We all have things we do when we are nervous or uncomfortable. Naturally, job interviews tend to be uncomfortable or nerve-wracking. You may want to consciously avoid a few critical things during an interview to appear more confident and on your game. Read below:
Sitting on your phone
It can be tempting to fill awkward waiting time with something—ANYTHING. There will inevitably be parts of the interview process where you must sit alone and wait (e.g., waiting to be called back, waiting for the next employee to come interview you). It can be so natural to whip out your phone and start scrolling. DON’T. If there are reading materials around you about the company, read those! If not, it is best to sit and just take in the space around you. Even if your interviewer doesn’t consciously think this, the interviewee being on their phone signals a short attention span and disinterest (even if that isn’t true of you!).
It is natural to start wringing your hands or fiddling with your shirt buttons when you are nervous. Whenever we become conscious that we exist in our bodies, we feel the need to keep it busy with something. Just sit still with your hands in your lap. Contrary to (your) popular belief, you do not look awkward or odd; you are just more conscious of the fact that you are sitting still. Fidgeting is distracting to the interviewer, so try to avoid it. If you absolutely must fidget to remain calm and collected, try to do something that isn’t distracting/does not cause a lot of movement, like squeezing your hands under the table.
Talking negatively about past employers
Sometimes when we are asked about past negative experiences, it can be tough not to vent about how awful the job was. Even if you were mistreated, focus on the positives that resulted from that experience. Your potential future employer wants an employee that will respect their company and address issues with maturity. Even if you are entirely valid in having a bad experience at a past company, rise above and focus on ways you grew from it. Our recent article better explains how to approach this situation.
Interviews are when you can let your personality shine—do not let nervous slip-ups overshadow you! Check out this Muse Article about how to appear confident in an interview.