Power Pose before an Interview

Your mother’s advice to stand up straight turns out to be good advice after all.

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal:

“New research shows posture has a bigger impact on body and mind than previously believed. Striking a powerful, expansive pose actually changes a person’s hormones and behavior, just as if he or she had real power.”

And the changes a person experienced were not simply how they felt. There were measurable differences in the study subjects hormone levels.

The article goes on to state:

“Merely practicing a “power pose” for a few minutes in private—such as standing tall and leaning slightly forward with hands at one’s side, or leaning forward over a desk with hands planted firmly on its surface—led to higher levels of testosterone and lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol in study participants. These physiological changes are linked to better performance and more confident, assertive behavior, recent studies show.”

According to Dana Carney, who is an assistant professor at the University of California, Berkeley’s Haas School of Business:

”Striking a powerful pose can reduce symptoms of stress.”

What does this research mean for job seekers?

Amy Cuddy, an associate professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School, addressed this very issue in a study she led to see how adopting a “power pose” could impact the performance of interviewees. According to her study:

“…participants who struck power poses for several minutes before beginning a mock job interview received better reviews and were more likely to be chosen for hire—even though the evaluators had never seen them in the poses.”

So next time, before a big meeting or an interview, make sure you stand up straight and a adopt a “power pose”.

You will find that your Mom was right after all.