Something about Gen Zers

9:55 15.06.2024 •

Some Gen Zers are bringing their parents to interviews.
Photo: Getty Images

Some Gen Zers are bringing their parents to job interviews, a survey of 1,428 zoomers found. Experts say this trend shows Gen Z values parental guidance but that it can hurt job prospects.

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.

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.

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.

In a survey of 800 managers, directors, and executives commissioned by the student-life publication Intelligent last year, 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.

James Uffindell, the CEO of Bright Network, a platform for graduate job seeking, told BI the job market could be "daunting" early on.

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

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

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.

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

Bayliss said she wanted to see a real person in an interview to judge whether they would 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."

David Rice, a human-resources expert at the media company People Managing People, told BI Gen Zers were 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.

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 job seekers try role-play scenarios instead to build their confidence. Mom and Dad being there to hold your hand "speaks volumes," she said.


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