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Asked by Joaquin on March 24, 2016

When I'm nervous I sweat. I can usually hide it with my suit, but in recent interviews sweat is dripping down my forehead. I've had a few interviews and in the last couple the interviewers actually stopped and asked if I was okay. I'm fine - it's just nervous sweats. What should I say when I'm asked about it? Are the interview people turned off by this? Any ideas on how I can prevent this?

Answered by Stephanie, Hiring Expert at AT&T Inc., on March 24, 2016

You know what...there are some things that are pretty natural in life.  Anxiety/nervousness at an interview is definitely one of them!  Sometimes stress manifests in inconspicuous ways that are easy to hide and sometimes they are right out there in front, like sweating your way through the interview.

So here's the thing, you know this about yourself.  Your first statement says it all..."When I'm nervous I sweat." Well, what parts of that are under your control?  A good place to start in on finding the answer you seek might be how can I be less nervous when I head into the interview?  Good preparation, meditative breathing, understanding your personal triggers, all good ways to work towards easing the nervousness and conquering the sweat. 

Still sweaty?  Come prepared, bring a hanky to gracefully manage any sweaty circumstances.  Break the ice about it if necessary.  Let the interviewer know you are excited and are feeling a bit nervous.  Though it isn't always an interviewer's philosophy to put you at ease, most of them want to get to know you and what you're capable of.  Show 'em what your made of and work towards finding your equilibrium in the interview.  You'll go from sweaty to hired in no time!  Best of luck!

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Answered by Mike, Hiring Expert at Avery Dennison Corporation, on March 25, 2016

I would agree with Stephanie on this one.  Not a whole lot you can do.  I know that my nervousness with things like interviewing has diminished considerably over time, largely due to practice and having done them many, many times.  If you come prepared and work to manage your stress, that may help with the sweating.  

To be honest, I wouldn't be too concerned about it.  Especially when interviewing candidates that are early in career/current students, I have come to expect a certain amount of nervousness.  And, to be honest, I've seen worse nervous habits then excessive sweating (no further elaboration).  As a seasoned interviewer, I've learned to eliminate distractions and really focus on the content of the candidate's responses.  

Otherwise, if an interviewer asks if you are OK or not feeling well, just be honest.  Tell them this interview is a very big deal for you, you are honored to have the chance to discuss the opportunity and your qualifications, and you have a tendency to sweat when nervous.  The interviewer will proceed as normal and you shouldn't be concerned.

Good luck!

Mike

 

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Answered by Charlene, Hiring Expert at Gap Inc., on March 29, 2016

This is a great question, and you are not alone in this situation!  As you stated, "when I'm nervous", this occurs, my first piece of advice is to practice, practice, practice interviewing with different people.  The more you practice the less nervous you will be when it comes to the read deal.  You may still be a little nervous, however the more confident you are with the scenario and the possible questions the more comfortable you will be in the actual interview.  Always dress for the occassion which may include layers, and just for wicking materials so that you aren't adding layers to an uncomfortable level.  Bring a handkerchief tucked in your pocket so that you can wipe away any perspiration on your face and hands.  As for the interviewer, the most important thing we want to do is make you comfortable, giving you the most likely situation for success, and so if the interviewer ask reassure them that you are comfortable, healthy and just a little nervous. This will put the interviewer at ease and they will most likely reassure you that you have  no reason to be nervous.  One last thing to make you less nervous and more confident: they have seen your resume, reviewed your experience and skills, and really just want to get to know you better.  Take this opportunity to bring your best self along with your most confident self!  Good Luck.

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