No matter how many years you’ve contributed to the industry, starting a new role can be nerve-racking. Every organization is unique, and so is its work culture, thus, it becomes essential to understand how the company functions to make your place among the unknowns (your new coworkers).
The easiest way to learn more about your new job and the company is by asking your boss some questions. But what questions to ask is something you must be wondering about.
In this article, we’ve mentioned some important questions you must ask your boss before starting at a new company. We’ve even explained the reason for each question to help you decide.
Why is it Important to Ask Questions on Your First Day?
Starting a new job means you’ve already proven your worth for the role. Just like every new employee, you may be skeptical about asking your boss questions on the very first day or after the job interview.
Being curious is good, and by asking questions, you can get a clear picture of what you can expect from the organization and what it expects from you in return on a typical day. Here are some reasons why it’s important to ask questions:
By asking questions, you can clarify your manager’s expectations for your role, which is helpful for you to prioritize your work and ensure that you are meeting the company’s standards.
You must understand the importance of building a healthy relationship with your boss, and you can do it by asking questions. Your boss would love to answer questions about the company and their work.
Make a Positive Impression
When you ask questions at the end of an interview, it shows you are proactive and engaged in your work and want to see the company succeed. Therefore, you can make a positive impression on your manager and colleagues.
Understand Company Culture
Asking questions is the easiest way to gain insight into the company’s culture and values, making it easier for you to plan your work in accordance with the organization’s vision.
Know More About the Opportunities
Asking questions can also help you identify potential opportunities for growth and development within the organization and the team you’ll be working with.
There are many benefits of asking your boss questions before starting a new job. It also gives you a better understanding of what employment perks you are entitled to as per the job description, so you can dedicate your best to the job.
What is the best Question to Ask at the End of Interview or Before Starting with a New Company?
As you know, asking questions is important, it’s crucial to ask the right questions. Since you’ll be communicating with your boss or senior authorities, make sure you ask sensible questions only.
Below we’ve compiled a list of questions you can ask your boss, along with the reasons why you should ask them before starting a new role.
What Are the Company’s Values and Culture?
Knowing a company’s values and culture can be very helpful for you as a new employee. It can give you a sense of what the company is all about, what it stands for, and what its priorities are.
With this understanding, you can easily align your work and behavior with the company’s values, contributing to a more positive work environment and helping build positive relationships with your colleagues.
When you know about the values of a company, you can also better understand their expectations for your work. For example, if an organization values collaboration and teamwork, you can prioritize building relationships with your coworkers and seek out opportunities to work together. If the company values innovation and creativity, you may be encouraged to take risks and think outside the box.
Additionally, it will help you feel more comfortable in your new role. You can explore and understand how things are done in the organization, what the social norms are, and how people interact with each other, which is important to adjust to new surroundings and feel more confident.
What Are the Next Steps in the Onboarding Process, And How Can I Best Prepare for Them?
By asking about the onboarding process, you can learn what to expect in the first few weeks and months of your employment. It is crucial to ask this question to set goals, prioritize your work, and perform well in your role.
In addition, when you know everything about the onboarding or post interview process and the requirements of your position, you can understand what will be expected from you to do on a daily basis. It also gives you a better idea of the skills and knowledge you will need to excel in the role.
For example, if the hiring process requires you to undergo training, you can quickly sign up for it to upskill yourself.
Your boss can also recommend you some excellent training programs while giving you tips on how to nail the training program since they’ve already seen multiple employees go through this phase.
What Are the Biggest Challenges That the Company is Currently Facing, And How Can I Contribute to Addressing Them?
You are a new employee, but you can still ask about the challenges that the company is currently facing and how you can contribute to addressing them. It’s a great way to express your interest in the organization and your willingness to be a problem-solver.
If possible, you should do some research on the company before the interview to identify any challenges or a possible vulnerable position that the organization may be struggling to get out of. You could then ask a question that is tailored to your findings. For example:
“I noticed that your company is expanding into new markets. What are some of the challenges that you have encountered as you have grown, and how can I contribute to addressing these challenges?”
Or, you could ask a question that demonstrates your awareness of industry trends and how they might impact the company:
“I read an article about the impact of new regulations on the industry. How is your company responding to these changes, and how can I help to ensure that we remain compliant and competitive?”
By tailoring your question to the specific company and industry, you can showcase your knowledge and interest in the organization while highlighting your problem-solving skills and willingness to contribute to the team.
What Opportunities Are Available For Professional Development And Growth Within The Company?
It’s a must for every employee to explore opportunities for professional development and growth within the company, as it’s essential for building a long-term career with the organization.
You can ask your boss a question that goes beyond the regular training and development programs that many companies offer.
For example, what opportunities are available for cross-functional collaboration within the organization?
Or, you could ask a question that demonstrates your interest in leadership and mentorship, like:
“I’m very interested in developing my leadership skills. Are there opportunities to work with mentors or to take on leadership roles within the organization?”
By asking these questions, you can show your ambition and willingness to go above and beyond in your role. Additionally, by expressing an interest in cross-functional collaboration or leadership, you can prove that you are committed to contributing to the organization in a meaningful way.
How is Performance Evaluated, And What are the Key Performance Indicators for My Role?
Inquiring about how your performance will be evaluated and the key performance indicators for your role is a vital question to ask during an interview or before starting with a new company.
Learning about the evaluation process for your role can help you to understand how your success will be measured and what is expected of you. It will also enable you to set goals and benchmarks to track your progress in the position.
For example, if you are interviewing for a sales position, the key performance indicators may include metrics such as the number of calls made, meetings set, and deals closed. The key performance indicators for a customer service position may include customer satisfaction ratings and response time to customer inquiries.
Knowing the key performance indicators for your role can also help you to prioritize your work and ensure that you are meeting or exceeding the expectations of your manager and the organization.
Who Will I Be Working With Directly, And What Are Their Roles And Responsibilities?
If you’ve joined at a junior or senior level, it’s important to know who you will be working with directly and what their roles and responsibilities are.
Knowing who your colleagues are and what they do, helps you understand the team dynamics and how you can contribute to the organization. It can also enable you to identify professional development opportunities for collaboration and to form strong working relationships with your peers.
By understanding the roles and responsibilities of your colleagues, you can determine how your work fits into the broader picture and things you can do to support the team.
Suppose you are joining an advertising agency as a graphic designer. You could ask your hiring manager about who you will be working with directly and what are their roles and responsibilities, such as the creative director, account managers, copywriters, and other designers.
With this useful information, you can have a proper understanding of how you can contribute to the vision and goals of the team.
How Does the Company Support Work-Life Balance And Employee Wellness?
A good work-life balance and employee wellness program can help reduce stress, increase productivity, and foster a positive work environment. It also indicates that the company values its employees and wants to support their well-being.
You can ask your boss or the person interviewing you about the ways the company supports work-life balance and employee wellness, such as flexible work arrangements, access to wellness programs, employee assistance programs, and mental health resources.
It will also help you take a closer look into the company’s culture and values and make an informed decision about whether the organization is the right fit for you.
What Are the Company’s Goals For the Future, And How Do You See Me Contributing to Those Goals?
Every company, irrespective of the industry, has some future goals that you, as an employee, must know to ensure your work helps the company achieve them. Knowing how you can contribute to these goals can help you set expectations for yourself and ensure that you are making a positive impact in your role.
By asking this question, you can know more about the company’s expectations of you while getting a clear picture of how you can meet or surpass the expectations.
For example, if the organization’s goals are to expand into new markets or launch new products, your skills and experience may be needed to help with market research, product development, or marketing initiatives.
It also helps make you feel more motivated and engaged in your work while showing the value you can contribute to the organization.
How Does the Company Communicate, And How Can I Ensure That I’m Kept Up to Date on Important Information?
Generally, companies follow a different approach to communication, and it is an important aspect to consider before starting a new role. Asking questions about the communication channel helps you prepare to be an effective and productive employee.
There are various ways a company may communicate, and it is essential to know which methods the company uses and how they are used.
For instance, email is one of the most common communication channels companies use. It is a standard way of communicating both internally and externally, and it is used for sending and receiving important information. Before starting with the company, you may want to find out what email platform they use, the expected email etiquette, and how often you are expected to check your email.
Some companies use chat or messaging apps, such as Slack or Microsoft Teams, to facilitate internal communication between team members. These apps are often used to communicate more informally and quickly, as opposed to email or phone calls.
When you understand the complete communication channel, it helps streamline your work, and there is minimum disruption in the overall process.
What Are Some Upcoming Projects or Initiatives Within the Team, And How Can I Contribute to Their Success?
All organizations need successful employees who are genuinely interested and dedicated to contributing to their overall success. And a good wrap up question can be asking your boss about some upcoming projects or initiatives to get a deeper insight into the potential challenges and prepare yourself for them.
Some more upcoming project-related questions you can ask include:
- What upcoming-most interesting projects or initiatives are you excited about?
- What is the timeline for these projects, and what are the key milestones we need to hit?
- How can I contribute to the success of these projects, given my skills and experience?
- Are there any resources or training opportunities that I should take advantage of to prepare for these projects?
- How does the company company measures success, and what are the key performance indicators we should be focused on?
Try to take notes when your boss is answering your questions, it’ll show that you are interested in what you are doing, while you can remember the tips given by your boss such as the grounds the company uses to evaluate success.
Don’t hesitate when asking such questions, provided they are on professional grounds and are helpful for you and the company.
Can You Ask Your Boss Legal Job-Related Questions?
As a general rule, you can ask your boss legal job-related questions, but it is important to be mindful of the context and nature of the question.
If the question pertains to a legal issue related to your job duties, such as understanding a new employment law or interpreting a company policy, it is generally acceptable to ask your boss for clarification or guidance. In fact, it may be beneficial to seek your boss’s advice in such circumstances, especially if they have legal expertise or are familiar with the company’s policies.
It is essential to be careful of the boundaries of your professional relationship with your boss. If a legal question raises potential conflicts of interest or confidentiality concerns, it may be best to seek the advice of an outside legal professional.
Starting at a New Company? Get the Inside Scoop with Levine & Blit’s Employment Lawyer
You may find yourself at the backseat when asking legal questions to your boss because every employee wants to build a healthy relationship with their manager. But it’s important to know every legality of employment and labor in New York before starting a new role.
Levine & Blit is here to answer your questions and address your queries. Whether you want us to review your employment agreement or explain the day to day responsibilities your company expects you to fulfill, our attorneys are there to assist you.