Five useful questions to ask on your first day in a new job

Pensive man looking at whiteboard

The first day at a new job can almost feel like you’re starting school all over again; it brings about a strange mixture of excitement and nerves. Clarifying a few simple things on Day 1 can really help you get off to a great start! We recently put together a list of top tips to help you make a great impression on your first day, and one of the most important things is making sure you’re asking the right questions! To help, we decided to put together a list of 5 questions that will be useful to have in your back pocket.

1. How do you prefer to communicate, in e-mail or in person?

It could be that your entire team direct all questions through e-mail, or it could differ depending on the individual. Some people prefer to chat things out in person, but others may prefer questions to be logged via e-mail so they can keep a log of requests. This is a great thing to find out sooner rather than later. Identifying the best channels of communication is essential; it means you’re instantly adhering to your team’s processes and it also allows you to communicate in a way that is the most effective for you and your colleagues.

2. What are the key projects I should be aware of at the moment?

There’s a good chance your manager probably won’t be dishing out deadlines on Day 1, but it’s not a bad idea to be aware of the most relevant projects at the moment. There’s a lot to take in on your first day, so you probably don’t need to get bogged down in detail right now, but it’s always useful to get an idea of what’s happening from the outset.

3. Who are the key people in the business I should make contact with?

The key stakeholders you need to know about obviously differs from job to job. You could be in a global company and have to liaise with people all over the world, or you might just need to chat with two other team members in your office. Whatever your individual situation, try to find out who you’ll be communicating with on a regular basis and take the initiative to set up calls or meetings as soon as possible. This gives you a great head start and also demonstrates a pro-active first impression.

4. Can you tell me 5-10 things you’d like me to achieve in the first week?

It’s difficult to predict what’s expected of you in a first week; sometimes you’ll be given a bit of breathing space to get to grips with everything, other times you’ll be thrown in at the deep end and tasked with deliverables from the outset. It really depends on your company culture and the expectations on your team or business at the moment. Whatever your situation, it’s always healthy to outline some key short-term objectives right now. This means you can instantly start managing your own workload and start off on the right foot.

5. How will my performance be measured?

It’s great to find this out as early as possible; sit down with your manager and find out all about this. Do you have key objectives? Is there a specific performance programme? Every company is different, but from the outset you want to make sure you know what you’re working against and how this will be measured.

At Progressive, our consultants are on hand to help you every step of the way. Even after placement, we’re here to offer advice and make sure everything’s running smoothly! To find out more about our consultative service, or to hear about the many opportunities we have on offer, get in touch!

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