“Do you have kids?”
My hiring manager asked me in my interview just 15 days after I learned of my miscarriage and had my D&C performed.
In short I answer “No.”
Setting aside this invalid question as mere small talk rather than an attempt to understand my qualifications.
“Do you want kids?”
He asked next. OK I’m thinking maybe he just recently had a child and is looking for areas where we can relate. Hmm… how to answer this question.
Yes. I was pregnant before. She decided she didn’t want to come after 10 weeks of growing in my belly. I haven’t even been able to say this out loud yet….
“Yes.” I respond as I try to stop my eyes from watering.“Sorry… allergies” I say as I prepare for the next question.
“When do you plan on having kids?”
Now I see the pattern to the conversation women fall victim to over and over again. He can probably tell from my resume and the year I received my Bachelors of Science that I’m almost 30. Plus there’s a wedding band on my finger so he’s assuming children would naturally be my next step.
How can he be asking these questions as interview questions? If I say soon he’s taking a risk hiring me. If I say I don’t know, I may look like I’m not being honest. I’ve never been good at lying, the truth is written all over my face…
Next I do something many would be too fearful to do.
I kill these questions with honesty.
“I was pregnant for the last 2.5 months. I lost my baby and my body didn’t recognize the loss. I had a D&C earlier this month. Are these your standard interview questions?”
Needless to say I got the job but guess what? I had to resign when I found out I was pregnant again. Without a year of employment prior to babies arrival, I had no benefits, no maternity leave and no F.M.L.A…
This is America.
Where women can expect to be asked these questions in the workplace, even during an interview and then have to choose between working to pay for daycare or leaving their jobs because they don’t offer maternity leave.