When you head to a job interview, you know to bring your résumé, your best shoes, and a can-do attitude. So, what shouldn’t you bring? Your spouse! According to ABC News, because so many people are unemployed, more and more job candidates are arriving for interviews with anxious husbands and wives in tow, and they’re not just there to listen. They’re actively asking questions about everything from dental insurance, to start dates, to salary offers, to paid vacation days. Experts say that helicopter spouses who hover over the interview process aren’t helping, and may actually prevent their spouse from getting the job. After all, hiring managers believe if you can’t persuade your spouse to stay home, you probably can’t do the job, either.
Jeanne Achille is the CEO of a communications firm in New Jersey. She says that her company gets at least 25 applicants the moment a job is posted online. With so many qualified candidates, she won’t hire someone whose spouse gets involved in the application process, because she knows the spouse will also be interrupting the workday with constant phone calls. Career coaching expert William Gaffney is even more blunt about spouses coming to job interviews. He says that candidates who can’t keep their spouses from meddling also have poor management skills, and may be too easily swayed by the opinions of others. He wants to hire someone who can stand on his or her own two feet.
However, helicopter spouses aren’t just wasting the time of recruiters. They’re wasting their spouse’s time, too. One Boston recruiter mentioned in the ABC News article was interviewing a man over the phone, and could hear his wife supplying answers and pushing him to ask certain questions. He finally admitted that his wife had filled out the job application for him, and he didn’t really know anything about the company. The result: The recruiter ended the job interview right there. The truth is: There’s nothing wrong with letting your spouse help with your job search, but if you want a shot at getting the job, recruiters expect you to write your own résumé, fill out your own application, and show up alone for the interview.