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10 Habits That Make You Look Incompetent At A Job Interview

While you try to be your best at interviews or in a business/professional setting, some actions that are unconscious put your audience off, make them uncomfortable, and give a low score on your personality. Recognizing these habits is key, and dealing with them. Here is a look at some of them.


1. Nail biting
Nail biting is one of the most common nervous habits. Not only does picking at your nails and cuticles look gross, but it wreaks havoc on your hands and downgrades your overall personal brand. It also makes you look childish. Avoid it.

2. Constantly checking your phone:
While it very much advisable you turn off or silent your gadgets at job interviews, constantly checking your phone signals boredom, interprets that the interviewer is making no sense to you. Avoid it, even when it seems the interviewer is talking out of points.

3. Avoiding eye contact
Oh, some people are shy to the ‘earth’. But, too little eye contact can hurt your chances of making the right impression. because it can make you appear unprepared, uninterested, insincere, and even arrogant. Aim to make direct contact approximately half of the time during a conversation and people will perceive you as believable, confident, and competent.

4. Rubbing your hands together or on your thigh
Some behaviours like rubbing your hands together or on your thigh can shift your focus from what you are saying and may be a bit uncomfortable for those who are examining you. Advisable you make a conscious effort to rest your hands firmly on your knees with your palms down or fold them on the table in front of you.


5. Responding, ‘Hmm, that’s a good question’
Saying this after every question in an interview shows how indiscriminate you are. Similarly, responding, “Good point,” to everything your would-be Boss says may make you look more like a “yes person” than someone with their own opinions.

6. Poorly timed behavior
Some behaviours will automatically put you off at job interviews. For instance, very loud laughter or hyena-like laughter during a solemn moment can send a peculiar message to your interviewers. Avoid doing something at an odd time. It makes you look rude and out of place at that moment.

7. Frowning
It is best to wear a smile at job interviews. Make an effort to smile. It makes you look approachable, trustworthy and not poorly disposed. Frowning won’t just make you look unpleasant, but it also can make you look less intelligent. You can practice interviewing in front of a mirror so you can check your facial expressions.

8. Hair twirling
Especially for ladies, avoid hair styles that can make you silly and incompetent – that will require you twirling almost every minute. It does not only get you distracted, it is often interpreted as being dumb and nervous.

9. Mannerisms – Repetition of ‘Um’ or ‘Like’
Repeating filler words such as “like” or “um” makes you look young and unpolished, and constantly re-using the same word or phrase can make you seem insecure.

10. Speed talking/Rushing Up Words
Chew in bits. It’s okay you want to impress the interviewer with how eloquent you are, but relax yourself and articulate your points. Besides sounding incomprehensible to the interviewer, you appear incompetent and out of control. Slow down and make yourself relatable to the other person.


Written by How Africa

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