HOW TO: Use LinkedIn to Figure Out What Makes the Hiring Manager Tick

Sue Gresham, a Milwaukee social media strategist and trainer, gave me a great interview prep tip last week. She shared an idea for using LinkedIn to research interviewers. Sue suggests that you look at the recommendations your interviewers have written because they will give you insight into what they value.

To read someone’s recs, they must be in your network. Small network? Ask your job search coach, who should have a large LinkedIn network, or a friend with a big network, for help.

One of my job search clients is prepping for an interview. I was happy to help her research the interviewers. Here’s what we found:

Her hiring manager is in my network. We were able to look at his profile and see that he has not recommended anyone. Strikeout, but read on.

Next, we found a person in my network who is senior to the hiring manager and in the same function. She has written four recs.

We noted these comments from her recs: can interact with anyone at their level of expertise, committed, dedicated, energetic, eye for perfection, gifted public speaker, hard working, humble, intense technical knowledge of products and procedures, loved by partners, passionate, positive, takes on any task, and willing to learn.

Then we found another connection, the company’s CEO. He has written 18 recs. What a grace note to find that the CEO has a generous spirit!

We focused on his recs for people in my client’s function. We noted these comments: extremely good people skills, technical expertise, understands what drives customer to make decisions, understands what makes a business successful, and work ethic.

My client and I had talked about how much of her prep time she should use studying the company’s customers and the technical aspects of its products. These recs indicate this research is a “must” for her prep agenda.

Thank you Sue. Your tip, and a few minutes of research, have yielded valuable information for my client.

BTW, please feel free to connect with me on LinkedIn here. My email address is I love connecting with people who read my blog!

I write executive resumes and LinkedIn profiles. Save time. Get hired. Email me at or call me at (208) 721-0131.


Comments 7

  1. Hi You Guys,

    This is a terrific example of how social media accelerates the job hunting, career managing learning curve. Ed, Sue, and Jacqui, I’ve been learning from you for months on Twitter, blogs, and LinkedIn. Thank you!

    Kevin, I’m glad to meet you and so happy that you find helpful. You might want to check out Ed’s and Jacqui’s blogs too. They have great info! Just click on their names.


  2. Donna,
    I am still a new user to Linkedin so this was a great read for me. I think is a good idea to use the recommendations of the hiring managers to compile points of research.

    Thank you
    Kevin Izevbigie

  3. Donna,
    Great ‘strategy’ for interview prep – love the idea of reviewing recommendations the hiring manager / interviewer wrote. Truly a valuable way to ‘see’ what they value (especially those recommendations that appear genuine <– some, it seems are stiff and forced, unfortunately). So, researching and cherry picking those meaningful testimonials should enhance the prep process, for sure.

    Your own client interview prep example proved your point – and is an appreciated illustration breathing life into your post!

    Thank you!

  4. Donna,
    So glad you found this tip helpful. These days, job seekers need every possible advantage they can find. I can’t stress what an important tool social media (yes even Twitter and Facebook) is for researching people, companies, and industries.

  5. Donna, I’ve been advocating this usage of LinkedIn with jobseekers I know who continually ask what the ROI in LI is. This invariably gets them to open their eyes!

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