Interviews are stressful for many job seekers, especially transitioning servicemembers who may have never been in one. As a result, some interviewees can inadvertently show their nerves throughout their interview by having nervous tics.
Nervous tics can range in appearance but are generally a nervous reaction to an event that can cause unnatural, repetitive behavior or movement. Nervous tics can become distractions to employers and interview teams if they are overly obvious.
Below is a list of common nervous tics human resource managers see in interviews. It is important to be mindful of these movements and to manage them as much as possible during an in-person and video interview.
Be aware of hair during the interview process. Tucking hair back behind ears, playing with longer hair, or constantly brushing hair out of eyes can become a nervous habit if done repeatedly during the course of the interview. Instead, keep hands clasped gently or gesture naturally. Women can keep hair pinned back or put up to avoid touching it during the interview if this is a nervous habit.
When interviewing, avoid consistently scratching the face, nose, or resting hands on a chin (which can come off as looking bored). In this case, it is again wise to avoid bringing additional attention to nervous habits.
Some job seekers become so nervous about their interviews that they bounce their legs or tap their shoes on the floor. During an interview, it may be easy to let off nervous energy this way, but employers can hear the movement (or sometimes feel it!). Bouncing can become distracting. Instead, focus on keeping two feet firmly on the floor and sitting up straight. An interviewee will seem much more confident in this posture.
To have a successful interview, it's important to be professional at all times. Other annoyances for hiring managers can include chewing gum at an interview, drinking water excessively during a meal or interview (avoid having to get up repeatedly to take a restroom break), and eating food without proper etiquette.
In general, be aware of movements during an interview and practice potential responses in advance to help calm nerves.