I was recently conducting an interview preparation session with a client when she started giving me detailed descriptions about the people who would be interviewing her. No client ever had presented such information in the future. I asked her how she got this information. She looked at me, smiled, and said: “LinkedIn.”
LinkedIn is a social networking website that focuses more on business than personal information (Facebook). Becoming a member (it’s free) will give you networking options. But even non-members can access basic information. You can also use Facebook to learn more about potential employers. But beware of bringing up anything too personal in an interview that you might find on a social network where someone is interacting with friends.
We frequently read about HR departments using social networking websites to investigate potential employees. Now, the tables can be turned. We can use the same sites to learn more about the people who will interview us.
When setting up a new interview, ask for the name (and spelling) of the person who you will be meeting with. You will use the person’s name and company name to access their LinkedIn profile, which will let you know that person’s professional background and work history. In some cases, you will have access to his network and may recognize professional acquaintances or friends that you have in common.
Before every interview, it is important to learn about the company you are trying to join. Now it is possible to research the people you will be meeting as well. Take advantage of these resources – get Linked In.