Wednesday, September 3, 2008

I'm new here

How do you become accustomed to a new workplace? What are the steps you take to become familiar with the work environment?

An interviewer will ask this question for two reasons:
  1. Time is short to get you up to speed, such as a contract position or a summer job, and he wants to make sure that you can organize your time effectively to get accustomed to the new environment, and complete the project you have been hired for, and
  2. Because he wants to know about your work habits, how you learn new things, and where getting to know your co-workers will fit on your list of priorities.

Obviously, responding to this question effectively requires a bit of self-awareness, and the ability to recognize, not only your habits, but also the knowledge that you already possess that you could apply to the new workplace. They will also like to hire someone who not only gives a self-aware answer, but someone who learns in a similar style to the other people in the workplace. Since you can't know what learning style is preferred--unless you have already worked there--you can only answer this question by stating what you have done in the past, how you will apply it on the first day on the job, and how you will look for direction from your new supervisor and coworkers.

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