By: Bill Reagan

Even when an interview goes well, it’s still possible to screw it up afterward. A hiring manager I know recently told me the story of one candidate’s crucial mistake hours after the interview ended.

The candidate’s strong qualifications earned him an interview with two senior people at the company. The interview went pretty well and the applicant’s qualifications were confirmed, though both interviewers privately questioned whether he was the right cultural fit for the team.

A few hours after the meeting, one of the interviewers received an invitation from the candidate to connect on LinkedIn. The other interviewer did not. Both were visible to the public on the site, and the second even appeared as one of the automated “People who viewed this profile also viewed…” list.

With one request, the candidate created two problems: He put the first interviewer in an awkward position by requesting to connect, and he alienated the second by choosing to send only one request. The interviewers never learned why only one request was sent – they decided he wasn’t the right fit.

Next time you have a job interview, keep these social media tips in mind:

Don’t request to connect: A job interview isn’t a business meeting – it’s more like a first date. Requesting to connect with someone you just interviewed with can seem presumptuous and puts them in an awkward position because they haven’t yet decided what type of working relationship you will have.

Be discreet: After an interview, companies continue to research candidates, especially if it’s a close race. Posting about how well it went or complaining about how it didn’t, especially if you reference the company, reflects poorly on you – especially if they didn’t have the same impression of how it went.

Don’t pander to the interviewer’s posts: Even if you’re impressed by their insights or the quality of a post, wait until after they’ve made a hiring decision to like, share, or comment on any posts. Any activity of this type will likely be seen as sucking-up.

Getting a new job can be challenging enough. Don’t make it harder by being careless on social media.