It is increasingly common to find that in companies in various industries, in the situation of parting with an existing employee, surveys or exit interviews are conducted to find out the opinion of the departing person (about the supervisor, the team, or the company, etc.). In this way, you get information about positive elements to be strengthened and negative elements to be improved – while showing, even at the end of the cooperation, that the employee’s opinion matters.

Better yet, some companies believe that employee opinion matters right from the moment they enter a new workplace – for this purpose they implement the so-called entry interview. Below we explain what this process is about and point out its advantages, as well as share sample questions to ask a new employee.

Entry interview – when to hold it?

Traditionally, companies carry out onboarding processes (following developed practices, depending on the specific position) to ensure that the new employee has a proper introduction to the company, the team and their scope of responsibilities. They usually last a few days (although they can stretch up to a few weeks or even months) and should lead to the new employee becoming well-versed in all processes.

But how do you measure whether such an outcome has been achieved? An entry interview serves precisely this purpose. This type of interview is typically conducted in the form of an interview or questionnaire at the end or after the onboarding period. Most often, a representative from the HR department is responsible for it, though sometimes a supervisor may also participate.

What are the upsides of an entry interview?

A properly conducted entry interview provides both sides of the onboarding process – both the employee and the hiring manager or HR representative – with several benefits. The most important advantages of such an action are listed below.

  • Evaluation of the onboarding process
  • You certainly want a reliable opinion on whether the onboarding processes carried out yield the expected results. During an entry interview, you have the opportunity to find out how the new employee perceived the onboarding process and whether the first weeks at the company foster their introduction and settling down. This type of feedback from employees is the best source of knowledge for you and will point out directions for both improvement and strengthening, making the implementation even more responsive to employees’ expectations.

  • Verification of compliance with expectations
  • Entry interview also facilitates the assessment of the compatibility of the new employee’s expectations with the organization’s actual working conditions. A manager or HR representative can ask the new employee about their vision of the job after the entry interview and whether their predictions came true. Such a procedure makes it possible to quickly detect any inconsistencies and take action to resolve them.

  • Knowledge verification
  • This type of conversation also provides a chance to make sure that both parties have the same understanding of the role the person is expected to play in the organization. During the conversation, the manager or HR representative may ask the new employee what tasks they performed during the onboarding process and whether they understood their role in the organization and can perform appropriately for the success of the company. Addressing concerns at this stage will help avoid possible problems in the future.

  • Identification of development needs
  • In addition, during the interview, the manager or HR representative may also ask the new employee about their development needs, job expectations, and what training or development programs would help to do their job better. This allows to develop individually tailored plans to match the employee’s needs. As a result, one can expect, greater efficiency and motivation at work.

Entry interview – sample questions

During the entry interview, the employee can come across questions relating both to the recruitment process and the first days or weeks at the company and deliver in return honest opinions of the processes. It will also be vital to ask about future expectations, especially in terms of development opportunities. Here are some examples of questions popular with recruiters during entry interviews:

  1. Are you satisfied with the onboarding process conducted?
  2. How would you rate your first day at work?
  3. How do you evaluate your relationship with your supervisor?
  4. How do you assess your relationship with your team?
  5. Do you see a connection between the duties indicated in the recruitment and those performed?
  6. How do you feel about your new workplace?
  7. Are you familiar with the company culture/structure/vision and mission?
  8. Do you feel adequately prepared to perform your duties?
  9. What skills or knowledge do you want to gain by working with us?
  10. What development directions do you see for yourself?
entry interview

Entry interview – summary

Acquiring the right employee for a specific position is always a costly process – for this reason, companies in various industries place special emphasis on ensuring that the implementation process is carried out as well as possible. This is undoubtedly facilitated by establishing onboarding schemes involving both the HR representative and the hiring manager. A substantial element of these should include the entry interview, which not only allows you to examine whether the expected results have been achieved, but above all provides a kind of summary of the first weeks of a new person at work. It also gives a chance for company newcomers to voice their opinion, which will definitely meet with enthusiasm.

Read also: 4 essential HR metrics to measure and improve your offboarding process

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Author: Nicole Mankin

HR manager with an excellent ability to build a positive atmosphere and create a valuable environment for employees. She loves to see the potential of talented people and mobilize them to develop.