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AUTHOR:
Reynolds Careers

DATE:
October 10, 2022

CATEGORIES:
On the Job,
Success from the Start

READING TIME:
3 minutes

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6 Questions to Start the Conversation with Coworkers

Image for

AUTHOR:
Reynolds Careers

DATE:
October 10, 2022

CATEGORIES:
On the Job,
Success from the Start

READING TIME:
3 minutes

It’s your first day at a new job with a new company. You meet dozens of people for the first time and do your best to appear brave, but it’s overwhelming keeping all the names, faces, and job descriptions straight. After a whirlwind morning, your coworkers invite you to lunch and you accept, hoping to at least get to know them better. There are a few small conversations, but for the majority of the meal, you sit in awkward silence, racking your brain for something to talk about. And as you leave lunch, you feel you don’t know anyone any better than before.

We’ve all felt like this, but it’s so important to continue trying to keep those names, faces, and job descriptions straight, and to keep saying yes to lunches with your coworkers You will see them every day of the week, collaborate on projects with them, and go to them for the inevitable questions you will have. So break the ice early by starting conversations that will truly help you get to know them better. Here are six questions that will help you start those conversations.

1. How long have you been with our company?

You may know your coworker’s current role, but it is also helpful to know how long they have been there. This question will spark conversation about your coworker’s background with the company, and potentially inspire your own career path. To encourage conversation, respond to their answer with more questions. Ask them what drew them to their field or what their major was in college. You can also ask more about their current role and how yours will relate to theirs.

2. What extracurricular activities do you take part in at our company?

Discover what sports leagues or volunteer opportunities your company offers. Ask if there are upcoming company events they plan to attend. Your coworker may even invite you to an activity you hadn’t considered before. Ask them more about the activities they do. Did they play that sport in high school or college? If they don’t participate in many company activities, ask about events in the area. These questions will not only help you get to know your coworker better, but also help you learn about ways you can get involved in the community.

3. When was your last vacation?

Find out where your coworkers like to go on vacation. A different beach each year? The same cabin in the mountains? Did they go on a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Europe? They’ll talk about who they went with, so you can ask about their friends, family, significant other, and/or kids.

4. Do you have a long commute?

With this question, find out how close you live to fellow coworkers. If they have a longer commute (say more than twenty minutes), ask about what they listen to on their way. Hear about their favorite music, podcasts, or audio books. Find some similarities, or start a list that you’d like to check out.

5. Do you have any pets?

People love talking about their pets. Don’t forget to ask for pictures and share about your own pets (if you have any). If you’re new to the area, find some good dog parks or pet stores, or plan a pet play date.

6. Do you have any plans for this weekend?

During the work week, everyone is thinking about the weekend. You can learn what kinds of activities or hobbies your coworkers like. If you are new to the area, ask about local places to visit and restaurants or bars to try. Don’t get stuck sitting alone at home for weeks, find fun things to do, and people to do things with.

With these questions, you don’t have to sit through an awkward lunch trying to come up with something to say. People love talking about themselves. Ask away and you’ll most likely get questions in return. You’ll impress your new coworkers and put everyone at ease as you chat and laugh over the answers.

Visit Reynolds Careers to see how you can be a part of the conversation.


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