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At interview time, job seekers worry about appearing nervous

August 21, 2013|By Shan Li
  • Target holds a job fair for its new San Francisco store. About 17% of Americans fear that they look and act too jittery during interviews, according to a poll by Harris Interactive.
Target holds a job fair for its new San Francisco store. About 17% of Americans… (Justin Sullivan / Getty…)

The top fear of people on job interviews is not showing up late or blanking out on important facts. The greatest worry plaguing job seekers, according to one survey, is appearing too nervous.

About 17% of Americans fear that they look and act too jittery during interviews, according to a poll by Harris Interactive.

That is followed by worries about appearing too qualified (15%) and not knowing how to answer a question (15%). Other interview nightmares include showing up late (14%) and appearing under-qualified (11%).

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Not surprisingly, men and women approach the interview process differently. Women's chief fear is a tie between appearing nervous and an inability to answer a specific question. Men fret about being seen as overqualified.

Age, income and education also make a difference. Those ages 18 to 34 tend to worry more than their older counterparts. And those who make more and are better educated tend to have fewer concerns during the interviewing process.

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Follow Shan Li on Twitter @ShanLi

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