What are your thoughts on asking people that you interviewed with to join your LinkedIn network before you are offered a job?

Does it help or hurt my interview process?

What about the timing of the request?

Thanks Josh

HMac's picture

I invite 'em. Usually the day following the interview, as it's another way to be top-of-mind, and my handwritten thank you note won't arrive for another day or two.

Some accept, some don't.

And when I invite them, I make sure to customize the message (doing a short version of the thank you note).

I welcome opposing views on this, as I'm not sure it's the "right" thing to do - I just went ahead and started doing it, figuring they ultimately have the choice of responding or not...


TomW's picture
Training Badge

I'm trying to work this one out in my head. My gut feels against it, but I can't figure out why.

What benefit does inviting them to LinkedIn offer that a thank you note does not? Are you concerned that a LinkedIn invitation might send the wrong message to the hiring manager?

HMac's picture

[quote="TomW"]I'm trying to work this one out in my head. My gut feels against it, but I can't figure out why.

What benefit does inviting them to LinkedIn offer that a thank you note does not? Are you concerned that a LinkedIn invitation might send the wrong message to the hiring manager?[/quote]

Tom - I understand your mixed feelings (and that's why I really encourage others to chime in...).

I don't mean to mix the two actions: inviting to LinkedIn and sending a thank you note. In my mind they're distinctly different things with different purposes - and when I send a LinkedIn invite, it's NEVER in place of a thank you note. Being a marketing guy, I just see the LinkedIn invite as another oportunity to get across a key message from the interview (and I really think the "canned" LinkedIn invite is pretty poor anyway..).

When I invite a person to join my network, it's because I see them as someone valuable to stay in touch with professionally - and I hope they see me in the same light. So I don't invite [i]everybody [/i]I interview with - I just apply the same "test" for people I onterview with as those I meet other ways.


lazerus's picture

I do the same as Hugh. Always send the thank you. If I think it could be mutually beneficial to invite my interviewer on LI, I'll do that immediately after I meet them so as not to get the "thanks for the interview" messaage and the "perhaps we'll do business together" message of LI. I think LI can have some good information, it keeps your name in front of the interviewer, if you get the job it's good to have that connection, if you don't get the job it might be even better to have the connection.

If you had to choose one over the other, the thank you note trumps any and all online communication.

kklogic's picture

I think I'd save the LI invite until an offer has NOT been extended (if that's the outcome). The point is to keep in touch. I think there's a subliminal message of "gee, we're not going to be working together since you aren't going to offer me the job - so I'd better make sure I get you in my LI." There's no reason for this if you expect to be an office over from this person in two weeks.

I think it runs counter to asking for the job.

bflynn's picture

It seems forward to me and I think it could really hurt chances for getting the job. It feels like sucking up, like you're only doing this to stay in touch.

Wait until after the job results, then if you really want to be connected, make the offer.


erickas's picture

This may seem common sense, but worth exploring....

I think it's important to look at who is doing the interview and what type of network they have.... For example someone with 200+ contacts may be less likely to take offense while someone with under 10 may not appreciate it as much and, as bflynn said, it may negatively impact your chances.

I also think that if the person interviewing is in HR they may be more likely to accept the invitation as they are more likely to need to fill other positions later, so even if this position didn't work out, maybe the next will (or may know a peer at another company looking later).... so they may quickly see a mutual benefit to the link as well.

pmoriarty's picture
Training Badge

I haven't done this, but until now, haven't thought about it either. Were I on the receiving end, I would feel as though the candidate was trying to create an obligation on my part... I can't explain why specifically... just the way it feels.

madamos's picture
Licensee Badge

Great question and lots of interesting answers!

Before giving my thoughts I wanted to make it clear how I use LinkedIn. I only accept LinkedIn invites from people I know and would feel comfortable asking to make an introduction to someone in their network. I have declined many invites with a nice note explaining my actions.

I would absolutely [b]not[/b] send an LinkedIn invitation after interviewing with someone. Why? Because I get annoyed when people do this to me. This happens to me all the time with recruiters. They call with a job opportunity and then send a LinkedIn invitation. Since I don't like it when people I hardly know send me LinkedIn invitations I don't do this to anyone else.

If after the interview process was over and I felt I had enough of a connection with the person to stay in touch I would do some real world networking before adding them to LinkedIn. I would contact them on the phone, e-mail or meet in person first before adding them to LinkedIn.

Again, my criteria for adding or accepting anyone to my LinkedIn network is to ask if I would be comfortable asking them to introduce me to someone in their own network.


HMac's picture

[b]GREAT[/b] post, madamos -thanks.

It occurs to me this might be one of the differentiators between LinkedIn and Plaxo. While LinkedIn has always been about building networks, Plaxo has always seems to be more about simply keeping your Contacts up to date.

At least, that's how I use 'em. I don't publicize my Plaxo account ("make public" / "make visible" / whatever). It just runs in the backgrouind and tells me when people update their contact information.

How does this apply?

Well, when I get a business card from somebody I interview with, I ALWAYS enter their information in my Contact database. But that doesn't mean I want to "network" (invite them into LinkedIn). And if they happen to be on Plaxo, the service notifies me when they change their contact information - like new title or new company...