Wrapping up the Interview
Most interviewers will conclude by asking "Do you have any questions for me?" The interviewer will expect you to have questions prepared and will use these questions to gauge your interest in and understanding of the job. Asking thoughtful and specific questions about the job and company will demonstrate to the interviewer that you are serious about the position. Conversely, if you do not ask questions you appear uninterested.
Also keep in mind that the interview is your opportunity to learn more about the position in order to determine if it is a good fit for you. Be sure to ask questions that will enable to you fully understand the scope of the job, so that you can make an informed decision about working for the company.
Avoid asking questions regarding salary, benefits, vacation or anything else that makes you appear to be more interested in what you can get from the company than what you can offer them. Also avoid questions whose answers you could have easily found for yourself if you had put any effort into researching the company.
The following list contains appropriate questions for candidates to ask in the initial job interview. This list is by no means exhaustive; you should develop your own questions during the course of your research on the company.
- What type of training programs do you have? How long is the training period? What does the training consist of?
- How and when will my performance be evaluated?
- What can I do between now and the start of the position so that I am prepared to hit the ground running?
- What is unique about your company? Can you describe the company’s basic management philosophy? What is the organizational structure above and below this position?
- Do you hire co-op students from cycle to cycle? What percentage of your co-ops become full-time employees upon graduation?
- In your opinion, why is this a good place to work?
- What has your career progression been within this company?
- If I excel in this job, would I have the opportunity to increase my job duties and responsibilities?
- What would make an employee stand out as "exceptional" in this job?
- Ask specific questions based on your research of the company: growth plans, competitors, new products and research, etc.
Informing Employers of Special Circumstances
Some Drexel co-op students have special circumstances that they will need to inform employers of during their job interviews. For instance, athletes, ROTC members and Residential Advisors may have already standing commitments that will infringe upon their time at work. Students in this situation should bring their schedules with them to their interviews to inform potential employers of these conflicts. Consult with a Steinbright staff member if you are unsure how to proceed in this situation.
Similarly, graduating students and alumni may have personal commitments or professional obligations with a current employer that may impact their start date availability or work schedule early in their employment with a prospective employer. Being upfront about potential conflicts and how they could be managed in the transition from college to employment or between companies demonstrates a high level of integrity.
Students who have disabilities or other circumstances which may make it difficult to interview should contact Drexel's Office of Disability Resources and their co-op coordinator for assistance and advice.
At the end of the interview, you may be given the opportunity to make some final remarks. Use this time to summarize your qualifications and reiterate your strong interest in the position. Be sure to include any final relevant information about yourself that you may have forgot to mention earlier in the interview.
You should also inquire as to what the next steps in the hiring process will be. Will a decision be made soon? Will there be another round of interviews? That way you will know when to follow up with the interviewer. Finally, be sure to firmly shake hands, thank the interviewer for his or her time, and ask for a business card.
After your interview, always remember to send thank-you notes to those who interviewed you. A thank-you note should convey your appreciation for the interviewer's time, reiterate your interest in the position, and highlight some of your qualifications again for the employer. Try to mention something specific that you spoke about during the interview. This will help the interviewer remember you and it will make the note more personal. You may mail or email your thank-you letters, just be sure that they are professionally written. Send your thank you letter within 24 hours of the interview.