Should I take my baby to a job interview?
It might sound out of this world impossible or not even a bright idea, but the fact of the matter is that there are some parents who simply must bring a baby to a job interview. When it’s something you have to do, and there’s no choice in the matter, it’s not exactly ideal, but it’s possible. Taking baby to job interview has happened in the past, is happening today, and it’ll happen in the future. If it’s something you’re facing here in the near future, there are some things you can do to babyproof that job interview.
Before assuming that anyone is recommending you bring a baby to a job interview, stop right there and backtrack. 100% of the time that you can find a babysitter for your job interview, you should do it. Childcare issues shouldn’t determine whether or not you’re hired, but the fact of the matter is that some employers will view bringing a baby to a job interview as either disrespectful or a sign that you’re going to have difficulty finding childcare so that you can perform the job they need you to perform.
Reasons to Hire a Babysitter
Here are a few reasons you’ll want to find a sitter when you can:
- To perform your job, you’ll likely need childcare, and bringing the baby to an interview shows you might have difficulty doing that
- Having to perform a diaper change during a job interview is messy and just a terrible sign to your potential employer
- A crying baby will make it difficult to hear questions and answer them
- It may look a bit irresponsible, depending on the reasons for bringing your baby
Despite the fact that it’s best to avoid taking a baby to a job interview, there are times when you simply must work on taking baby to job interview with the least amount of interference during the interview itself. Parents have to sometimes do this. If you’re going to be one of them, don’t panic. There are 9 major ways that you can make a job interview with your baby in tow a successful endeavor.
1. Be prepared
The first thing you will probably have to decide is whether or not to explain why you brought your baby to a job interview. More up front persons will likely want to give a brief one-two minute primer on exactly why your baby is with you in the first place. Other people will want the interviewer to make the first move and perhaps ask why your little bundle of joy is in tow. Explaining yourself in a job interview will sometimes help, sometimes hurt. In many ways, it depends on the disposition of the interviewer. Your best bet is to be prepared to answer the “why is your baby here?” question.
2. Appease your baby first
If you have a very young baby, there’s a great chance you might be able to bring a carrier or stroller in tow and simply let the little one sleep during the interview process. Ideally, this is what you want to happen during your interview. To make this possible, do everything you can beforehand to make sure that your baby is tuckered out, fed, and changed before the interview begins. Taking care of the baby basics will give you your best chance to have a quiet, sleeping child during your interview. Rocking your baby gently before the interview, if he or she seems a little antsy may help, too, but work to have your child resting when the interview arrives.
3. Unforeseen disasters
Taking baby to job interview is a tremendous risk. You need to know this beforehand and realize that unforeseen disasters can occur, such as needing to change a diaper mid-interview. Some interviews stretch on for longer than others. If this happens, it’s entirely possible you could even have a fussy or sick baby during a job interview that needs you to hold her. At those moments, you may have to go off-script and be as sincere as possible with the interviewer. Taking baby to job interview is such a risky endeavor that most people do attempt to have a backup plan or apology in order if anything such as this goes on. Depending on your interviewer, they may work with you or reschedule.
4. Keep a plentiful supply of toys
Toys might just be your best friend while you’re doing a job interview that includes a baby next to you. If your child is awake, and let’s face it, children wake when they want to, having something to distract them will be the best thing you can do during the interview. Either take an old faithful toy or find a brand new shiny toy when you’re taking baby to job interview. If your baby is old enough to talk a few words or understand anything, you may even be able to quiet them with just a look or a toy. And while very young babies will not respond to any of this, don’t worry. A toy may do the job for you.
5. Hold your baby
This is a solid go-to during a job interview. If your baby simply isn’t going to be quiet without your guidance, then it may be time to hold your child, even if it means holding your child while answering questions. Always make sure to keep your focus on the interviewer and questions, always. Holding your baby should be second nature by now, and often holding them will be enough to quiet them down and let you get back to the business at hand. Above and beyond anything else, you must keep your baby quiet in order to complete the interview and not frustrate the interviewer. If that means you have to hold your baby during the interview, go for it. It’s better than a screaming baby while the interviewer asks questions.
6. Challenging, but doable
Taking baby to job interview is one of the things that most parents want to avoid at all costs, and that’s certainly not a bad thing to avoid. Whenever possible, grab a babysitter. For most people, this is preferable to walking into an important job interviewer with a baby. Many interviewers will have an unfavorable impression of parents who bring a baby to a job interview, but when there are extenuating circumstances, they may understand, and even respect you, for having the courage to take on your baby during an interview.
7. Follow the rules
Just like any other job interview, you need to follow the rules of order and make sure that the interviewer gets a favorable impression of you. If they see that you’re a skilled parent just having an unusual circumstance, they may even admire you in some ways for believing in yourself enough to bring the baby. And it’s also a great sign that you showed up to the interview at all, and depending on the impression you make with your answers, things may go just fine.
8. Stay confident
Taking baby to job interview will likely cause you some stress before, during, and especially after the interview. Job interviews are challenging enough without having to contend with a baby! If you’re confident that you’re qualified for the job and laid back and professional during the interview, though, handling the situation with your baby may even net you a job. You wouldn’t be the first person to impress a job interviewer by handling such a sticky situation, and that’s exactly what certain jobs are looking for in a hire. Not everyone will automatically blow a job interview just because they’re taking baby to job interview.
9. Practice the interview
Before heading into the interview, do some brushing up on your interview basics. If you are taking baby to job interview, you have to make sure that you give a flawless performance while you’re answering questions. You don’t want to go dead silent or give a bad impression on nearly anything else during the interview, so study your heart out before bundling up your baby and heading out. And don’t go into the interview with a negative attitude, assuming that you won’t be able to get the job just because you’re taking baby to job interview.
With the right amount of knowledge in your field, a good demeanor during the interview, and a lot of respect and care in the situation, you might just become one of those lucky people who netted themselves a job even though they were taking baby to job interview. To make that possible, you’ll need to attend the interview with the interview first and foremost in your mind, with plenty of study on how to give the perfect job interview. With a little luck, and a cooperative baby, and gentle interviewer, you might just be taking baby to job interview for a good reason: to land the job.