In this paper we explore how social gaze in an assembly robot affects how naïve users interact with it. In a controlled experimental study, 30 participants instructed an industrial robot to fetch parts needed to assemble a wooden toolbox. Participants either interacted with a robot employing a simple gaze following the movements of its own arm, or with a robot that follows its own movements during tasks, but which also gazes at the participant between instructions. Our qualitative and quantitative analyses show that people in the social gaze condition are significantly more quick to engage the robot, smile significantly more often, and can better account for where the robot is looking. In addition, we find people in the social gaze condition to feel more responsible for the task performance. We conclude that social gaze in assembly scenarios fulfills floor management functions and provides an indicator for the robot’s affordance, yet that it does not influence likability, mutual interest and suspected competence of the robot.