What's the Linkedin etiquette?
August 13, 2014 9:35 PM   Subscribe

Asking for a friend... If you know who your interview panel is, is it a good idea or a bad idea to view their Linkedin profile while logged in? If you do this they will KNOW you're looking at their profile. Does this come across as: A) doing good research; or B) creepy stalking?
posted by Alice Russel-Wallace to Work & Money (13 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I judge people for NOT doing this.
posted by yogalemon at 9:36 PM on August 13, 2014 [12 favorites]

Not creepy, but then the only things I have on my LinkedIn profile are things I want to share with people who know me in my professional role.
posted by 26.2 at 9:51 PM on August 13, 2014

I expect people to do this. If anything I find it creepy that LinkedIn tells you who has looked at your profile, but given that's the way it is, checking out inteviewers is a completely legit use of the tool. In fact I've had more than a few interviews with potential employees where they started out 'I saw on LinkedIn you know so-and-so as well!'

If your friend is really worried about giving off the stalker vibe though, just switch their profile to be anonymous before doing the research.
posted by cgg at 9:55 PM on August 13, 2014 [1 favorite]

I believe there's a setting that allows you to stay anonymous, even on a free account. I think it ends up saying something like "someone in the XXX area viewed your profile"

I fiddled with this setting long ago and have been checking out people's profiles willy nilly ever since. I can't remember off the top of my head where the setting was but I'm 90% it's there. Or else there are a lot of people who think I'm stalking them...
posted by scuza at 10:03 PM on August 13, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I would find it perfectly normal to have someone view my profile, but I have had people try to link to me, and in one case, when I accepted the request, to endorse me for skills. Since we did not know each other, I found this inappropriate and it made a negative impression.
posted by treehorn+bunny at 10:37 PM on August 13, 2014 [5 favorites]

Treehorn has it. Viewing the interviewer profile is great and I think a standard part of preparing for an interview, but asking to connect before you know the result of the interview is kind of presumptuous.
posted by fingersandtoes at 10:45 PM on August 13, 2014

To browse anonymously on Linkedin:

edit profile > customise visibility > privacy controls > Select what others see when you've viewed their profile.

On the other hand, it's perfectly normal to view profiles of people on your selection panel. Less so to ask for a Connection prior to an interview.
posted by evil_esto at 12:02 AM on August 14, 2014 [4 favorites]

I think it is wise to do this, but I think you are wrong about the LinkedIn settings. They might not have a premium account allowing them to see everyone who visits their profile, and in any event, you can hide that visibility so people can't see who you are when you visit their profile.
posted by J. Wilson at 6:09 AM on August 14, 2014

One thing though- even when you are set to anonymous, LinkedIn still populates the sidebar called "People Also Viewed." If the person's profile is new and/or hasn't had many views, it will populate with all the profiles YOU'VE visited, which may include the other interviewers, people you work with, etc. I've occasionally felt a little outed in my online stalking research because of this, as someone who knew the places I've lived and fields in which I've worked could probably piece together that it was me. For your friend's situation, it is no big deal and even expected, but something to think about in general with LinkedIn.
posted by lily_bart at 6:32 AM on August 14, 2014

I don't mind if a candidate views my profile, because these days I'm viewing theirs prior to an interview when doing my research. Sometimes you get a little more information than their paper resume will present.
posted by JoeZydeco at 6:59 AM on August 14, 2014

I've never heard a hiring manager comment on this one way or the other. I think this is the kind of thing that candidates are hyper-sensitive to, but managers have 1000 more pressing things to worry about.

Regardless, doing research on LinkedIn should be considered basic due diligence for a candidate. If a hiring manager objects, that's actually a great signal that you don't want the job - what else are they likely to be hiding about the company or position?
posted by The Prawn Reproach at 7:00 AM on August 14, 2014

They might not have a premium account allowing them to see everyone who visits their profile

I don't believe Premium accounts work that way anymore. I just signed up for the free month trial for specifically this reason, and I still see a large number of viewers that are marked as anonymous.
posted by JoeZydeco at 7:01 AM on August 14, 2014

LinkedIn is specifically for sharing professional information about yourself. I have no idea if anyone is forced to be on it by their employer (my employer actually blocks the site on its intranet, but it's weird about all social networks) but there is otherwise no reason anyone would be scandalized to have their profile read by strangers. There's a reason LinkedIn profiles tend to come out on top when you Google people; it's voluntarily public information.
posted by psoas at 7:29 AM on August 14, 2014

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