Sitting Pretty: How Powerful Posture Can Help Candidates Succeed

Looking for a job is hard work. It’s practically a job in and of itself. However, ask anyone who has ever applied for a job, and they’ll tell you that all of that hard work suddenly seems worth it once that first interview offer arrives.

While our RIVS team has previously offered tips on how to ace an interview, LinkedIn Influencer and Wharton Professor, Jonah Berger, believes “power posing” is a valuable interview tip that cannot be overlooked.

“Powerful people tend to be more successful and get what they want. They’re more assertive, confident, and often come off as more poised and polished. But some intriguing research shows that how you stand (or sit) can actually make anyone feel more powerful, and lead to similar effects,” he said.

Berger points out that in the wild, more dominant and powerful animals often times open up their posture to seem larger, and interestingly enough, more confident. This confidence allows the animals to assert themselves as leaders. Merely enacting these postures, says Berger, can make anyone (human or otherwise) feel more powerful, too.

“Expansive, open body postures can increase testosterone, decrease stress, and make people feel more in control. Merely standing tall for a few minutes with your hand on your hips, for example, or leaning over a desk (or sink) with your hands firmly placed on the surface can make people feel more to more confident and assertive.

“Holding these body postures for just a couple minutes, for example, led people to be evaluated more favorably and increased their chances of getting hired by 20%. All because they gave better presentations,” he continued.

Prior to your next video or in-person interview, consider warming up by practicing some powerful poses. Open your body up and stand tall – not only will this make you slip into a more confident mindset, but it will also energize you before the big moment.

Do you have any power poses that work for you?

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Comment by Keith D. Halperin on November 13, 2013 at 8:11pm

Thanks, Britni. I used to think such things were silly; now I believe that things like this  (posture, body language, etc.) are very powerful. A To mangle an old SNL line: "It's better to look good than to BE good".





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