The new hire onboarding process will have been slightly different over the past year due to the impact of Covid-19. Getting to know your new hires will have been slightly trickier with no personal contact, so potential welcoming activities will have been limited.
As well as employers who may have hired a new team member, you also may been on the other side of the fence, as a new employee who wishes to get to know their new colleagues. There are plenty of questions you can ask your new colleagues to get to know them, their working style, hobbies, interests and personality.
Keeping it strictly business
Your first concern will be about your new colleague’s new position, motivations, aims and how they could potentially help the company. Here are a few work-related questions you can ask in the interview, over lunch or some coffee:
Tell me about your new position: This will be a good ice-breaker. The new hire can
explain a bit more about their new position at the company, whether they’re permanent or temporary; and how you could collaborate with them moving forward (especially if in the same department).
What’s your background? You can find out more about the new hire’s background and their career journey to date. This will help you get a better understanding about their motivations and what led them to their new position.
Is there a skill you are currently working on or wish to work on? The new hires strengths and weakness are a key indicator as to the areas of the company that they can contribute in. As an employer or colleague, their answer will help determine the hard skills the new hire has and their enthusiasm to improve.
What’s a work-related accomplishment that you’re really proud of? Work accomplishments leave a sense of pride for any individual; and this is a great opportunity for the new hire to open up about past accomplishments, further solidifying their talents and reason for being acquired.
How do you keep productive at work? Everyone has their own method of keeping productive at work. It may be listening to music, or working in a quieter space. You may find you have a common working practice.
Digging a little more personal
Now you’ve found about a bit more about your new hire in a professional context, see if you can find out more about the person and what drives them away from the working environment. Here are some questions you can ask your new hire:
What motivates you outside of work? Just like employees know what motivates and drives them in the working environment, they will also likely have passions and interests outside of work. Your new hire can open up about hobbies and interests they have, and perhaps you’ll find you and colleagues share similar interests.
What’s your favourite way to unwind after a busy day? All work and no play will only increase the likelihood of stress and burnout. Everyone has different methods to relax after a long day at the office. Whether it’s a workout or spending time with family, remaining fresh each day is important.
What three words would your friends use to describe you? This question will get them thinking! This is a great opportunity to find out how your new hire comes across to their friends, gaining an overview of their personality traits amongst their peers. This could also reflect whether they fit into the company culture.
What’s the best advice you were ever given? Who was it from? This will provide an insight into influential figures in their career to date and how that has shaped their journey. It could be advice you pass onto the rest of the workforce.
What would we most likely find you doing on the weekend? The weekends are the time where the workforce relaxes; and this question will help you find out more about the activities your new hire enjoys taking part in during their time off.
Let’s get some fun questions in there!
There’s also some fun questions which you can ask you new hire (as an ice-breaker) in an interview or in team meetings to break the ice. It gives you a chance to test out their sense of humour. Here are a few of the questions you could ask:
Do you have a hidden talent? If so, what is it ?
If you could choose a superpower, what would it be?
If you were the only human left on earth, what you do?
If you could eat one meal for the rest of your life, what would you eat?
What’s your favourite destination to visit?
Do you have a favourite sport? Which team do you support?
Are you a dog or cat person? Or neither?
If you could only one app on your smartphone, would it be?
Getting to know your new hires and co-workers can be great for maintaining a strong working culture within the business. Sometimes the same old questions can be cliché. Think of other questions besides “What did you do this weekend?”
If you get stuck with questions to ask, come back to this and get the conversation started.