Nervous habits tend to surface when a person is under pressure or stressed; however, being nervous is normal. It is important to control them as much as possible. If you do not control a nervous habit you can risk communicating that you are insecure and might not do well under pressure. Below are some common nervous habits.
- Fingernail biting
- Touching and playing with hands
- Picking up nearby objects to manipulate: pen, coffee cup, etc.
- Playing with hair
- Repeat words too often such as okay, hmm, aha, etc.
- Swinging your feet
- Tapping your feet
- Shaking leg(s) while sitting
- Nodding head up and down too often
- Constantly taps fingers on the table
- Licking your lips
- Finger pointing
- Out of control laughing
To help you see which nervous habits you might not be aware of try the following exercise to help you control them more effectively. Being aware of them is 90% of the controlling them!
Have a friend video tape by acting as an interviewer. Have some general questions prepared for them to ask you. Place two chairs about 20 feet apart. You sit in one chair and have your friend sit in the other as they ask you questions. When you play back the video, look for some of the nervous/bad habits listed above. This process should help you reveal your nervous habits for any situation you might find yourself in.