We all have bad habits. Unfortunately, you probably don’t even know what those habits are. The best way to find out? Ask a friend to practice interview questions with you and take notes on any of your nervous ticks.
1. Tapping Your Foot
Spinning a pen between your fingers. Uncomfortable wriggling in your seat. Ticks like these make everyone in the room tense up. Show that you’re confident by sitting with good posture and hands folded softly in your lap.
2. Avoiding Eye Contact
This is one habit that needs to be broken — fast. Shifting your eyes from left to right can make you seem untrustworthy. “Elevator eyes” – shifting your eyes up and down – is often seen as downright inappropriate. Keep your eyes locked with your interviewer. If you need a break, take a sip of water or look down while scooting your chair in closer.
Filling awkward silences in with giggles or ending every sentence with an uncomfortable laugh only hurts your chances of getting hired. End a sentence with confidence – not with a giggle — and learn to power through silence. It’s not as awkward as you think.
4. Touching Your Hair
Or your suit, or your nose, or… well, anything on your body. Keep those hands firmly in your lap so they don’t fall prey to your nervous habits. Be confident in how you look before you step into the room. Wear a comfortable suit and hairstyle that will stay put during your interview.
5. Saying “Umm…”
Everything should be said with a purpose. Instead of filling a pause with an “umm…” just keep your mouth closed. If needed, say, “Let me gather my thoughts for a moment.” You’ll sound much more intelligent when you speak clearly, concisely, and with confidence.
Image by Tom Robinson.