Did you accidentally catch someone’s eye standing in line for your morning coffee? If they smiled at you, did you find yourself spontaneously smiling back? The chances are, you did—it’s hard not to. Perhaps you even found yourself liking them.
Have you ever wondered why being around children who smile so frequently makes you smile? A recent study at Uppsala University in Sweden found that it’s very difficult to frown when looking at someone who smiles. Why? Because mimicking a smile and experiencing it physically help us relate to the person we’re smiling back at.
Not only that, smiling causes physiological changes in ourselves and others. It leads to a decrease in the production of stress-inducing hormones and increase in the level of mood-enhancing hormones like endorphins. It also contributes to reduced blood pressure.
“All people smile in the same language.” – Proverb
Smiling also has a positive effect on others. Many scientists attribute this to mirror neurons in our brains. It’s these mirror neurons that enable us to understand the feelings and intent of others by watching them. Think about how a baby learns to walk – it’s not be reading an instruction manual.
According to research conducted by neuroscientist Andrew Newberg the smile, is “the symbol that was rated with the highest positive emotional content.” In fact, British researchers found that one smile can generate the same level of brain stimulation as 2,000 bars of chocolate. Imagine receiving the positive affect of 2,000 chocolate bars without the calories!
What do you have control over?
Interviews are stressful. That’s obvious to anyone who has experienced the battery of challenging questions, and revolving door of interviewers that leave job candidates feeling drained. In reality, you actually have more control than you think – over your emotions that is. And, interestingly, over the emotions of your interviewers.
The goal of the interview is to demonstrate your competencies for the job and, it’s also to have the hiring manager like you. A recent survey of over 2,000 hiring managers conducted by Harris Interactive turned up some surprising factors that determined which candidates get hired most often and why. In this survey, employers were asked, what would influence them to choose one candidate over another assuming the two candidates they were considering had the same credentials. It turns out that most employers look at numerous, non-skill related attributes when selecting a candidate. Having a good sense of humor can give a candidate a 27% better chance of being hired. The person who the interviewer feels they have more in common with has a 21% better chance of landing the job, and, someone involved in his or her community increases their chances by 26%! Another study found that job candidates who smiled were rated by their interviewers to not only be more likable and courteous, but more competent!
A Good Sense of Humor Helps
Remember, an interview is not only about convincing the hiring manager you can do the job. It’s about persuading them that you’re the type of person they would like working with. So, smile, it just might land you that job!
If you choose Positive Workplace Partners for career coaching, we’ll help you clarify your long-term career goal and the steps needed to successfully reach it. Learn more about how Career Coaching can help you here: http://positiveworkplacepartners.com/career-coaching/