Congrats! You’ve managed to impress a total stranger with your interview skills. But once you get a job, there’s still the business of impressing your supervisor, clients and coworkers. Not all companies have regular training programs for interns or new employees. So to make your transition easier for everyone, ask these questions your first day on the job—or before.
What do I wear?
Ideally, ask this one before your actual first day, in enough time to go buy pieces for your uniform, or more professional clothes if necessary.
Where do I park?
If you have a large number of customers coming to your
business, it’s common to allow them access to the most ideal parking spaces. That leaves your car way out on the far edges of the parking lot. Working downtown? You might need a special pass for the parking garage.
Do I need a key?
You might be the first person scheduled to arrive or the
last to leave. In a large office, you might even need a key to go to the restroom!
Who do I ask if I have a question?
Sometimes the person who hired you is not your supervisor. You’ll encounter a lot of new situations your first day, and you need to know who to ask for help when you run into something you can’t handle.
When do we get paid?
This topic is safe once the company has agreed to hire you. You’ll want to know how often you get paid and when.
What other benefits do I get?
Large companies sometimes give you a folder that explains health insurance, time off, employee discounts, free memberships and other non-cash benefits. You’ll want to know as soon as possible about any benefits you might be eligible for.
When is lunch?
Besides knowing when to go to lunch, you want to know what to do before you leave. Are you expected to check with your supervisor, do you need someone to cover your work, or do you follow a formal schedule for breaks? How long is your lunch break?
What equipment do I use?
Where is the copier, and how does it work? Where is the computer paper, cash register paper or other items that you’ll need to replace regularly?
What are the Internet rules?
If you use a computer, your online use might be restricted. Even if you are allowed free access, ask about any restrictions, such as e-mail and instant messaging sites.
Who do I call if I’m out sick or running late?
Get a name and phone number in case you need to call before or after office hours.
How does the phone work?
Business phones can be far more complicated than the one you use at home. If your job does not focus on the telephone, a company might overlook teaching you how to use it! You don’t want to accidentally hang up on a customer, or worse, your boss!
Ask the policy concerning personal calls. If you have a direct line to your work station, what’s that number?
What do I do next?
During training, your tasks may be broken down into components. You’ll work on something for a short period of time, and then your trainer will check up on you to find out how you’re doing. When you’re given a task and then left alone to do it, ask what you should do when you finish.
Asking this question will have an impact on your trainer. You show confidence in your ability to do the task assigned, you show a willingness to do more, and you demonstrate the foresight to look ahead.
Where’s the bathroom?
Waiting until you’re hopping from foot to foot is not the best time to ask about the facilities. Ask early in the day—before you have to go. If your trainer gives you a tour of the building, make sure you cover this question then.