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6 Body Language "Tells" That Ruin Your Job Interviews

Lindsay Olson

You know you're nervous in that job interview, but does the hiring manager know? If any of these red flags are happening, it's probably apparent. Here's how to deal with each.

1. You're sweating profusely. Sweating is always a dead giveaway that you're nervous, and for many, it's hard to keep from doing it. The best you can do is expect the worse (buckets of sweat) and plan around it.

Ramon Santillan, founder of Persuasive Interview, suggests: "If you are waiting for you to be called in for the interview and you still have sweaty palms, ask for a cold cup of water. This will help you lower your body temperature and help your sweaty palms."

Also, take a napkin or handkerchief with you so you can subtly wipe your sweaty hands during the interview. "If you do not have a napkin nearby and you really have sweaty palms and you are wearing a suit jacket, wipe your palms on the left inside part of your blouse/shirt," Santillan says. "Why there? Most people will wipe it on their pants and if it is really sweaty, it will leave a mark until it dries. Don't believe me? I've seen it with my own eyes on people whom I've interviewed for my positions. If you wipe it inside your suit jacket, the jacket will actually cover up the stain."

2. You stutter or fumble over your words. If you find yourself not saying much at all, or stumbling over your words, you're nervous. Take a deep breath. The hiring manager knows you might be nervous and won't fault you for that. You can circumvent much of the verbal stumbles by practicing common interview questions beforehand, which can help you smoothly speak when asked questions.

3. You talk too much and too fast. Other people simply talk 90 to nothing when they get nervous. And yes, employers notice. If you're prone to fast talk, or can't shut up, take a deep breath and deliberately slow down. Press a fingernail into your palm whenever you find yourself mindlessly chattering - it can serve as a reminder to stop.

4. You show up late ... or really early. It might not seem like a sign of nervousness, but arriving for your interview either really late or really early might indicate that you're over-anxious. Map out your route to the company the day before, going so far as to actually drive it if you want. Plan for worst-case traffic and give yourself twice as long to get there.

If you do arrive extra early, don't check in for your appointment. It may make the hiring manager uncomfortable for you to be waiting for her. Stay in your car and practice your interview answers, or walk around the parking lot, taking deep breaths.

5. You wildly gesticulate. If you tend to wave your hands around more than usual during an interview, you may come across as over the top or overly nervous. While you don't want to be as obvious as sitting on your hands, you do want to curb your hand action. Do your best to clasp your hands in your lap, and if you find yourself waving them around, bring them back to home base.

6. You blush. Blushing is common for a lot of people when they're in emotional (or nervous) situations. It's not as easy to keep from blushing, but visualize your body cooling down and see if that helps. Also, blushing tends to happen when you're more self-conscious, so if you stop thinking so hard about what the hiring manager thinks, you may find your blush fades away. Or you could point it out with a little joke - calling attention to what you consider a flaw can diffuse the situation and put you at ease. Chances are, the hiring manager didn't even notice.

Lindsay Olson is a founding partner and public relations recruiter with Paradigm Staffing and Hoojobs.com, a niche job board for public relations, communications, and social media jobs. She blogs at LindsayOlson.com, where she discusses recruiting and job search issues.

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