Interview etiquette

linden higgins linden at mail.utexas.edu
Fri Dec 19 16:40:05 EST 1997


>Although it is illegal to ask about marital status, etc., It is clear to
>me that some prospective employers know my marital status and that I
>have kids (presumably from letters of reference or from speaking to
>people who know me). If the prospective employer already knows, but not
>from the prospective employee, are there rules for what can and cannot
>be discussed?
>
In my (limited) experience, prospetive employers want to know, and usually
do find out - especially in academics (which despite the size of the
applicant pools still seems to be a small world).

What I've had happen is that someone in the faculty, usually someone I am
acquainted with or a friend of a friend, asks "unofficially" if my husband
is REALLY interested in moving (yes), and if we'd be willing to be
separated for x amount of time while something was arranged for him (yes).
Whether these things would really happen, I don't know, as I have yet to
have an offer.  However, I do not think that the lack of an offer has
ANYTHING to do with my marital status.

>It isn't a big deal to me- I am not trying to hide my kids or marital
>status-  but it bothers me that it came from another source....
[snip]
>Paula

I've finally given up on keeping these things secret.  My marital status is
mentioned in my cover letter ever since someone who knew my ex-major
professor inquired as to whether my application was to be taken seriously
(my spouse is tenured).  Now there is a sentence to the effect that I am
serious because he'd like to move.  Then, this year, when I was revising my
c.v., I noticed  that there was 12 months with neither funding nor
publications - I had a baby.  So, since both funding and publications have
started up again, and I'm proud of that, I decided to mention the child,
and her birth date, under the heading "family".  I'd appreciate some
thoughts on this from those who have "been there, done that".

Linden

______________________
Linden Higgins
Department of Zoology
University of Texas
Austin, TX  78712

telephone:  (512) 471-6905  FAX (512) 471-9651

linden at mail.utexas.edu





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