Q: My daughter has an interview in a downtown professional services firm in Boston next week. I would like to drive her and wait for her. I know one of the company interviewers as we graduated from the same law school. This interview is really important to her. I would like to introduce myself to the company interviewer so he remembers me. My last name is now different and he may not know that this is my daughter. How does one do this tactfully or am I being a helicopter mom?
A: I choose B – you are being a helicopter mom. It is heartwarming to hear that you want to support your daughter. I am assuming your daughter is an adult. Based on that assumption, I would recommend helping her in the following ways:
- Practice some interview questions with her.
- Ask her if she has researched the company, using LinkedIn and other online tools.
- Review her resume in advance, if she is ok with that.
- Discuss what she will be wearing and offer your advice. It should not be a mandate, but advice instead.
- Assist with a transportation plan, which does not include you driving her. If you are in a suburb, she should be able to navigate public transportation. If she lands a job, she will have to figure this out on her own every day. You can offer suggestions on what lines and stops might work but you should not be driving her. Unless she has a limitation or disability, she should be able to get herself to this location independently.
- You should not wait for her in the lobby or reception area. This would be an awkward gesture, for both her and her prospective employer. I have to tell you that I have a vision of a parent waiting in a dentist’s office for a 12-year-old. This is not ideal for a candidate interviewing at a professional services firm.
- Please don’t try to introduce yourself to one of her interviewers. It would be fine if she mentioned the connection between the two of you, but it should not be a central theme. Her experience, credentials and capabilities should be the focus of the interview.
- Debrief with her after the interview and remind her to send a thank-you note.
Please let this be her experience. Like all of us, she will learn from this experience.