The Little Things Matter

Chad Austin, the Job Placement Officer at Henry Ford Community College, contributes this regular column to the Mirror News, touching on a variety of subjects relating to job placement and how his office can help you get your career started. If you have questions, please feel free to contact Chad through the Job Placement Office at 313-845-9618 or by e-mail at
You walk out of an interview with a potential employer feeling that you have answered all the questions well. You are confident that you are going to land the position. You wait for the telephone call from the employer, and you get more frustrated as time rolls on and they don’t call. You wonder what went wrong. It could be that you did everything right. Maybe you didn’t do one of the other little things that that are important for interview success. The little things can add up. Here are a few suggestions:

Be kind to all
You never know who has influence or who might be a decision maker. Being rude or short with an intern or a secretary because you think they are insignificant is a great way to torpedo your chances.
Shake like you mean it
A limp handshake sends the wrong message; as does a knuckle buster. For best results give a firm handshake that lasts three to four seconds and look the person in the eye while you are shaking their hand.
Drop the slang
You aren’t talking to your pals, you are talking to your potential boss. You don’t have to use words like whom and wherefore, but do try and avoid the yeahs, uh-huhs, kindas and other common words that you might employ in an informal conversation.
Don’t go negative
No matter what may have happened to you in a previous job, never rip on a former employer. Even if it was a terrible place to work, talk about what you learned to value in a supervisor or work environment.
Stifling individuality is never fun, but I guarantee you will have better success if the interviewer isn’t wondering about how big your tattoo is or what exactly that thing is sticking out of your lip. It’s better to collect a paycheck and be the true you in your off time.

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