Screening, Assessment, Interviewing

Helicopter Parents, More Than a Little Annoying

Helicopter parents, the ones who follow their sons and daughters into interviews, are a relatively new concept in recruiting. Today we’ll look at some examples of this occasionally annoying practice.

During an interview by OfficeTeam, managers were asked to recount the most unusual or surprising behavior they’ve heard of or seen from helicopter parents of jobseekers. 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 résumé and tried to convince us to hire him or her.”
  • “A jobseeker 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 résumés, 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.

Tomorrow we’ll look at the results of the survey.