How to Use LinkedIn to Prepare for Interviews

Shannon Smales Ogborn

Are you interviewing, or thinking about interviewing? Then it’s time to brush up on how to effectively use LinkedIn to prepare for interviews.

LinkedIn has a lot of valuable information for interviewees, and knowing how to extract that information and use it could make or break an interview. From allowing you to find your interviewers profile, to preparing customized questions, to gaining employer insights, you can cover it all via LinkedIn. Let’s break it down.

First and foremost, you should always research your interviewers when possible, whether it is a phone-screen or an on-site.

Through a basic search, you should be able to find the person with just their name and the company name.

Once you get to their page, you can get insights on the basics such as their title, their background/job history, and even the mutual connections. By knowing mutual connections, you can determine if the contact in common could have a positive or negative affect on your interview process and leverage accordingly.

While not always correlated, a person’s background can give you valuable insights into understanding of someone’s current responsibilities.

Based on the person’s background you find, you will enable yourself to ask more tailored questions per interviewer. For example, if you had questions related to building the product, you can tailor those questions specifically to a person on the Development Team.

This will show your enthusiasm for several aspects of the business, and also demonstrate your comprehension of the business structure.

While digging into someone’s background, you may also be able to find parallels between your career, education, hometown, etc. Finding common threads amongst you and an interviewer, whether it pertains to professional or personal, can be very beneficial for how an interviewer views you as a fit for the role.

Aside from preparing by looking at individual interviewers, you can also use LinkedIn for insights related to the company.

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On a company page you can see things such as: connections who work at the company, company mission/about, company size, employee growth trends, average tenure, etc.

These types of insights can help you prepare even better questions for the interview, or help prepare you for questions you may be asked. Making note of the basics for each company you interview with will show you care enough to do research on the company as a whole.

There are many tools you can use when preparing for your interviews, but LinkedIn tends to encompass a lot of value. Whether you are in process with interviews via your own network, or job matching sites like Woo.io, be sure to come prepared to stand out versus the competition.