Connecting with your interviewers on LinkedIn before an interview is a great way to get some additional context about them and the company. Done properly, it can help you prepare for the interview and make a good impression. Here are some tips on how to connect on LinkedIn before an interview:
Look up the interviewers on LinkedIn
First, look up the names of the people who will be interviewing you on LinkedIn. Most companies will provide a schedule ahead of time with the names and titles of your interviewers. Search for them individually on LinkedIn to find their profiles.
Review their profiles
Spend some time looking through their profiles to learn more about their background and experience. Look at their current and past work experience, education, skills, endorsements from others, and any groups they are part of. This can give you insight into their professional background and interests.
See if you have any shared connections
LinkedIn will show you if you have any shared connections with the person. Having a shared connection can be a good way to introduce yourself to the interviewer in a message. You could say something like “I noticed we are both connected with John Smith, who I worked with at Company X.”
Personalize your connection request
When sending a connection request, always customize the message instead of using LinkedIn’s default text. Mention why you would like to connect, such as an upcoming interview. You can also reference shared connections, groups, or companies you have in common.
For example: “Hi [name], I’m excited for our interview next week at [company]. I noticed we both worked at [shared company] a few years back. I look forward to connecting!”
Send individualized requests
Avoid mass connection requests to all of your interviewers at once. Take the time to personalize each request with details specific to that person. This shows you took the effort to review their profile and makes the ask more thoughtful.
Connect with recruiters and hiring managers too
In addition to your direct interviewers, look up recruiters and hiring managers associated with the role on LinkedIn. Connecting with them can also be valuable for making a good impression and showing interest.
Don’t make the request too early
You generally want to connect within 1-2 weeks of the interview. Connecting months in advance can come across as strange if you don’t know the person. Last minute requests can also catch people off guard.
Follow up after connecting
After connecting on LinkedIn, follow up with a message thanking them for accepting your request. Consider asking for a quick phone call to learn more about their career path or experience at the company. Most people are happy to provide advice.
Review their new connections
Once connected on LinkedIn, you’ll be able to see a feed of their new connections and activity. Review this to look for any changes at the company, like new hires in your potential department. Having insider knowledge like this can help in your interviews.
Don’t overthink endorsements
Now that you are connected, you may want to endorse them for relevant skills or leave recommendations about working together. However, this can come across as overly pushy if you just connected for an interview. Use your judgment here.
Send a thank you message after the interview
After your interview, send them a message thanking them for their time. Share any follow up items you promised and reiterate your interest in the role. This keeps you top of mind as they make their hiring decision.
Stay connected after the hiring process
If you get the job, great! But either way, nurture the new connections you made. Like and comment on their updates to stay in touch. You never know when one of your connections will have an opportunity you are interested in down the road.
Ask for feedback if you don’t get the job
If you end up not getting the position after the interview process, you can reach back out to your connections at the company on LinkedIn.Politely ask for any feedback they may have on why you weren’t selected. This can provide valuable insights to help with future interviews.
Connecting with your interviewers on LinkedIn makes you stand out as an interested, thoughtful candidate. With some effort put into personalizing your requests, it can go a long way in making a great first impression before the interview. Maintain these new connections, and they can become valuable contacts in your network.
Some key takeaways for connecting with interviewers on LinkedIn:
- Research interviewers on LinkedIn to find common ground
- Personalize your connection request with a note
- Connect 1-2 weeks before the interview
- Follow up after connecting to build the relationship
- Leverage your new connections for insider info
- Thank interviewers after the interview via LinkedIn
- Stay in touch to nurture the relationship
Following these best practices will make you stand out and help facilitate connections before an interview. With some extra effort, you can build valuable ongoing networking relationships as well.