News and Insight

Resources, advice and thought leadership from our experts.

8 Questions to Ask Your New Boss

You went through the process of preparing for the interviews, working your way through the hiring phases, until you were finally offered the position. Now what? A good place to start is connecting with your new boss or manager and using their expertise to answer any outstanding questions. If you don’t think you have questions to ask, consider these 8 before arriving for your first day.

How Can I Prepare for the First Day?

Checking in before a starting new job shows your dedication and diligence. It allows you  to prepare for what’s to come if your company has a formal onboarding program. Talking with your new boss allows you to ask for their ideas as you prepare. If they don’t have any questions, you could always ask what things you could be reading up on or attending training for as you head into your first day. Finally, figure out who else will be involved in your job success by asking if there’s anyone else that it would be helpful for you to connect with.

What are Goals for Firsts?

Ask your boss what the expectations are for the first day, the first week, the first month, the first quarter, and the first year. Get all the firsts figured out. If your boss is proactive, they might have this information for you in the moment. If not, it at least gives them the push to get that information for you.

How Frequently Do You Like to Meet?

Some managers stick to a strict schedule of how often they want to meet with their direct reports. Others have nothing set in stone. Find out where yours falls and make sure that it fits with what you need as an employee. If it doesn’t, share those thoughts with your boss, explaining how fulfilling your needs are going to make you better at your job and a more successful asset to the company.

How Am I Being Evaluated?

Asking this question helps you figure out if there is a formal company-wide evaluation process, and if not, how your manager goes about evaluating direct reports. In addition, understanding how you’ll be evaluated gives you more guidance into how you should prioritize your time and organize your work.

What is the Company’s Vision?

A good future employee should already know this information through their pre-interviewing research, but it’s still good to ask. It shows your desire to fit in, and it gives you the information straight from the horse’s mouth. Knowing what the culture really is outside of copy you read on the website can make or break your job. Your manager is the insider who translates that for you.

What are Essential Daily Tasks?

If you head into your first day knowing exactly what the typical day will consist of, it’s easier to be the best version of yourself. For example, you might have an idea because of your title, but asking provides you specific direction from your manager. The sooner you know this, the sooner you can kick your production into high gear.

What is Communication Protocol?

What if you start working for a company that operates under a call before you walk policy? This means before interrupting someone at their desk, you need to call or email to qualify their time. Imagine walking into your manager’s office without following this policy? That could make for an awkward transition into your new role. Specifically, ask what you should do when you have a question. Some managers might expect you to interrupt them when the question presents itself. Figure out if that’s the case off the bat, so you can get the questions you need answered when you should.

Are There Any Acronyms I Should Know?

We’ve all worked for companies that have created their own language to communicate with. And if you don’t know that coming in, it can be like trying to speak French in Japan and expecting people to understand you.

What other questions have you asked a new boss before starting a job? Join the conversation on LinkedIn and check out How to Safeguard Your Career.