12 things you should never do for your first interview

So you’ve finally finished you’re GCSE’s, A-Levels or your Degree, well done! Hopefully, all the hard work, revision and late nights have paid off and given you the results you wished for. It can be quite daunting to think that the next step is going into work. Ideally, you want to find a job that suits what you have studied and what you enjoy the most. Finding this can be challenging and involve submitting many CV applications, this is why when you finally land an interview for your first ever job, you must prepare accordingly to leave the best impression you can on the employers.

See our tips on what not to do for your first interview, and how to turn no’s into yes!

  • Don’t wear socks and sandals

This may seem like an obvious point; however, dressing appropriately for the job you are going for is essential. When your Interviewer greets you, your appearance is what they see first. You don’t need to feel pressured to go for the full “Suit and Tie” look, remember it’s your first interview, and they know this, but dressing with a smart shirt and trousers/smart low cut skirt shows respect and professionalism.

Here are some Pinterest boards with great outfit ideas for your interview:

For Men

For Women

  • Try not to be late

Now, we know sometimes issues such as public transport problems can come up, causing you to be late. This will not go down well with someone who is thinking about hiring you. If you are unsure about the public transport to get to your interview, then make sure you leave with plenty of time. There are plenty of Free Live Apps for London Transportation that give you updates of any delays or cancellations so you can always check these in good time before your meeting. As the saying goes “it’s better to be late than early”!

  • Chewing Gum

Believe it or not, many people enter an interview with chewing gum. This is a no go! Imagine trying to talk about your achievement and life goals in between chews, its not pretty.

  • Try not to use “slang.”

Dependent on where you are from, you will have words that you use that won’t be recognised as “professional grammar”. Using slag is fine in day-to-day life, and even in informal situations in a workplace. For your first interview, try not to use bad grammar.

  • Don’t let your nerves get the better of you

You are bound to be nervous for your first interview, terrified in fact. While everybody is a bit anxious during an interview, you need to remember that everyone has been through it, and you will get there. You don’t want your information to be slurred and filled with “ums…” and “errs…” and equally, you don’t want it to fly out your mouth like a speeding bullet. To avoid slurring or speaking fast, try to listen to the questions, and think for a moment before answering. Sometimes a little silence is the best thing; it shows you are thinking rather than saying the first thing that comes out of your mouth.

  • Leave your headphones at home

Of course, it’s fine to listen to music on your way to the interview, it might even help calm those nerves and build your confidence. Just take them off before you enter the office, and stow them away at the bottom of your bag so they cannot fall out awkwardly or get tangled in with your portfolio, as this would be awkward!

  • Don’t overdo accessories and makeup

Dressing smartly doesn’t mean ten extra sprays of aftershave, nor does it mean excess lipstick and eye shadow. If you don’t usually wear makeup, then don’t feel pressured to have to for an interview. You want to feel comfortable and be yourself, so creating a look that’s entirely new for you is only going to increase anxiety levels. Click here to see some simple video tips on how to do your makeup

  • Winging it never works

Whatever you do, please, do not go into the interview without practice or preparation. Take the time to plan for the meeting. Do your research on the company, practice answers and script your responses to the questions you are uncomfortable with. Know what the company needs so you can demonstrate that when asked why they should hire you.

  • Don’t be unrealistic

Sometimes the reality of the job won’t meet up to your expectations. You might have to make tea, and you might be given the tasks nobody else wants. You have to climb the ladder, everyone started off somewhere, so don’t be disheartened if the job you are going for isn’t what you imagined it to be. Try to shake those unrealistic salary dreams or job expectations and focus on the progression opportunities rather than the initial position.

  • Don’t talk over the Interviewer

Talking is not a bad thing, of course, over-talking is, though. It shows a lack of listening skills and can be very exhausting for the Interviewer who may struggle to get their questions out if you interrupt or forget to breathe. People love to be asked questions; the same goes for your Interviewer. They want you to want to know more about what they do and why they do it; it shows interest and suggests you are passionate about their company as much as they are. Good examples of questions to ask are:

– Is their room for progression in your company?

– What are your company values?

– Are there any training schemes or opportunities available?

– How is my performance going to be judged?

– What behaviours do you value in your company (longer hours? Skill development?)

  • Do not ask about pay rises or holidays in the first interview

In the world of work, to get a higher salary, you have to work for it, how ironic. Do not ask for more money in your first interview, remember you are new to their company, you might have the best grades in the city, but you need to prove that you can work hard and be a loyal member of staff before going and asking for more money. If you want to positively stand out, the same goes for holiday requests.

  • Being TOO honest

Now, our final point is a bit of a grey area and may have controversial opinions. You should never lie about your experience or your skills, nor should you lie about anything really. However, sometimes, things are better left unsaid. Say your attendance at school was below 50%, but your grades were high; focus on the positives, not the negatives.


At recruitment 99 we are here to offer support to all of our candidates. When concerned with your interview, we can help you with

  • CV Building
  • Interview Skills
  • Career advice

Our dedicated and passionate team are here, so for any more information or interview practice tips, please don’t hesitate to give us a call on 0300 303 3899.