Mom to Employer: "Do You Mind if I Sit in on My Son's Interview?"

More Than One-Third of Managers Annoyed When Job Seekers Get Help from Helicopter Parents

Toronto, ON. -- Do mom and dad know best when their children are looking for jobs? Not always, new research from staffing firm OfficeTeam suggests. More than one in three (35 per cent) senior managers interviewed said they find it annoying when helicopter parents are involved in their kids’ search for work. Another one-third (34 per cent) of respondents prefer mom and dad stay out of the job hunt, but would let it slide. Only 29 per cent said this parental guidance is not a problem.

Senior managers were asked, “Which one of the following statements most closely describes how you feel when a candidate’s parent is involved in the job search process?” Their responses:

It’s annoying -- job seekers should handle things on their own


I wouldn’t recommend it, but I’ll let it slide


It’s totally fine for job seekers to get help from their parents


Don’t know/no answer




*Responses do not total 100 per cent due to rounding.

“Can My Mom Skype in for This Interview?”

How managers feel when helicopter parents are involved in the job search:

35% It’s annoying – job seekers should handle things on their own
34% I wouldn’t recommend it, but I’ll let it slide
29% It’s totally fine for job seekers to get help from their parents
1% Don’t know/no answer

Source: OfficeTeam survey of 608 senior managers in the United States and Canada. Responses do not total 100 percent due to rounding.

© 2016 OfficeTeam. A Robert Half Company. An Equal Opportunity Employer M/F/Disability/Veterans.

Managers were also asked to recount the most unusual or surprising behavior they’ve heard of or seen from helicopter parents of job seekers. Here are some of their responses:

  • “The candidate opened his laptop and had his mother Skype in for the interview.”
  • “A woman brought a cake to try to convince us to hire her daughter.”
  • “One parent asked if she could do the interview for her child because he had somewhere else to be.”
  • “A father asked us to pay his son a higher salary.”
  • “One mom knocked on the office door during an interview and asked if she could sit in.”
  • “Parents have arrived with their child’s resume and tried to convince us to hire him or her.”
  • “A job seeker was texting his parent the questions I was asking during the interview and waiting for a response.”
  • “Once a father called us pretending he was from the candidate’s previous company and offered praise for his son.”
  • “Parents have followed up to ask how their child's interview went.”
  • “A father started filling out a job application on behalf of his kid.”
  • “I had one mother call and set up an interview for her son.”
  • “Moms and dads have called to ask why their child didn’t get hired.”

And one parent took a reverse psychology approach:

  • “When we called one candidate, his mom answered and asked us not to hire him.”

“Parents want the best for their kids, but being overly involved in their child’s job search can cause more harm than good,” said Brandi Britton, a district president for OfficeTeam. “It’s a positive for mom and dad to help behind the scenes by reviewing resumes, conducting mock interviews and offering networking contacts. However, ultimately, companies seek employees who display self-sufficiency and maturity.”

About the Research

The survey was developed by OfficeTeam and conducted by an independent research firm. It includes responses from more than 600 senior managers at companies with 20 or more employees in the United States and Canada.

About OfficeTeam

OfficeTeam, a Robert Half company, is the nation’s leading staffing service specializing in the temporary placement of highly skilled office and administrative support professionals. The company has more than 300 locations worldwide. For more information, including job search services, visit Follow@RobertHalf_CAN on Twitter and the OfficeTeam Take Note® blog for additional workplace advice and hiring trends.

For further information contact: Naz Araghian, (416) 865-2140, [email protected]

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