I recently interviewed with a big software company (USA) and got an offer. This is my first job after my master studies. During my interview, the manager provided a high level description of the project and it is interesting to me. When I requested more details about the project during my interview, the manager told me that it is confidential and she cannot reveal more details at that point of time. I have accepted the offer and will join the company in a couple of months. Currently I am spending time with my parents and friends.

However, I feel that if I know more details about the project such as exact problem they are solving, programming languages they use etc., then I could spend sometime on these technologies before joining the company. I believe that this preparation helps me to speedup my learning process at my first job and can impress my future manager. However, I am a bit hesitant to send an e-mail about this because I fear that my boss might think that I am unnecessarily proactive or this action would increase his expectations on my performance.

Is it a good idea to send an e-mail to my future manager and request more details about the project? If so, what are the things I should be careful in approaching her for this. I appreciate your help and guidance. Thank you.

I think that this question is different from How to ask for more details about the job before applying?


You want to get a head start on preparation for your new job. That's great! And you want to avoid pushing on things they can't answer yet because you haven't signed an NDA; that's wise. You don't want to come across as high-maintenance at this stage in the transition. (Or any time later, if you can help it, but that's beside the point.)

Focus your request on something that they can actually help you with: instead of asking about the project, ask what skills/technologies will be most important for it. Explain that you have some time before your start date to prepare; what should you focus on?

I've asked this a couple times and received such a query once as a hiring manager. If you ask "what can I do now", as opposed to "what will I be doing for you", you should get useful results -- or, at least, not raise any eyebrows.


Is it a good idea to send an e-mail to my future manager and request more details about the project?

It's a great idea!

You can demonstrate your continued interest, signal your desire to hit the ground running once you start, and be even more prepared for a fast beginning to your career. What manager wouldn't want to see that sort of enthusiasm?

You really shouldn't worry about what sort of expectations of your performance you are setting - you want you new manager to have high expectations, and you want to be in a position to deliver on those expectations.

If you have already signed a Non-Disclosure, then it should at least be possible. But your company may still not want to give you more details until you have been through the complete onboarding/training process, and are actually on the payroll. It's also possible that the project details are still in flight, so sending them to you may not be as useful as hoped.

Still, it's worth asking. If you sense any hesitation on your manager's part, you can always back off of your request. And you'll still get "brownie points" for showing how eager you are.

I once made a similar request after agreeing to join a new company. I got some interesting work to do in my spare time leading up to my first day, and even got to design and lay out a new computer room. The week I joined, I felt like I really belonged.

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