You may have passed the interview and landed a promising new job, but that doesn’t mean the end of the interview process.
If you want to have a long and fruitful partnership with a company, it behooves you to make a good impression, starting with the very first day you walk into the office.
Before you walk in the door
Making a good impression is a performance, and any performer will tell you that preparation is very important to succeed.
Start by reading up on any materials you may have received, or expanding on any company research you conducted during the application process. Go over the company website to absorb the organization’s mission statement and product or service lines. This is also a good time to start connecting with professionals at the company through LinkedIn.
Mentally prepare for the first day by rehearsing how you’re going to introduce yourself and give details about your past. Rehearse your mini-presentation a few different ways – one for each level of employee or management personnel you’ll be interacting with throughout the day.
Any last preparations should include figuring out what to wear for your first day. If you’ve taken a tour of the office or facilities, consider what other people were wearing, and follow their lead. Keep in mind that it is always better to dress up on the first day as opposed to dressing down.
Knocking it out of the park
Just like you arrived a bit early to the interview, show up 10 to 15 minutes early for your first day at the new job. If you aren’t familiar with the traffic for that time and day, take a test run or give yourself plenty of time in case there’s a hold up. If you get there way too early, stop for a coffee near the office to kill some time.
There is going to be a lot to absorb on the first day, and asking questions can not only clarify anything that might be confusing – more involved questions can also be a chance to show off some of that research you performed earlier. If you feel the urge to make suggestion or give your outsider’s opinion, phrase your statements in a way that doesn’t make you seem cocksure.
Some people, including one or two of us at Cornerstone, have a bad habit of speaking quickly and running words together. Try to break that habit on the first day, and establish the impression you are a clear communicator. Furthermore, ensure that you are doing a lot more listening than you are talking. You want to give the impression that you’re always paying attention when someone is speaking.
Finally, you should always take notes on the first day. There is usually just way too much information to take it all in on the first pass, and letting people see you take notes shows them you are serious about internalizing what they are telling you.
At Cornerstone, we’re constantly sending our contract workers out to their first day of work at a new company. Simply give us a call or stop by, and we can give you all the information you might need to make a good impression on that first day.