- On March 8, 2019
No, it is not creepy to google your interviewers before you meet them. In fact, it’s expected that you look up the company and your lineup before you go in. You want to come across as prepared and to keep the interview flowing and conversational. Some dos and don’ts:
- You can preface a question about the interviewer by noting you read something about that topic in an accepted source like their LinkedIn profile or from the New York Times, Wall Street Journal or The Recorder/American Lawyer.
- Acceptable topics include: common schools, firms you both trained at, or people you both know. (Before the interview, you should call the mutual acquaintance before you name drop them – they might be called back.)
- Do not ask anything that might make the interviewer feel defensive. For example, if someone has changed jobs a lot, stay away from their job history. But if the person recently switched industries or roles (and nothing calamitous has happened), you can ask how it’s going and if there have been any surprises. Use your judgment.
- Do not refer to the interviewer’s home address or how their place looks on Google Maps. Really, lawyers have truly done this. If you do, people will want to take a restraining order against you rather than be impressed by your diligence. Don’t bring up their kids unless they do.
- Do not refer to the interviewer’s political contributions, which can show up in Google searches. While I wouldn’t stick to small talk about the weather, stay away from politics unless that’s part of the job.
Remember: It’s ok not to use all or even most of the information you learned. The point of the research is for you to feel prepared and to know your audience so you can pitch appropriately. For more on googling your interviewers, check out this Business Insider article.