But there are four basic things that you need to remember when you start learning Max:
Memorize the hotkeys! It's ok to use Icons at first, but gradually, you have to learned most of the hotkeys by heart. For example for T = Top View, P = Perspective and so on. There are tons of 3dsmax hotkeys there, All you need to do is google them.
Don't forget to save and save the file often. Save it in different names if you have to. Because, eventhough Max has Autoback, just save the file every 15-20 minutes. Because depends of your computer, the season, your rendering engine or just with no reason at all, 3ds Max gets cranky and then drop dead. And when that happens, whoaaarrgghhhhh ... There is no word to express the feeling. I really hope you will never find out.
Adjust your render setting with your computer speed and what you are going to do with the rendering result. For example, if you are going to print it in have a page of letter size paper. Don't waste time setting the rendering to such detail that turns out not so visible when you print it.
Practice and practice! A lot! Practice on anything that tutorials provide for you. There are tons of tutorials on the internet, from cushions, windows, lights, whatever, even when it's not really related to your line of work. There will be new things you will learn from each tutorial, and ultimately, it will be useful for you, when you least expected.
This is the video that will introduce you to 3ds Max Interface, this is really basic. But hopefully, this will be a good start so you can go on up to the very Advance level.
Have a nice time learning! ^_^