Recruiters have a tough time interviewing candidates for different prominent positions in their firm or organization. They have to ask several questions and find out who is the eligible candidate in the lot.
Yet, the most challenging task can be interviewing while pregnant for a job position. The interviewer needs to be really careful not to ask questions that point to the pregnancy or physical condition as it may be regarded as gender discrimination.
Here are some simple guidelines that will help you interview a pregnant woman without creating any such misunderstanding:
Tips for Interviewing while Pregnant:
1. Try to Develop a Rapport with the Candidate During the Interview Process:
A good rapport with the candidate is extremely essential and it can be crucial when you are interviewing a pregnant woman. There is a very great chance that the candidate will be extremely nervous. You need to first try and ease her stress. This can happen only by a little small talk.
Try and make the candidate comfortable. It would be a matter of courtesy to offer tea or coffee. Start your conversation and questioning only after you are completely sure that your candidate is at ease.
2. Never Refer to Pregnancy as a Reason Not To Hire:
Pregnancy could be a very sensitive stage to interview a woman. The interviewer needs to be thoroughly prepared for the challenges that ensue while interviewing a pregnant woman. Companies always look for quick results when they hire candidates.
In fact, there are many companies that do not permit paid leaves in the probation period of the candidate. The interviewer has a duty to hire candidates who would be regular and not take frequent leaves.
In case of pregnant women, as an interviewer, you see the probability of frequent leaves and distractions that are common in such a health condition. While your role may prevent you from hiring a pregnant woman if she cannot do justice to the role at this stage, make sure you never mention it during the interview.
3. Keep an Unbiased Mind While Hiring:
While interviewing a pregnant woman, you need to weigh the pros against the cons. You need to gauge the skills and abilities of the candidate. See how these skills are useful in the field. You must check whether she really possesses the talent to shoulder the responsibility the designation demands.
You also need to keep in mind the different concessions that her stage demands. The leaves, and special concessions as any woman rightly deserves. Check whether she will still prove an asset to the organization. If she has it in her, she should not be deprived of the position she deserves just because of her pregnancy. A recruiter needs to keep an open mind.
4. Ask The Common Questions that are Asked in Most Job Interviews:
There are a series of common questions asked during most job interviews. These could be of different levels based on the type of job for which the interview is being taken. There is a round of general questions that help try to understand the basic background of the candidate. Here is a set of questions asked with this purpose in mind:
- What is your educational qualification?
- Do you have any work experience?
- Why do you wish to pursue this field?
- Are you willing to work odd shifts?
- Where do you stay?
After these questions are asked, the interviewer can move to questions that speak more about the candidate as an employee. These are some pregnancy interview questions that try and gauge the behavior or attitude of the candidate. Here we have listed a few such questions:
- Are you a good leader?
- Are you a good team player?
- Are you a good negotiator?
- Would you be comfortable in a job that involves a lot of traveling?
- Why do you wish to join our firm?
These two rounds usually help to clear many doubts. It also helps you understand your candidate pretty well. After this, you may also have a round to test the true knowledge of the candidate.
If she is applying for the position of a developer, you may have a test on coding and logic. If the candidate is applying for any position that involves good communication skills, it would be wise to have a round of language proficiency test.
5. Before you Conclude, Frankly Discuss Leaves and Other Policies:
A pregnant woman has many concerns and these need to be addressed too during the interview. You need to understand the stage of pregnancy the candidate is in. You also need to be frank and honest while discussing her leaves.
Ask her the number of leaves she plans to take. You also need to ask her if she is willing to work from home occasionally if she is not in a position to travel to an office. You may also ask her about her concerns regarding the job.
Very often, women find it difficult to speak out their concerns unless they are encouraged in that direction. Be soft spoken and kind. Try to be benevolent so that she trusts you and feels free to reveal her concerns.
Common Worries in the Minds of Pregnant Employees:
If you understand the common worries that nag a pregnant employee, it will be easier for you to address the candidate and refer to these concerns too. For this, you need to be better informed about the worries of a pregnant woman. Here we have listed a few of the common worries
1. Will there be discrimination because of her pregnancy?
Most women think pregnancy is the wrong time to apply for a job position. There are many instances where employers simply reject worthy employees because of the pregnancy. This is because the companies are not willing to accommodate a pregnant candidate and think it worthwhile to hire another candidate who can spend more of his time and effort.
If you think the candidate is worth the job position, you must assure her that there would be no discrimination due to her pregnancy.
She will be treated equally. Her job responsibilities will be reduced if she is not in a position to handle that during her pregnancy. You need to assure the candidate that if she is deserving, she will surely get the job she desires and there will be no discrimination whatsoever.
2. Will the company permit her special leaves in case of child health problems?
When organizations are profit oriented, they need to make special provisions for pregnant women. This is because every woman has to go through that stage sometime or the other. Even after the child is born, a mother may have to rush home if the child is unwell. Special leave sanctions need to be made for such occasions.
Most working women are worried about their jobs when they get pregnant. Managing the finances gets tough when there is a child. But the worst would be to lack time for household responsibilities because of your job.
If you wish your employees to be happy, they need to be informed of their privileges or concessions during pregnancy. You may tell your candidate about the same during the interview process.
3. Will the company accommodate the extra time she may require as a lactating mother?
A lactating mother may require certain breaks in the day because of her physical condition. The company should provide her with private space and certain time allowance so that she can pump. While it is not compulsory for any firm to ascertain such breaks, it is vital for the well being of a woman employee.
As a recruiter or an interviewer, you must remember that lack of cooperation may just make you lose a good employee that the firm has always required. You need to have a clear thought process to understand these facts and make a wise decision.
4. Will my salary be affected because of the pregnancy?
If you are already the part of an organization, the firm is entitled to give you paid leave and other facilities during your pregnancy. On the contrary, when you are applying for a job, you could be worried what the norms of the new firm would be. A candidate could be worried that she may have a lower salary than what she deserves simply because she is pregnant.
When you interview the candidate, make it a point to assure her that your firm will provide her just the salary she deserves. There won’t be any financial discrimination based on her present condition. Such a polite and kind reassurance plays a vital role in gaining the candidate’s confidence and trust on the firm.
To Wrap Up:
If you are able to answer all these queries that pop up in the mind of the pregnant candidate, she will surely be in a better position to accept the job offer at hand.
Woman employees contribute a lot to the growth and development of the firms. It is vital that their rights are protected and they are made to feel secure.