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So I applied for this company (for entry-level software development position) and have already talked to the hiring manager (who does not have any technical expertise). We set up a technical interview with some of the team members for the specific team I would be working for (this would be the Senior software developers). I am trying to get all the tips I can leading up to this interview. Here are some questions I have:

  • Would it be smart to reach back out to the hiring manager and ask her for tips?
  • Would it be smart to track down the senior developers on LinkedIn and ask for tips?

My guess to the second question would be no. But just wondering. Thanks.

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    If you cold contact me on LinkedIn because you have an interview with my team, it would 1) annoy me a lot and 2) speak really poorly of what it's like to work with you. – jcmack Feb 25 '19 at 23:31
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    @jcmack Ok. Thanks for the input. I will not do that. – SlowMation Feb 26 '19 at 1:04
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    Looking them up on LinkedIn is good research. Just stick to the same channels you applied through if you've got any questions. – Matthew Barber Feb 26 '19 at 2:10
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They are both very smart ideas. So is hacking their network and stealing the interview questions.

But smart idea doesn't mean good idea.

For the first question it is absolutely fine to ask about the interview if you do it in an appropriate manner:

Hi, was just wondering what format the interview would follow, I am very interested in this job and would really like to leave the best impression so do you know if I should start refreshing my technical skills for the first interview?

Something vague but open along those lines is sufficient, if the hiring manager is willing to offer more then you gave him the chance. If not, you didn't make a fool of yourself and you probably left a good impression by showing enthusiasm and proactiveness.

Second question:

No, do not go stalking and messaging staff at that company.

If I got a message from a complete stranger on linkedin asking me for help at the interview my reaction would be to find out who the hiring manager in the company is and send them a quick email about the kook who's trying to get a leg up. I would not help you for ethical reasons not to mention I don't know you. If you were a friend that would be a different story but not if you're a complete stranger.

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If they were to give you tips it would give you an advantage on the technical interview. Although you went through the effort of asking, unfortunately this is not usually how it works.

The best thing to do if you want to contact the hiring manager is so email them and ask

What is involved in the technical interview? What should I expect? Do I need to bring anything?

This would help you prepare and reduce the chance of any major surprises (should they reply).

Would it be smart to track down the senior developers on LinkedIn and ask for tips?

You could track them down, but I do not recommend contacting them and saying I'm going to have an interview what tips can you give me. This just makes it sound like you're looking for an easy way into the company without completing the necessary steps that every other candidate needs to go through. Best place to look for tips is places like glassdoor where you can see what previous candidates have said about them and their interview process (assuming they've had similar posts in the past).

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