5 Weird Things Nerves Make You Do in Job Interviews
1. Talking too much
Some people don’t seem to take a breath in interview. This is fine if you have an engaging story and you can remember the question you are answering a few minutes into your answer. However many people keep talking and forget to keep checking to see if their interviewer is listening.
The tricky thing here is to know whether your interviewer is a person who likes detail or who likes bullet points. It’s also difficult to know if interviewers are actually listening. Some interviewers, particularly experienced interviewers, are professional at looking like they’re listening.
2. Injecting odd phrases
“Like,” “like you know,” “do you get what I mean?” This verbal stuffing can completely detract from your appearance as a competent professional. The public speaking group, Toastmasters, is good for eliminating this kind of thing, as is recording yourself in an interview practice session.
3. Not answering the question
Sometimes interview questions are too long. Sometimes an interview question has too much preamble. Sometimes interview questions are too confusing. So as an interviewer I don’t mind repeating a question, but when I need to rephrase and simplify a question three or so times, I give up and move on to the next question.
4. Answering the question before an interviewer finishes asking it
I list this first as I honestly loathe this behaviour. I’m not sure why people do this, but my take on this is that the person has poor listening skills. Interrupting someone before they finish asking you a question is like a verbal kneecapping – unexpected and painful.
5. Shutting down
Often people switch into “interview mode.” They’re engaging in reception. They’re lovely over the phone. But when they get into interview they talk in a completely different way. As an interviewer I think “whatever happened to?”