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Fidgeting helps men relax in job interviews

Fidgeting in job interviews improves the performance of male candidates, but has the opposite effect on women, according to new research.

A study of more than 70 adults by scientists at Roehampton University found that nervous behaviour such as lip-biting and face touching seemed to help men relax.

The report said that men fidgeted twice as much as women while being interviewed, but made fewer mistakes.

Professor Changiz Mohiyeddini of the University of Roehampton said: "It seems that men have an effective behavioural strategy – fidgeting – to combat their nervousness, but for women, the same behaviour actually makes things much worse.


"These findings could significantly change the way that people approach interviews."

The study's co-author, Dr Stuart Semple, added: "The classic advice for interviews is not to fidget, and for women this seems to be spot on. For men, though, fidgeting appears to be beneficial.

"There is always the concern that employers are put off by a fidgeting applicant but there are ways round this. Instead of touching the face or biting the lip conspicuously, moving the legs or tapping your hands silently under the table may work just as well."