At a job interview, it’s not just what you say. It’s what you do, too.
While wowing hiring managers with your knowledge and enthusiasm, keep in mind that they’re watching what you do as well as listening to what you say. So ask yourself: Do you have any annoying mannerisms? Hiring managers assume that if you are a little annoying at an interview, you’ll be much more so once you’re hired and, presumably, off your guard.
Lasting impressions are formed within 90 seconds of first meeting. So make an effort not to do any of the following at job interviews:
- Gum chewing
- Hair twirling
- Avoiding eye contact
- Knee jiggling
- Drumming your fingers
- Sighing (or yawning)
- Nail biting
- Playing with your pen
- Lip smacking
- Checking your cellphone
- Key jingling
- Kicking the interviewer’s desk or chair
- Toe tapping
- Picking at, rubbing, or scratching any part of your body
- Waving your hands while speaking
- Tugging at your cuffs or at the hem of your skirt
- Resting your chin in your hand
- Smiling too much (or not smiling at all)
Bet you didn’t know there were so many ways to be annoying! Before your next interview, ask a trusted friend/advisor if you are guilty of any of the above. Or videotape yourself answering questions.
It could be the best thing you do for your job hunt.
Karen Burns, Working Girl, is the author of The Amazing Adventures of Working Girl: Real-Life Career Advice You Can Actually Use, to be released by Running Press in April 2009. She blogs at karenburnsworkinggirl.com.