Interview Body Language & Confidence
Interviews are high-stress situations. We spend a lot of time talking with clients on how to manage stress and be confident. One of the most common pieces of feedback we give to people is “Don’t be afraid to brag.” You will be far more successful at an interview if the hiring manager believes that you are confident and qualified for the job. As a coach, part of our job is to help you build that confidence. You have to believe in your ability to do the job to convince someone to hire you. Remember that your interview body language matters. The hiring manager will notice how you are carrying yourself and it will have an impact on the outcome of your interview.
When you apply for a job, there are anywhere from 50 to 500 people who are also applying. Applications are screened and ranked, either by an individual or a computer program. Interviews cost a lot of money. Companies have to pull people away from their regular job and want to interview the fewest number of individuals to find the best fit. This typically means they’ll interview around five people for each open position. So already, you are at a minimum in the top 10% of the applicant pool. From here, just based on statistics, you have a 20% chance of beating out the other candidates to get the job.
If you make it to the interview phase, you are already one of the top applicants for the position. Someone reviewed your application and was confident that you had the skills to do the job. Otherwise, they wouldn’t waste their time interviewing you. The next step is to show them that you are the best hire for the job, and to do that, you have to believe it too.
Non-verbal behavior sends messages to the interviewers about your potential. They also have a real effect on your confidence and impact your hormones. Amy Cuddy is a social psychologist who studied body language and the impact. She found that people who assume a power pose (think, Superhero) for two minutes saw a 20% increase in testosterone and a 25% decrease in cortisol. Testosterone is a hormone that is responsible for making you feel more confident and assertive, while cortisol is a stress hormone. These changes in hormones leave people feeling more confident and less likely to be affected by a stressful situation, like a job interview.
I challenge you to spend two minutes somewhere in private in a superhero pose before your next stressful situation. Put your hands on your hips, take a wide stance, and puff out your chest. You might feel silly, but no one else should be there to see you. Afterward, be sure to sit up straight, take up some space, and put your cell phone away! Practice your interview body language in the days leading up to it. The more you project confidence, the more confident you will become. And remember, you are already in the top 10%!
If you can spare an extra 20 minutes, I strongly recommend checking out the TedTalk. There is a lot of great information that is useful for any situation where you need a little confidence boost.