Observing how people behave and interact in the new company will help you understand how the company operates and how you have to act. Is it sales oriented or internally oriented? Are interactions fairly loose and informal, or are they highly structured? Are the key people continually involved in meetings or largely working on their own or
working in small groups? What’s the style of communication in meetings? Does one person dominate, or does everybody get involved? How does this communication differ from what you’re used to?
Keep a low profile in the first week or two, even though you may be expected to hit the deck running. Many people will form an opinion of you in a few weeks, and you’ll be carefully watched for several months. Be particularly sensitive to how most of the people treat you so you can interact with them best. Three obvious things to be aware of:
Observe the dress code and follow it.
Observe the length of day that’s generally worked. Arrive a half hour early and stay a half an hour late. Observe who’s there outside of working hours and whether they’re working.
Observe the lunch routine. See when people go, when they return, and who goes with whom. Try to mix with many different people, and avoid getting tagged with a group.