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Are you going to give birth? How to answer awkward interview questions

In the arsenal of recruiters there are questions that are "kind of" about a career, but behind them lies an interest in a woman's personal life, her plans for marriage and decree

Any job seeker can hear awkward, awkward interview questions, but women get them many times more often. You are married? Married and you are 25! When are you planning a maternity leave? You are 32 and have one child. Planning more children? How often do your children get sick? Who will your child be with when you are late at work? You are 47 years old, how are you with your health? You have three children, how many years of real experience is on your resume?

In small companies, they are asked without embarrassment, bluntly. Companies where business ethics are not empty words avoid asking these questions directly. They are considered politically incorrect.

But companies are far from all the same, this information of the employer # nbsp; is very interesting, because from an economic point of view, the company is beneficial to an employee without sick leave and decrees. Therefore, the HR department is looking for options to clarify the situation, using socially acceptable forms of questions, for example: "How do you see your future in the perspective of five years?" or "What are your career plans?"

Behind these questions, which are "kind of" about a career, there is an interest in a woman's personal life, her plans for marriage and maternity leave.
Employers are understandable. One well-known international company, in a conversation with recruiters, complains that leaving them on maternity leave is so promising and beneficial for employees that some of them still cannot return after the third and fourth maternity leave in a row. All this time, the heads of departments do not have the opportunity to hire a permanent employee, only temporary maternity rates are opened. But it is not easy to find professional high-quality specialists at such a rate, because everyone wants to work on a permanent basis without the risk of being fired after the maternity leave.
Because of such extremes, employers are reinsured, trying to find out as much personal information as possible. How do you answer awkward # nbsp; interview questions?

To begin with, honestly decide for yourself what plans you have for your career and the rest of your life.
If a girl is young and ambitious, children are not included in her immediate plans, she is ready and wants to direct all efforts and time to a career, and only after achieving success and a significant position, to return to the issue of planning a decree, then it’s not worth inventing anything!

It’s worth answering so clearly and confidently at the interview. Even the most suspicious interviewer will be satisfied, because ambitiousness and career orientation can be felt a mile away.

Another case when a girl still plans a decree. Let not immediately, well, maybe in a year or two, how it will turn out. Then the answer is something like this: “I'm not going to go on maternity leave in the near future. I would like to prove myself, show what I can do, be useful, grow professionally, gain experience and establish myself as a valuable employee for the company. Overall, I am in favor of work-family balance. Therefore, in some perspective, of course, I am planning children. But not right now. "
Advanced companies clearly understand that only by offering a woman that very “balance”, they can keep a professional in her face. Money alone does not motivate today's working women. # Nbsp;
But there is also a special layer of "tricky" questions. They are connected with the fact that the hiring manager has a fear that he will be "hired", therefore, choosing between candidates, he tries to find one who will not pose a threat to his leadership position. In my recruiting practice there are many such cases. For example, a chief accountant planning to work in his company until retirement is looking for accountants with no ambitions for certain areas of accounting. Positions under such conditions are dead-end, not suggesting growth or advancement. And then the question of what the candidate is planning to do in three to five years becomes quite "dangerous". After all, the answer “I would like to become a chief accountant in the future” may close the way to this company. On the other hand, the candidate does not always know the circumstances within the organization. Perhaps the company, on the contrary, is looking for a successor to the current leader and aims to find a person who is ambitious, confident in himself and his professionalism, with the potential to take a leadership position.

In order not to be mistaken in answering such a question, it is important to conduct a preliminary analysis of the situation in the company. If a candidate goes to an interview with an employer through a recruiting agency, then you can get all the necessary input from the recruiter conducting this search. There is an ideal candidate for every vacancy. And for "dead-end" positions, there will always be people who normally relate to the work routine, monotony and lack of growth.
And one more "inconvenient" question often sounds at interviews and baffles the applicant: "Why did you leave your previous job?"; “Why did you work so little?”; "What was wrong?" This question for the applicant sounds in essence: "What is wrong with you?"
The employer wants "guarantees" that he gets not only a professional, but also an adequate employee. In my practice, there have been situations when, when collecting recommendations for a "star", such facts emerged that made further employment of the candidate extremely difficult. For example, a CFO woman with an excellent resume and brilliant self-presentation skills when checking recommendations from her former colleagues turned out to be a quarrelsome, aggressive and unbalanced person. She snapped at subordinates, hung up # nbsp; in telephone conversations with banks and threw documents at meetings.

Therefore, it is worth not only preparing a normal, logical answer to the question about the reasons for leaving the previous place of work, but also thinking about the referees who could characterize you at least neutrally (you will still not be able to please everyone).
Of course, the applicant has the right to refuse to answer any questions at the interview. Everyone has their own ideas about personal boundaries and norms of what is permissible. Severely incorrect questions are most likely an indicator of the company's low level of corporate culture. And deciding whether to continue interacting with her further is worth # nbsp; already at this stage.

Victoria Filippova, Partner PROTALENT LAB, PCC ICF coach
Source: https: //www.forbes.ru/forbes-woman/366791-rozhat-sobiraetes-kak-otvechat-na-nelovkie-voprosy-na-sobesedovanii