Need a jolt of pre-interview confidence? Put down your phone and head to the bathroom

If you spend the minutes before your interview nervously tapping away at your phone, STOP! And watch this video.

Amy Cuddy: Power Poses from PopTech on Vimeo

OK, it was 17 minutes. Maybe you didn’t watch the whole thing.

Quick summary: Harvard research shows that our confidence and stress levels can change in just TWO MINUTES depending on how our bodies are positioned.

If you sit hunched forward — like you do when you’re reading news on your phone — your stress hormone (cortisol) rises, and your confidence hormone (testosterone) decreases.

BUT, good news! If you spend just two minutes in a ‘power pose’ (the researcher’s term, not mine), you will see the opposite effects. Stress levels decrease, confidence rises.

Even better news, the study shows that people who adopt power poses are more likely to get hired, largely because they’re perceived as more charismatic and enthusiastic.

Are you now wondering how to pose powerfully? Look at the video image. She’s in a power pose. She’s standing up straight and tall, with her chest puffed out and her hands on her hips. Her body takes up as much space as possible.

Put it into action.

That’s why the researcher advises heading to the bathroom before your interview. You’ll be standing on your way there, and inside, you’ll be able to spread out without attracting weird looks from the receptionist.

Once you’re in the bathroom, go into a stall and strike a power pose. Channel your inner Superwoman. Stand up straight, put your hands on your hips or behind your head, and stick your chest out. It might feel silly, but stay like that for at least two minutes. Then walk back to the waiting area and maintain good posture in your chair.

What do you do to boost your confidence before an interview?



<Kelly Giles is a product manager & persuasion coach based in Durham, NC. After graduating from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2009 with degrees in journalism & psychology, she used Twitter to find her first job as a social media strategist, then moved into sales and marketing management. She delights in any project at the intersection of marketing, design and psychology. You can often find her creating compelling user experiences, crafting psychologically and visually appealing cover letters, or helping her sales friends figure out how to get on their prospects’ radar screens.

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