It's normal to feel nervous in a job interview, but certain signs of anxiety -- such as talking too slowly -- can count against you, a new Canadian study suggests.
"Overall, the results indicated that interviewees should focus less on their nervous tics and more on the broader impressions that they convey," said study co-author Amanda Feiler, of the University of Guelph.
The study included 125 undergraduate students at a Canadian university who were closely observed while they underwent mock job interviews and were then rated on their performance.
The researchers looked for signs of anxiety in the participants, such as fidgeting, adjusting clothing and averting their gaze. They also paid attention to how they spoke.
The speed at which the participants talked was the only behavior that both interviewers and interviewees said indicated nervousness.
The fewer words per minute people spoke, the more nervous they were believed to be, according to the study in the April issue of the Journal of Business and Psychology.
Employers might reject potential candidates who appear overly nervous even though they're capable of doing the job, the researchers said.
"Anxious interviewees may want to focus on how assertive and interpersonally warm they appear to interviewers," Feiler added in a journal news release.
-- Robert Preidt