Although it took place almost two decades ago, I still vividly remember my first workplace experience with a helicopter parent. I was interviewing candidates at a job fair, and in strolls a young man followed closely behind by his mother. I was taken off guard when the mother boldly stated that she was going to sit in on the interview. It took me a couple of seconds (and some composure to stop from laughing) to utter, “That’s not how this works.”
Helicopter parents pay extremely close attention to a child’s experiences and problems. Like helicopters, they hover overhead, overseeing their child’s life. Sadly, a new trend is now emerging among Millennials who have helicopter parents. The parents are now trying to involve themselves in their adult child’s job interviews.
A 2016 Robert Half Can my Mother Skype in? survey asked for first-hand accounts of unusual or surprising behavior managers have seen from helicopter parents.
Here are a dozen responses from the survey:
- “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 résumé 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.”
If you have any similar stories, please feel free to post them on this forum so that the rest of us can enjoy them. Please feel free to contact me for any of your talent acquisition or talent management needs Tom Sheehan.