Bringing Mom Along for the Interview

by Joe Lavelle on March 28, 2011

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Speaking as a parent, I know that we all want the best for our children.  We want to know that they are attending good schools, making wise decisions about their relationships, and pursuing their dreams with our full support.  Does there come a point, however, when our involvement in their development and success can be too much?  When do we need to step back and let our sons and daughters fulfill their own goals, and possibly endure some setbacks and rejections along the way?

I found an article that was originally published last year but just now caught my attention about the extreme lengths to which some parents will go in getting jobs for their grown children.  The writer interviewed employers and job recruiters who had seen parents stand by their kids at career fairs, fill out job applications, and even negotiate salaries once a job offer was extended.

With the unemployment rate higher for the 18-29 crowd than it is for the general population, some parents argue that their assistance is needed to get ahead in a tough job market.  On the other hand, potential employers want to see that the applicant can speak for himself and stand on his own if asked to join the company.  You are not going to look like a confident professional if you are standing in front of your future boss with your mom at your side, especially if you are 25 years old.  Additionally, you will take more pride and ownership over a job that you earned through your own cultivation of relationships and strong presentation.

What do you think about parents helping their college-graduate children with their job hunting?  At what point is a family member’s involvement too much and possibly detrimental to the young man or woman’s professional goals or reputation?


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