Don’t Bring Your Parents to an Interview – and More Millennial Career Tips

With a new class of graduates entering the workforce (we’re talking about you Millennials), a disturbing trend resurfaces where parents are becoming more involved in decisions that should be made solely by their adult children. According to a recent survey, HR Pros already think Millennials aren’t as competent as Gen-Xers and Baby Boomers, so don’t give them any more ammo.

After years of micromanaging their children’s lives, many parents are not ready to let go just yet. As a result, numerous parents are becoming actively and excessively involved in helping their child find their first job.

Overall, parental involvement in the recruitment process is commonly viewed as a negative towards the candidate. Although many parents are just trying to help their child, their efforts may be hindering their child’s chances of landing a job. Candidates need to show confidence, initiative and demonstrate their ability to independently express new ideas, approach new tasks and think on their own.

Many parents are unsure how involved they should be in their child’s job search process. Below are some helpful tips as to where parents should draw the line:


  • Attend career fairs or networking events on behalf of your child. It is important that they personally represent themselves to prospective employers.
  • Sit in the lobby while your child is interviewing. It can create an uncomfortable experience for the employer, which could decrease the chance of a second interview.
  • Negotiate salary on your child’s behalf with the potential employer. It is best for your child to demonstrate independence and confidence to negotiate on their own./li>


  • Act as a career coach by helping your child better understand their personality, strengths and weaknesses in order to help guide them in the appropriate career path.
  • Forward a child’s resume to personal or business contacts for employment consideration.
  • Encourage and support your child in their job search by listening and answering any questions they may have about the recruitment process. You can also participate in role playing to help them prepare for the interview process or help them draft that perfect follow-up letter.


  1. Are you kidding me……….I’ve missed out on my kids interviews……………………I need a part time job…I am semi retired………….maybe they can help me find a job……….in Tulsa Ok……….

  2. I worked as referral agent on my own, I had worked for agencies in Manhattan and I worked for a non-profit for five and one half years as an employer specialist or Job Developer.
    I never had anyone show up with their mother.Only when the person’s were referred through other programs did they come with family members and that is because they had planned a day out did they show with family members. But our organization had the reputation for helping families, this was acceptable.
    I agree however, you have to take into account the person’s age. It’s very different if you are dealing with a fourteen-fifteen year old that has never worked and needs that security to if you are dealing with a twenty two or three year old college graduate. Show them how to do it so they can do it for themselves

  3. I’m sorry this article seems more like just a sensational piece to get viewers and not really based on fact. I’ve never seen any of this. You took a that is about how involved parents are in their kids life ans extrapolated it into an article about not being too involved in your childs job search with out any basis that any of this is really happening.
    It would be like if I wrote an article on etiquette for flying pigs. Pigs just aren’t flying, and the idea is really sensational and boy… that makes a good article, leaving out the fact that its not happening. thanks

  4. Yes, the third “don’t” really happens. This was written up in the Wall Street Journal last August.
    Unbelievable! and THE major reason I quite teaching and got an MBA. These parents are absolutely rediculous!! And they are horrible to deal with. I don’t know WHERE this mind-set EVER came from in the first place. New money people, maybe?? They are ruining an entire generation. Can you just imagine the societal problems that will arise from being raised like this?

  5. I actually know a senior branch manager of a staffing firm who had this happen. He was infuriated and told the mother she was NOT allowed in the interview. The candidate did not get placed by this firm due soley to this occurance.

  6. I have seen all of these when I was interviewing and waiting in line. Also have had it happen on the back end as an interviewer. All I can say is this, I have never hired anyone that had a parent go into, or try to go into the interview. I usually have a high sign for the aid or helper with me to interrupt and end the interview short. I tell them I will be in touch, and move on to the next person. The results I have seen from someone bringing their parent have been from drama to disaster. If you still have the cord attached you can’t work for me.

  7. The article in the WSJ about this horrible phenom is called, “Hiring Millenials? Meet the Parents”. Look it up. It is VERY true!

  8. Another No-No in addition to leaving Mommy at home….leave your BFF at home, too – preferably with your Mom. Too many kids are taking their friends on interviews. Also, NEVER put your friend as a reference. If they are called you can bet their response to an interviewer’s question will be “OMG, she is so wicked awesome”….ya, no job there….

  9. I’ve experienced this. The parents take a more active role in seeking employment for their child (and I do mean CHILD!) than the kid who is supposedly looking for work. I’m not talking about 15 and 16 year-old kids, I’m talking about college graduates. I would never hire someone who brought their parent to the interview.

  10. Can you bring beer to the interview, instead? Maybe if such interviews were conducted in more relaxed surroundings, like, in a bar, say? Make mine a double…

  11. I’m a millennial and would have never dreamed of bringing my parents to an interview. Pretty amazed that that actually happens.

  12. Yes, I actually had an applicant’s mother come to my office to ensure that he got a job. I explained that he needed to complete an application at the kiosk at the front of the store. She took him there (and probably filled the application out for him) then returned to my office to wait (in my office) for me to look over the application and interview him. When the application came through the system I told her to sit out side my office while I did the interview. Then she wanted to know when he could start. That’s when I explained to her that her son needed to be speaking with me, not her, since he was the one who was looking for a job. She didn’t like that particularly. I didn’t hire him. He didn’t have the experience we were looking for but her participation in the process killed any chance he had anyway.

  13. Wow.
    The only person I ever saw bring a parent to an interview was a baby boomer who had just had knee surgery and (temporarily) couldn’t drive. The mother stayed in the car in the parking lot while she went in to interview.
    She didn’t go to work for the company I was at, but her mother had nothing to do with the reason why. Instead, the candidate walked out because she got fed up with sitting in a conference room with nobody for 45 minutes while the CEO “graded” a math test he liked to give all prospective candidates.
    As for me, my parents had nothing to do with my job-hunting, but my father pulled a few strings to get my brother hired as a teller at his bank even though said brother was (and still is) HORRIBLE at math.

  14. When I was between the ages of 13 and 18, I was considered a young adult. Still under the control of my parents, but able to start making some of my own decisions. Once I graduated from high school I was considered an adult and needed to act like one. Yes, I could stay on my parents insurance if I was going to college full-time for four years or age 22. So either after age 18 or 22 I needed to get a job and pay for or have the employer pay for my insurance. This business of calling people that are over 21 or 22 a young adult until they are 26, and I heard on the radio the other day, 32, is ludicrous. Parents, stop doing so much for your children, or you will be doing everything for them until you die. Then what will happen to them?

  15. I have never ever had my parents on an interview. I have done it on my own. However, I have coached my three sons before they moved out of the house. I have three sons ages from 23,22, and 18 and never went on an interview I know better from my experiences throughout life and college. Going on an interview with your children is a big no guide your children and coach them you are the first parent not the employer. We all want the best for our children but when it comes to work you need to butt out and let the employer take over. Research things out and pass on the information so they know what they are up against.

  16. forhonest no one will pring interview for his prents unless is some think missing for himself or his age and his prain or memory missing or he /she are under age can only get those services etc,

  17. In response to this comment:
    I’m sorry this article seems more like just a sensational piece to get viewers and not really based on fact. I’ve never seen any of this. You took a that is about how involved parents are in their kids life ans extrapolated it into an article about not being too involved in your childs job search with out any basis that any of this is really happening.
    It would be like if I wrote an article on etiquette for flying pigs. Pigs just aren’t flying, and the idea is really sensational and boy… that makes a good article, leaving out the fact that its not happening. thanks
    Posted by: Mark Ganon | 12/14/2013 at 02:54 PM
    Pardon, but if you haven’t seen it or experienced it, does not mean it does not and/or has not happened. I’ve been in HR for more years than I care to admit and I have seen it – I’ve seen children with parents accompanying them, I’ve seen wives with husbands accompanying them and I’ve seen mother’s with children in tow. It happens! I think this article is just meant to point out how the recruiter/interviewer may view the applicant. I did not pass judgment, I simply would not allow the other individual in the room while I was conducting the interview. As for the mother with children, I understood that her situation was out of her control, she needed a job and at the moment she had no babysitter. And yes, she did get the job(:-))

  18. Unfortunately the author is RIGHT ON POINT! After 20 years in the recruiting/HR field mosting in Temporary Staffing I can’t tell you how many times I had to tell applicants to come back at a time when they don’t have mommy or daddy with them. I also had numerous employers call to complain that an applicant from our agency showed up with their parent to our horror. These are the facts people. If you are so high up on your ivory tower that you haven’t encountered this, feel blessed. There are too many parents who are hand holding. Stating the obvious seems ridiculous but there are many who need to read this. The absolute WORST is when a wife shows up and tries to speak for her husband. In my role, I always took the time to speak with the wife privately to advise how she was hindering the process and that he was welcome to reapply in 3 months if he could do so independently. The only exception is if there is a severe disability.

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