The Original Poster (OP) asked the Reddit community if he was an AH in the infamous “Am I The A**Hole” subthread after he told an applicant’s mother she cost her son the job.
OP, is the hiring manager of a prestigious tech company, was searching for summer interns. Only 19 years old, a young man appeared as a hopeful candidate.
The interview was conducted virtually, via Zoom, due to the ongoing pandemic.
However, what was supposed to be a standard interview, took a strange turn when the applicant’s mother interrupted, introducing herself and vouching for her son’s work ethic.
Despite the OP’s polite attempts to steer the conversation back to the applicant, the mother continued to interject and answer questions on her son’s behalf.
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The weight of what happened was heavy on OP’s conscience. He was transported back to his teenage years when his mother’s overbearing presence also suffocated him.
But, unlike this unfortunate young man, his mother’s antics were confined to his menial job at a summer day-camp, not during a critical moment in his career as an adult pursuing engineering opportunities.
The interview was cut short, and the interview process ended.
OP didn’t think more of it until a month later, an email arrived from the candidate’s mother, demanding to know why her son had not received an acceptance or rejection letter.
This troubled OP, as he felt bad for the young applicant, whose mother had ruined his chances with her behavior.
OP replied to the mother, saying that he could not disclose information about the application to anyone other than the applicant, and asked HR to send a rejection email.
However, OP’s response only escalated the situation, as the mother obtained a copy of the rejection email and called, demanding answers over the phone.
OP explained that he could not comment on the interview performance to anyone other than the applicant but told the mother that her presence during the interview disqualified her son from the position.
He emphasized the importance of independence and self-motivation in the role.
He warned her that most hiring managers would consider such behavior a red flag, putting the resume in the “do not hire” pile.
But the mother was not satisfied, and her anger exploded over the phone, ultimately leading OP to hang up. He wondered if he would have been better off not saying anything at all.
Cat_Got_Ya_Tongue stood up for OP saying, “She snapped at you because you gave her feedback that painted her in a poor light and she thought she did her son a wonderful favour. You’re probably the first person in a while to stand up to her.”
Another user went against the grain saying, “In the end that dude was treated unfairly for things out of his control, maybe he should’ve been given some sort of chance (I mean, even his interview was cut short, so he had no way to make up for that)?
One Redditor responded, “While I think its s****y someone gets put in the DNH pile for something like that; I can completely understand why.”
Did you have a helicopter parent? Should OP have given him another chance?
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