Wow Your Manager Asking These Questions on Your First Day at Work

By Maria Onzain

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Asking questions on your first day at work is a sign of having the right attitude. While you should listen to your manager to absorb as much information as possible you will also be expected to have a lot of questions. Asking the right questions will show your employer that you are interested and you have done your research before going to work.

Shelly Horton, Australian TV Personality and Careers commentator, explains to Open Colleges how important it is to make a good first impression on your first day at work. “I follow the 5P Theory – Prior Preparation Prevents Poor Performance”. And she recommends finding out “as much as you can about the company and the people who work there before you walk through the front door.”

Your manager wants to make sure he or she has made a good decision hiring you. And your first days in the job is your first chance to show not only that you are the most suitable candidate for the job but also that you have a positive attitude and are looking forward to this big step in your career. So avoid asking queries that you can read on your new organization’s website or that may sound banal to your co-workers. Instead, try asking some of these questions that will help you impress your manager during your first days in the company.

What to ask your manager:

What are the main 5 things you want me to accomplish in my first week at work? And the first month?

This question shows commitment and a goal-driven personality. Both are essential soft skills to achieve business objectives and help the team progress in the right direction. 

How often do you want me to give you updates or progress reports?

Asking this question you are demonstrating your manager that you have organizational skills. Planning your weekly and monthly work will be key to success in your new position. As the personal time management author, Alan Lakein, said “failing to plan is planning to fail.”

What metrics or KPIs do you use to measure [project or campaign name]?

Don’t miss the opportunity to show that you are switched on. After your manager has explained to you a project you will be working on, make sure you ask about what are the criteria that will determine that project’s success. This will show your manager your eagerness to measure your work results.

How often are the performance reviews at [company name]? When will be my first performance evaluation?

Asking this question you are telling your manager that you want to get feedback from your work and that you are open to receive constructive criticism to continue improving in your position.

What is the organizational structure of the company?

Understanding the company’s structure, the different departments or teams, and everyone’s roles are crucial to be able to ask the right questions to the correct people when you get stuck. Although you may have a lot of information to digest, it is important to remember this, as it will be extremely useful in the future. You may want to take some notes at this point.

What to ask your team members:

During your first week at work, your manager also wants to see that you fit in well with the rest of the team, so remember to ask questions to your colleagues and make an effort to get to know them. These are some good questions to ask them:

What is the main challenge you are facing at the moment?

Your colleagues’ challenges are just about to become your own. Show your interest and start preparing to solve the problems that your new team is struggling with.

What tools do you use to automate repetitive or tedious daily tasks?

Work productivity is essential to progress faster, so if you can bring in some productivity tools, everyone will appreciate it. Make sure you first ask them how do they perform their daily job and if you have any suggestions to help improve the team’s productivity, don’t hesitate to let them know politely. 

Let me know if there is anything I can help you with.

Demonstrating that you are supportive and a team player is very important during your first days in a new job. Offering your help to your co-workers will help you make a great first impression, and they will give positive feedback when your manager asks them about your performance.

What do you guys normally do for lunch?

Having lunch with your team is an excellent way to get to know each member and develop very valuable professional relationships. Don’t be shy and ask to join them for lunch from the first day.

Overall, it is important to take the initiative and keep the lines of communication open with your manager. If you don’t have enough work to do, ask if there is anything else you can help with. If, on the other hand, you are feeling slightly overwhelmed, ask what are the business priorities to organize your workload. You manager will appreciate your honest and proactive approach.

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