Asking questions during the recruitment and interview process is an essential way to convey your interest in a firm. Your desire to learn more about what they have to offer directly translates to "Hey, this student must really be interested in working here!" in the mind of the employer. That being said, asking the RIGHT questions is also critical.
Too many times, students resort to "canned" questions that reflect little to no prior research about specific initiatives within that employer. A canned question is something that is the same whether you ask it to a staff or a partner, local or international firm (i.e. What do you like about working there?). Canned questions are okay in small numbers, but your focus should be on preparing questions that really set you apart from your peers when it comes to proving you've done your homework on that employer. Here are a few examples of questions to strive for in interviews.
Example Interview: Machen McChesney
Canned Question: Do you have a community involvement strategy?
Memorable Question: I saw on your website that you encourage your professionals to actively participate in professional organizations and community affairs. What are some specific ways that Machen McChesney folks are involved in the Auburn community? What do you recommend I participate in if I am hired?
Example Interview: Deloitte
Canned Question: What programs do you offer employees to encourage work-life balance?
Memorable Question: I have heard buzz about Deloitte's family leave program, and it sounds amazing. How do you envision this changing the dynamic of your workforce, especially when so many people will take advantage of it and be away from work for several months?
Example Interview: Warren Averett
Canned Question: Can you tell me about your various locations?
Memorable Question: I am impressed by the number of mergers & acquisitions that Warren Averett has made over the past several years. How has this created a competitive advantage for the firm, and how does it translate to better opportunities for your people?