Power Pose to Ace Executive Job Interviews

by Meg Guiseppi on December 10, 2012

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You’ve spent considerable time researching the company you’re about to interview with, and preparing to answer the tough questions and ask the right questions of your own.

But you may not know about another piece of the interview preparation puzzle — power posing.

According to Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist at Harvard Business School, this simple, 2-minute preparatory ritual before going into an interview will boost confidence to help you feel more powerful, and excel.

That is, adopting stances associated with confidence, power and achievement — chest lifted, head held high, arms either up or propped on the hips.

In an experiment, Cuddy and her collaborator Dana Carney of Berkeley, directed people to either high-power or low-power pose for 2 minutes.

Saliva samples revealed physiological differences between the two groups:

  • High-power posers showed an 8% increase in testosterone, but
  • Low-power posers had a 10% decrease in the hormone.

Meanwhile, an inverse reaction happened with participants’ cortisol, the hormone related to stress:

  • High-power posers had a 25% decrease in cortisol levels, but
  • Low-power posers had a 15% increase.

“Our nonverbals govern how we think and feel about ourselves. Our bodies change our minds,” said Cuddy.

Susan P. Joyce of Work Coach Cafe offered some tips to increase the level of “confidence hormones” in your body, to act and feel more confident in job interviews, or any situation:

“As they cross the finish line, most of the time, the winners of a race throw their arms up into the air, smiling a big smile, and lifting their chins up toward the sky in triumph. Even little kids do this without prompting when they win a race. It’s apparently an instinct.

Alternatively, remember the Wonder Woman pose: standing triumphantly at the end of a battle she just won with hands on hips, feet apart, chin up. Looking indomitable.”

So, determine what kind of pose works best to rev you up.

Then, just before your interview, take 2 minutes in private (find an empty room or even a bathroom) to do your power pose, and get your confidence hormones to kick in.

Sound silly? Maybe. But it might work. You’ve got nothing to lose by trying.

Related posts:

Prepare to Ace & Brand Your C-level Executive Job Interview

10 Executive Job Interview Body Language Mistakes

How To Ace Phone Interviews in Executive Job Search

photo by familymwr

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