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Asked by Nathalie on March 29, 2017

I'm a college student, starting to look for my second internship. Currently, I have been working for my parent's business. As of now, that has been my only job. When I am on the internship hunt, during the interview process should I let the interviewer know that my bosses were my parents? Is that something that doesn't really matter or do interviewers frown upon that piece of knowledge?

Answered by Allegra, Hiring Expert at Cigna, on March 30, 2017

Hi,
What a great opportunity you have to learn from your parents directly by working in the family business!  There is nothing wrong with letting the interviewers know that the company is a family business, but your focus should be on your job and the skills you've been able to develop while working. I'm sure you were able to learn many facets of the business, so showcase that learning in your interviews. Before your interview, think through your responsibilities and how they align with the internship and your future career. Make those links for the recruiter and managers so they understand how your work experience ties into the internship opportunity.

Good luck to you! 

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Answered by Stephanie, Hiring Expert at AT&T Inc., on April 4, 2017

If you had real responsibilities, as you would have in any other job, you should definitely add the job to your resume. You gained valuable work experience that should be counted for and represented on your resume. As far as bringing it up in the interview, yes you should. You don’t have to immediately start out the conversation saying you worked for your parents but rather mention it during the natural course of the interview. You should then follow-up with what skills you may have used on the job, what skills you learned on the job, what type of responsibilities you had, what projects you managed and what accomplishments you gained. Additionally, if you need to provide references, you may want to ask if they want additional references other than your parents like a co-worker or a customer/client. Good luck!

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Answered by Ellee, Hiring Expert at Textron Inc., on April 5, 2017

Hello! This is a great question and what an exciting time to be looking for an internship! While it may not always be easy to work in the family business, the experiences and skills learned can be translated to your internship and your future career. Since it is the family business, you may have exposure to understanding how a business functions from all angles, instead of just your respective function. During the interview, be sure to focus on your skills, experiences, and that you worked there because you wanted to, not because you were forced to. The interviewer won’t frown upon the idea of your parents being your bosses as long as you have experiences that can be applied to the position that you are applying to. Best of luck on your search!

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Answered by Ashley, Hiring Expert at The Hershey Company, on April 6, 2017

Great question! I don't think it is necessary to mention unless they ask. There is nothing wrong with working for a family business and highlighting what you did there. Think about what type of skills or responsibilities you learned that you can apply to the position you are interviewing for. I think you should certainly have it on your resume and share during the interview process. Best of luck! 

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