How To Nail Your First Job Interview

Hey kiddos, it’s time for that job interview! But before you blow it off and set your alarm app to wake you up 30 minutes before it starts, here are some old-school hints to keep in mind and make a good impression. With these eight tips, you’ll nail your first job interview. Trust us.

1. Don’t be late

And by this, we mean show up 10-15 minutes early and check in with the front desk person. It doesn’t matter if the person you’re interviewing is late, but it totally matters if you are. Regardless of the office culture, you need to show you’re responsible, reliable and courteous even before you get the job.

2. Bring hard copies of your resume and saved samples on devices

In fact, bring two of them. Yeah, yeah, everything’s email and apps nowadays, but we’ll bet you an avocado toast that HR (that stands for Human Resources) will need a hard copy. Plus, if you’re interviewing with a person older than 35, chances are they’ll want a hard copy to write on. And remember to make sure anything you do show on a device is downloaded or saved as a PDF in case the wifi doesn’t work. By bringing hard copies of your resume and saved work on devices, you’ll demonstrate that you think ahead of time and you’re prepared, valuable qualities for any company.

3. Dress up a little

We’re not saying you’ve got to wear a three-piece suit (guys) or an embroidered pantsuit with a pearl necklace (ladies), but again, regardless of the company atmosphere, it’s really a must-do to spruce yourself up.

Comb your hair, shine your shoes and remember your deodorant. The most casual you should be is khaki slacks and an ironed dress shirt (for guys) and a knee-length dress skirt and short-sleeved blouse or a “church-going” dress for women.

4. Cover up those tats

Unless you’re going for a spot at a tattoo parlor or hip skateboarding, snowboarding or smokeshop joint (no pun intended) then cover up as many tattoos as you can, whether with clothing or makeup. If you have face tattoos, well, it’s somewhat unlikely that you’ll get an office job in a traditional corporate office, but you probably already knew that and would hate that world.

5. Don’t chew gum, pack dip, suck on candy or vape

Of course you’re nervous. The thought that you might have to move out of your parents’ house and pay rent somewhere is absolutely horrifying. So, listen to us. Just breath. And smile.

6. Know your own resume

Memorize it, especially if your best friend wrote it for you. And on that note, don’t lie. And yes, we know that music mogul David Geffen didn’t have a degree when he applied for a job at the William Morris Agency and lied about graduating from UCLA, which helped him get the job. Fine. But we all know that was a perfect storm. Most people aren’t David Geffen. Don’t risk it. You shouldn’t have to look at your resume to remember what you did, when, where and for how long.

For more resume tips, check out our list of things you should never put on your resume.

7. Research the company

One of the things interviewers hate is when they ask if you have any questions and are met with a “No,” or worse, a blank look and silence. Do some homework. Find out about the culture, the company’s growth, its current projects, and so on, to help you formulate questions.

If you’re still at a loss for words, some goodies include “Could you tell me how this position became available,” “What do you like most about the company,” and “How has the company evolved since you began working here?”

8. Turn off your phone before you enter the interviewer’s office

Turn it off. Don’t just set it to vibrate or silence the ringer. Nothing is that important that you should have to take a call during an interview. Unless you want to live with your parents until you’re 50.