1. Slouching – at most interviews, you will be seated, likely at a table across from the interviewers. If you slouch in your chair, you will be seen as not interested and possibly lazy, slovenly, and entitled. Yikes. Sit up straight, just like your mother taught you to.

2. Leaning forward – leaning forward when listening to someone, or when talking shows interest, passion and excitement in the topic. Leaning forward all the time will dilute this message and may freak the other person out, especially if you are in their personal space bubble. Lean forward naturally when you are engaged, but never get too close to the interviewer. If you notice them subtly pull back, you are too close. Or you have bad breath, or both. Not good.

3. Crossed arms – this tells the interviewers that you are defensive or closed. Or even angry. People often cross their arms when they are scared or nervous. If you catch yourself doing it; stop.

4. Jiggling your leg(s) or any other part of your body – this is really distracting to the other person, and suggests that you are really wound up, tense or stressed. None of which are appealing characteristics to an employer.

5. Rubbing the back of your head or neck – this looks like you are really stumped and are frantically making up an answer. If you are asked a question and you go blank, ask to move on to the next question and come back to it later.

6. Touching your nose, picking your fingernails, clicking your fingernails or any other annoying self grooming activity that has no place in an interview and may gross out the interviewers. This is probably just nerves, and you may be unaware you are doing this. As preparation for an interview, video yourself at a mock interview and watch for these idiosyncrasies. Then train yourself to be aware of them, and, as in #3; stop.

7. Staring without blinking. When asked a question you are unprepared for, you may find yourself staring at the person who asked the question and forgetting to blink. From their viewpoint, you look like a deer caught in the headlights. When asked a tough question, be prepared with a response that will break this spell, such as “What a great question, I wasn’t expecting that”.

8. Sweating. This is a tough one, because the body naturally responds to stress with perspiration. Someone who has sweat running down their face, or whose armpits are growing dark with sweat will be seen as a poor candidate. If you can’t handle the stress of the interview, how on earth will you handle the stress of the job? Wear layers of clothing, so if you are warm, you can remove a sweater or jacket. Or, wear a jacket if you know you perspire heavily, so that sweat stains cannot be seen. Bring some water with you, if you find yourself sweating, take a break, and have a sip of water. This will help relax you. If you need to, bring a handkerchief to discretely wipe your brow, not ideal, but better than sweat running down and dropping off your nose.

9. Smiling…nothing is more enchanting than a lovely smile. A smile with your lips closed can look fake, practice your smile, get a sense of how you smile when you are truly happy, and then remember to smile in the interview. A great smile when you first meet your interviewer will set a positive tone to the whole interview.

by Kathy Low, Blogger for Agilec

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