In job search, you’re continually looking to expand your professional network, especially among people who are well placed to help you get a job. The people with whom you’ve done job interviews are certainly in that category.
So should you invite your interviewers to connect on LinkedIn?
In many cases the answer is “yes, but probably only after the job interview process is done.”
An invitation to connect during the interview process may seem too forward – like talking about an ongoing relationship with someone when you’ve barely stated dating!
The other reason to hold off is that if all goes well, you could end up connected on LinkedIn with your new boss, which has both benefits and risks.
On the one hand, being connected to your boss makes your activities and skills more visible not only to your boss, but to his or her peers within and outside of the company. These are people who may be instrumental in your next raise or new job.
On the other hand, with your boss in your network you would need to be extra discreet in any future LinkedIn activities that may imply you’re looking for greener pastures. You’d need to think about that, every time you updated your profile, gained a new connection or posted a comment.
(You can adjust your privacy settings to avoid having LinkedIn send notifications, but that may defeat part of the purpose of LinkedIn – being visible to your network.)
Now, let’s say this interviewer does not become your boss.
Too many job seekers assume “no” means “never.” Actually, all it means is that, this time, another candidate was judged a better fit for the current role, projects and team. That could change in the future.
So why not stay on the radar screen? A person you have interviewed with is a person who has become well acquainted with your strengths and skills. Their team members could be influential, too. Those are valuable networking connections, and there’s a lot to be said for keeping in touch, whether LinkedIn is involved or not.
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