By Monica Torres
You’ve written the cover letter, researched the company, and gotten the callback to come into the office. Now it’s the big day of your interview. But there are hours leading up to your interview. So, what can you do to prepare and make the most of your remaining time to get in the right headspace?
Here’s expert advice on how you can prepare your body and mind for the upcoming task:
Having hunger pangs and shaky jitters is going to be a distraction you do not need to deal with in an interview. To get rid of nervous jitters, use the potassium-filled snack that baristas use to counter the negative side effects of too much caffeine — a banana. The snack helps alleviate muscle cramps and keep blood sugar levels regulated.
To get in the best mindset for an interview, go outside. Nature is proven to help us get more chill in under 30 minutes. Japanese researchers have found that 30-minute walks in the woods are enough to lower stress.
When there’s a job on the line, interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience. To calm your nerves down, squeeze in a workout before the interview. You don’t need to use fancy equipment or even break out a sweat to get the benefits of exercise — an hour of getting up and moving around is enough to improve your mental wellbeing.
Why is movement so effective? It can be a form of meditation that helps us see past our nerves and visualize the big picture. “After a fast-paced game of racquetball or several laps in the pool, you’ll often find that you’ve forgotten the day’s irritations and concentrated only on your body’s movements,” the Mayo Clinic wrote about the benefits. “As you begin to regularly shed your daily tensions through movement and physical activity, you may find that this focus on a single task, and the resulting energy and optimism, can help you remain calm and clear in everything.”
In our digital age of instant messenger, you can go a full day without talking physically to your coworkers. That may work in an office but not in an interview setting when you need to convince your interviewers you are the best person for the job. To avoid selling the story of your career in an embarrassing croak, take time to warm up your vocal cords and practice interview questions out loud. You can use the commute to release tension in your throat and help your body relax.
“You want to get as far away from tension as you possibly can,” Virginia Tech theater professor Greg Justice said about interview prep. “You have to warm up. You have to shake it out.” He advises yawning, trilling your lips, and saying tongue twisters out loud to promote relaxation in your face muscles.
The best preparation is the actual preparation of what you are going to say and do for the interview. If you have time, call a trusted friend who is willing to role-play and talk out potential interview questions like “Why are you looking for a new job?” with you.
Pre-interview rituals give us structure in an interview process that is ultimately out of our control. The fate of whether or not we get the job is in someone else’s hands. The fate of how we handle this process, however, is in our hands to control. Rituals before sports performances have been proven to improve emotional stability and boost confidence.
You may not be able to determine the outcome of your interview, but with the right rituals, you can prep yourself to be your best self for whatever is thrown your way.
Originally published at www.theladders.com