We talked to recruiters and supervisors to round up five keys to making a positive impression right off the bat. Here’s what we learned:
- Arrive early and prepared. “Punctuality shows your eagerness and how ready you are,” says Dalan Neuenschwander, who was recently an IT recruiter and now matches companies with candidates. Come ready to learn with a notebook in hand. Take notes, jot down questions, and record any impressions or ideas. “This shows you’re listening and paying attention, that you’re willing to put in whatever it takes to assimilate quickly,” says Kyndall Smith, a recruiter for a high-profile IT company.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate. How do you start gaining trust and building a rapport with your supervisor and coworkers? “Overcommunicate,” said Sobestanovich. Her recommendations are to be specific, try to ask questions that will help you know how your boss operates, and work to connect using communication. While finding out others’ needs is key, it’s also important to convey yours, particularly what you need to learn effectively. “The most essential part of training is making sure your boss knows how you learn best and succeed,” says Neuenschwander.
- Ask questions. It can feel a bit awkward to bring questions to your trainer—you want to demonstrate that you’re a quick learner—but don’t be tempted to pretend that you’ve mastered everything. “Even though it’s important to pick things up quickly, asking for help shows [that] you’re trying to learn and willing to listen,” says Smith.
- Leverage teammates’ expertise. “All of your coworkers have lived in your shoes for a period of time. They understand exactly what you’re going through,” says Neuenschwander. Don’t overlook the helpful insight and advice that new teammates, who are expert resources, can offer. They’ll welcome the opportunity to help you become a dynamic contributor by giving you input into workplace culture, pitfalls to avoid, and tips they’ve discovered along the way.
- Go all in. Leaders agree that it’s impossible to come across as overly eager in your first days on the job. “You should absolutely put it all on the line. Go in and be yourself, even if you are a little extra,” says Neuenschwander. If you’re invested in your position and the people around you, they will sense that and reciprocate.