to benefit from legal protection and treaty benefits related to pregnancy – such as accommodation in the workplace, leave and so on – you need to mention it to your employer.
A final word
Being pregnant doesn’t change anything regarding your professional skills, motivation or eager to learn. If you feel that your pregnancy isn’t well-received by the recruiter or your employer, you should reconsider if you really want to work for this company… After all, pregnancy is a temporary condition and it shouldn’t be taken as a reason to not hire you.