The following is an article posted in thestar.com with input from Employers and Recruiters/Consultants. I was one of them being interviewed. So boys and girls, if you are not sure whether it's a good idea to bring your dad, mommy or boyfriend/girlfriend to go together with you for your next job interview, please read this. You won't regret it, I promise :)
With growing fear of crime, employers say they do not mind
candidates bringing a companion to job interviews, but not an entourage
A 22-year-old fresh graduate could not believe it
when she received an e-mail last September offering her RM400 a day for
a sales promoter job she had applied for through a website. She was
asked to attend an interview at a hotel if she was interested. When she
got there, however, instead of getting hired, the first-time job
applicant got raped and robbed.
This is not the first case
either. The police revealed that just a month earlier, another fresh
graduate fell prey to a similar scam.
With crime like this posing
a threat to young people, albeit isolated, it is no surprise that
parents are starting to tag along to their children's job interviews.
According to a recent survey by the Malaysian Employers Federation
(MEF) on parental involvement in the recruiting process, some 28
companies out of 201 interviewed said they have had parents attend job
interviews with the applicants.
While it is not yet a common
practice most employers say they have heard of it happening but have not
experienced it parenting trends indicate that it might be a growing
This is the reality today, opines Serm Teck Choon, head of MyStarJob Network Sdn Bhd, which runs The Star's career portal myStarjob.com. Our children are growing up in a different environment, so many are sheltered, says Serm. “In
the past, we can just take a bus even from outside town to attend a job
interview. Society has changed. Now, it may not be as safe as before,
that is why there is a tendency for parents to go for interviews with
their children,” he says.
He admits that his experience as a parent makes him empathize with them. "I
have often wondered if these parents took leave from their own
workplace to accompany their children, or if I would do the same for my
child in the future.” Serm believes it is not fair for employers
to judge the candidates straight away (when they see them with their
parents in the reception area).
What is more important is their ability for the post applied, he stresses, “It will have to go down to their performance during the interview,
as well as their qualifications and training. Internship experience
gives a glimpse of your ability and interest. When it comes to the
crunch, that can be the deciding factor of whether you get hired over
another candidate with the same qualifications as you.”
Supratechnic (M) Sdn Bhd Human Resource Manager Sue Lim agrees that employers should not be prejudiced against parents tagging
along with their children at job interviews. However, they should not
overrun the prospective employer's office.“I don't blame them,
mainly because there are too many social problems faced by the community
now like rape and snatch thieves. They (parents) still can come with
the children but just wait inside the car outside the company's
compound!” she says.
For Melissa Norman, managing director (Singapore and Malaysia) at recruitment consultancy Kelly Services, it is an issue that needs to be tolerated as the “tag alongs” have become a common sight at their offices nationwide. “From our daily experiences conducting interviews at Kelly Services'
14 branches nationwide, there are many candidates who come to our office
accompanied by their parents, family members or friends.”
in most cases, the people who accompany the interviewee do not disrupt
or interfere in the interview process, says Norman.
out that when parents or friends who accompany the candidate interrupt
or respond on behalf of the candidate, it reflects poorly on the
candidate that he/she is someone who is not capable of making decisions,
cannot communicate well, is not able to work independently and relies
on the opinions and thoughts of others too much. There are,
however, cases of candidates getting the help and advice of their
parents or companion to fill up their registration forms for the
interview, she notes.
There are also those who would ask the interviewer (after the
interview) how soon the candidate would receive a reply on being
selected for the job.” While Norman does not mind candidates
turning up with their parents at their office, she takes issue if he or
she comes for the job interview with an “entourage”. “Attending the interview accompanied by someone is acceptable but it should be limited to only one person,” she stresses.
The visibility of the group will not help the prospective employee
anyway, she highlights: it will create prejudice against the candidate,
particularly if the friends or family members misbehave. As
Norman puts it, the employer will try to get an insight of the
candidate's lifestyle, behaviour and attitude based on the people he or
she mixes with. Worse, she cautions, is if the group is noisy while waiting for the candidate. “This will not augur well for the candidate.”
who accompany the candidate for interviews should sit quietly at the
reception area and wait patiently as interviews can be lengthy at times
due to some testing of skills or profiling test required during the
interview process. Speaking loudly on mobile phones, complaining
about the interview process being too long, asking to be involved or to
be seated at the interview room is not acceptable attitude, says Norman.
marketing manager at a lifestyle media company who declines to be named
agrees, sharing her experience when her office reception area was
transformed into a noisy pot lepak (hangout spot) during an internship interview.
The candidate, a college student, brought along his posse of friends because “he needed a ride to the office”, she tells. “They were chatting and laughing loudly, as if they were in a caf They had no respect for the workplace. It really annoyed me.” The student, not surprisingly, did not get the internship.
Serm stresses that parents or anyone else who want to accompany a candidate to a job interview need to abide by a few “rules”. “Parents, especially, have to control themselves. They cannot interfere in the interview process.” To Serm, the biggest misdeed that any parent can ever commit for their children is “try to sit in the interview”.
A human resource manager who only wants to be known as DD concurs. “You would think these candidates are stars with the parents acting
like their talent agents, controlling them and dictating terms if we
want to hire them. One parent not only tried to barge into the interview
room, she even wanted to interview me to see if I was a suitable
Hussain Ally, project manager at Mydin Mohamed Holdings Berhad, also believes strongly that the interview room should be off-limits to parents. “If
parents sit in with their children during the interview, we will get
the impression that the candidates lack confidence and are not
Would we want employees who lack self-confidence to even attend a job
interview on his or her own? Sometimes it is the candidate who chooses
to hide behind their parents, passively encouraging them to interfere in
He feels that once a parent is given too much
say at the initial stage, which is the interview stage, they will not
stop from “getting involved” even after their children are hired. “We have had parents who get extremely upset to see their university graduate son arranging songkok during Raya, or carrying things and working late. “They say: I sent you to university not to arrange songkok!'
or She is supposed to do office work!' I don't want my son to work
late' but we are in retail, so we need to do the inventory and work
Sinsee Ho, senior consulting manager with Agensi Pekerjaan Jobsmart Sdn Bhd which runs job portal Allyhunt, has blogged about turn-offs in the job search and bringing parents is one of them.
understand parents want to be supportive as applicants, especially
fresh graduates, might be nervous attending their first interviews. But
it's a big turn-off in the job search. So don't do it.
message sent to recruiters or employers is that you are not independent
and if you can't attend an interview on your own, how can you possibly
be given a job to do?”
What parents can do, she adds, is to help applicants by providing some relevant advice before the interview.
they are professionals themselves, they can help by doing some
role-playing or going through some common job interview questions at
home with their children to prepare them. At the end of the day,
preparation is the key and if the applicants have done the necessary
preparation, they will do well. But bringing their parents along won't
get them the job.”
To read the rest of the article, please head to here.
I must add that due to the high crime rate, parents' or partners' concern is highly legitimate. My advise is do your homework before the interview by checking the background of the company to ensure it is a legitimate set-up and on the day of the interview, just drop your child or partner to the office of the employer but return to pick him/her up once the interview is done. That shall do it.