While I think this post may fall in the common sense category, someone I know just told me a story that made me want to write a post about it. So here’s a little story (aka: cautionary tale) about friending your interviewer on Facebook while you’re still in the interviewing process.
The scenario: Candidate came in for interview at super great company for mid-level role – Interview went pretty well and the team was leaning towards moving candidate forward for additional interviews – during the same day, the candidate friended one of the interviewers on facebook – team took it as a bad judgement call and felt it’d be indicative of other decisions candidate would make on the job – this brought them off the fence and they decided not to move forward
I actually don’t think friending someone on Facebook is the worst thing in the world and I also understand that different people have different “friending thresholds”. What I mean by that is that some people will friend someone they just met and barely talked to and on the other end of the scale there are others who will only friend actual friends.
There is also a range of feelings on the other side of the invite. Some people only want to accept requests from actual friends and find any other invites to be on the creepy side. Let’s be honest, your active friends on facebook do get a lot of airtime. There are also people who will accept anyone and everyone and just want to collect contacts.
If it were me…
Now if it was me in the recruiting seat having just been friended, I think I’d probably think it was a little weird, not accept the invite, but move on. But you never know who you are going to get and how they are going to feel about it. Some people might even think it’s inappropriate to friend co-workers on facebook, so someone who hasn’t even joined the company would feel even less appropriate to them.
The bottom line…
By almost anyone’s standards, it IS unprofessional to friend someone on facebook after an interview. Connecting with someone on LinkedIn that soon might be ok (I even think that’s a little soon) but not on Facebook. People generally prefer to keep their FB personal so it can seem like a big invasion of privacy to reach out that way. How would you feel if a recruiter friended you on facebook? I assume you wouldn’t feel too comfortable with that.
As with pretty much any interviewing slip up, if you are the perfect candidate for the job, have the most unique skill set in the world, and crushed the interview, this probably won’t preclude you from getting to the next round. However, in reality, there are usually pros and cons to every candidate so don’t let this judgement call be the deciding factor for you.