Interviewing While Pregnant? Here’s How To Do It Wisely

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August 3, 2022
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min read

As a pregnant person, you might be wondering if your baby bump will get in the way of landing the job you want, especially with things like maternity leave on your mind.

Pregnancy discrimination while job searching is a legitimate fear for any mother-to-be, but this shouldn't stop you from giving your best performance and landing a new job. This guide will help you in preparing for and handling the interview process while pregnant. 

Should I disclose my pregnancy to the interviewer?

You are under no legal obligation to tell a prospective employer about your pregnancy, but it might be a good idea for several reasons. It is best to be open and honest about parts of your life that will affect your employment.

Three key points to keep in mind:

  • Hiring managers will appreciate your readiness and preparation. It will show them that you're someone who is dependable and upfront — key qualities for any employee. Although parental leave could be a concern of theirs, your potential employer will likely prefer applicants who are forthcoming in the interview.
  • Hiding your pregnancy could cause scheduling problems down the line if you get the job. For example, the company might not have adequate time to prepare for your maternity leave and may question why you didn't disclose pregnancy earlier.
  • It's ultimately your choice what you choose to share. Your decision might depend on how many months pregnant you are, as some women wait until the second trimester to feel confident to share the news of pregnancy with anyone.

How to prepare for an interview while pregnant

They say a mother's work is never done, and that same rule applies to the work a soon-to-be mother must put into applying for jobs. If you're applying for a new job while pregnant, you may want to specifically look for resources that connect you with companies creating better work environments for mothers.

Take a look at job boards designed to help mothers, whether you're in your first trimester or already have a little one running around. Wherever you are in your search, Teal's Job Application Tracker can keep track of the jobs you're interested in, as well as where you are in the application process.

Manage your job search with Teal, a free job application tracker that lets you track and store important job hunting details.

Use Teal’s Free Job Application Tracker to help you organize and manage your job search.
Use Teal’s Free Job Application Tracker to help you organize and manage your job search.

Soon-to-be mothers have enough on their minds, but with Teal's Job Application Tracker, you'll have one less thing to worry about. 

Before you apply, give yourself a better chance of landing that coveted interview by tuning up your resume. While you're busy getting ready for the arrival of your bundle of joy, you won't want to spend hours on your computer reworking your resume to suit all of the applications you need to fill out. When you use Teal's AI Resume Builder, Teal does that work for you, increasing your chances of getting called for an interview by 10 times.

Update your resume with your latest experience and work achievements! The job of your resume is to get you in the door. Optimizing it will help you land interviews for the next opportunities that excite you. Teal's free AI Resume Builder can help you keep your Work History up to date and help you write metric-driven achievements using our Achievement Assistant tool.

Teal’s Free AI Resume Builder helps you write metric driven achievements.
Teal’s Free AI Resume Builder helps you write metric driven achievements.

With these helpful resources, you'll land that interview in no time. But now you have another important question that only you can answer: Should you disclose your pregnancy in the interview process?

First trimester

If you can start your job search early on in your pregnancy, you absolutely should. Your body is working hard to grow a tiny human, and the further along in your pregnancy you get, the more of your energy will get used up. During the first trimester you may find that you have more energy to spare, making the interviewing process a little less daunting.

Many women don't disclose their pregnancy to anyone during the first trimester, so you may not want to discuss it with your prospective employer yet. And that's your prerogative.  At no point in your pregnancy do you legally have to disclose that you're pregnant. During your first trimester, you're likely not showing much yet either.

It's worth noting, however, that there's no law that can prevent your interviewer from asking you if you are pregnant. Such a question may place you in a difficult position, but the personal decision to disclose is still yours to make.

Even if you opt not to share that you're pregnant, you'll still want to question your prospective employer about their company's maternity leave policy, health insurance coverage for families, remote work opportunities for new mothers and child care stipends.

As much as an interview is a chance for an employer to learn whether you're a good fit for their company, it's also a chance for you to learn whether the company is a good fit for you. If you're a pregnant candidate or new mother, you may find that your priorities have shifted from when you were first starting your career. 

An additional concern you may have if interviewing while pregnant is the potential for needing to reschedule. Morning sickness is typically most common in the first trimester, and it's difficult to prepare for. If you wake up on the day of your interview with morning sickness causing problems, you may have to reschedule your interview. You may also need to reschedule if there's a health complication and you need to make a last-minute doctor's appointment. 

If the need to reschedule arises, call the hiring manager as soon as you're aware of the issue, apologize sincerely and ask for a new date and time. You should offer a reason for cancelation, but if you don't want to tell them about your pregnancy, you can simply say that you're ill.

Second trimester

‍When you enter your second trimester, you may be showing more. You still do not have to disclose your pregnancy, but it may be more likely to come up naturally, especially if you're interviewing in person rather than via a video call.

If you decide to disclose, you are technically protected under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. Regardless of whether you're already an employee or interviewing to be one, an employer cannot legally discriminate based on your pregnancy status.

Unfortunately, it's difficult to prove that you didn't receive a job offer due to pregnancy. Most hiring managers won't outright say that your pregnancy and upcoming maternity leave are the reasons for you not getting the job. 

Another thing to think about: the beginning of the second trimester is frequently when women announce their pregnancy to friends and family, and for many women today that means sharing a post on social media. Although we don't like to think of our lives being on display for the world to see, many hiring managers do social media checks before their interviews. If you have announced your pregnancy on social media, your interviewer might already be aware of your status.

Third trimester

‍Many advocates for women's rights in the workplace say it's best not to tell your potential employer about your pregnancy until after you've started the job. Due to some of the unfortunate biases that still exist concerning mothers in the workforce, it's possible that you may be discriminated against in the hiring process—despite the Pregnancy Discrimination Act. However, during the third trimester you will likely be noticeably pregnant, and your prospective employer may expect you to disclose your status. 

You'll also want to keep in mind the timeline of the hiring process. If you're early on in the interviewing process, you may have to undergo several more rounds of meetings, which might inch closer and closer to your due date. If you disclose your status before you're hired, your prospective employer may appreciate that you're giving them ample time to find someone for your maternity leave.

It can be nerve-wracking to talk about your pregnancy in a job interview, but today's hiring process for mothers looks very different from how it looked decades ago. It's always your decision whether or not to disclose your pregnancy, but if you find yourself interviewing with a company that clearly creates a supportive environment for mothers, you may feel comfortable sharing the news. And many employers will appreciate you being up front with them, giving them time to prepare for your upcoming maternity leave.

Having a plan for when you start the job

Being adequately prepared for what your time at the company will look like can put you among the top candidates for the job. Perhaps the most important thing to remember here is that you should be linking everything back to your capability for the role.

Discuss the months ahead and what they will look like for your potential employer. Having a plan for your maternity leave and discussing this in your interview will show the employer that you are committed and reliable.

Within Teal's Job Application Tracker is a super helpful “Notes” tool to track and update your interview questions and answers for each saved job. It pulls up next to the job description, making it easy to pull all the necessary keywords. Make any edits and additions you need, and your changes will be saved automatically.

Teal’s Job Application Tracker saves notes for every job you are interested in to help you stay organized.
Teal’s Job Application Tracker saves notes for every job you are interested in to help you stay organized.

Questions you can ask during the interview

Interviews are a two-way street. Once you feel confident and prepared to tackle any question they throw at you, you might want to consider asking the interviewer some questions. Some questions you might want to ask include:

  • What benefits does the company offer?
  • Does the company have any employee resource groups?
  • How does the company promote work-life balance?

‍These questions will help uncover whether the job is really for you. If you learn that the company cannot provide adequate support to pregnant women and families, then maybe the role isn't worth pursuing.

Additionally, if you experience significant discrimination in the interview, that company might not be worthy of your talent and skills.

Within Teal's Job Application Tracker are tips and resources to help you practice interviewing You can also keep notes about the job requirements, the company's culture, and any company contacts you've made during your job hunt.

Use the Practice Interviewing tips within Teal’s Job Application Tracker to help you present your best self in an interview.
Use the Practice Interviewing tips within Teal’s Job Application Tracker to help you present your best self in an interview.

After the interview

One of the most important parts of the interview process is following up after a job interview. No matter what stage or round of the process you are in, you want to stay top of mind to the hiring manager or potential employer as the most qualified candidate.

Located within Teal's Job Application Tracker are communication templates for different stages of interviewing. Copy the template, tweak it to match the situation, and send it off to the appropriate contacts.

Within the Job Application Tracker, the communication templates help you stand out during each stage of the interview process.
Within the Job Application Tracker, the communication templates help you stand out during each stage of the interview process.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I address concerns about my commitment and ability to work during pregnancy in an interview?

When discussing your pregnancy, emphasize your dedication and planning skills. Assure the interviewer that you are committed to your career and have a clear plan for managing work-life balance. Highlight past experiences where you've successfully juggled multiple responsibilities, and if comfortable, briefly outline your intentions for maternity leave and returning to work.

Is it legal for an employer to ask about my pregnancy during a job interview?

No, it is not legal for an employer to ask about your pregnancy or plans to start a family during an interview, as these questions can be considered discriminatory. You are not obligated to disclose your pregnancy, and an employer's decision should be based on your qualifications and ability to perform the job.

What strategies can I use to feel more comfortable and confident interviewing while pregnant?

To feel more comfortable, choose professional attire that makes you feel confident and at ease. Practice answering potential questions about any employment gaps or availability with a focus on your skills and what you bring to the role. Consider scheduling interviews at times when you feel most energetic, and don't hesitate to ask for accommodations if necessary, such as a glass of water or a short break.

Jacqueline Gualtieri

Jacqueline Gualtieri is a writer and editor whose work has appeared in The Huffington Post, Insider, and The Slowdown. As a former social media consultant, her work often advocates for digital advancement in the workplace as well as for the empowerment of women to advance their careers on their own terms.

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