There are few things more nerve-racking than your first day at a new company. Not only do you want to be well-perceived by your new colleagues, but you have an overwhelming amount of new information to absorb. This information overload makes it essential that new hires take notes to record what they are learning and above all else, ask questions. But asking questions can be difficult for some.
We asked Jessica Campbell, HR Manager for Voices.com, a website that connects voiceover artists with companies seeking their services, to address some of our readers' biggest concerns about asking questions on their first day.
So many new hires get caught up in whether or not they will look stupid that they miss the opportunity to ask valid questions. As an HR Manager, Campbell is well-versed in new hire on-boarding and advocates that there really is no such thing as a stupid question during the learning process. "No one expects you to know every answer on your first day," she says. "Even if it's your second or third day on the job and you just can't quite remember the entire sequence of a process you learned a day ago, ask until you do know it."
Asking too many questions:
Like most hiring managers, Campbell agrees that there is no such thing as too many questions. There is no better time to ask questions than when you are learning a task for the first time. If you are apprehensive about giving the wrong impression, she advises that you let your trainer know ahead of time that you tend to ask a lot of questions. "It prepares your trainer to have answers at the ready and helps you to become more comfortable with actually asking."
Appearing under-qualified for the job:
Many candidates fear that by asking too many questions they will come across as under-qualified or unprepared for their new position. The fact of the matter is your new colleagues expect this information to be unfamiliar to you and would rather you ask questions as you are learning than have to revisit the basics later on in your career. "You are about to dive into information overload," Campbell says, "so you might as well overload yourself with the right things and avoid having to re-learn something later."
Take comfort in the fact that no one expects you to know the answers, and that by asking questions, you will get a better grasp for the task at hand and will, ultimately, learn how to be successful.