Here’s something to mull over before you go into that next interview: non-verbal communication (aka body language) – accounts for 55% of communication in a face-to-face situation, according to a recent study. The words which come out of your mouth account for only 7%, and the tone of your voice 38%.
Of course what you say matters (thinking it doesn’t could lead to some very messy situations), but your interviewer is ‘reading’ you as much through your body language as the words you choose.
Power Pose for Confidence
In her 2012 TED Talk, social psychologist Amy Cuddy described the power of the open, confident posture and ‘power posing’. Making ourselves look bigger gives the impression that we’re in control – it tells the interviewer you think you’re on a level playing field with them. And it gets better. Even if the confidence you’re exuding is all just an act to start, keeping it up can eventually lead you to actually feeling more confident.
So if how you enter the room, stand and sit could all make or break the interview, here are some top tips for feeling more confident.
- Know what you’re worth to them – Run your CV through ValueMyCV to give yourself a confidence boost – your skills are valuable and an employer would be lucky to have you working for them. Now you can put a price on just how lucky they’d be.
- Dress for success – Never underestimate the power a lucky pair of socks can have. Wear something which makes you feel confident and comfortable, and this will help you come across as more assertive.
- Smile to yourself – Before you walk in, take a few minutes in the privacy of the bathroom to smile at yourself in the mirror. Yes, really. The act of smiling, even if you don’t mean it, gives you a little boost and will make you feel happier and more confident when you meet your interviewer.
- Strike a pose – And while you’re still in the bathroom smiling to yourself, strike a power pose. Hands on hips, chest out, look yourself in the eye – it fires up all those confidence chemicals and tricks you into feeling superhuman. If you’re feeling shy you can do this in the cubicle!
- Open up – There’s no room for a shrinking violet here. Confident, open body language shouts ‘ideal candidate’, so have your shoulders back, head up and look your interviewer straight in the eyes when you listen or speak to them.
- Sit up straight – Slouching shows disinterest, which is the last thing you want in an interview. Sit up and employ the same open body language, with your shoulders back and head held high.
The trick is not to over-think things. Be open, be bold, be engaged, then let your body language do the talking. With these simple steps, you could trick your brain into feeling more confident in your next interview – and confidence is what gets you the job.