The human brain is hardwired to judge. This survival mechanism makes it very hard to meet someone without evaluating and interpreting their behavior.
Our unconscious behaviors have a language of their own, and their words aren’t always kind. These behaviors have likely become an integral part of who you are, and if you don’t spend much time thinking about them, now is a good time to start, because they could be sabotaging your career.
How you treat waiters and receptionists. How you treat support staff is so indicative of your makeup that it has become a common interview tactic. By gauging how you interact with support staff on your way in and out of the building, interviewers get a sense for how you treat people in general.
How often you check your phone. There’s nothing more frustrating than someone pulling out their phone mid-conversation. Doing so conveys a lack of respect, attention, listening skills, and willpower.
Repetitive, nervous habits. Touching your nails or face or picking at your skin typically indicates that you’re nervous, overwhelmed, and not in control.
How long you take to ask questions. Have you ever had a conversation with someone where they talked about themselves the entire time? The amount of time someone allows to pass before they take an interest in you is a strong personality indicator.
Your handshake. It’s common for people to associate a weak handshake with a lack of confidence and an overall lackadaisical attitude.
Tardiness. Showing up late leads people to think that you lack respect and tend to procrastinate, as well as being lazy or disinterested. Contrary to these perceptions, a San Diego State University study by Jeff Conte revealed that tardiness is typically seen in people who multitask, or are high in relaxed, Type B personality traits.
Eye contact. The key to eye contact is balance. While it’s important to maintain eye contact, doing so 100% of the time is perceived as aggressive and creepy.
Bringing It All Together. Sometimes the little things in life make a big difference. It’s good to be ready for them, so that you can make a strong impression.
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