Everyone’s always looking for that last minute kick prior to a job interview (or even when submitting a job application) to give them an edge and boost in performance over other candidates. When it comes down to it, there are a few tricks you can use to prime yourself, and it all comes down to an internal power shift.
Results from a recent study published in the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology revealed that priming job candidates with feelings of power improves professional interview outcomes. This seems a little obvious that if you feel empowered and confident, you’re going to fair better in an interview.
But, the interesting part comes in adapting the measures they took with applicants to your own job search or interview. Researchers simply manipulated power by asking applicants to recall a time they had power or lacked power prior to writing a job application letter or prior to their being interviewed.
And guess what? The independent judges who were unaware of the conditions of the experiment preferred the applicants (both in written application and being interviewed) who had been positively power-primed. So the simple act of recalling times you felt you had power can boost your performance in the job interview as well as when you’re getting ready to fill out that job application.
For some of us it might be a little hard to recall scenarios where we felt empowered right before the interview. That’s okay. You’ve got other options. In case you didn’t catch Amy Cuddy’s TedTalk: Your Body Language Shapes Who You Are, last year (I highly recommend it if you have 20 minutes to spare,) embracing the idea of “Power Posing” prior to a job interview can have a similar effect to improving your performance.
Yes, I said “Power Posing.” Sounds a little silly but sometimes you just have to trust the experts. Practicing holding your body in certain ways prior to your job interview can have dramatic effects on your confidence, charisma and the way people react to you, while altering hormone levels like testosterone and cortisol.
If you’re ready to try it, the idea is to think expansive, as you want to take up as much space as possible. The effects of power posing generally can last anywhere from 15-30 minutes. So if you’re about to go into a job interview, hop over to the bathroom and select your poses of choice, and then hold the pose for at least 2 minutes. Maybe you’ll go for the Superman or Wonder Woman, or perhaps the Usain Bolt is more your style.
So ‘Power-Up’ before your next job interview—just don’t let all that power go to your head.
Have you tried one of these techniques to power prime yourself before an interview? What other methods of power priming have you tried? Share in the comments below?
Robin L. Rayburn is the Editor & General Manager of Interviewing.com. Robin was introduced to the recruitment industry in 2007 and her passion for people has never let her stray far from it since. In her spare time she manages her blog, RestlessPillow.com, tweets from @interviewingcom and @chitowntexan, and is always striving to help those around her who have a vision for success. You can also find Robin on LinkedIn and Google+.