Everyone feels nervous at one point or another, and to cope with this feeling, we develop nervous habits. Sometimes these habits are what make other people judge you and your skills for the job prematurely, leaving you little room to make a positive impression on the interviewer.
The only way you can counter this prejudgment of who you are is by being aware of your habits when you’re nervous and by practicing those situations in order to prevent the nervous impulses from taking over.
Speaking too fast – The pressure of not taking too much time in giving your answer and getting your point across might cause you to speak faster than usual, which makes it harder for your interviewer to understand what you’re saying. Practicing speaking in tense situations will help you overcome the need to speak fast and will make you more aware of it when you’re speaking faster than necessary.
Conversation fillers – When nervousness takes over, even your most basic conversational skills can suffer. Instead of getting the point across with less time and fewer words, you spend half the interview filling your sentences with “ums.” In order to reduce this, have a friend help you be more aware of your fillers.
Blank out – Instead of speaking fast or filling your sentences with “ums,” what you do is… nothing. Because of your nervousness when the interviewer asks you a question, your only response is a blank stare. A good way for you to avoid blanking out is to reveal it at the start of the interview to get it off your chest.
Avoiding eye contact – You’re not someone who is used to making eye contact with everyone, so it’s only natural for you to be the same way in your interview. However, a lot of people associate this with lying, which you want avoid at any cost. Before you even get to an interview, practice and make establishing eye contact habit.
Fidgeting – One of the worst ways to cope with your nervousness is by fidgeting. It not only shows how you can’t keep your cool in pressure situations, but it also distracts an interviewer from listening to your answers. Whether it be playing with your fingers, twirling your hair, or tapping a foot, it’s definitely not recommended.
Most people get nervous before and during an interview, and everyone has a habit of his or her own. There are times when these habits get in the way and become roadblocks to your success. Practice and be aware of your habits, and get past the roadblocks to become more successful in your interviews.
Alan is the creator of Interview Success Formula, a training program that has helped more than 40,000 job seekers to ace their interviews and land the jobs they deserve. Interviewers love asking curveball questions to weed out job seekers. But the truth is, most of these questions are asking about a few key areas. Learn more about how to outsmart tough interviewers by watching this video.