Should I Connect with Someone I Interviewed with on LinkedIn?

My answers to your career questions continue.  Keep sending your career questions my way!

I went into full fledged job hunting mode last summer, which resulted in 3 interviews – but sadly none of them turned into offers. Now, a number of names from these companies are showing up as “people you may know” on LinkedIn. The interviews all went well, and I felt like I clicked with these people at the time, but the job offer just wasn’t in the cards for me. So does it make sense to keep connected with them via LinkedIn? -Eileen


This is a GREAT question and one I receive often.  Since LinkedIn is a professional network, I think it is appropriate to connect with anyone that you would exchange business cards with in person. Think of LinkedIn as your professional “Rolodex” but better because this Rolodex sends out regular updates (and won’t get lost in your old purse!).

Make LinkedIn connections a habit.  Request a LinkedIn connection within 48 hours of leaving a great interview or exchanging business cards.

Even though it’s been a while since Eileen interviewed with the people who are coming up in her “people you may know” suggestions, she should still request to connect with them.  But, DO NOT USE THE GENERIC LINKEDIN REQUEST EMAIL.  Make sure you write a short, personal note such as: “Hi Sarah, We met last summer when I interviewed for the ABC position at your firm.  I’d love to connect with you here on LinkedIn.” A personal note is much more likely to jog your connection’s memory and consider you than more than just another random connection.

Companies frequently get openings  that they are be passively looking to fill.  Don’t be surprised if the person you interviewed with a long time ago sends you an email saying they now have an opening that they think you’d be a great fit for.  In fact, this happened to me last week. And I hadn’t talked to their firm in 2 years!

Connecting with a previous interviewer allows them to check out your profile, pay attention to your professional updates, and keep you top of mind when new positions open.  If you don’t send out a (personalized) LinkedIn request, you won’t even have the chance of being considered.

Good luck!

Nicole Emerick

Nicole Emerick founded Ms. Career Girl in 2008 to help other ambitious young professional women thrive in a career they love. Ironically, growing MsCareerGirl helped Nicole transition her own career from commercial banker to digital marketer. Today Nicole leads the social media team at a large advertising agency in Chicago. Nicole also served as an adjunct professor at DePaul University where she helped develop the careers of PR, Advertising and Communications students. Tweet with Nicole @_NicoleEmerick.

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