I am a mother of three children under four years old and I am currently searching for a job. I just got home from an interview for a corporate job with a company I’d love to work for, and the woman screening me asked me several times about how many kids I have, how old they are, what my feelings are about leaving them with a caregiver all day, and so on.

I did not volunteer this information, it came up because she asked why I left my old job (my last company folded just as I was leaving for maternity leave). I found it hard to tell whether she was asking this information because she was unsure about my ability to do the job, or whether she just wanted to talk about her own maternity leave and desire for more kids.

If I pass the personality screening test I wrote today, I will have an interview with the chairman. My question is, how do I address questions about my family size/future reproductive plans without saying, “That question is illegal” or “That’s none of your business”? Please advise!


I was in a gender harassment situation that I left about two years ago, and did not really think about my future as I was exiting the situation. I have had a lot of personal trauma around the experience, and realize that I can’t use my last job for reference even though I was there for five years. What should I do? I still need to be able to work.