By Lee Vikre | @LeeVikre
Hiring managers may say they’re looking for skills and experience – but as a whole they’re not very good at evaluating qualifications. They make crucial decisions about candidates in the first 60 seconds of an interview, and 85% of those decisions are based on nonverbal communication. They choose individuals they believe have confidence, passion, enthusiasm, and presence.
Pffft. Easy-peasy! You’ve got this. Those, my friend, are qualities you can develop in just a few minutes a day. Here are three ways to give yourself that edge, no matter how out-of-control the butterflies in your stomach may seem.
- Do the Wonder Woman
It’s not hard to picture this pose, is it? Feet apart, hands on hips, shoulders back, looking confidently straight ahead. It’s about taking up space and exuding power. If you knew that posing like Wonder Woman for two minutes a day would cause you to be more courageous and less stressed in job interviews, would you do it? Thought so. It works! When you do the Wonder Woman pose for two minutes a day you raise your power-producing hormones, lower your stress hormones, and improve your interview success potential. Really. Research proves it. Even if you just do it in the bathroom before the interview! Take a look at this popular TED talk from Harvard researcher Amy Cuddy for the science behind it, and even more powerful ideas.
- Master the Mental Rehearsal
Visualize a job interview. In detail. The building, the room, the people you see in the office as you arrive. In your mind, walk into the office as you’d imagine the President would. Picture the hiring manager, maybe a panel. Hear the questions they ask and hear yourself speaking strong, confident answers. Feel the exhilaration of totally killing the interview. Imagine how the hiring managers look at each other and smile; they found the right candidate. Don’t stop now; visualize getting the offer. Now repeat the scenario from the beginning, over and over. It works. Mentally rehearsing a successful outcome is a technique used by elite athletes and performing artists who not only imagine the details of executing a perfect performance, they imagine climbing the podium to thunderous applause.
- Pump Up the Power Music
You may have had the experience of having lifted just a little more weight or been able to run a little faster while listening to your favorite power music. You also may have noticed athletes before a game, intently listening to music through their headsets. Research from Dennis Hsu at Northwestern University shows that listening to music can help us feel more powerful – and improve job interview performance. But not just any music. To get pumped up for job interviews, you’ll want to pump up the bass. Inspiring lyrics or fast tempo don’t necessarily give us a power boost, but heavy bass does, and the effect seems to be universal. Two songs that worked for Hsu’s research subjects: 2 Unlimited’s “Get Ready for This” and Queen’s “We Will Rock You”.
Small tweaks can lead to transformational changes not only in your self-confidence, but in the way others see you. These techniques will train your butterflies to fly in formation. It works for everyone, no special training is needed, and you can start right now.
About the Author
Lee Vikre – Hiring Jedi
A workplace culture maven, writer, and speaker, Lee Vikre has helped numerous companies develop “best company” cultures, gaining recognition at the local and national level. Lee has been called the Jedi Master of hiring because of her exceptional recruiting abilities and friendships with people who love Star Wars. Her favorite activities involve matching people with their dream jobs at award-winning best companies. Lee coaches CEOs but still hasn’t been able to train her three dogs not to bark during conference calls.