A reader writes:
I am an HR Generalist at a health care facility in a semi-rural area. I wanted to get your opinion on having spouses involved in a candidate's job search. Specifically, calling to check on the status of an application, asking why the candidate did not get an interview, hired, etc.? I typically thank them for calling, and then ask to speak with the candidate directly. I consider this a negative for the candidate because it seems like they do not have the motivation nor the desire to conduct their own job search. When I lived in a major metropolitan area, I never encountered this phenomenon.
A spouse should never contact an employer or a prospective employer. Not unless it's to say the spouse is in the hospital and unable to come to work or make it to the interview.
There are no exceptions to this.
It looks unprofessional and, as you said, it raises questions about why the spouse isn't bothering to make the call themselves.
Why do people do this?!
I have a theory, actually: I'm convinced anyone who does this is in one of those unsettling relationships with no boundaries, where they share an email account and never see their friends without the other one there and almost definitely aren't allowed to stay in touch with exes. And if that's your thing, great -- but don't assume the rest of the world wants to play by your rules, because we don't. (And that's the weirdest part of it, actually -- the assumption that other people will accept and embrace this boundary-less world they've created between the two of them. That's their deal, not ours.)