Should I Interview While Pregnant?

Should I interview while pregnant?  The answer is Yes, absolutely.   I am learning this first hand as I am 6 months pregnant with my second child and currently in between consulting contracts.  You may say, no one will hire me while I am pregnant, so why bother.   I had the same perspective at first but am finding real benefits in looking for a job while pregnant.

It is true companies are less likely to hire us if they know we are pregnant.  Legally (at least in the US) they can never say that, but that is the reality of business.  With that said, this fact should not stop us from job hunting and interviewing with the same vigor while pregnant.

Here is how you can  job search while pregnant and make the most of this wonderful time of your life also for your career.  My suggestions are based on two financial scenarios

Scenario 1 – if you financially need/want to get a job while pregnant, here are two things your can do to maximize your chances.

  1. Apply for short contract jobs  (3 – 6 months) – Do this early in your pregnancy.  I would not tell the company you are pregnant.  Legally, they can never ask even if they suspect.   Since the contract is short term, you will be done before you deliver.  So focus on getting the job and doing it well.    Also broaden your horizon on what kind of contract jobs you would take.   If you are number 1 goal is to work while pregnant, your best chance is to apply for these shorter contract jobs and be flexible to take lower rates so that you can get the work quickly.
  2. Apply for a permanent job early in your pregnancy – Again, since companies cannot ask if you are pregnant, you don’t need to tell them when interviewing and can try your best with the right clothing to look not pregnant.  One of my friends did this successfully and got a full time job when she was almost 5 months pregnant.  She is very qualified for the job, but there are consequences to this approach.  In addition to you feeling bad about not disclosing you are pregnant, the company may not react favorably after you start showing.  Again they cannot legally fire you for being pregnant or for not telling them, but they may feel deceived and therefore find other reasons to lay you off.  You have to ask yourself if this is the risk you are willing to take.
Scenario 2 – if you are okay with not finding work while pregnant, you should still job search and interview while pregnant.  Here is how and why
  1. Apply to jobs just like you would when you are not pregnant – Send in resume, network for jobs and make sure you don’t devalue yourself just because you are pregnant.  Pregnancy is temporary and does not affect your abilities long term.  Don’t sell yourself short and focus your applications on your skills.   When applying for a job, there is no need to tell people you are pregnant.
  2. When interviewing, disclose that you are pregnant at the interview – I received an invitation to interview 3.5 months after I applied and I was 24 weeks pregnant by then.  I debated whether to email them and say “I am pregnant, do you still want to interview me?”  I am glad my friend talked me out of it and she was right.   Interviewing while pregnant is an opportunity for you to leave a positive impression face to face and build a long term relationship.  The fact a company wants to interview you says they like your skills.    During the interview, you can disclose your pregnancy and express interest in working for them.   They may not offer you a job right then, but if the interview goes well, you can easily contact them after giving birth to reconnect and explore job opportunities.  This way, you have an advantage over others who  just send in resumes.  Since they already interviewed you, you may be able to fast track to a job offer after delivery.
  3. Conduct information interviews while pregnant In addition to applying for actual job openings, you can take the time while pregnant to look around and pick some 5-8 companies you really would like to work for after delivery.   Then use your network (school, friends, ex-colleagues) to find someone in the department you want to work and set up information interviews.  The intention is to find out more about the company and the department, share why you want to work there and why you are qualified, and establish a warm contact while pregnant.  The person I interviewed with just last week told me that’s exactly what she did.  She is now SVP at a major bank.  She said when she was 8 months pregnant, she was still doing informational interviews.  It showed the companies that she is focused and serious.  She was able to leave a good impression and fast track her job search post delivery.
Pregnancy is a beautiful time of our life.  I strongly believe we can appreciate this special time and do effective job search at the same time.

Your Comments:  What has been your experience with job search while pregnancy?  Any additional thoughts on what to do or not to do?


12 thoughts on “Should I Interview While Pregnant?

  1. Nyssa

    I’m 3 months pregnant and it’s not obvious. However I’m interviewing for a job that is a one year contract. How do I navigate this as I will be delisting /home in that period.

    1. Lei Han Post author

      It’s up to you completely whether you want to disclose. I know folks who didn’t, get the contract and then just quit when they are about to give birth. Personally, I would have a hard time with not sharing my news although I know it impacts the contract. I rather keep my integrity and potentially the relationship with this employer. It may cost you the contract or it may not. This really also depends on how much you need the work. It is a trade-off you have to make to weigh honesty and relationship building vs a better chance to get the contract. I am sorry I don’t have a better answer than that.

  2. momtobe1stime

    I am also in need of advice.

    I am 20weeks pregnant and just got an offer for a 3 months contract. I am due in march 2015 and my contract ends before that (february 2015). I am just wondering if I should mention I am pregnant. Does that make a difference because it is a contract position not a full time and I will be due after the contract ends.

    I am showing a little bit and hid it through the interview process. Well it is getting bigger and I believe I can’t hide it too much in 2-3 months. I haven’t accepted the offer, I just got contacted by the recruiting agency yesterday and was told the hiring manager wants to know when I can start.

    What will be your advice?

    1. Lei Han Post author

      Stella, thanks for the question. I wouldn’t say anything unless you have a difficult pregnancy and can’t function at full capacity (e.g. Work full time). Even then, you can just say I can only work these hours. You are never obligated to give a reason.

      If you have a regular pregnancy then its none of their business especially since the contract will end before you give birth. They hired you for your skills and brain. And that’s what they will get for the contract.

      Hope that helps


      1. momtobe1stime

        I started my new job yesterday. And although I am due after my contract ends I know at some point I will have to mention I am expecting because my tummy isn’t getting any smaller. When would you recommend I do that? Right away or wait a little?

  3. Alice

    Thank you!! I made it to my face to face and I told them there. Seems to be fine!
    They are not upset or concern about my availability. So we shall see. Thx for the encouraging article!

  4. Alice

    I saw your piece of interviewing while pregnant. I am in that boat and am wondering if you could offer me some advice. I spoke to a recruiter on the phone yesterday and now she wanted me to bring me in to meet the hiring managers.

    I haven’t told her about pregnancy yet since I did not know if the interview will lead to a face-to-face follow up. I don’t think I should tell her now, correct? I would let them know during the interview since I am already 36 weeks so there is really no way of hiding.

    What would be your advice?

    Thank you!

    1. Lei Han Post author


      Thanks for reaching out. You are right. You don’t have to tell her. Your skills do not diminish just because you are pregnant. They can’t even ask you about it. What they can ask is when you maybe available to start. If you tell them now they may not even interview you even if they give you other reasons like lack of fit. See how far you can get with conversations and then at least you get to meet the hiring manager at face to face interview. Hope that helps. Good for you for continuing your job search while pregnant.

  5. Lei Han Post author


    You don’t need to disclose you are pregnant. It’s not relevant unless you are asking for special treatment like wanting to defer beginning your education for a semester to take care of baby. Even then I would advise getting in first and then ask for a deferral.

    Best wishes

  6. Himani

    Hey that’s a very interesting read.. Does the same apply to when you are submitting your applications for your MBA? Should you disclose the school during the interview that you are expecting (though you would have delivered before the session starts)? Thanks..

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