There was once I went for a job interview, after having 2 kids. I cannot remember what job post it was but it should have been a 9-6 job around the desk doing sales over the phone of a telemarketer of some sort.
As a sat in the room facing the interviewer who’s face I cannot even recall, I do remember her asking me a series of questions, for non of those questions were about my past job experience or anything directly job related. It was however, questions on my life. She sat there asking me, if my child were to be sick, do I need to take urgent leave to bring them see a doctor, do I need to take leave to stay home and look after my kids and so on.
I only know I felt helpless and dumb founded at that moment. Paralysed in the chair speechless. I felt I was being put down, for being a parent. I had never thought having kids and to look after my kids was would ever come up in a job interview as a qualifying question. To me, looking after my children and being there for them, is what parents do.
Even years later, till this day, I still remember those questions, and instead of being hired for job ability and suitability, I was disqualified for being a parent. It did feel discriminating, and hurtful, especially when it came from another woman. Working is as important for me just as my kids. It there are times I need to work long hours due to a deadline, I never thought it was a fault to take leave to look after my sick child.
I needed a job, badly, but now I was glad I wasn’t “qualified” for I am able to see it in another perspective, as it will be a place that wasn’t suitable for me for long, and instead the next job interview will be better. Thou it is easy for me to say now as I have passed that event, it wasn’t when it happened, so it is okay to cry over it and feel desperately trying to please and convince them, for being able to work and to feed your family is also part of being responsible and part of looking after them.
I am sure I had felt upset and defeated, when you know you are desperate for a job, it meant that st that point getting an interview wasn’t easy too, so just keep trying, is there are bad ones, have faith, the next one will be better, and try hard enough, it usually does. Though I felt alone at that time, but if you are reading this, you now know you aren’t.