Got Interview Jitters? Strike a Power Pose!

Did you know that your words account for only seven percent of how people judge you? It’s true. Body language and presentation are the most significant ways people make assumptions about who you are.

In a job interview, planning and preparation are important, but nothing compares to showing confidence as you head into that room. Your interviewer will decide how competent and likable you are in a fraction of a second so your nonverbal cues are crucial to your success.

Use Nonverbal Factors to Influence Others

At LeanIn.org, Deborah H. Gruenfeld, professor of leadership and organizational behavior at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, talks about the power of body language to influence others.

Her research shows that you can influence others just by how you walk into a room, sit in a chair, and make eye contact. Her advice is invaluable information on the power of our body language for anyone preparing for a job interview.

Use Body Language to Influence Yourself

Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist and an associate professor at Harvard Business School, has spent years studying the power of our bodies to change our minds. She says that not only do you have to fake it till you make it, but she encourages you to, “Fake it, till you become it.”

Amy’s research shows that the more space we take up with our bodies, the more powerful we feel and the more empowered we become.

Before your next interview, do this…

Go to the bathroom or a private space and stand for two minutes with your arms overhead and your legs apart, making your body into a large X shape. This expansive pose can cause a spike in testosterone and a drop in cortisol, which can lead to feelings of calm empowerment.

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Amy encourages us to consider this fact: if our nonverbal actions govern how we think and feel about ourselves they undoubtedly affect how others see us. So it’s important to be in control of our nonverbal cues in any social situation but especially in an interview.

Personally, I run and practice yoga to feel expansive and empowered. Moving and stretching my body, breathing deep breaths, and feeling the strength of my muscles empowers me but I’ve also done Thai Chi in the bathroom (Goddess Pose) to calm myself before a job interview.