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What Job Hunters Can Learn from Wonder Woman (Yes, Seriously)

Harvard Researchers Claim “Power Poses” Can Help During Job Interviews

Whether you’re a new student at Branford or a recent graduate of the professional medical assistant program, massage therapy program, or other professional program, know this: Everyone gets nervous during job interviews no matter how well-prepared they are.

So how can you ensure that your training and professionalism shine through and don’t get overshadowed by nerves? Try using the power of body language when applying for jobs.

Research from Harvard University shows that people who stood in a “power pose” prior to job interviews not only felt more confident, they were also rated higher by hiring managers than other candidates.

Take a cue from super heroes

So what is a power pose? The Harvard researchers refer to it as the “Wonder Woman pose.” Imagine a person standing with their legs about shoulder-width apart and placing their hands on their hips.

In the Harvard study, people were asked to assume either a high-power pose (such as the Wonder Woman pose) or a low-power pose for two minutes. The study subjects were then tested to check their risk tolerance based on their body chemistry. The people in the high-power pose group had a 20% rise in testosterone, the hormone that projects dominance in both men and women, while their levels of stress hormones dropped. The people in the low-power pose group experienced a 10% drop in testosterone and saw an increase in stress hormones.

The study participants then went on mock interviews. The people in the high-power group were overwhelmingly selected as better job candidates for hire.

How to Make This Work for You

Obviously, you’ll want to practice the Wonder Woman pose out of view of the interviewer. Take a few minutes before you leave home to assume this position and allow your body chemistry to work its powerful magic.

You can also use power poses while waiting for your interview to start. Power poses generally include anything that makes your body take up more space. Lean back slightly in your chair and place your arm across the back of the seat next to you.

Avoid confidence-sucking low-power poses, such as crossing your arms or legs, or looking down. Remember that while high-power poses take up more space, low-power poses make your body appear smaller.

Finally, remember that nothing projects confidence like a smile.

Good luck on those job interviews!