Job interviews are about making a great first impression – which means they can be extremely nerve-racking, and nerves can easily sabotage your chances to shine. Luckily, there are two quick and easy ways to psych up before the interview. Take a cue from your childhood heroes, the Power Rangers, and train your mind and body to turn those insecurities into assured confidence. It’s morphin’ time!
Striking a “high-power” pose for two minutes has been proven to produce less cortisol (the stress hormone) and more testosterone (the dominance hormone); “low-power” poses produce the opposite effect. In a study by social psychologist Amy Cuddy, participants who adopted high-power poses before a simulated interview performed significantly better than those who adopted low-power poses. In other words, she found that “faking” confidence leads to actual confidence.
So the next time you have an interview, set aside a bit of time right before to strike a power pose of confidence: make yourself big (try the Power Ranger stance) by planting your feet wide and placing your hands on your hips or raised above your head. Hold it for at least two minutes. You’ll enter the interview feeling more confident and assured.
Go Go Power Writers:
A recent social psychology study found that those who wrote about an experience in which they were in a position of power were judged as more confident and more likely to get hired than those who wrote about an experience of powerlessness. According to the researchers:
“powerlessness is central to job applicants’ experience: they desire a job but depend on interviewers to get a position. This position undermines applicants’ sense of control and results in a sense of insecurity that can ultimately hurt their performance in the job-interview setting.”
In order to prevent this, try the following shortly before your interview: recall and write down a situation in which you held a position of power. Use details to really bring the memory to life. Interviews can make you feel powerless and insecure; conducting this brief power-priming exercise before entering the room can help diffuse this pressure.
You don’t need a colorful spandex suit to exude confidence like a hero – but you do need to be prepared. These exercises can’t help you deliver a stellar performance if you haven’t done your homework before the interview. With earnest preparation, however, they can give you the extra mental push you need to power up and impress in your interview.