when should I tell my interviewer I’m pregnant? — Ask a Manager

here are the 10 best questions to ask your job interviewer — Ask a Manager

A reader writes:

Last month, I began an interview process for a job that would almost double my current salary. I have 10 years of experience in my field, but my current employer’s salaries are not competitive and I don’t see a clear path for advancement. This new position would be a promotion in title and come with the ability to manage a small team and build a program. This seems like the opportunity of a lifetime to leap up the career ladder, and would alleviate many of my family’s financial constraints at the same time.

Two weeks into the interview process, I discovered I was pregnant. I have not told the recruiting firm nor the potential employer. Now a finalist, I will be flying in to do an on-site visit next week since the position is in a different state (and would require my family to sell our house and move to a new city).

I am aware that the employer will likely be disappointed to find out I’m expecting. They want someone to “hit the ground running” in the role, which has been vacant for several months. I know that legally I am entitled to proceed with the process, and that sharing my pregnancy at this point in the process will likely lead them to choose another candidate, though they won’t necessarily say that explicitly. I am willing to risk their temporary disappointment for the long-term benefits of this opportunity.

I should also note that I am almost 40 years old and while my partner and I were trying to get pregnant, we didn’t expect it to happen without fertility assistance, which we were beginning to explore with a specialist. We desperately want to have this child. We have miscarried in the past, and so I am also cautious about sharing this news too early, knowing that these early weeks are extremely uncertain.

I am aware that if I take maternity leave soon after being hired at a new company, I will not be covered by FMLA, per their benefits policies. I have also read that it might be advantageous to share the pregnancy news at the negotiation part of the offer process, in order to negotiate for some paid maternity leave. I have also read the opposite, with advice saying to never share the pregnancy news until the offer is in writing and signed by all parties.

My plan is to proceed with the interview process as though I were not pregnant. If I am selected for the position, when should I reveal my pregnancy? Do you think it’s ethical to pursue an ambitious job while pregnant? Do you think it’s possible to navigate a new position with a new baby?

You can read my answer to this letter at New York Magazine today. Head over there to read it.

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