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'Make this normal' | Viral TikTok mum takes child to job interview - and lands job offer

Story Take Child To Interview

Sophie Parrott Press Releases, Employers, Recruitment...

A mum has gone viral after taking to TikTok to share her unique experience at a job interview after she struggled to find childcare for her toddler.

Maggie Mundwiller, who goes by the username @314handcrafted on the social networking service, said that she was interviewing for new roles after losing her job amid the coronavirus crisis – The Independent reported.

When the Missouri-based mum was invited back for a second job interview by an employer, she said she was concerned that she wouldn’t have childcare for her one-year-old.

However, upon informing the interviewers of her problem, she was told that the organisation was “child-friendly” and that she was welcome to bring in her toddler with her.

‘Make this normal’

The TikTok video – which saw Mundwiller also describe how she prepared her son for the interview –  has now been viewed millions of times.

It also garnered a wealth of comments from many, with one writing: “It makes me sooo happy to know there are companies like this (sic)”.

‘Excited and inspired’ 

Another person said: “Dear corporate America – make this normal”.

The mother and job interviewee recently spoke to Good Morning America explaining that she was “so excited and inspired" by the organisation’s attitude to her childcare challenge.

She added: “How cool is that - that a company would be so welcoming? It’s awesome to know that there are companies out there that are willing to work with parents and understand the struggles that parents are going through and just accommodate.”

When it comes to whether the candidate got the job, she revealed in a follow-up video that she was offered the position and that she is “definitely considering it”.

‘Family-friendly’ workplaces

While this took place in the US, it has key teachings for employers and HR regarding flexibility when it comes to candidates and job interviews.

In this instance, the candidate was faced with a childcare problem and the interviewers helped provide a solution to ensure that she didn’t miss the opportunity.

Additionally, it also points towards the benefits of being a ‘family-friendly’ employer, both in terms of attracting and retaining top talent.

For example, 2020 data by researchers at Utah Women & Leadership Project (UWLP) found that flexibility and family-friendly policies in the workplace increase staff productivity, engagement, and overall satisfaction.

And with Bright Horizons data finding that 48% of employees see family life as a higher priority than before the pandemic, existing and prospective talent may be looking for support and practices from employers that reflect this.

‘A great feather to have in your cap’

Mandy Watson, Managing Director of Ambitions Personnel, told HR Grapevine that in this day and age, it is better to be a ‘family-friendly’ employer, particularly when top talent is highly sought after.

She said: “Being open about how family-friendly you are gives a good first impression, and that’s a great feather to have in your cap.”

However, with a younger child in the room, the rec expert did day that there are some considerations to ensure that the interview can work in a practical sense.

She added: “For example, it could be a good idea to keep them entertained with some coloured pencils or an iPad. The interview format could be altered to keep it short and simple, perhaps with a follow-up interview at a later date to ensure you get over all the details.

“Of course, today, a lot of interviews are conducted online over a video call, and there’s no harm in allowing that format if a parent or guardian needs to be both focused on their interview and their child simultaneously. This may mean that any site tours or tests are delayed to a different time. 

“As an interviewer, the key to managing an interview with a child present is patience and understanding. There may be interruptions, but being able to move through the interview
efficiently and calmly will help put the candidate at ease, and you’ll get through it in no time," Watson added.