Nutrition can play a significant role in the moments leading up to your interview. What you say and how you behave is extremely important. But what’s equally important is what you eat as it affects your overall demeanour. Here are some tips on how to calm those nerves.
You’d be right in thinking fat-laden foods aren’t ideal for exercise or thought. Fat takes too long to digest and diverts the flow of blood from the brain to the digestive system. You certainly don’t want to slip into a food coma in the middle of an interview. But fatty acids, more specifically omega-3, are a vital component of the pre-interview meal. Not only does omega-3 help in the fight against anxiety but it’s also a primary building block for the brain to maintain plasticity and health. Boosting brain cell formation will ensure you’re in tip-top condition to perform. Fantastic options for getting omega-3s are: salmon, eggs, walnuts, avocados and flax seeds.
Omega-3 isn’t the only tool in the shed when it comes to boosting your mood. B vitamins have the ability to bring out smiles and make you “feel good”. Vitamin B also increases energy levels and heightens motivation. For an interview, a positive attitude is one of the best ways to give your prospective employer the belief that you’d be a good fit for their team. The better you’re feeling about yourself the more that will translate to the interviewer. Foods that contain B vitamins include: eggs (again), beef, beans and chicken.
Whole grains are about the best source of energy you can offer yourself. It allows your body to function longer thanks to its slow-release nature. Rather than sugar, where you’ll soar and then crash, whole grains keep you on an even keel and help you maintain focus for an interview. Good sources of whole grains are: oatmeal, wild rice and whole grain bread.
Despite its diminutive size, the coffee bean can have a rather large impact. Drinking a small cup an hour before your interview can do wonders. It’s a little pick-me-up that sharpens the mind and allows you to focus on the task ahead. Rather than “giving you energy”, coffee works to disrupt signals in the brain that tell you you’re tired. All this is great for an interview, but don’t overdo it. Too much caffeine can make people fidgety and increase anxiety. It also has laxative effects for some, so if you’re not normally a coffee drinker then this might be better to avoid.