HR Strange But True

Attention Helicopter Parents: You Can’t Come to Your Child’s Job Interview

Not sure what a helicopter parent is? According to Wikipedia, “A helicopter parent (also called a cosseting parent or simply a cosseter) is a parent who pays extremely close attention to a child’s or children’s experiences and problems, particularly at educational institutions. Helicopter parents are so named because, like helicopters, they hover overhead, overseeing their child’s life.”

A new trend is now emerging among Millennials who have helicopter parents. These cosseters are now attending their adult child’s job interviews! A new Robert Half survey sheds some light on how employers are handling this trend.

According to the survey, 35% of senior managers interviewed said they find it annoying when helicopter parents are involved in their kids’ search for work. While 34% say they’ll allow it, but they wouldn’t recommend it.

The survey also asked for first-hand accounts of unusual or surprising behavior managers have seen from helicopter parents. Some of the responses include:

  • “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.”

Probably the strangest experience cited was of a mom who answered the phone on her son’s behalf and asked the company not to hire him. Have you had any strange experiences with helicopter parents? We’d love to hear about them! Share it in our comments section below, or e-mail us, and it could be featured in the next HRSBT!

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