If you’re a ball of nerves during a job interview, we have bad news: a potential employer can tell. Researchers at the University of Guelph in Canada studied job candidates to understand why some receive lower performance ratings. The findings, published in Springer’s Journal of Business and Psychology, revealed that talking speed was one of the biggest cues of interviewee anxiety, and often led to rejection.
After studying mock interviews with 125 undergraduate students, the researchers found that the slower people spoke, the more nervous interviewers perceived them to be. What’s more, both interviewers and interviewees recognized talking speed as a signal of nerves. The researchers suggested that candidates should concentrate on three key attributes during a meeting: warmth, friendliness, and assertiveness.
“Overall, the results indicated that interviewees should focus less on their nervous tics and more on the broader impressions that they convey,” study author Amanda Feiler said in a statement. “Anxious interviewees may want to focus on how assertive and interpersonally warm they appear to interviewers.”
If need help building confidence, check out these six easy ways to calm your nerves before a big interview.