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I want to clarify that prior questions were about the interviewee contacting the interviewer. This question is about the opposite, where the interviewer contacts the interviewee.

I had an initial, video conference interview with someone from a large tech company to which I had applied. The interviewer said they had received my resume from a few different sources within the company recommending me for a position that was going to be created soon, but not yet public.

I think the interview went very well; we connected, we both asked the important questions and got a better understanding of each other. A day later, I received an unsolicited invite to connect on LinkedIn. I have no idea if the invitation is because they are considering me for a position, if they are seeing if there is anyone in my network who might also be a good fit, if the interviewer is just expanding their network, or something else.

Is it appropriate to accept a connection request from an interviewer the day after the interview, with no context as to whether or not they want to hire you?

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  • BTW, there is a way to make your LinkedIn network private such that even people within your network can't see other people's profiles in your network, and only you can view all profiles of people in your network. Aug 30 at 17:22
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    Where else would you expect to find it? @SamVarshavchik
    – user93954
    Aug 31 at 6:32
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    ..."we connected"... Should I connect with him? Aug 31 at 13:03
  • 66
    "unsolicited invite to connect", uhm, aren't large majority of LinkedIn connect invites unsolicited? That's how it usually works, in my opinion
    – Ivo
    Aug 31 at 13:46
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    @Ivo: To put this more explicitly: The invite is the "solicitation" to connect. Aug 31 at 15:17

8 Answers 8

139

Is it appropriate to accept a connection request from an interviewer the day after the interview, with no context as to whether or not they want to hire you?

Yes, that is basically the purpose of Linkedin.

You stated that the interview went well and that you connected with the interviewer. Taking that into consideration, why would you not accept? Whether or not you are hired for this specific role, accepting their connection can lead to professional opportunities in the future.

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  • 79
    Facebook - Maybe inappropriate. Linkedin - Appropriate. Aug 31 at 6:32
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    Wait, is there a difference ? Sep 1 at 9:46
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    It was sarcasm. Sep 1 at 11:38
  • The only inappropriate one would be Tinder, and only if you take the job.
    – HK-51
    Sep 2 at 5:48
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Wow, you're totally overthinking this. LinkedIn is an easy way to utilize real time instant messaging, rather than sending lots of emails and encountering delays. Assume that the interviewer is interested, and having LinkedIn as a way to communicate can speed the hiring process along.

What do you have to lose?

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  • 7
    I hate LI exactly because of this pressure thing: Declining feels impolite. A couple days after the first one, people send another invitation, thinking you missed the first one accidentally. And then another. Until you tell them "I am not adding you on purpose because I don't feel our relationship warrants it" which is outright rude. I suspect that LI gained quite a few users this way who simply didn't want to be rude. The hiring is in no way impeded by email. What you have to lose? Focus in your social contacts. Aug 31 at 13:05
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    How much delay do you experience in delivery of email these days? I get push notifications upon receipt of mail to my ProtonMail account. The only possible delay might be if someone sends a message to my Gmail account which is then forwarded to my ProtonMail. I can't fathom how direct messaging via LI is any faster. 35 years ago, I was suitably amazed when I sent an email (via our university email system) to my Dad's Compuserve account and got an answer within 5 minutes, but that was the days of dial up connections - even the university dialed into another with an always on connection...
    – FreeMan
    Aug 31 at 14:01
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    @Peter-ReinstateMonica I think (or I guess, assumed) it was linkedin itself sending reminders every few days.
    – stannius
    Aug 31 at 15:36
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    I pretty much block LI notifications. I see invitations when I log in to LI (maybe once a week, if that) and deal with the backlog of invitations if I feel like it. Sometimes I accept, sometimes I decline. Sometimes I report and block. There is no pressure
    – Rory Alsop
    Aug 31 at 22:24
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    @FreeMan: it's not the literal delay in the messaging itself. It's about the expected asynchrony. Email is a very asynchronous medium; people expect emails to be fully thought out and long elaborate messages to go to emails; while phone calls are completely synchronous medium. LI messages, SMS, and Chat are a middle ground, messages are generally short and informal, most people expect that you respond immediately if you're around and available to chat, but it also permits completely asynchronous communication if you're not. And the medium doesn't expect fully thought out sentences.
    – Lie Ryan
    Sep 1 at 10:13
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There's no way to tell or not. However; if you connect with them, you can start a networking relationship with them - if you get the position, great; if not, you could find out more details on how you could improve.

If you don't connect with them, they may feel that you're not interested.

If you do connect, you can always disconnect later if you don't get the position and you don't want to keep the connection.

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Is it appropriate to accept a connection request from an interviewer the day after the interview, with no context as to whether or not they want to hire you?

What do you imagine might be inappropriate?

LinkedIn is a site for people to connect, network, etc. whether or not they have any real world connection and whether or not you get hired for this position. I don't see your accepting their invitation as being detrimental in any way. Connect or don't connect, it's up to you. There's nothing inappropriate or untoward about it.

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  • 4
    Depending on workplace culture, initiating such a connection (from either side) could be seen as improper - the employer may prefer that all recruitment-related communication goes through designated channels, and may want to avoid appearance of favouring applicants with some connection to the interviewer. But if the interviewer has decided it's okay to initiate, it's hard to see it being inappropriate for the interviewee to accept. Aug 31 at 0:22
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It is always a great idea to have professional connections in the industry you are working in. The more professional connections you have, the better it is as this may help you to get jobs faster in the future.

Furthermore, many recruiters prefer to use LinkedIn to contact and exchange messages with job applicants to ask for further info related to new positions.

So, definitely, you should accept the request in LinkedIn.

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All the scenarios you list are possible:

if the invitation is because they are considering me for a position

If this is the case then accepting the invite can only be positive for you

if they are seeing if there is anyone in my network who might also be a good fit

Possible - and if true and it's because they've already decided you aren't the right candidate it's not going to make your chances any worse. On the other hand it might be about looking for other positions, or it might be that they look at your network and your application looks even stronger. So there's not a lot to lose by accepting.

if the interviewer is just expanding their network

Certainly possible - for some connecting on LinkedIn is practically a reflex, and in this situation accepting can't harm you. Rejecting it however might.

Is it appropriate to accept a connection request from an interviewer the day after the interview, with no context as to whether or not they want to hire you?

Yes - there's a decent chance that accepting it might help, and at the very least it avoids the possible negative connotations of rejecting it. In any event LinkedIn connections aren't marriage - you can easily drop the connection if the opportunity doesn't work out and you feel there's nothing to be gained by the connection in the future. But it's rare for connections to be harmful - even if nothing really comes from it directly all it's really "costing" is some database rows on LinkedIn's servers, nothing to you.

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    "Rare for connections to be harmful" - agree in this specific context, but one does need to be cautious. LI connections can be an angle of attack for things like phishing attempts; I've had more than one connection invitation on LI and similar sites, from accounts that appeared to be co-workers but on close inspection turned out to be fakes. I don't know what their intentions were, but I assume they weren't good. Aug 31 at 0:33
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I don't know if you should accept the connection request. I just want to mention one possible motive for the interviewer to connect to you - to get more information about you and/or your contacts. So if there is some information in your LinkedIn that you don't want the interviewer to see, you know what to do. Although I had negative experience with LinkedIn and rarely use it, so maybe my idea of how it works is not correct.

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    Why would you have information on LinkedIn that you don't want a potential employer to see? This is the purpose of LinkedIn. Aug 31 at 6:25
  • @CrisLuengo : I can imagine a lot of reasons. For example, hypothetically:-), some of my posts may be rash, or my contacts' posts can be less than wise, or I might doubt whether the potential employer would appreciate the breadth of my interests:-)
    – akhmeteli
    Aug 31 at 8:12
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    @akhmeteli then you're using LinkedIn wrong. The literal purpose of LinkedIn is to advertise yourself for jobs/employers. Use Facebook or something if you want a personal, non-work-friendly platform.
    – Esther
    Aug 31 at 15:36
  • @Esther : I am not "using LinkedIn wrong" as I hardly use it at all:-), I was speaking hypothetically. And even for those who use LinkedIn in accordance with your recommendations, some content at their pages may be appropriate for some employers, but not for others. And information from the contacts can be problematic.
    – akhmeteli
    Aug 31 at 22:47
  • @akhmeteli as someone pointed out, there is a setting that prevents LinkedIn connections from seeing your other connections. And if there is some employer you would want to work for, your LinkedIn should be appropriate for that employer.
    – Esther
    Sep 1 at 4:11
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Don't accept or decline the request, until the end of the process.

It's unprofessional, and little bit awkward to add someone the next day of the interview.

Linkedin's proper usage is for business contacts, and normal to send request to people you don't know, but want to meet - it's like an online career fair.

However right after the interview is not ideal.

What will you gain from it? None.

What you would lose?

  • As you said, he/she may reach your other contacts.
  • May find mutual colleagues and do a background check.
  • May notice some inconsistency between your resume and your CV you handed over.
  • And what if you were declined by the company, or you decline them? Will you remove him/her or not?

Of course, at the moment what's done is done. Some junior interviewers do send this type of requests, in small companies, or they may want to expand their portfolio for their next job application as HR. Or, he or she may consider to be in contact with you outside of business intentions.

Therefore, it's best to act like you didn't see it. You can decide once your process is completed. If not accepting him/her from Linkedin may harm the application, then that's not a suitable company for you anyway.

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