You’ve researched the company you have an upcoming interview with. But have you checked out Facebook? You never know who or what you may discover on this platform so it’s worth taking a look.
Your goal, prior to an interview, is to speak with as many people possible who work (or have previously worked) for the company. You want to ask them why they left and what they liked about working for the company. You may also consider asking if they could introduce you to a current employee to get their feedback on working for the company.
Facebook is one more resource for you to tap into to identify company employees. Because people tend to "tell it like it is" on Facebook, it’s a great resource to use to uncover insights about a company. Yes, LinkedIn provides detailed work information, but people are beginning to include their work history on Facebook. You may be surprised to discover friends who work there, company reviews, or even public posts that provide helpful insight.
Here are some of the ways you can search for people and companies on Facebook.
Using the search box at the top of Facebook, type in the company name. If you do find a match, you will see company reviews, featured posts, photos, articles mentioning the company, and posts by friends who mentioned the company name. Skimming through this information and visiting the company’s page on Facebook might shed light on the company culture.
The company may also have a group set up or a page just for careers. Look for any groups that are for current or past employees or to answer questions for prospective employees. You can also search for pages such as “life at [company name]” or “careers at [company name].”
If they have a company page (like the "Life at Google" page in the image above), check it out. See the information they are sharing and how popular it is inside Facebook. Look for the "Community" information near the top of the Company page, as shown below -
Click on "See All" above, and Facebook will show your Facebook friends who have liked or followed this company page.
Look at the company's Company page:
Make note of anything that looks interesting or raises a question in your mind about what this employer does and how they do it. Use these questions as the basis for questions you ask in your job interview and your other research about this employer..
Ideally, you want to have a conversation with someone who works for the company BEFORE you interview so you can better understand the company, its processes and culture. In other words, do people like working for the company and why or why not.
In the search box, enter “people who work for [company name]." You will see the profiles of people who have included the company name in their profile in the “work” section.
Another option to search for people by where they work is to use the “Discover People” option. In the left column of your Facebook "Home" page, click on "See more" link below the “EXPLORE” heading, as shown below.
This will open more options for you including the "Discover People" link, shown in the image below.
In the "Discover People" navigation options, you will find more options including the "Work" option shown below.
In the options listed under “Work,” click on "Choose company..." link, above, and a box will open. Begin typing the company name in the box until you see the correct company name appear.
Select the correct company name you want, and you will see photos of people who have listed that company in their Facebook work history. Next, click on the photo to see what you might share in common. You may see people you both know, groups you both like, pages you both follow, or that you attended the same high school or college.
If you do share any mutual connections, your friend could possibly introduce you to the company insider you want to meet via email. An intro via email serves as a warm referral and increases the chances of a response.
If you are not already friends on Facebook, avoid sending the person a message or connecting. You’re requests may be ignored. You are better off sending an email to your mutual friend requesting an introduction.
You can also do some virtual stalking of the employees who will be interviewing you. And unlike LinkedIn, Facebook will keep your searches confidential. No one will know you’ve looked at their Facebook profile.
Look at their profile to see:
These employees may be your co-workers in the future, so you want to get to know them inside and outside of work.
Skim their feed (status updates) to see if they have shared how they feel about their job. Look for photos they may have shared from a company sponsored event or volunteering.
If you notice a hashtag mentioning the company name, click on it, and you’ll see other public posts that use that same hashtag on Facebook.
Using the information you uncovered on Facebook can come in handy during an interview when trying to build rapport. For example, you might say,
“It looks like your company has participated in some fundraisers for local children. That really interests me,”
“I noticed you lived in Washington, DC for awhile. I lived there, too, several years ago. Where did you live?”
The information you find on Facebook, including the people and their backgrounds, can provide you with thoughtful questions. These questions will demonstrate your interest in the employer and the job. For example, you might say,
"I see you run a very popular group on Facebook for people who are interested in photography [or whatever]. Does the group help you learn about product development opportunities based on the questions people ask?"
"I noticed that, last month, you announced a new service for companies which need to track customer satisfaction outside of the USA. How challenging was it to comply with the EU's privacy policies?"
Without sounding creepy (e.g., I see you live close to me), mention one or two things that caught your eye on Facebook to build rapport and to demonstrate your interest in the job and the company.
The more you learn about a company and its employees before an interview, the better prepared you will be for your conversation. The information you discover on Facebook will help you ask intelligent and meaningful questions throughout the interview and may even help build rapport with your interviewer faster.
Check out Pre-Interview Preparation for more tips on being well-prepared for your job interview using Google and LinkedIn.
Hannah Morgan, Job-Hunt’s Social Media Job Search Expert, maximizes her own personal branding and online visibility using social media platforms. She is a job search strategist and founder of CareerSherpa.net. Follow and connect with Hannah on Twitter (@careersherpa) and Facebook (Career Sherpa). To read more articles on how to use social media for job search, visit her site: Careersherpa.net.