Would You Let Mom Tag Along on Your Job Interview?


A job interview is no place for your mom — that is if the job is for you, not her. That’s just one of the problems leaving some job experts claiming that some millenials are striking out in the job market.

In some cases, unemployed millenials may be their own worst eneny when they seek employment. Experts say that some disturbing trends may be ruining that first impression that’s so important with a potential boss.

Years ago, on the sitcom Everybody Loves Raymond, the lead character’s brother, Robert, had an interview with the FBI. But before the appointment, his overbearing mother, Marie, accidentally burned the back of the jacket of his “lucky suit.”

As if being flustered by having to make a last-minute wardrobe change didn’t add to his stress quite enough, Marie faxed a letter of explanation to the interviewer at the FBI, who read it to Robert. It made for a particularly funny episode of the series.

But sometimes, life imitates fiction.

Are you as surprised as I am to hear there have been cases in which millenials not only brought their parents along for a job interview, but that the parents sometimes attempt to actively participate in the interview?

I can’t even imagine bringing my folks along for a job interview. I almost wonder whether those hiring managers allowed it just so they’d have stories for their co-workers at the watercooler later in the day.

When I was in school, no one had to tell me not to bring Mom or Dad along for the job hunt. We all understood that it wasn’t an option in a professional business setting.

They did, however, drill into us that we dressed appropriately for an interview. Dressing appropriately meant a coat and tie, the kind of clothes that help make that first impression better. Even in a casual business environment, we were told, you dress up to get the job, then worry about business casual after you get a parking space.

Wearing casual clothes that are entirely too casual is another problem experts say they see too often.

Then there’s that tempting technology.

Texting and checking email — and playing Candy Crush, for that matter — aren’t things we were told not to do; of course when we were in school, those certainly weren’t options we had and weren’t options we were likely enough to have in the near future that teachers felt it necessary to talk about.

I don’t mean to pick on millenials over any other generation of job applicants, but then as one recruiter told CNBC, millenials in particular have been “technology enabled” from the moment they were born, so setting that technology aside may be a particularly big challenge for them.

And to be fair, in eight percent of the cases, according to a survey of 22 to 26-year-olds, their parents have accompanied them to the interview, and in three percent, the parents joined in.

A recruiter even said he’s had moms call him for interviews for their kids. Fortunately, the the young people at least knew enough to be “mortified” when that happened, the recruiter said.

Still, millenials need to be prepared for the possibility that they’re going to be interviewed by a non-millenial.

We all, no matter what generation we’re in, have to adjust our behavior to those around us. In the job interview setting, the adjustment has to be based on who’s doing the hiring, not who wants the job.

Your Turn:

What was the biggest lesson you learned about applying for a job that you think isn’t as big a deal these days?

the authorPatrick
Patrick is a Christian with more than 30 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.


  • Before I retired I used to be a supervisor and part of my
    job was to do the hiring.
    Probably ten years ago I was looking for a new technician to
    replace one that we promoted. The requirements were an Associate in Electrical
    Engineering or the equivalent military experience. The position was a
    non-exempt entry level job paying around $30,000 plus OT and full benefits, so
    it was a professional job.
    One day an applicant who looked good on his resume came in…
    in shorts, tee shirt and sandals. About a half hour into the interview I noticed
    he kept glancing at his watch, so I asked him if he had to be somewhere, he
    said his friends were out in the car and they were going to Misquamicut beach
    in Rhode Island. I told him we were finished and he could go.
    To this day I don’t think he had a clue why he didn’t get
    the job.
    I have also had people in their twenties come in to practically
    beg for the job, telling they just got married with a baby on the way and they
    really, really need the job. It seems to me that they should at the very least
    have a workshop or something in schools to teach them how to do interviews.
    When they shut down the factory and I retired, the company
    offered workshops on resume writing and interviews.

  • SandySandmeyer patricksplace I’ve had that happen; my first interview was for an art class modeling position, and Mom was my plus 1! Sigh.

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