New Temporary Job? Questions to Ask Your Manager

When starting a new temporary assignment, getting a grasp of expectations from day one is a necessity. While onboarding and training will likely provide plenty of information, dig deeper and ask management these questions to ensure clarity and success.

What are your expectations?

Sure, the job description includes an overview of tasks and responsibilities but probe a little further. What are the target KPIs? Which tasks should get priority? Go beyond production questions, too, and dig into expectations surrounding behavior, culture and communication. Each manager has personal preferences and expectations for their team.

How do you prefer to communicate?

There will likely be a lot of back and forth happening between questions, approvals and problem-solving. Find out the most effective way to get in contact with management. What mode do they prefer? Video chat, call, text, email? Also ask about how regularly they would like to be given updates, progress reports or recaps. If management is not the point of contact for questions, find out who will be.

Are there specific templates or processes I should follow?

Each company has its own set of standard operating procedures for various tasks. Asking this question is especially important if training was not provided. Get ahead of the curve and avoid having to redo work.

Are there resources I can look back on and review?

Sometimes the answers to questions are already documented. Instead of having to turn to management every time a question comes up, ask if there are resources that can be referenced.

What can I do to support the team?

This is a question that indicates willingness to go above and beyond. There is plenty of opportunity to make a difference on a team and help out.

What qualities do you most value in an employee?

This question can give insight into what a manager values most, whether it’s efficiency, strong communication or teamwork. Tap into personal strengths that align best with the mentioned qualities to quickly become a valuable team player.

Are there acronyms I should know?

Each company has its own lingo, so be proactive in learning it. Knowing the language will help with smoother communication and competency right off the bat.

As a temporary worker new to the company, getting questions answered and setting clear expectations with management early on is key to lasting success in the job.


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