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I had recently had a phone interview with the head of a company. Some hours later, I noticed this person had checked my LinkedIn profile several hours ago, prior to the interview.

With only an intention to thank the person for an interview, I sent a small thank you note as part of a LinkedIn connection request. However, I soon realized that doing something like this may have been inappropriate, as stated on this page:

That line definitely gets crossed when a candidate sends a request to their interviewer before or immediately after an interview to connect on LinkedIn. If you get the job by all means connect, but until then it can make you seem presumptuous as you are implying a level of familiarity that doesn’t exist.

What would be the best course of action to minimize misunderstanding? This person doesn't have a publicly-available email address.

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    I've had many cases where I did not hire a candidate for a given opening, but then wanted to track them down months or years later for a different opportunity. Having them as a connection on LinkedIn makes that really easy. Similarly, I've had people who interviewed me, but did not hire me, add me on LinkedIn (and then contact me months or years later). I would disagree pretty strongly with the article you linked. It seems to be that one writer's opinion and not broadly representative as is evidenced by all of the answers on your question disagreeing with him too! – dwizum Sep 13 at 12:45
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What would be the best course of action to minimize misunderstanding?

You sent an honest thank you note, so there is few room for misunderstanding and this person will get that you wanted to thank them for the interview.

I don't know the level of authority that page you linked has, but I wouldn't take it as the absolute truth.

In a way I feel you are overthinking this one; in any case, what you did wasn't that critical or inappropriate.

You already sent the request; your move was made. It's up to the interviewer to decide if they accept your request or not. Anyways, they can and will see the note you sent with it, which was your main goal.

I suggest you move one with your job-hunting process, if you performed well most likely they will call you back. If a candidate is a good fit, the fact they sent me a "premature" LinkedIn request would not affect my decision about hiring this person.

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Viewing profiles on LinkedIn is one way that interviewers, and interviewees, learn about each other as part of the interview process.

My personal practice is to make a connection request to anyone at a potential employer who looks at my profile. What I don't do is run around looking for other people who work there. My rationale is they looked me over, and now I'd like to look them over.

One thing about LinkedIn is that it isn't as "social" of a social network as Facebook and other platforms. So long as you have a legitimate business reason to contact someone -- and interviewing and learning about candidates and employers is part of the process of doing business -- you should be safe. Don't do anything via LinkedIn you wouldn't do in person.

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I agree that it's important to respect professional boundaries but the whole point of LinkedIn is to maintain and nurture professional connections. You met the person in a professional setting (a job interview) and are now offering them a chance to stay connected. Even if they decide you're not the best fit for this position, there are perfectly legitimate reasons why it could be mutually beneficial to maintain a relationship. Sending the request was perfectly fine. What you should avoid is continually sending them messages or commenting on all their posts. This would come off as desperate and borderline harassment. You sent the request with the thank you note and now the ball is in their court. Good luck!

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