Warmth, Assertiveness Valuable Assets in Job Interviews

June 10, 2015
Meghan Ross, Associate Editor

New research offers a few tips for anxious pharmacy students in interview settings.

New research offers a few tips for anxious pharmacy students in interview settings.

The advice? Show warmth to the interviewer, be assertive, and try not to speak too slowly, which can be construed as a sign of nerves.

Published in the Journal of Business and Psychology, the study examined what cues and traits anxious interviewees exhibit and which qualities they should focus on instead to have a successful interview.

Researchers videotaped and transcribed 125 mock interviews with undergraduate students and asked the interviewers to assess the level of anxiety shown, as well as the interviewees’ overall performance. The interviewers were also asked to examine verbal and nonverbal cues and traits.

Considering that anxiety-ridden interviewees typically received lower performance ratings, the researchers suggested being assertive and showing warmth could mediate the relationship between interview anxiety and performance.

Both interviewers and interviewees considered slow speech a sign of nervousness.

“Overall, the results indicated that interviewees should focus less on their nervous tics and more on the broader impressions that they convey,” the researchers concluded.