Questions you ask to get clarity during first week of your job

Questions to Manager

  • What are the 5 or 10 things you’d like me to accomplish in my first 5 weeks on the job?
  • How do you prefer to communicate – email or in person? How often would you like me to give you updates and progress reports?”
  • What types of decisions can I make autonomously, and what would you like to be consulted on for approval ahead of time?
  • Do you like frequent check-ins, or do you like when people mostly work on their own?
  • What are the priority levels for those different tasks?
  • How do my responsibilities fit into the organization?
  • What are my co-workers’ responsibilities and how do they relate to mine?
  • Who are the key individuals in the hierarchy and what are their roles?
  • What’s the quickest way to get up to speed?
  • Who should I ask questions when I get stuck?
  • Where are training documents/classes located?
  • What’s the organizational structure? Is there an org chart I can keep for reference?
  • What are the immediate priorities in this position
  • What roles should I know about that were not in job description?
  • What is a typical day like in this position
  • What improvements are you hoping to make
  • What would a successful first six months look like for me in this role?
  • What recent history of the department or upcoming plans should I be aware of?
  • How do you prefer to communicate? Do you prefer E-mail or talking in person? Do you like to talk about things as they come up, or do you prefer that I save things up for a weekly meeting?
  • What types of things do you prefer to be consulted on? Given final approval on? What kinds of things do you prefer that I handle on my own?
  • Are there any pitfalls that you’ve seen people fall into when they’re learning this job? Anything I should be especially aware of?


Questions to co-workers

  • Tell me about your experience working on X project.
  • How did you handle Y problem in the past?
  • What has worked well in handling a B situation like this?
  • How do my responsibilities overlap with yours? What things do you like to head up and where might we work together?
  • What qualities do you like to see in a co-worker?
  • What are some things that I or my department can do to assist what you’re doing?