Fake it ‘til you make it. We’ve all heard the saying, but to be honest, it’s easier said than done. When it comes to a job interview, the ideal is to feel like the most qualified, confident candidate you are. But reality is that often our nerves set in and conveying that narrative can become difficult. And I don’t know about you, but I can’t fake away the hives on my chest…just saying.
In one of the most viewed Ted Talks of all time, Harvard Business School social psychologist Amy Cuddy explores body language. She shares how spending just two minutes in an expansive posture (think superman pose) can make an individual feel more powerful. On a physiological level, her 2010 study suggests that adopting a high-power pose before a stress-inducing situation can decrease cortisol (stress hormone) and increase testosterone (dominance hormone), resulting in an overall better outcome.
Recent backlash from Dana Carney (co-author of the original study) stating that the findings were flawed, however, resulted in skepticism in the media. But Cuddy isn’t backing down and remains confident in her research.
I’m no scientist, so I can’t tell you what’s going on with your hormones before an interview. What I can tell you is that confidence and feeling powerful, as Cuddy states, is a critical psychological variable. Stress can cause a psych out and alter how you present yourself to the interviewer. It is imperative that you come across as yourself, so if there is a chance that standing in front of a mirror with your hand on your hips will boost comfortability, then why not?
Whether it is a speech you’re set to give, a job interview you’re prepping for or a presentation looming – watch the below for tips on how you can show up as your best self.