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Onboarding Questions for Getting to Know Your Hires

Jun 30, 2022| Reading time: 8min

BY Alex Hilleary

Principal Content Marketing Manager

Onboarding Questions for Getting to Know Your Hires 

Asking a new hire thoughtful questions during onboarding can help you and your team get to know the person you hired.

Responses may reveal common connection points – a shared hobby or favorite movie, perhaps – across the team.

Other answers can be stored in an employee profile and used later to facilitate bonding activities or spur a thoughtful gesture.

Logistical Onboarding Questions

These are the questions that are helpful to have the answers to on Day One.

What’s your t-shirt size?

Use this info to have swag ready for them on the first day of work.

What are your dietary restrictions?

Store this data to make sure you accommodate the employee’s dietary restrictions at future team events that involve food.

If you’re a parent, how can we support you?

Understand what kind of flexibility the employee might need as they take care of their children.

Helpful Onboarding Questions

These questions help you get to know your new hire a little bit better.

What are your hobbies? 

Find common connection points with your new hire.

What is your favorite type of coffee, favorite restaurant, or favorite charity?

Keep this information on hand for later when someone might want to surprise the employee with a coffee, take them to lunch, or give them a gift.

What’s on your bucket list?

On an important work anniversary or birthday, you could help the employee achieve or work towards one of their bucket list items, for example by giving them a voucher for skydiving or some gear to summit a mountain.

Personality Assessments

These tools help you understand the way that your new hire operates.

Love Language Assessment

The importance of love languages extends beyond romantic relationships. Knowing a colleague’s love language is an effective way to know how to celebrate them after a massive project or achievement. 

True Colors Personality Test

The True Colors test was designed to categorize people into four different learning styles, and provide insight into strengths and weaknesses of each style. Knowing which team members relate to which color can provide the group with insight into how they can work together better.

Mind Map

Ask your new employee to draw a map of their mind and what they care and think about most. Vague instructions will yield a dramatically different approach from employee to employee, which can be fun.

One caution on personality assessments: make sure these activities don’t isolate any team members, especially if they’re the only one of a certain learning style or language. These activities should be used to provide general insight, not to box people into rigid categories. 

Funny (but Insightful) Onboarding Questions 

If you could replace your arms with other objects for a week, what would you pick? 

Trust us, the answers to this question will blow you away. From jet packs, to baguettes (so they could eat their arms throughout the week), to snakes, to pillows… this question tells you much more about a person than one would expect. 

What do you miss most about being a kid?

This question is a fun way to elicit what someone’s first hobbies were, or to find out their favorite childhood snacks.

What’s the most useless talent you have?

Maybe someone’s perfect impression of Owen Wilson will come in handy at the holiday party! This question prompts people to share all sorts of fun things.

If you were a candy bar, what would you be? Why? 

This is a sweet one because at some point in the future, such as a work anniversary, you can buy the person the candy bar they said represents them. 

Getting-To-Know-You Activities (Ways to Ask the Questions Above) 

20 Questions with the Team 

Play 20 questions with the new employee, but also give the new employee the chance to ask 20 questions to the team. There’s likely not time for every team member to answer 20 questions each, so instead have team members jump in to answer questions. 

Examples of questions the onboardee could ask the team could be: 

  • What is the funniest thing that’s happened at work? 
  • What’s your favorite part about working here?

‘Get to Know You’ Slide

Consider asking employees to add a slide about themselves to a presentation in which each team member has made a slide about themselves with fun facts from their lives. Here at ChartHop, we have the new hire present their slide at their first all-hands meeting.

‘Get to Know You’ Lunch

Consider asking the employee to answer a list of questions and choose 3-5 to share at a team luncheon.

Survey Questions to Ask

Surveying a new hire at various points in their onboarding process helps you identify gaps in getting your new hire up to speed.

 

One Week Check-In

  • Was there something that would have improved the recruitment process? 
  • Why did you decide to join our company?
  • Share ‘one rose, one bud, and one thorn’ so far about your onboarding experience.

Two Week Check-In

  • What aspect of your job excites you most? Why? 
  • Is there anything unclear about your work duties or company policies?
  • How frequently are you meeting with your onboarding buddy? Is this frequent enough? 
  • Is there a kind of information that you need more of? 

30 Day Check-In

  • What is one thing you would change about the onboarding experience for future employees? Why?
  • Are there any additional duties you’d like to add that would fit your skills and interests?

60 Day Check-In

  • What is one goal you have for the next 30 days (when onboarding officially ends)?
  • On a scale of 1-5, how much does your job match the description given to you? Explain. 

90 Day Check-In

  • Looking back on your onboarding experience, was there something missing? Or something you would’ve liked to learn more about sooner? 
  • On a scale of 1-5, how much does the statement “My role adds value to the company” apply to you? Explain. 
  • On a scale of 1-5, how much does the statement “My experience has matched my expectations at our company” apply to you? Explain. 
  • On a scale of 1-5, how much does the statement “I see myself working here in two years time” apply to you? Explain. 

Here’s an even more comprehensive list of 30-60-90 day check-in questions.

The Importance of Onboarding

Onboarding is a powerful moment to get to know your new hires and use that information to create a more inclusive environment. It’s also a chance to iterate on your company’s strengths and weaknesses based on the feedback you get.

 

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