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Before Your First Day

There are some specific steps you will need to take in order to be prepared for your first day.

Completing Hiring Paperwork

Review the list of expectations below and follow up with Human Resources should you have any questions. Ensure that you have completed all hiring and human resource–related paperwork before your first day. Hiring paperwork could include but is not limited to:

  • Background check
  • I-9 form (including your identification)
  • W-4 (Federal & State Tax Withholding)
  • Student Employment Rules and Regulations
  • Confidentiality agreement
  • Handbook Receipt Acknowledgment Form
  • FICA Agreement
  • Direct Deposit with Voided Check (optional)

Identify and Discuss Your Expectations for Your First Day and Week

Make sure you have an understanding of the department/organization’s dress code and professionalism expectations. Establish or confirm your availability so that you can be prepared to discuss it with your supervisor.

Don't forget to find out:

  • Who to report to
  • When you can meet other staff
  • Where your things can be placed
  • Where you check in on your first few days

Checklist for the First Day

  • Make sure your supervisor provides you with the appropriate departmental/institutional policies to review, organization/department website to review, and document any questions you may have.
  • Ensure that you have a work station with adequate supplies and the necessary technology.
  • Prepare a list of questions for each day so that you don’t forget to have them answered before leaving.

Workplace Etiquette and Customer Service

  • Act in a mature and professional manner when interacting with clients and co-workers.
  • Put yourself into the customers' position. Treat them as you would like to be treated.
  • Be aware of your body language and nonverbal communication. Smile, sit up straight, and make eye contact. Pay attention for important details that could help you decide to whom they should be referred.
  • Ask questions if you don’t understand what the customer needs. You may need to obtain further information to determine the best resource.
  • Keep commonly used resources nearby, such as commonly requested phone numbers, dates, or information specific to your site.
  • Be accountable for the customers you assist. Return their calls in a timely manner and pass information along properly for follow-up. Be responsible for making sure each customer’s issue is resolved.
  • Refer the customer to a staff member who knows more about where to refer the customer if you cannot answer the question. Never guess or make something up.


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