The Do’s and Don’ts of Your First Job Interview

The first job interview can be a nerve-wracking experience for anyone, especially for students just starting their careers. However, proper preparation and mindset can also be an excellent opportunity to make a positive impression and land your dream job. This article will discuss the dos and don’ts of your first job interview, with specific advice for students.

Don’ts of Your First Job Interview

1. Don’t Show Up Early, But Not Too Early.

This may sound WRONG. You may have heard that you must arrive early. But arrive too early and you are bound to make the wrong impression. Leave some good enough time to get there on time based on your location and traffic situation. Still, if you are more than 15 minutes early, you know you must find a Starbucks to kill some more time before showing up. Being five to ten minutes early is the sweet spot.

While being punctual is essential, showing up too early can be counterproductive. Arriving too early can make you seem overly eager or even desperate for the job, which can be a turn-off for employers. Aiming to arrive 5-10 minutes before the interview starts is best. This gives you enough time to check in with the receptionist, take a deep breath, and compose yourself before meeting the interviewer.

2. Don’t Condescend To The Receptionist First Job Interview

The receptionist or administrative assistant is often the first person you will encounter when you arrive for your interview. It’s important to treat them with respect and professionalism, as they are often the gatekeepers to the rest of the company. The interviewer may also ask them for their impressions of you, so be sure to make a positive impression on them.

3. Don’t Badmouth Your Former Colleagues.

Even if you had a difficult or unpleasant experience in your previous job, it’s important to refrain from speaking negatively about your former employer, supervisors, or coworkers. This can make you seem petty or unprofessional and may raise concerns about your ability to work effectively with others. Instead, focus on the positive aspects of your previous experiences and what you learned from them.

4. Don’t Be Unprepared First Job Interview

Research the company and know what they do. Have a general idea of the duties of the position you’re applying for. It’s important to do your homework before the interview. This includes researching the company, understanding what they do, and familiarizing yourself with the job description and requirements for the position you’re applying for. This shows the interviewer that you are serious about the job and have taken the time to prepare.

5. Don’t Ask Questions About Salary Or Benefits.

While it’s natural to be curious about the compensation package for the job, it’s best to avoid asking about salary and benefits unless the interviewer brings it up first. This is because discussing compensation too early in the process can give the impression that you are more interested in the money than in the job itself.

Instead, focus on discussing your qualifications and how you can contribute to the company’s success.

6. Don’t Treat The Interviewer As A Friend.

You might be tempted to assume that just because the interviewer is casual with you, they are your friend and you can let your guard down and treat them as your neighborly buddy. It’s important to remember that a job interview is a professional interaction, and you should maintain a level of formality and respect throughout the conversation.

Even if the interviewer seems friendly and approachable, it’s important to avoid letting your guard down and treating them as a friend or peer.

Dos of Your First Job Interview

1. Do Dress Appropriately

First impressions matter, and what you wear can significantly affect the interviewer’s perception of you. As a general rule, it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed. For any office job, wear a suit. Women do not wear anything eye-catching. Earrings, for example, should be studs or small hoops only. Men, wear a tie and ensure that your shirt is tucked in.

Make sure that your clothes are clean and ironed. A neat and professional appearance indicates that you respect the interviewer and are taking the interview seriously.

2. Do Bring Two Clean Copies Of Your Resume

Yes, they already have copies of your resume, but do it anyway. Bring two clean copies of your resume with you to the interview. In case the interviewer forgets to bring a copy of your resume or you’re being interviewed by more than one person, it’s always good to have a backup. Also, keep in mind that bringing extra copies shows that you’re prepared and attentive to detail, which is an excellent quality for any job.

3. Do Invest In A Nice Folder Or Portfolio

Invest in a nice folder or portfolio with a notepad in it to bring with you to interviews. Make sure you have a pen. Take notes. Jot down any follow-up questions you have while the interviewer is speaking. This way, you don’t interrupt them, but you don’t forget either. Additionally, taking notes shows that you are interested in the job and are taking the interview seriously.

4. Do Be Prepared With Specific And Relevant Questions

The interviewer will usually end the interview by asking if you have any questions. This is an opportunity to show that you have researched the company and the job and that you’re genuinely interested in the position. Prepare a few questions in advance that are specific and relevant to the job and the company. For example, ask about the company culture, career growth opportunities, or specific job responsibilities. Having thoughtful and insightful questions to ask the interviewer can help you stand out from other candidates.

5. Do Expect To Do About 75% Of The Talking in First Job Interview

The interview is your chance to showcase your skills and experience, so be prepared to do most of the talking. The interviewer will likely ask you a series of questions about your work experience, skills, and qualifications. Make sure you have examples of your work experience that you can discuss in detail. It’s essential to answer the interviewer’s questions concisely and with enthusiasm and listen actively to what the interviewer is saying. Engage in a conversation, be bold, and ask follow-up questions or for clarification.

6. Do Keep Your Composure, Sit Still, And Pay Attention

During the interview, maintain a calm and collected demeanor. Sit still, keep your hands on your lap, and pay attention to what the interviewer is saying. Don’t fidget, slouch, or cross your arms. Maintain eye contact but do just what is necessary. Also, ensure that you are well-rested before the interview, so you appear energized and energized. The interviewer wants to see that you can handle the pressure of the job and remain composed even in stressful situations.


Your first job interview is an opportunity to make a great first impression on a potential employer. It’s crucial to come prepared, act professionally, and avoid common mistakes that could harm your chances of getting the job. Remember that the interviewer is looking for a personality match in addition to job qualifications, so be sure to present yourself in the best possible light. You can demonstrate your competence, enthusiasm, and professionalism by following the do’s and don’ts outlined in this article. Use this opportunity to showcase your skills and convince the interviewer that you are the right candidate for the job. With practice and perseverance, you can succeed in your job search and take the first step towards a fulfilling career.