10 Questions to Ask on Your First Day

February 4, 2020


The first day at a new job is overwhelming and exciting. You worked hard during the interview process and now’s the time to prove you’re worthy of the team. Make the most of your first day by asking these ten important questions to your teammates or manager that will set you up for success.  

1. How will I be reviewed and evaluated? How often?

This is a great question because it showcases your professionalism and transparency. It allows you to keep track of your work knowing how it will be presented so you can nail your review. Maybe your boss prefers to give feedback quarterly, or maybe it’s ongoing. You’ll also know when it’s appropriate to ask for a raise or promotion.  

2. How do you prefer to communicate - email or face-to-face? How often do want updates on projects?

You can usually figure out the main channel of communication through observation, but it’s still important to ask your boss their preference so you know what’s appropriate. Maybe your boss wants to be cc’d on all client e-mails, maybe they want to see your work on their desk in print, or maybe they want daily check-ins. This information will help you communicate accordingly so you don’t look like you’re too absent or in need of micro-managing.  

3. How can I help you the most this week?

All too often, beginning a new job means twiddling your thumbs for the first week. Asking this question gives you a clear understanding of what you can accomplish in the first week. It helps establish great relationships with co-workers early on by helping them accomplish their most pressing tasks. Try reading Idealist’s Guide to The First 100 Days at a New Job for more ideas of what you can accomplish at a new job beyond the first week.  

4. Where’s the bathroom?

Knowing where things are, or at least understanding a basic layout of the office will help you get your bearings during the first week. Taking a walk to the bathroom gives you the opportunity to stop by different offices or departments and learn more about the company and its employees.  

5. What happened to the person before me?

You need to know about the person who was in the position before you. Did they leave the company or advance in the company? Not only does this provide insight into the company, but also the career trajectory of someone in your position. If they’re still at the company, you may want to grab a coffee and listen to their advice for best practices as you assume their old responsibilities.  

6. What’s your name?

Dale Carnegie said, “a person’s name is to that person, the sweetest, most important sound in any language.” Learning the names of your new employees is a top priority on your first day. So, please introduce yourself. Being friendly and intentional is important while establishing relationships with new co-workers.  

7. Who are the people I should meet this week?

Establishing relationships with key stakeholders early on is critical to your success. Your relationships and communication are the keys to your success. The first week is the time to meet and learn about the stakeholders so you create your own stakeholder map (which will probably vary from the one they have online). In the future, you’ll be able to refer back to your map so you know who to partner with to achieve your goals.  

8. Any unusual procedures or processes?

Every company has their own way of doing things they consider normal. Some companies are better than others at the onboarding process and will alert you to unusual routines, while others won’t. When you’re filling out HR paperwork ask about the weird company procedures so you avoid getting surprised later.  

9. What are the expectations for arrival and departure?

Does the office follow the traditional nine-to-five schedule, or are the hours more flexible? Is remote work possible? Does your boss expect you to check-in and out at the beginning and end of the day? Or does your boss prefer giving you the flexibility to get work done wherever and whenever? Asking this question allows you to schedule your day accordingly without worrying about what’s expected of you.  

10. When’s lunch?

Every office is different when it comes to their lunch-time routine, and this can be a valuable way to learn more about the company’s culture and your co-workers. Is lunch thirty minutes or an hour? Do people eat at their desks or together? If you know the status quo is for lunch, you’ll be able to integrate into the office quickly. After receiving the answers to these questions, you’ll have a clearer idea of what’s expected of you, how the company works, and who to talk to. Don’t be afraid of asking a lot of questions on your first day: if you don’t understand something, it’s better to ask than be a bobblehead.   At the end of each day, ask yourself, “what did I learn today?” If you can’t think of anything, it’s probably because you didn’t ask enough questions. Everyone can get better at asking questions and a new job is a perfect place to start this habit. Asking good questions shows you’re engaged, curious, and teachable, so ask away. Looking for a new career or lacking the right candidate? Turn2Partners wants to help you find your dream team. Contact us at 571-302-4999 or visit turn2partners.com to start looking.