The Little-Known Secret to Nailing Job Interviews
You blew another interview
A short while later, you find that you just blew another interview. So what can you do differently?
It could be that you need to fix your body language. Research has shown that we all make decisions about other people-who to date, hire, become friends with-partly based on presence. It's about how comfortable and powerful they seem.
In nature, animals make themselves look bigger
In nature, animals who are threatened often make themselves look bigger and more powerful. A cobra "stands up" and spreads its hood. We've all seen cats puffing themselves up when they perceive a threat.
People do the same thing when they feel powerful. In athletic competitions, for example, winning athletes often take a certain pose. They make themselves big, holding their arms in a V with their chin slightly up. This is universal across cultures.
Use This Powerful Mind-Body Connection
What does this have to do with job interviews?The link is that there is a powerful connection between your posture, your physiology and your mental state. Research has shown that when people sit or stand in poses that are not powerful-hunching, making themselves small-they feel less powerful AND their testosterone and cortisone levels change to a state that is less powerful. Taking a powerful stance actually has the opposite effect.
Ineffective behavior before interviews
What do you usually do just before you get called into the interview? Generally, you're probably sitting in the waiting room, unknowingly making yourself small. Maybe you're pouring over your notes or looking at your cell phone. This has an impact on how you feel and will be perceived.
Before Your Next Interview
Instead, see if you can find a private place (the bathroom, perhaps) to do the victory pose. Stand (or sit) with your legs spread and your arms in a V-or put your hands behind your head. Puff out your chest and lift your chin. Hold the pose, occupying as much space with your body as you can for a couple minutes.
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Research has shown that taking this power pose for just two minutes is enough to change your physiology and mental state. In a Ted Talk, Harvard Professor Amy Cuddy describes how in blind studies, candidates were interviewed after taking a power pose or not-powerful pose. The interviewers described the power pose subjects as more confident, enthusiastic, and authentic.
A young man, who doesn't normally exude power and success, unwittingly did this shift in his posture. He told me about an "amazing experience" he'd had after a huge victory at work. Feeling on top of the world, he called his girlfriend to celebrate and took her to a crowded bar. As they walked through the bar, he noticed that a number of really attractive women said hello to him and gave him big smiles-even though his girlfriend was right there at his side. "This is NOT my usual experience," he commented. At that moment, he was projecting a very different presence than he normally does-and attractive women noticed.
Give it a try.If you Don't feel confident, do it anyway. Do it especially if you Don't feel confident. This is one example of faking it till you make it working. Try it even when you Don't have interviews.