It’s your first day in a new office, on a new job. You’ve woken up early, put on the outfit you planned the night before, had a hearty breakfast and left the house with plenty of time to ensure you arrive early.
As you sit waiting in reception, ready to start your day, you’re probably going to be feeling at least a twinge of nerves as ‘fear of the unknown office’ kicks in. What if I mess up? What if I don’t make any friends? What if no-one likes me? What if people think I’m terrible at my job? These are just some of the questions that were spinning through my head on my first day here at TempTribe.
To help you on your first day, we’ve compiled a list of the best questions you should ask on your first day to calm your nerves and give you a bit of a headstart.
Who should I report to?
Of course you’re going to have questions throughout the day so you’re going to need to know who you should direct them to. You’ll also be assigned tasks throughout the day and you’ll need to inform the correct person when they’ve been completed. It would also be useful to know who would be the next best person to report to in the event that ‘the number one’ is not available.
What’s the process with answering calls?
Most companies will have a specific way that you should answer the phone. It’s important to familiarise yourself with how you should answer the phone to align with company expectations for example. It may sound stupid, but you also need to make sure you know how to use the phones: transferring calls, using switchboards, commissioning UFO’s, who knows what else. Phone tech is pretty advanced these days so it may not be as easy as picking up the phone and putting it down.
What are the roles of people in the office?
Knowing the who’s who and who does what in the office is great knowledge to have. It will help you direct any questions you have to the person who will know best and most simply of all it’s your first step to getting to know your new colleagues and building relationships with them.
Are there any training documents I could refer to?
Of course you’re going to have questions on your first day, questions about a whole variety of things and you may be conscious of constantly asking them. It will be handy for you to find out if there are any documents that you can refer to that will give you guidance and answers to your own questions as you get used to your new work environment.
Are there special company culture or policies I should bear in mind?
Each company you work for will have its own quirks that you should be aware of. Whether its following confidentiality guidelines, keeping personal calls to lunchtime, dress-down Friday or even making sure you stick to their recycling protocols, get up to speed quickly so you can settle into your new job sooner.
Who do I call if there is an emergency, if I will be late, or if I am sick?
Knowing what to do in these situations before they happen means there is one less thing to worry about when the situation does arise. You can speak directly to the correct person and deal with the issue in the correct manner.
What will you expect from me today/this week/this month?
This is a great way to set yourself some unofficial targets to work towards. Whether it’s as simple as mastering telephone enquiries or even completing monthly sales forecasts on your own for example, know what you need to do so you can do it!
How does everybody lunch?
How each organisation ‘lunches’ will be different. Find out how your new workplace does it; the yes’s and no’s of lunchtime etiquette. You could even using lunching as a conversation topic, ask colleagues for their recommendations on good places to grab some food.
Where are important locations in the office/building?
Some offices may be huge, others much smaller. You’ll need to familiarise yourself with your surroundings to make your navigating around your new environment easier and minimise the chance that you may get lost if the offices are in fact the size of a small village. Identify where you will need to visit and where the location is. Here are some examples of locations you may need to visit: the HR department, meeting rooms or board rooms, lunch canteen or even the bathroom. You don’t want to a lost lone wanderer on your first day!
Is there anything else I should know?
As a newbie, you won’t know what else there is to know, so it’s important you give your new employer the opportunity or reminder to tell you of any other important information they may not have covered. It’s also an opportunity to show our new boss that you are thorough in your approach to work.
What can I get started on first?
A great question to show your keenness for getting stuck in to work. By asking this you’ll reassure your new employer that they’ve made the right decision. Just make sure you say it with a smile on your face otherwise this question loses its value.
There you have it. A handy list of questions to ask on your first day. Asking these will make an awesome impression on your new employer and will put you in a position where you feel confident about your first day and banish any twinges of nerves.