I typically have trouble talking about myself to strangers. The art of “selling myself” or what the rest of the world calls interviewing just doesn’t come easily to me. I get very nervous at the prospect of interviews and am very self-conscious about how I come across. My background speaks for itself and I always am able to put together good cover letters and resumes…but once contacted for an interview I transform into a nervous mess. Rarely am I able to sleep well the night before and when asked to answer a question that I could speak for hours about to a friend or submit a lengthy, coherent written response, I am sitting on the spot floundering for words. However, I guess my experience, resume, writing skills, personality…whatever, overshadowed my awkward interviewing skills as I was able to secure jobs. This was me BEFORE pregnancy.
Now at 7 months pregnant and interviewing for jobs imagine how my stress levels rise. The typical job interview rotation of outfits is of course out. So add on the stress of trying to choose an outfit which simply makes me look fat rather than pregnant. I’d like to lie and say I succeeded, but I highly doubt it as my stomach closely resembles a basketball being hidden under a shirt. I looked for tips online and followed them to the best of my current wardrobe, as my budget didn’t allow for a brand new outfit; wore dark colors (black slacks & black shirt) and over accessorized to draw attention away from my stomach (colorful, yet tasteful jewelry paired with a vest to attempt covering my midsection). However, unless the interviewer had never seen a pregnant woman before I doubt I fooled anyone.
Now I know that “technically” pregnancy shouldn’t be seen as a problem by a potential employer, but somehow I’m doubtful. Why hire a candidate who is about to turn around and ask for maternity leave? I think it is a completely different story if an employee becomes pregnant versus hiring a pregnant employee. In my scanning of the various forums discussing this topic I have found both horror stories (inappropriate touching and comments included) and success stories ending in job offers. Well, either thankfully or unthankfully this is a story that is neither.
After what I considered to be a pretty decent interview for a job which, (not to toot my own horn but toot toot) I was more than qualified, my interviewer assured me that she’d be in contact with me by Monday. Tick, tock, tick, tock….Tuesday has come and gone and still no contact, so I will take that as a thanks, but no thanks preggo. Obviously, I am not going to equate pregnancy with my lack of success in this crazy job market, but I can assure you that pregnancy is not a quality employers are going nuts about. C’est la vie…. it was good to get out of the house and even felt a little good (if restrictive) to have a reason to not be in stretch pants.