The Social Media Way to Follow Up After an Interview

Everyone has their own personal social media policy. One friend of mine told me that he was a “Facebook prude and a LinkedIn whore.” In contrast, I’ve met people who won’t even consider accepting a LinkedIn invitation until they had at least a 15 minute conversation.

Many LinkedIn trainers tell people how to run their own personal social media policies, but this is something very personal and worth careful consideration. As a job seeker, your goal is to have a LinkedIn network that will help you meet the right contacts inside your target organization. For you, that might mean accepting every invite or even becoming a LinkedIn Open Networker (LION). For others that might look like a careful selection of emailing specific and carefully researched people.

The point is that everyone is different, including the HR person or hiring manager you just met during your interview. So, as with any delicate situation, just ask!

On your way out of the interview, ask, “Mr. Hiring Manager, would it be alright with you if I sent you a LinkedIn invitation?”

By stating it this way, i.e. not directly asking him for a connection, anyone can comfortably say, “Yes” without committing to actually accepting the invite. Sure, you might send it, but at the end of the day, he or she will decide for themselves to accept it.

Just remember that when they do accept the invite, they will see your profile and status updates. That sounds obvious, but have you spent enough time polishing up your profile so that you are continuing to make that positive impression with them?

Make your profile interview-ready by evaluating it from the perspective of the hiring manager. Are your messages helping to support the answers to your interview questions or your personal brand?

Finally, sending the invite to an interviewer is a great way to build in a thank you note. Sure, you hear career coaches say to send a paper thank you note. But a LinkedIn invite with a thank-you written into the customized message area will gain you far more advantages than just having your Hallmark card tossed away.

As an MBA, I interviewed for GE’s leadership training program. Although I came very close to getting into the program, I wasn’t accepted. Despite this fact, I’ve kept in touch with my interviewer for the last six years. We often ask each other questions and provide each other with resources in our mutual yet distinct careers.

What’s wrong with that?

After all, if you were genuine and made a good impression in an interview, there is no reason to have a huge breakup if you don’t get the job. Believe me, it wasn’t personal! And you might as well get some benefit from it.

Joshua Waldman is an Author, Speaker and Trainer specializing in helping people re-gain control of their careers in today’s economic and technology climate. As the author of “Job Searching With Social Media For Dummies”, he enjoys presenting keynotes and workshops on personal branding, online reputation and advanced LinkedIn strategy. With the mission of helping professionals break away from outdated and ineffective job-searching strategies, he runs, a successful career blog. Joshua has been featured on ABC News, Mashable, International Business Times and Simply-Hired. For more information about Joshua or his book visit:

Need a boost for your job search and career?

Subscribe today ► and get our latest blog posts and other top tips, tools and resources emailed right to your inbox!

Get Your Copy of LinkedUp!

LinkedUp shows you how to leverage LinkedIn to build an online presence, establish industry credibility and find your next job. Learn more ►

>Career Studios Backstage Mega Pass

Want access to over 25+ hours of job search and career seminars?! Get your Backstage MEGA PASS! Learn more ►


  1. Great points here, Joshua. I would emphasize your comment about each situation being different. My clients are finding that not all hiring managers or interviewers are comfortable with candidates sending them LI invites. Also, I think people in the corporate bubble (who aren’t feeling the need to get out and find a new position) tend to be less engaging when it comes to social media in general. They might guard their LI contacts much more closely than the jobseeker, contractor, sales person, etc. who see LI as this great networking tool. Although I think the mindset is slowly changing, it isn’t there yet.

  2. Using LinkedIn and other social media tools to network with your contacts at prospective employers is a great way to go. Even sending an interview thank-you note through those forums can be beneficial. However, job seekers need to carefully consider their individual audience and select the medium of communication best suited to the situation. You are bound to come across interviewers that are just not into the social media scene. You could send them the equivalent of $1M through Facebook or LI and they simply wouldn’t get it. If you get the impression that their into certain social media sites, by all means use them. If not, send them an email or a hand-written thank-you note. Just don’t use a cookie-cutter, one-size-fits-all approach. Think about your audience and engage them in the manner that they prefer ( ).

Speak Your Mind