5 Conversation-Starters to Use at a New Job
Starting at a new job isn’t easy—especially when it comes to getting to know your new coworkers. They usually have established relationships, groups, and routines. That doesn’t mean they’re not friendly or welcoming, but it does mean you may have trouble getting past “smile in the hallway” status with many of them.
Here are five conversation-starters that’ll help you break the ice with any colleague. Keep these up your sleeve when you want to turn a surface-level interaction into a real discussion.
1. “Do you have any recommendations for a nearby [restaurant, museum, art gallery, fun activity]?”
Everyone loves sharing their suggestions for local things to do. Not only are they flattered by the request, but they can show another person why their town or city is great.
This question also gives you the opportunity to learn more about an individual’s personality and preferences. If you ask someone which restaurants they love, and she tells you about a no-frills breakfast diner, you know she’s probably more concerned with executing tasks quickly than getting every detail perfect. You also know she’d really like the greasy spoon you visited last week.
Don’t forget to follow up with the person you asked after you follow their advice. You’ll have a new topic of conversation; plus, you’ll show you respect their opinion.
2. “What are the [company name] insider secrets? Where’s the best bathroom?”
Talking to current employees can dramatically shrink your learning curve when it comes to mundane but essential details like which coffee machine is always broken, or when the food deliveries usually arrive.
Not to mention, this question can jump-start some funny, lighthearted discussions. Make sure you include a second question with the first, like “Where’s the best bathroom?” or “How far in advance do I need to book a conference room?” You’ll give the other person an idea of what you’re looking for—so they don’t assume you’re digging for corporate gossip.
3. “What’s your favorite thing about working here?”
Put a surprising and more entertaining spin on the standard line: “So, tell me how long you’ve worked at [company.]” Your new coworkers won’t be expecting this question, so you’ll likely hear their honest thoughts.
It’s always nice to start a job on a high note. With this opener, your new relationships and your expectations for the organization will begin positively.
4. “Which books are popular among the [company] team?”
Many teams look to specific books for guidance, inspiration, and motivation. You’ll want to read these books as early in your tenure with the company as possible.You’ll gain a deeper understanding of how your coworkers operate, what they value, what’s less important, and the principles or philosophy driving them.
In addition, finishing the “reading list” will enable you to participate in discussions—and prove you’re invested in the company.
5. “Is there anything you wish you’d known when you started at [company]?”
The answer will help you avoid repeating your team members’ mistakes and/or letting great opportunities slip away. They’ll benefit as well; after all, a little self-reflection never hurts (and they’ll get to feel like a true insider!).
About Signature Consultants, LLC
Headquartered in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Signature Consultants was established in 1997 with a singular focus: to provide clients and consultants with superior staffing solutions. For the seventh consecutive year, Signature was voted as one of the “Best Staffing Firms to Work For” and is now the 14th largest IT staffing firm in the United States (source: Staffing Industry Analysts). With 26 locations throughout North America, Signature annually deploys thousands of consultants to support, run, and manage their clients’ technology needs. Signature offers IT staffing, consulting, managed solutions, and direct placement services. For more information on the company, please visit www.sigconsult.com.