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If you want to be the top candidate for a job, it's important to do your homework in preparing for the job interview. This includes learning about the company and its culture, and preparing and practicing thoughtful interview question responses.

Amy Cuddy demonstrating the victory pose | Photo Credit: The Vital Catalyst

You will also want to prepare your own questions to ask. All of these actions will help you to communicate how you are a great fit for the position and to assess whether the position is a great fit for you.

In addition to what we communicate verbally, there are many messages we communicate non-verbally that have a huge influence over the impression we make on others. Some of these non-verbal expressions include posture, facial and body gestures, and eye contact.

Extensive research has shown that we all make many unconscious assessments very quickly based on non-verbal cues we receive from others. In one recent research study, people who looked at photos of strangers for only 2 seconds made the same assessment of people who looked at photos of strangers for 2 minutes.

Nonverbal communication

In another study, respondents unknowingly predicted the winners of political elections with 70% accuracy after looking at photos of head shots for just 1 second and then rating that person’s level of competency.

If our non-verbal communication seems to work at the speed of light in affecting others’ opinions of us, then what can we do to make a positive impression during the job interview? One powerful practice that you can use to feel confident in yourself and have others perceive you as confident is the power pose.

In her TED Talk on how “Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are,” social psychologist Amy Cuddy shares the science of how our body affects our mind, our mind affects our behaviors and our behaviors affect our outcomes.

wonder woman post confidence boosting power pose job interview Photo Credit: Her Campus

When we take up more physical space and spread out our bodies, the stress hormone (cortisol) decreases and our dominance hormone (testosterone) increases. These hormonal changes increase our energy and our sense of well-being.

Amy’s research shows that by practicing a simple, 2-minute power pose exercise, you can immediately boost your confidence, even if you don’t feel confident.

Two examples of power poses include:

  • The Wonder Woman Pose: with hands on hips and feet spread wide apart.
  • The Victory Pose: with hands raised up and apart over the head resembling a giant V, and head held high and proud.

Sitting and standing in postures of confidence actually change your physiology and will help you feel more confident. Plus, the science shows that others will actually perceive you as confident.

One of Amy’s studies revealed that subjects who practiced power posing just before going into a job interview were the candidates that the interviewers wanted to hire.

Before your next job interview, find the nearest bathroom stall or any private space and power pose for 2 minutes to boost your confidence. You can also begin a regular practice of power posing daily. Notice how you feel and how others respond to you. 

Check out Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk here.

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