by Luke Roney
These symptoms of nervousness can seriously sabotage a job interview, no matter how prepared and qualified you are.
To quell these natural responses and help you muster more confidence in anxious situations, consider these quick confidence hacks to help you perform better right before your next job interview — no energy drinks or cheesy motivational speeches required!
Amy Cuddy, social psychologist of Harvard Business School, talked about what people do while do while waiting for a job interview to start in a recent TedGlobal presentation.
“You’re sitting down. You’re looking at your iPhone or your Android. You are looking at your notes.”
This common waiting room behavior is not really ideal for maximizing your confidence right before an interview. Instead, the following activities will make you way more confident before meeting a potential boss:
1. Strike a Power Pose for 2 Minutes
According to Cuddy, rather than hunching up and making yourself small in the waiting room chair as you scramble to soak up last minute notes or practice one final interview question, what you should actually find a private place to do this:
Cuddy calls it a “Power Pose.” There are a few different variations, but the Wonder Woman pose is really easy to remember. So 10 minutes before your interview, go somewhere private, like the bathroom, and strike a strong pose where you take up as much space as possible.
In an interview with Inc. magazine, Cuddy talked about an experiment she did where she brought people into the lab and had them spit into a little vial to get baseline testosterone (the hormone associated with dominance) and cortisol (the hormone associated with stress). Then, some people did a high-power pose for 2 minutes and others did low-power pose (hunched over). She tested their hormones to find that:
“The high-power pose caused a decrease in cortisol of about 25 percent and an increase in testosterone of about 19 percent,” Cuddy told Inc.
There you have it! Strike a power pose to prevent releasing those stress hormones!
2. Repeat a Positive Affirmation
“Repeating a positive affirmation can reduce production of cortisol and stress hormones by almost 50 percent, slow the mind, lower your blood pressure and heart rate and make you feel confident and powerful,” says Kathleen Hall, founder and CEO of The Mindful Living Network and the Stress Institute.
Hall offers the following examples: I am confident in all things. I have unlimited potential.
Joyce Marter, psychotherapist and CEO of Urban Balance, would agree and suggests deep breathing while you recite a positive mantra in your head “using language you will want to use in the interview, such as ‘I absolutely will succeed in this job if given the opportunity.’”
You might feel a little silly at first, but these words will help you emit a more positive appearance — and that sure beats a nervous one!
3. Read Over Nice Things People Have Said About You
Thinking back to a time when you were successful and confident is a great way to recreate that confidence right before an interview. A quick and easy way to do this is to print out and compile anything nice that someone has said about you.
Read old letters of recommendation, LinkedIn endorsements, letters or notes from colleagues or teachers that have boosted your confidence in the past.
If you’re not really feeling this method, “Quickly review your biggest accomplishments in your head before going into the interview,” says Katherine Walker, founder and executive director of Lifetime Behavioral Health. “This trip down memory lane will instantly create a sense of confidence and serve to get your brain thinking about items the interviewer will no doubt ask you about.”
It’s the best way to remind yourself that all of your previous experiences have helped shape you and prepare you to succeed in this job interview!