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Some Gen Zers seem to be bringing parents to job interviews. It may not be as bad as it sounds.

A small study suggests some Gen Zers are bringing their parents along to job interviews.

In a Resume Templates survey of 1,428 US Zoomers, 70% said they had asked their parents for help during their job search, and 26% said they had brought a parent to an interview.

Discussing the results on her radio show, the reporter Kim Komando said a candidate once showed up to an interview for a studio position with their mother.

"That is just a bad sign," she said.


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For the Gen Zers who said they had a parent at an in-person interview, 37% said they had them come into the office, 26% said the parent physically sat in the room while the interview took place, and 18% said their parent introduced themselves to the hiring manager,

Seven percent said their parents even answered questions for them.

A growing trend?

The sample is small but builds on previous findings that some Zoomers are happier when their parents are there to support them in finding a job.

A survey of 800 managers, directors, and executives commissioned by the student-life publication Intelligent last year also found that one in five employers said a candidate showed up to their interview with a parent.

Some employers, 39%, said they avoided hiring recent graduates in favor of older candidates. When asked about interview behavior, 50% said they'd had young candidates ask for too much compensation, and 47% said they'd dressed inappropriately.

These polls have limitations. Managers saying they have encountered candidates doing something doesn't mean it's becoming the norm. (Business Insider could not find any Gen Zers on social media who said they'd brought their parents to interviews.)

It's also cyclical that younger generations are criticized for their every move. In 2013, The Wall Street Journal reported that 3% of millennials were dragging their parents into interview rooms.

But there also could be some truth in it. Erin McGoff, a content creator who gives career and life advice, said she had asked around and had been surprised to find evidence of parents attending interviews and trying to set them up for their adult children.

@kimkomandoShare with a #genz to save their future šŸ¤“#interview
ā™¬ original sound - The Kim Komando Show

Guidance and insights

While bringing parents along to an interview may set off alarm bells, it may not be as bad as it sounds.

It provides a much-needed confidence boost for young people and may be the difference between them performing well or badly.

James Uffindell, the CEO of the graduate jobseeking platform Bright Network, told Business Insider the early job market can be "daunting."

Bright Network research shows that only 54% of young professionals feel confident about securing a job straight out of college, citing concerns about their lack of experience, he said.

The shift shows that Gen Z as a generation "values the guidance and experience that parents can undoubtedly provide," Uffindell said.

David Rice, an HR expert at the media company People Managing People, told BI Gen Zers are at an age where they have been used to living with their parents for most of their lives.

"So they naturally might seek their parents' advice and guidance when making important decisions, like choosing a job," he said.

Having a parent in the interview may alleviate the stress and anxiety associated with being interviewed, Rice said.

"Gen Zers might feel like having a parent present can help them to be more relaxed," he said. "It might reveal a lot about their natural communication skills and decision-making processes."

Obvious downsides

Anecdotally, some parents are confused about why their children are asking them to come to their job interviews.

"During school, she was very confident; she never needed me to hold her hand," one mom wrote to's advice column Kidspot. "I don't think of myself as a helicopter parent, so I'm at a loss as to why she would ask this."

In response, the columnist Jordana Shell told her that Zoomers "need to learn and build resilience."

"As parents, we have to know when to let them swim alone, and when to throw in the life vest," she said.

While there are some benefits, there are also obvious downsides to parents coming along to interviews with their children. For instance, parents in the room will be tempted to interfere and influence their child's responses.

Jennie Bayliss, the founder of the recruitment company Office Wings, told BI that the way companies recruit their staff has changed over the years, particularly due to the introduction of online interviews.

"As hirers, we can't always be sure who is in the room," she said. "But when it comes to face-to-face, we look to create an environment that brings out the best in the candidate so that they don't feel the need to bring anything more than some notes with them."

Bayliss said she wants to see a real person in an interview to judge whether they will fit in well with the rest of the team.

"Having a parent next to them is unlikely to bring that side out," she said. "And as a parent it would be hard not to input and try to embellish my child's answers, which for a hirer would be rather annoying."

Having any other person present can skew the evaluation, Rice said.

"I can't imagine many employers would be comfortable with Gen Zers bringing a parent along to a job interview unless there is a clear reason for it which is outlined ahead of the interview taking place," he said.

"Yes, there is nothing wrong with turning to your parents for advice," Rice added. "But they aren't going to be there every day you show up to work either."

Claire Brawn, the people director of the virtual training platform Attensi, told BI it would be "absolutely unthinkable" for a candidate to bring their parent to the actual interview.

"No potential employer could possibly ignore that elephant in the room," she said, recommending young jobseekers try role-play scenarios instead to build their confidence.

Victoria McLean, the CEO of City CV and Hanover Talent Solutions, which coaches graduates in finding a job, told BI that moral support is important and practicing with parents is a great way to prepare, but she would "draw the line at bringing them to interview."

Mom and Dad being there to hold your hand "speaks volumes," she said.

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