Taking Mom To A Job Interview: A Crutch Or Smart Move?

Since the Wall Street Journal published their article about parents’ involvement in their children’s job search and career, several other sites such as the Huffington Post and MSN Now have also addressed the topic. If you're a Millennial, listen up. That generation's parents are far more involved in their children’s careers than any other, from accompanying them to company events and job interviews to negotiating salary on their children’s behalf and receiving their performance reviews. Yup, it’s for real. The WSJ article cites companies like Northwestern Mutual letting parents come along for interviews and hear job offers. A 2012 poll shows that 8% of college graduates had their parents go with them to an interview. Sounds a bit scary like you’re back in high school. Are you really that close to your parents? What’s driving this trend? In an interview with WBUR, NPR news station in Boston, Derek Thompson from The Atlantic believes that it’s both the parents and the companies. Companies think it’s what you and your parents want and “helicopter” parents of the millennial generation are much closer to their kids than those of previous generations. What’s the big deal and does this actually help you in your job search or career? From moms who would decline an invitation to sit in on their children’s interviews and believe adult children everywhere need to grow up to some Millennial flinching in hearing the news that their generation is now having parents tag along on job interview, there have been a lot of strong reactions. However, it’s not all bad, with companies like Northwestern seeing success in sales increasing by 40% as a result of parents’ involvement. Google and LinkedIn are also seeing better employee morale as a result of parents’ participation in company events. Based on the 2012 poll mentioned in the WSJ article, only 3% of parents sit in the actual interviews with their children. This is a small percentage and the reaction likely related to an overall question of whether or not parents belong in the workplace at their children’s side. Whether you agree or disagree with having your parents as your partner and advisor in your job search and career decisions, there are a few things to keep in mind.


Parents Cannot Replace Preparation

Your mom or dad is at the interview with you for support as an observer. It’s still your interview with the recruiter or hiring manager and you need to do everything that you can or know how to prepare for the interview. This means doing your research on the company, coming up with answers for questions that your interviewer may ask and having mock interviews to help you put everything together and gain real experience interviewing.

"Helicopter” Parenting During The Interview

If you’re going to have your parent there, it might be a good idea to discuss a game plan with your mom or dad before your interview. The pressure of an interview is stressful enough that you don’t want to have surprises from your parents to add to it.

Who’s The Candidate? You.

You are the person that the interviewer is considering to hire. You need to make the case for your own capabilities so remember to make sure that it’s you who shines in the interview. The interviewer should walk away wanting to hire you, not your mom or dad.

Branching Out On Your Own

Your parents have accompanied you to a handful of interviews but that doesn’t mean that they need to keep doing so because you’ve set a precedent. Know for yourself when you’d like your parent next to you in an interview and when it’s just better for them to hear about the interview from you.

The Exception, Not The Norm

Most interviewers still expect to meet only you at the interview, so don’t assume that all interviewers will be okay with you bringing your parents. If your interviewer invites you to bring your mom or dad along then you can do so. Otherwise, check with your interviewer first before you show up and introduce yourself and your parents to him or her.

Want to learn more? Here are some related articles:

Photo Credit: Shutterstock

When most people think of Nike, they think of shoes, retail stores, and, of course, athletes. That's all true, but there's more. Behind Nike's walls, you'll find the doers and thinkers who design, create, and innovate every day. There are also data scientists who discover and leverage athlete insights to create the future of sport.

You might be surprised to learn about the impact you can have in Data & Analytics at Nike versus at a major tech giant. Nike employees get to work on a wide array of challenges, so if you're obsessed with math, science, computers, and/or data, and you love sport, these stories may inspire you to work at Nike.

SHOW MORE Show less

Employee loyalty is something every company longs for. It's estimated employee turnover costs as much as 130-200% of an employee's salary. When a talented, knowledgeable, trained employee leaves, it's bad for business. And, when lots of them leave, it can be the kiss of death.

SHOW MORE Show less

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the interview situation one of our viewers, Remi submitted. He was in an interview and was asked the question: How many cows are there in Canada right now? - What a weird question but this is a technique that some hiring managers are using these days.

SHOW MORE Show less

If you saw our first video, you might have heard about the awkward situation one of our viewers, Kevin submitted. He is a college student who's working a part time job to make ends meet. The manager/owner of the company has become a micro-manager who watches him work on camera and reads his company emails. A bit over the top wouldn't you say?

SHOW MORE Show less

All work and no play can create a tense and unwelcoming environment. Studies have shown that employers that offer additional perks have employees that are happier and more loyal to their place of employment. If you are looking for an employer that acknowledges how important it is to give its employees a place to de-stress and bond with their co-workers, check out these companies!

SHOW MORE Show less

In this week's episode of "Well This Happened", we want to know what you would do if you worked for an owner who micro-manages you my watching you work on camera and reading through your company emails.

We want YOU to be the career coach and tell us which one is the RIGHT answer!

Think you know? Vote below, and stay tuned for later this week when we announce the right answer (and why the other ones are wrong).

SHOW MORE Show less