You passed successfully the job interview step, now you have been called, your application has been selected among many other candidates and you are the chosen one for this wonderful position.
Congratulations: YOU GOT THE JOB!
But don’t let the welcoming ceremony fools you, try to make the most of your first days in office by asking 5 crucial questions that will tell you “who’s who in the zoo”; help you assess better the situation and put you on the right track for professional success.
This means that your first hours in the company are a perfect opportunity to ask those questions and clarify any other points or doubts that you may still have.
So, what should you ask on your first day in the office?
What should I expect for evaluations and reviews?
It is the ideal moment to start point to this subject. Speak now or hold it forever. Whether your company or manager has or not any specific review policy, your first day marks the start of the countdown to evaluate your performance and efficiency.
They may have some expectations about your work, skills, and knowledge, so you do. That is why being explicit and clear by asking directly what those expectations are is the right way to make sure that you will try to meet them.
Try to ask your director or manager what kind of competencies are used within the company to measure success, the spectrum of these norms might include soft skills like communication, time or project management, or hard skills like technical knowledge about increasing the sales volume by 30%, gaining new clients ….if there is no annual review ask for one yourself, tell your manager you would like to meet in the six months to discuss your progress.
The degree of success and failure of each employee is being evaluated, so taking things in charge makes the difference between being proactive and being unaware.
Is there anything unusual about the procedure or process?
Since each company or manager has its own “unusual” or “unique” way of doing things, that they consider normal, try to profit from your first day and ask everyone what are those things or methods.
Are there unusual processes that are not common, or have surprised new coming employees when they started working for the company? Ask your manager for an inside scoop.
Does he want to be cc’d on each email? Ask your colleagues for the best practices.
Finding the most suited communication style is very important in your first days in the office.
Try to ask the HR manager what is your new manager’s reputation is he/ she too formal or friendly and casual? Does he prefer emails, phone calls,s or just messages? You want to get everything right from the start.
Is there any office politics that you should learn about?
Ask your manager privately about the nature and style of the people you will be working with immediately. Is there any kind of alliances or friendship you should be aware of?
Who is the best person, or the most qualified to ask for advice? But be wary of this line of questions, there is a fine line between being aware of those politics and becoming a part of them.
Ask questions that might reveal the most important alliances and rifts within the company.
What is the reputation of your team within the larger organization?
Everyone knows that there are enemies, alliances, and secret relationships in each company so why miss the chance to know about them.
What happened to the person who occupied your position before you?
It is quite important to know why you got the job? why they have chosen you and how did you beat the competition?
It is also important to learn about the person who occupied your position.
Whether they advanced within the organization or did they just left the company?
Those are important pieces of information to have since they offer you more insights into the career trajectory for someone who is in your position.
Don’t miss the chance to ask about your career trajectory in your organization, those questions will let you know if any growth opportunities are waiting for you.
If a lot of employees before you left after one year, it will help you anticipate your own time with the company.
On the other hand, if employees before you are still working there you have more chances to look forward.
What should you know about availability and flexibility?
Try to know if your manager is the clock keeper or an ally in getting things done wherever and whenever it is necessary?
It is important to determine expectations in terms of availability for two main reasons: the first one is that you need to know those expectations in order to meet them, then if your manager or team are very strict with the timing you should schedule your days accordingly.
Understanding everything from the start is your best choice.
Similar goes to the vacation policies, you need to know if it is considered normal to leave earlier to pick up your kids, or to work from home…