How to make a great first impression in your new job
We want all of our candidates to feel confident and excited about their new job, and part of this is making sure we prepare you for your first few weeks when you’ll be getting to know your new team! As well as the top onboarding tips we provide for our clients as they prepare to welcome their new starter, we have a range of top informal tips for our candidates, to ensure you have the ‘know how’ to hit the ground running when you start. Here’s what we recommend:
Dress the part
Many tech teams have smart casual dress codes so it can be difficult to gauge exactly what you should wear on your first day. Quite simply, the easiest way to find this out is to ask your manager what the dress code is. We always recommend our candidates dress smartly on their first day unless instructed otherwise by their employer. This way you will look the part and avoid being underdressed, then follow the lead of your colleagues once you have a better guide to whether everyone else dresses more casually.
Pay close attention to your colleagues in your first few weeks. If the workday supposedly ends at 5.30 but most people hang around until at least 6 pm, follow the lead of your team initially – you don’t want to develop the reputation of someone who skips out early.
Use lunchtime wisely
It makes sense to use your lunch break to get to know your colleagues. You know what they always say, ‘start as you mean to go on’ – if you spend your first few lunch breaks eating a sandwich on your own at your desk, it’s unlikely your colleagues will feel inclined to get to know you on the weeks that follow this. Instead, jump right in and introduce yourself to 3 or 4 new people every day!
Don’t trash talk your former job
As tempting as it might be, telling horror stories about your previous company isn’t wise and only serves to hinder the professionalism of the first impression you create in your new job.
Once you’re settled into your new position, consider opening yourself up to new opportunities such as helping colleagues with their side projects or volunteer to take on new asks or join committees. It’s a great way of becoming an integral part of a team early on.
Avoid discussing topics that may make your co-workers uncomfortable
When you’re all getting to know each other it’s good to keep conversations amicable until you’re comfortable with each other it’s probably best to steer clear of topics that could cause heated debates such as religion or politics.
Know your boss
Look through your interviewer’s or future manager’s LinkedIn profile before you start. It’s always good to know their background and it can help as an icebreaker and build rapport!
Mind your manners
It sounds obvious but be polite to everyone and greet them with a firm handshake.
It can take a few weeks to find your feet in a new company, so don’t be afraid to ask questions! Better than that trying to ‘wing it’ and doing a task incorrectly. However, be careful not to ask too many questions unnecessarily – being inquisitive and finding out the best way to do things is great but you don’t want to be tagged as the needy new hire.