6

Early last month I was offered an internship and verbally accepted over the phone. I was then emailed an offer letter, and a bunch of information and forms to fill out. The email said to let them know if I had any questions and told me what day/time to show up. I did not reply to the email but did fill out some forms it linked to.

All of our communication has been over phone/skype/email because I attend school out of state and flew home right before my first interview.

Now, it's been a month, and that was our last communication. The internship starts in about a week and a half. I don't have any questions to ask (at least not any that I feel are worth asking before I show up in person -- maybe I could ask about the dress code). I am worried that my failure to respond to the email and continued silence will make me look bad, or they will think I'm not serious about the internship. I don't think they are going to take the internship away or anything; I just don't want to make a bad impression before I even meet them.

Should I send an email now just to break the silence sooner than later, or would an email the day before saying I am looking forward to my first day be sufficient?

  • Is the email sender a member of the recruitment team, or the person you will work with ? – Thalantas Jul 20 '17 at 7:14
  • @Thalantas it is the HR rep who set up all my interviews. – StarSweeper Jul 20 '17 at 7:15
  • Unless you have an actual question, don't bother contacting them. They'll spend time answering it, and it will not show you in a better or worse light - it's just part of their job to answer applicants questions. Your motivation has already been proved if you have been recruited. – Thalantas Jul 20 '17 at 7:19
  • Well, "should I break the silence?" is an entirely separate question from "Should I confirm my start date?". The answer to the latter is a resounding "of course". Since they have your form input and haven't contacted you since that shouldn't be an issue and it might be stranger to acknowledge now that you never replied. @Thalantas is right in saying that you shouldn't be wasting people's time for no reason so I'm struggling to see a different answer than "No" to your main question and I also wonder if this isn't too broad to really be "answered". – Lilienthal Jul 20 '17 at 9:20
8

There's no harm in making contact with them now, even to ask a generic question. If I was out of state, it would be something to do with food arrangements. Since you're not local, you don't know if you need to take something in with you or if there are places you can purchase food.

Equally, it could be asking who you need to report to on your first day if you don't already know.

Make it polite and say that you're really looking forward to getting started and leave it in their hands.

3

You can easily ask for them to confirm that they've recieved all the necessary information from you via the forms or if anything is still outstanding. Also to confirm your start date (sometimes it moves by a day or so).

If you want to know, also fit a question about the dress code in there.

But, honestly, if you don't have any questions, there is no express need to follow up. Essentially, you've already been recruited, they expect you to show up motivated on your first day, and that's probably all they expect.

I discourage you from asking questions that you know will be easily answerable on your first day. It's not good form and you'll be costing a HR person time for no reason.

2

Not answering to the email with the forms wasn't the most professional thing to do, you should always respond to a professional mail even if it's only to confirm you saw it, with the exception of grouped mail that might not require a confirmation from everyone, but nothing to be so concerned about. It's just good habits to take.

Contacting them now to ask questions is not mandatory or the only professional behavior expected, it's just a bonus, it shows that you are curious and looking forward to start at their company. If you don't that's just a regular behavior, you won't look bad because you didn't ask questions between filling the required papers and your starting day.

Then again, if you still want to ask questions just to be sure :

  • Dress code as you mentioned
  • Hours policy
  • Where and when is it usual to eat
  • Are there rules for breaks
  • Should I take my computer or am I going to get one from the company (not as idiot as you may think, I had an internship where I was required to take my own computer since the company didn't have any to provide for me)
  • Question 2, 3 and 4 are typically stuff that you hear on the first day and it can seem strange to ask about in advance. – Lilienthal Jul 20 '17 at 9:26
  • @Lilienthal I asked the HR person in charge of my current internship how flexible hours were and were employees usually eats when she called me to tell me I had the job, didn't seem weird. Didn't really ask for breaks since I wanted to wait and see, but I guess that depends of the company or country to ask such things. – sh5164 Jul 20 '17 at 9:30

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