Megan Cavanaugh had all the elements in place to secure an internship at ad agency TDA_Boulder: a stellar resume, a stand-out application and a successful first interview. Her position hinged on one thing: An interview with her mom.

It was a first for the Cavanaughs, and for TDA. added the element to this round of hiring for summer internships to add an element of fun — and, hopefully, honesty.

"People put on their game face and tell you what you want to hear," said Jeremy Seibold, creative director. Moms "give a different perspective."

Parents aren't exactly an unbiased source, Seibold admitted, but there were still moments of truth. Like when Cavanaugh's mother, Melissa, launched into the story of how Megan would dress up in her older brother's clothes.

"Of course she told the one story I wouldn't have wanted her to tell," said the younger Cavanaugh.

It didn't matter. She got the internship, which starts June 4.

The interviews were conducted via Skype or Facetime to minimize disruption to the moms, Seibold said. The Cavanaughs did a dry run, practicing questions and re-familiarizing Melissa with the technology.

"I didn't want to be the technologically challenged mom," she said.

That honor went to another mother, Seibold said, who couldn't get the video camera on her end to work. "It was such a mom moment."

That clip and others from the interview are featured on a video TDA made of the process. Seibold wasn't sure if the practice would continue for future interns, but said that all involved "had a lot of fun."


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Megan Cavanaugh said having her mom responsible for the second interview "took a little bit of the pressure off." Though both women admitted to being slightly nervous, both enjoyed Melissa's involvement.

"It was really fun when she heard back and called me up," said the elder Cavanaugh. "I could tell in the tone of her voice she got the job, just the way she said, 'Mom.'

"It made me feel really good (that) I was able to help."

Shay Castle: 303-473-1626, castles@dailycamera.com or twitter.com/shayshinecastle