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What to Do if You Don’t Know the Name of the Hiring Manager

When you have a job interview scheduled, one of the best pieces of information you can obtain beforehand is the name of the Hiring Manager.

Once you have that name, you can do research to find out as much as you can about that individual. I’m talking about research from a business perspective, not a personal perspective. That would be called stalking!

Seriously, anything you can find out about the business background of the Hiring Manager will help you in your interview. Here’s a good example.

I once interviewed for an upper-level management position in the Information Technology field. I knew someone at the organization who was able to tell me the name of the Hiring Manager, who was the VP of IT. When I checked his LinkedIn profile, I found out that he actually came into IT from the business side of the house, many years ago.

Since my background was also originally on the business side, I made sure I mentioned that prominently in one of my interview question answers. I saw the VP’s eyes light up and he remarked that he too started in the business end and thought that made him a better IT manager.

As you might guess, the rest of the interview went very smoothly and I got the job.

However, it’s not easy finding the Hiring Manager’s name, and many times it’s impossible. As a Hiring Manager, I can tell you that it’s very difficult to identify me when I post a job, and that’s by design.

It’s not that I want to deprive you of information that could help you in your interview. But if it were easy to find out the Hiring Manager’s name, we would be swamped with people trying to bypass the system and communicate directly with us.

So what’s an applicant to do? Are there ways to find out the name of the Hiring Manager?

I’m going to give you five suggestions, but I’ll also tell you that the odds are low that you’ll succeed. That’s just the reality of the situation.

Do You Know Someone Who Works There?

This is by far the best way to find out who is the Hiring Manager for the job to which you’re applying. The success rate is very high.

They can simply ask around if they don’t already know. There’s no risk to them in doing so and the information is readily available if you’re already an employee.

Or, perhaps you know someone who knows someone who works there. Not quite as good, but still much better than any other method.

Look on LinkedIn

You’ll need a paid account to find out people information for companies on LinkedIn unless they are a 1st, 2nd or 3rd connection to you.

If  you have a paid account, here’s what you can do.

  • Do a search for the company name.
  • Then click on “People”
  • Then click on “All Filters”
  • Go down to the bottom and in the “Title” field type in “Manager” or “Vice President” or whatever title you think is appropriate.

If it’s a large company, it will likely come back with dozens if not hundreds of results and you need to plow through them. You can further filter by location to reduce the list some if the company has multiple locations and you know the one you’d be working in.

Look at the Company Website

Depending on the level of the job and the size of the company, there may be extensive information online about the various departments and sometimes even the names of the managers. If one of the departments is where your job is located, and if the manager’s names are given, you have struck gold.

Proceed directly to researching that individual!

It might also be worthwhile looking at the company’s Facebook page, but management information that specific is seldom found.

Look at Company Publications

If it’s a larger company, look at their annual report, news releases, etc. There’s a chance that management names will be given, but usually only for high-level positions (e.g. Vice President and above).

Unless the job for which you’re applying is high enough to report to one of those positions, you may be out of luck. But it’s worth at least checking.

Call the Company

For larger companies, call the HR department. For smaller companies that may not have an HR department, speak to whoever answers the phone.

Explain upfront that you have a scheduled job interview and ask if they can tell you the name of the Hiring Manager so that you can better prepare.

This will occasionally work if you get a sympathetic person on the other end.

Good Luck in your efforts…and no, I won’t give you my name!

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