6 Important Questions to Ask Before Starting a New Job

 important questions to ask before starting a new job

Landing a new job is always a cause for celebration. While it means that you’re done with your job search, you’re not quite done with your work. When you’re joining a job, you’ll have the task of getting up to speed about your role. You should remember that your actions in the initial weeks will play a major role in determining any future success or failure in the role.

If you can get a positive rapport early on, you will be able to power through the job tenure with relative ease. But any missteps and incorrect actions will have you fighting an uphill battle for a long time in the job.

During joining, you could hope that your employer has a plan for on boarding. If he does, it is a great catalyst for boosting your productivity in the workplace.

However, you should remember that just because your old employer did a thing a particular way does not mean your new employer will follow the same way. For that reason, never assume that your employer has a plan to train you properly. After you’ve acquired a certain level of experience, employers expect you to fit in by yourself. HR might help in acclimatizing with the culture; otherwise, you should be prepared with your own training.

When you’re trying to get settled and figuring out how to start things, staying focused on the right things can become a problem if you’re not sure of your role or the dos and the don’ts in the office. You need a set of questions that can help you navigate the nuances of office you need to know but won’t get told explicitly unless asked. So here are some questions that you could ask your employer before joining the team

How Can I Prepare for My First Day?

When you ask your manager this question, it gives the impression that you’re proactive, and that you’re serious about fitting into the role. You could always call your manager up and ask what is required before coming on the first day. If your manager has a plan of action, he will let you know. Otherwise, he will give you some ideas on what you can do to help yourself for the first day. 

What Are My Priorities?

When you start a new role, it can take a while to get used to the way things work. However, organizations have deadlines to meet and timelines to adhere to. If your manager does not have enough time on his hand, technical orientation might not be done properly.

Even so, you’d be held accountable for meeting your priorities. So, one question you could ask is what your priorities would be and how they would be allotted. You could always ask for a detailed weekly, monthly, quarterly priorities as well

[Also Read: 10 Tips For Freelancers To Handle Telephonic Interviews Smartly]

How are the Status Updates Shared?

Each company has a certain protocol for sharing their reports or updating the management on the tasks allotted versus the tasks performed. Each organization is different, and you can’t afford to assume that the way things were handled in the previous organization is how you’d be allowed to do.

When you ask about the reports that need to be filed and the updates that need to be shared, you won’t be left out of the loop. When the management asks you a week in about the reporting you’ve done in line with the company policies, you won’t have to collate data in the appropriate format because you’re prepared for that

What Should I Do When I Have Questions?

Some companies don’t have an explicit policy on employer-employee engagement for work-related questions. That doesn’t mean that you don’t have to ask this question. When you do this, you’ll get to know other protocols that relate to communication with your manager, interactions and reporting structure, or chain of command.

Some managers might prefer an open-door policy for questions where employees can drop by to ask questions at any time. Other, more traditional, managers might require you to prepare a set of questions and drop in a meeting request. Yet others might refuse to meet in person, and would rather have questions answered over mail or messages

What is the Performance Appraisal Process Like?

When you ask this question, you’re also asking them what the metrics for evaluation are. Understanding what your management looks for may be useful in understanding where your focus should be. Sometimes, some of the metrics that are used in evaluation might not be apparent during direct interaction.

They might have to be discussed with your manager. In those cases, understanding those metrics could help in communicating with your boss your achievements so that they know your performance and the efforts that you’ve been putting in. This can go a long way when the performance evaluation process comes by because you’ve worked on creating the impression that you’re a hard worker in the firm and showed them the things you’ve worked on.

What is Team Culture Like?

On the face of it, this is a very generic question. Most employers will simply answer that they have an extremely accommodating team that fosters team spirit and coordination. Only when you start working with them will you realize which team members the question originally answered about.

The reason you should ask this question is that it helps in identifying the culture of the organization. When dealing with your colleagues and superiors, it is important to understand who you’re supposed to interact with daily and stay updated because of the work-related inter dependencies, and who you can develop a casual relationship with. This question not only answers any work-related inter dependencies but also gives insights into the dos and the don’ts of the company. 


There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to asking questions from your manager. (1) Sometimes, some managers may not appreciate you asking questions before joining. But there is no way you can know unless you give it a try. Depending on the way your manager is responding, you can decide what questions you want to ask. The above list of questions is not exhaustive either.

You’re free to ask any questions that you may have. However, you should be careful because several questions might only be answered after you’ve started working. And when that happens, your manager might not even need to answer your question. So you should know which questions you need to hold, and which you can ask.