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NextGen Magazine


Survey: 26% of Gen Zers Brought a Parent to a Job Interview

S.J. Steinhardt
Published Date:
Jun 10, 2024

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More than a quarter of Gen Z-ers brought their parents to a job interview—and some of them had their parents answer questions for them, according to a recent survey by Resume TemplatesBusiness Insider reported.

The survey of 1,428 U.S. Zoomers  found that 70 percent had asked their parents for help during their job search, 26 percent had brought a parent to an interview, 16 percent had parents who submitted job applications for them, and one in 10 had their parents write their résumé.

Among the group of Gen Zers who brought a parent to a job interview, 31 percent had the parent accompany them in person, while 29 percent had them join a virtual interview. Among those whose parents came to an in-person interview, 37 percent said that their parent accompanied them to the office, 26 percent said their parent physically sat in the interview room, 18 percent say their parent introduced themselves to the manager, and 7 percent said their parent answered questions.

But Business Insider suggested, based on interviews with experts, that this result may not be as alarming as it sounds. For example, one expert interviewed by Business Insider said that having a parent in the interview may alleviate stress and anxiety.

"Gen Zers might feel like having a parent present can help them to be more relaxed," said David Rice, a human-resources expert at the media company People Managing People. "It might reveal a lot about their natural communication skills and decision-making processes."

Rice said that 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."

On the other hand, some employers said that that this practice can hurt job prospects.

"As hirers, we can't always be sure who is in the room," said Jennie Bayliss, the founder of the recruitment company Office Wings. "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 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."

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

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

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

In addition, the survey found that 49 percent of Gen Zers asked for help with their cover letters. Out of this group 55 percent asked for assistance with proofreading, 26 percent asked for help editing cover letter content, and 13 percent asked their parents to write their cover letter from scratch.

Of the surveyed Gen Zers, 60 percent said that they asked their parents to find jobs for them to apply to.  Within this group, 70 percent said their parents have found them potential jobs to apply through online resources, 53 percent said their partents found potential jobs through personal connections, 31 said their parents did so through networking, and 23 percent said their parents went to  career fairs..

Whatever the perspectives, asking for parental assistance seems to pay off; of those recently employed, 83 percent attributed their success to their parents, 26 percent fully and 57 percent somewhat. Only 17 percent reported not crediting their parents at all.