Don’t Bring Mom. Seriously.

As I was trolling the web looking for pithy career topics, I ran into a job tip for graduating college kids: Don’t bring mom to the interview. Seriously? You actually have to tell young adults that? Apparently, you do. A survey done by Office Team found that managers were talking to candidates’ parents and not just the candidate — and not willingly. Moms and dads showed up at the interview with jr. in tow, answering questions the manager put to the candidate. They also called managers to find out why their children did not get jobs. Hmm, that must have been tough to figure out.

It’s difficult for me to hide my incredulity on this one, having made my own doctor and dentist appointments since I was a pre-teen. But I guess I shouldn’t be shocked. There were helicopter parents even in my generation. One friend’s mom traveled three states away to cook and clean for her daughter who had the flu. One roommate had her mom call her — in grad school, mind you — to wake her up every morning because she “couldn’t wake up on her own.” Yes, I understand it’s a mean ol’ world, and getting a job right now is still difficult, but bringing your parents to an interview says a lot about you and none of it good.

If you’ve made it through college, you can make it through an interview on your own. Parents have a lot of advice to contribute on the job search and some of it probably will be very helpful, but leave the parents at home. Practice interview skills with them; practice phone skills with them; ask them to critique your resume; ask for interview attire advice; dissect the interview afterward with them;  practice interview follow up phone calls with them. But do not let your parents speak for you, whether at an interview or over the phone. After all, will your parents be doing your job for you should you be lucky enough to land one?



3 Responses

  1. Not all kids are, in fact, making it through college without their parents (and I don’t mean just financial support). While I was an adjunct I had parents call or email to debate grades, ask for make-up work or demand deadline extensions.

  2. I know. We had Stanford parents calling to demand that they be a part of the campus recruitment process for their kids.

  3. […] My friend offered a little friendly professional advice in her blog, CareerPlanet.  Even she was a little incredulous about the fact that this piece of advice had to be said.  In her piece on Tuesday, she reminded young job hopefuls that when headed for a job interview Don’t Bring Mom.   […]

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