I'm in a good position to apply for an unpaid internship at a large company.

I happen to have a friend who is a pretty big deal within that company but isn't an executive and doesn't work in the same department.

Does it still help me if the hiring manager knows I know this guy? If so, how much might it help?

  • 3
    How much it helps is entirely situational. It would depend on how the hiring manager perceives your relationship with your friend and how much they respect your friend. Might help a lot, might actually be a negative.
    – Myles
    Feb 24, 2016 at 17:45
  • It will depend. Often, it won't help much at all, and can even damage your chances depending on the office politics between departments.
    – AndreiROM
    Feb 24, 2016 at 17:45
  • 1
    I'm thinking my friend could at least put me in Touch with someone within the department of my choice.
    – moonman239
    Feb 24, 2016 at 17:49
  • @moonman239 This if nothing else. Last week I couldn't get through the bureaucracy of a tech company to let them know that they were proudly displaying a page of broken links; 15 minutes after contacting a friend they were fixed. Feb 24, 2016 at 18:21

1 Answer 1


Very helpful.

While technical competence is important, hires can go bad for a number of reasons, all of which companies want to avoid. Companies want to avoid hires who are:

  • lying on their resume
  • a fraud
  • dishonest
  • arrogant, bigoted or otherwise hard to work with
  • a bad fit for company culture

Someone who knows you should be able to verify that you are none of these things, even if they work in a different area of expertise than you and/or have no idea of your technical competence. That's useful information to the company, and already makes you a better hire than many people where the only thing they know about them is their resume.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .