In a memorable TED Talk, Amy Cuddy introduces the audience to "power poses", which are poses that affect how others perceive you and how you perceive yourself. There is a correlation between the two, which accounts for both positive and negative feelings. There are ways to stand that are off-putting to people, just as there are ways to sit that signify intimidation. For example, if you have a habit of crossing your arms across your chest it can mean you're shy, timid, or uncomfortable, (or in my case cold). If you have a tendency to sit hunched over, your body is closed off to opportunities and you don't appear engaged or interested in what's going on around you. On the other hand, there are stances you can take that will actually increase your confidence and make you more approachable. All of these contributing factors should be taken into consideration before an interview.TED Talk or not, it is scientifically and psychologically proven that body language matters. From the way you stand, sit, and everything in between - how you carry yourself is a direct reflection of how you feel about yourself and hiring managers can figure that out in the first 30 seconds of meeting with you.
How to stand before an interview
One of the "power poses" Cuddy talks about is standing with your arms on your hips, shoulders back, and legs slightly apart, almost in the shape of a star. Physically, this expanding of your body can be an outward expression that you're not afraid to openly express yourself. People who stand like this have higher dominance hormone levels and lower stress hormone levels. Another helpful trick is to do momentum exercises that get your blood and your endorphins flowing. Jumping up and down a few times while punching the air is what American motivational speaker and author, Tony Robbins does before he goes on stage. You can skip the jumping part (don't want to mess up the hair) and simply give a few good punches into the air as if you're celebrating a victory instead. This will turn your nervous, pre-interview energy into can-do, positive energy.
How to sit before & during an interview
In her TED Talk, Cuddy advises sitting with your feet up on a desk and your hands behind your head for increased confidence. Like the standing pose, sitting with your hands behind your head opens your body making you feel big and strong. Raising your feet on a desk or table creates the relaxation you feel when watching TV or hanging with friends. Of course, you're not going to kick your feet up on the coffee table in the waiting room of the company you're interviewing with, but you can do this pose on your couch or on the train beforehand. Then, you will be prepared and ready to take on any questions the hiring manager asks. Once the interview begins, you'll want to keep the confidence flowing which means sitting with good posture - a straight back, chest out, and hands on the desk. Using hand gestures when referencing your skillset shows you're charismatic and that you can be assertive, both of which are great traits to have in the world of business. Expressing yourself in an authentic way during an interview is highly respected. It helps the hiring manager to see if you're culturally a good fit for the company and it also shows your level of communication. And as we all know, communication is key in the workplace. Since your first impression could make or break the deal, it's best to be prepared with sure-fire posture tricks that get you ready to land the job of your dreams. Check out our full Interview Resource for more tips and tricks to ace your next interview.