Five Nervous Habits to Avoid During a Job Search

Are you a nervous nelly? Got butterflies in the stomach? These feelings are completely normal during a job search or in preparing for an interview, but it’s important not let them get the best of you. You don’t want to let nervous habits conflict with your true personality, especially when seeking out employment and talking with a future potential boss or colleague.

Here are five common nervous habits to avoid during this time and top tips on how to steer clear of them:

  1. Don’t fidget. Follow Mom’s advice and sit still when in the hot seat.
  2. Don’t flip out. Sure you may have easy, breezy, beautiful hair, but now is not the time to show it off. For those with long hair and the fear that you may flip it too often, pull it back and out of your way.
  3. Don’t giggle. If you hear a joke during the interview, go ahead and give a laugh, but watch out for the nervous giggling. Laughter or giggling to piece of conversation that might not have been equally viewed as humorous can be misconstrued and make it seem like you are not taking the interview or a potential employer seriously. Focus on why you are there and what you have to offer, and remember, they wanted to speak with you because they think you might be a good fit for their company.
  4. Don’t ramble. Listen to the question you’re asked carefully, take a brief moment to think about your answer and then comment. Don’t lead your interviewee down a conversation that ends in something funny you did with your friends. Deliver responses that get to the point of the question, while highlighting your experience and showing off your intelligence.
  5. Don’t bite your nails. Nobody wants to see you chewing on your fingers. This is the time to step up to the plate and demonstrate that you are one top-notch professional ready to take on the job at hand. Chewing on your fingers shows a lack of confidence, and is just plain unattractive.

To avoid resorting to your nervous nature, first step is to try and recognize what your habits are when faced with a situation that brings on anxiety. If you’re not sure what they may be or don’t think you have any, check with friends, family and any past trusted colleagues. It’s important to become aware of what the habits are so that when they occur your mind will hopefully register the action and tell you to stop.

Second, understand that it’s normal to feel nervous because of increased stress from a job search. In fact, according to a recent Glassdoor survey, 82% people who reported that they were unemployed but looking for work felt stressed. Rusty Rueff, Glassdoor’s career and workplace expert, points out that “You are Talented” and although hard things in life can take time, before long you will feel more confident and hit the ground running.

And third, yet most important, practice. Before you are scheduled to speak with a potential employer on the phone, practice what you might say when asked about your background, experience and why you are interested in the job at that company. And before you are asked to come in for an in-person interview, practice as many possible interview questions as you can and plan out how to get to interview location, what you’ll need to where and do your homework on the company ahead of time. Don’t forget to check out Glassdoor interview reviews and questions to learn from the experience of job candidates who have gone before you. All this practice and careful planning will help eliminate the jitters once you’re in action working to land your next job.