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How to Interview Like a Gorilla (and Get the Job)

By Lynn Fagerlie, M.A., LPC, Career Consultant, Online Campus Support Center

CTU Tips for Success - Interview like a gorillaDo you sometimes get the feeling that the job market is a jungle, and the best you can do is just try to survive? Then it might be time to take a lesson from one of the kings of the jungle: the powerful, almighty gorilla. If you can embody a gorilla for only two minutes, you might just become the king of the job market.

What Gorillas Do That You Can, Too

If I asked you to pose like a gorilla right now, what would you do? You might throw open your arms, push your chest forward and lift up your chin. Can you picture it? This type of open, expansive body language is what the social psychologist and Harvard researcher Amy Cuddy might call a “power pose.” It’s what gorillas do naturally. And, it’s one simple thing you can do before your next job interview if you want to improve your chances of getting the offer. 

The Primatial Advantage

Employers look for confidence and like ability in their new hires. Sure, they want education, skills and experience, but they ultimately hire mindset even over credentials. In her research, Cuddy found that people who assumed a “high-power pose” for just two minutes before going into a high-stress job interview were rated as more:

  • Confident
  • Comfortable
  • Passionate
  • Enthusiastic
  • Authentic
  • Captivating

In fact, these two minutes not only changed the way others perceived the interviewers, they also temporarily changed the interviewers themselves. Cuddy measured positive physiological changes in their bodies—hormones like testosterone and cortisol—that contributed to this boost in interviewing power.

Out of the Jungle

Does this mean that you should charge into the hiring manager’s office wildly beating your chest? Definitely not. That kind of gorilla won’t get the job. But before you walk into the room, find someplace private (a bathroom stall, your car) and assume that power pose for just two minutes. And if a gorilla stance isn’t your thing, try another power pose. Cuddy, for example, suggests alternatives such as standing like Wonder Woman with your legs apart and your hands on your hips, or throwing your arms above your head as if you just won a race.   

Will you find two extra minutes before your next interview or networking meeting to harness your inner-gorilla and boost your confidence? Here’s hoping you will. It might just be the difference maker.


CTU Staff - Lynn FagerlieLynn Fagerlie, M.A., LPC, is a career consultant with the Campus Support Center at CTU. As a licensed counselor and business professional, she has a strong commitment to helping career changers and advancers empower themselves to discover their career fit and succeed in today’s competitive marketplace. She has more than 20 years of experience in direct marketing management, which uniquely qualifies her to guide job seekers to effectively market themselves.


Image Credit: Flickr/Victor1558