How Can I Pump Up My Confidence Before My Next Job interview? 
“Don't just stand there,
let's get to it.
Strike a pose,
there's nothing to it.”

These lyrics are from pop star Madonna’s hit song 'Vogue’. Well, it seems that she was onto something – and not just related to finding a dance partner at the disco. Turns out, striking a pose, the ‘power pose’ to be exact, can have a dramatic impact especially when it comes to stressful situations – like a job interview. 

If you’ve been job searching and experienced rejection it’s only natural (and possibly subliminal) to lose some of our confidence thereby inhibiting our true selves to come out during subsequent interviews. 

Research from social psychologist and Harvard Business School faculty member, Dr. Amy Cuddy, shows how humans (and animals) express power through their bodies. When feeling unsure we tumble in on ourselves - making ourselves smaller by hunching over, crossing our arms over our chest and avoiding big movements. Conversely, when we’re confident we expand our bodies outward; we get big! “Our nonverbals govern how we think and feel about ourselves. Our bodies change our minds,” says Cuddy.

Cuddy puts her theories to the test with studies where she asks one group to take on the high power pose and another to pose in low power positions. Taking saliva samples before and after show that the individuals who took high power poses had a 20 percent increase in testosterone (the dominance hormone) along with a 20% reduction in cortisol (the stress hormone). 

In another study she has individuals take either the high or low power pose before a (simulated) stressful job interview. A panel reviewed the recorded interviews and universally selected those that had taken the high power stances prior. As Cuddy states, “It’s not about the content. It’s about the presence.” 

To enhance your confidence and presence, Cuddy suggests spending two minutes power posing; stances associated with confidence, power and achievement — chest lifted, head held high, arms up in the victory position. My personal favorite is the super man/wonder woman stance where your arms are propped up on your hips. 

If you’re preparing for a virtual interview taking two minutes beforehand for a power pose is easily done. If you’ll be conducting your interview in person, arrive a few minutes early, duck into the restroom and strike a (power) pose. 

In summary, power posing can’t give you knowledge or abilities that you don’t already have. It’s about giving you the confidence to bring out your personal best.  

- Dave Kahl, Sales Effectiveness Consultant, CRC Board Member
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