85 Questions to Ask When Starting a New Job

Stepping into a new job comes with a bundle of nerves and excitement. You might be wondering, “What should I ask to make a stellar start?” No stress; I’ve got you covered. 

The questions in this article are like a friendly chat over coffee, giving you the inside scoop on the most essential questions that’ll help you gel in your new role without a hitch. So, take a breath, grab a notepad, and let’s dive into some real talk about starting your latest adventure!

Understanding Role and Expectations

  1. What are the core responsibilities of my role?
  2. Can you walk me through a typical day for someone in my position?
  3. Are there any immediate projects I’ll be working on?
  4. What skills are most important to succeed in this job?
  5. What challenges might I encounter in this role?
  6. Who will I be reporting directly to?
  7. Are there opportunities for professional development in this role?
  8. How is feedback on performance typically given?
  9. What are the success metrics for my position?
  10. Can you provide examples of projects I’ll be handling?
  11. Are there any tools or systems I should become familiar with?
  12. Is there a probationary period, and what does that entail?
  13. What is the company’s policy on work flexibility or remote working for my role?
  14. Will I be expected to travel for this position?
  15. What collaboration tools does the company use?
  16. Are there any specific expectations for the first 30, 60, or 90 days?
  17. How often does the team meet to discuss progress and problems?
  18. What would you consider to be an exceptional performance in this role?
  19. Is there any reading or self-education you’d recommend I do before starting?

Organizational Culture and Team Dynamics

  1. How would you describe the company culture here?
  2. What is the team’s structure, and how does my role fit within it?
  3. How are decisions typically made within the team?
  4. Can you tell me about the team I’ll be working with?
  5. What social events or team-building activities does the company offer?
  6. How often will I have one-on-one meetings with my manager?
  7. Are there regular staff meetings or gatherings?
  8. What is the preferred method of communication in the office?
  9. How does the company handle conflict resolution?
  10. Can you share examples of recent team successes?
  11. How does cross-departmental collaboration typically work here?
  12. What volunteer or community engagement opportunities does the company support?
  13. Does the team have lunch together, or is it more common to have lunch alone?
  14. Are there any team rituals or traditions I should be aware of?
  15. How is work-life balance viewed within the team?
  16. What is the protocol for providing input or feedback?
  17. What qualities make someone a good fit for this team?
  18. How are achievements recognized in the team or company?

Relationship Building and Networking

  1. What networking opportunities are available within the company?
  2. How does cross-departmental collaboration typically work?
  3. Who should I know in the company outside my immediate team?
  4. How do people typically communicate—through meetings, emails, or another way?
  5. Are there forums or platforms for employees to connect and share ideas?
  6. Is there a formal onboarding process to help me get to know my colleagues?
  7. Can I schedule meet-and-greet sessions with other departments?
  8. Who can I shadow to better understand different roles within the company?
  9. What are the typical lunch or break times, and where do people usually gather?
  10. How do you recommend I build my internal network?
  11. Are there external networking events or conferences the company supports?
  12. What communication tools do you use most often for team interactions?
  13. How can I contribute to creating a positive team environment?

Growth and Development Opportunities

  1. What opportunities are there for professional development?
  2. How does the company support ongoing learning and education?
  3. Are there paths for career advancement within the team?
  4. Does the company offer any courses, workshops, or seminars?
  5. How are employees encouraged to grow their skill set?
  6. Are there leadership or management training programs available?
  7. How does the company identify and promote talent?
  8. Are there opportunities for job rotation or interdepartmental moves?
  9. What kind of coaching or mentoring does the company provide?
  10. How does the company help employees maintain a relevant skill set in a changing industry?
  11. Are there any tools available to help with goal setting and performance tracking?
  12. How flexible is the company with role customization to fit skills and interests?
  13. How does the company celebrate personal development milestones?

Company Policies and Procedures

  1. What are the main company policies I should be aware of?
  2. Can you provide an employee handbook or document that outlines the company’s policies?
  3. How does the company handle confidentiality and data security?
  4. What is the IT security policy, especially for remote work situations?
  5. What are the standard working hours?
  6. Can you walk me through the first day or week logistics?
  7. Can you explain the health and safety regulations in the workplace?
  8. What is provided by the company, and what should I bring on my first day?
  9. How is payroll managed, and who can I talk to about it?
  10. Are there any specific compliance training sessions required?
  11. How are policy updates communicated to the staff?
  12. What is the company’s social media policy?
  13. How does the company approach sustainability and environmental responsibility?
  14. What is the policy on company property usage, such as laptops or phones?
  15. Are there clear guidelines for work travel and expenses?
  16. How does the company ensure workplace safety and health?
  17. Can you explain the process for filing grievances or concerns?
  18. What are the standard procedures during an emergency or evacuation?
  19. How does the company support professional conduct and ethics?
  20. Is there a dress code or appearance policy that I should follow?
  21. What is the company’s policy on the personal use of work devices?
  22. How are company-wide announcements usually made?

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you make a good first impression at a new job?

  • Be on time: Arrive at the office a few minutes early so you have time to settle in and relax.
  • Be professional: Dress appropriately for work and be polite to your colleagues.
  • Be prepared: Come to work with a list of tasks you want to accomplish and be ready to pitch in wherever you’re needed.
  • Be friendly: Smile and make small talk with your colleagues – but don’t overdo it.

How can I calm my nerves before starting a new job?

The best way to calm your nerves before starting a new job is to relax and take it one step at a time. Take a deep breath and remind yourself that you have prepared for this day. Focus on the task at hand and take it one step at a time. Remind yourself that you are capable and that you will do great. These tips should help you calm your nerves and allow you to focus on your new job.

What should I do if I feel overwhelmed with information on the first day?

It’s completely normal to feel overwhelmed. Try to take notes, ask for clarifications when needed, and remember that it’s okay to take time to process all the new information.

Final Thoughts

With this handy list of genuine questions, you’re now set to make an informed, confident entrance into your new job. Remember to keep it real, be yourself, and ask away. After all, every question is a stepping stone to feeling at home in your new role. Good luck, and go show ’em what you’re made of!

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Robby is a multimedia editor at Enlightio with a journalism and communications background. When she's not working, Robby transforms into an introverted art lover who indulges in her love for sports, learning new things, and sipping her favorite soda. She also enjoys unwinding with feel-good movies, books, and video games. She's also a proud pet parent to her beloved dog, Dustin.