Fidgeting: the Key to Job Interview Success

Okay, you’ve practiced your answers. You’ve pressed your suit. You’re ready to play hardball on the salary. So, what else can a guy do to nail a job interview? One word: fidget.

According to a study published in PLOS One, men (but not women) who fidget or practice other “displacement behaviour” (i.e., fidgeting, toe-tapping, beard-stroking—you get the idea) have lower stress than men who do not. Researchers put a group of men and a group of women through a mock job interview, which consisted of a five-minute presentation about why they were best for the job, along with a complicated mental math problem. Men fidgeted about twice as much as the women—but they made far fewer mistakes in their math problem and felt less stressed about the experience. In fact, the men who fidgeted the most did the best on the math. By contrast, the women who did the best and said that they felt less stressed also fidgeted less.

So, what gives? The researchers speculated that men may be less conscious of their fidgeting than women, and that it may help relieve tension. In other words, anytime you feel like going to the batting cage or hitting the speed bag, just fidget.

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