Making Eye Contact is Key to Overcoming the Jitters, say Recruiters at The Bagg Group


Ever heard of the term glossophobia?  Chances are you, or someone you know, has it.  It’s fear of public speaking, even to a party of one, and it afflicts as many as 75% of us, according to  

At The Bagg Group, we know glossophobia can make the idea of speaking to an interviewer, or a panel of interviewers, an ordeal for those looking for work.

What makes people nervous is the thought that they might be seen as foolish, or incompetent, in the eyes of others.  Even people who have been recognized many times for their talent and expertise suffer from this. 

A famous example is Barbra Streisand, who stopped doing live shows when she was at the height of her career.  She was performing at a concern in New York City’s Central Park when the jitters caused her to forget some words to her songs.  It took her 27 years before she could get herself to sing live in front of a large audience again.

When you are looking for a job in the GTA you don’t have that kind of time. If you get stricken by a case of the nerves when presenting yourself to others, consider the advice of recruiters from The Bagg Group. With a 40-plus year history of helping candidates interview successfully for jobs, we know what works.

Remember, the only one judging you is you:  Interviewers are not looking to criticize you, they only want to learn about your skill set and experience to see if these meet their specific needs.

Interviewers are on your side:   At The Bagg Group, we have extensive experience in working with hiring managers at all leading companies in the GTA.  We know that each one wishes the best for those they interview. Whether you’re seeking a full-time job, contract work, or a temporary placement, the interviewer understands your desire to be employed and is rooting for you.  Many interviewers tell us they wish they had jobs for all the candidates they see.

Make eye contact:  We all know it’s critical to look people in the eyes when we speak to establish trust.  Yet, when we feel shy, we can unthinkingly avoid eye contact and focus on the wall or carpet. But doing so won’t decrease your tension.  People feel irritated when speakers won’t look at them – they feel invisible or unimportant — and you will likely sense their annoyance. 

Harry Beckwith, an expert on public speaking writes in Psychology Today “If you look each person in the eye for a few seconds, you make each person feel respected–a feeling every person craves.  It also makes each audience member feel involved, in what feels like a conversation.”  

Making eye contact for three to four seconds helps people engage with you, and that feeling is the key to helping you relax.

Like with everything, the fear of presenting decreases the more often you do it.  That’s reason enough to go to every interview you can.  But you don’t have to feel as if you need to conquer the jitters, you just have to manage them.  And when you think of it, there have been many occasions in your life when you’ve taken action despite feeling nervous; you’ve done it before, you can do it again.

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