We wish to safeguard our children as parents. We wish to protect children from the harsh truths of the world and ensure their safety and happiness. Yet, that protective impulse may become a barrier, if not a hindrance, to the children we seek to protect. So, what occurs when an overbearing parent goes too far and is reprimanded by someone outside their control? Read the story and share your thoughts on this.
I am a hiring manager at a tech company and I was hiring for summer internships a little while ago.
We had a guy, about 19 years old, applying for a summer internship between his freshman and sophomore years of college. It was a virtual interview over Zoom because of covid.
A minute or two in, when I was introducing myself, his mom came in and introduced herself and started talking about her son’s work ethic. I thought it was a little strange. I said something polite about wanting to hear from him.
She just didn’t get the hint and kept coming into camera frame during the interview and interrupting her son to answer questions for him. I asked a few technical questions which he seemed to answer well and then cut the interview fairly short.
I thought that was all over and done with until I’d gotten an email from a woman, a month later, asking about her son’s application, she seemed offended he hadn’t gotten an acceptance or rejection.
It bothered me, I felt bad for the kid honestly. Wayyy back when I was a teenager, my mom used to pull the same sh*t, but luckily she only did that when I was 15 and working for a day-camp, not when I was an adult applying for engineering jobs. But I felt like this poor kid was getting his chances ruined because his mom wasn’t giving him the chance to apply on his own.
I sent an email back saying I was not at liberty to send information about an application to anybody but the applicant. I also asked HR to send an email to the kid saying sorry but we were not making him an offer. (It is something we usually do, but his rejection email must have slipped through the cracks with all the Covid craziness.)
Anyway, after we sent that, I got a phone call from his mom, she had a forwarded copy of the email, and she was demanding answers.
I said that I could not comment on the guy’s performance in the interview with her as she was not the applicant. If he wanted to reach out to me I was happy to give him some feedback.
However, I could say that regardless of his performance, her presence in the interview took him out of consideration for the position. We were looking for an independent and self-driven person for the position, and for that reason, it is important to see an applicant speak for themselves, follow-up themselves, etc.
I also said that, as a piece of advice, every hiring manager I’ve met in my career who sees someone other than the applicant answering questions during an interview, following up on the applicant’s behalf, etc… Would also put their resume in the “do not hire” pile. Since, while the applicant may be skilled and motivated, they need the ability to demonstrate those traits themselves.
She fu**ing blew up at me over that, kinda cussing me out to the point where I hung up. Am I wrong for how I handled this? Maybe I should have kept my mouth shut way earlier
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