Imagine that you’re waiting in the reception room for your job interview in a few minutes. As the interview looms closer, your hands feel a little clammy, your legs start shaking, and a sense of dread rises. But don’t worry, no one will notice the smell of garlic coming off of you.
Most people hardly give any thought to what they eat before their interview. Besides, landing that job is the most important thing on your plate. Even with all the prep work you did before, the food you eat makes a huge difference between a successful interview and a disastrous one.
Note: Before your interview, plan out your meal at least an hour to an hour and a half so the food is partially digested and its effects stays on the way there.
1. Fatty Acids
Remember all the craze about Omega-3 fatty acids? These fats are great for the brain as they help build up brain cells, help you concentrate, supply oxygen to the brain, and may decrease your risk of dementia, stroke, and other ailments. By improving brain function, you’ll become much better answering tough interview questions.
Sources of fatty acids are salmon, nuts (particularly walnuts), eggs, avocados, olive oil, and flax seeds. If you’re out of ideas, try this simple recipe that combines the classic meatball with kale. If you’re in a rush, try adding walnuts to yogurt, oatmeal or cereal.
Even though it might be tempting to grab a muffin before your interview, it’s best to stick to protein as they keep you awake and feeling full longer. An MIT study compared two groups who ate either high-protein or high-carbohydrate breakfast and found the carb group had higher tryptophan levels. In other words, they were a lot sleepier than the protein group.
On the day of your interview, your breakfast should contain lots of protein to give you a boost of extra energy. Eggs, fish, meat, nuts, and beans are just a few ways to get protein in your breakfast.
Need extra tips? Try this fried rice in a mug recipe that is packed with protein that will definitely jump start your day.
3. B Vitamins
Remember when your parents nagged you to eat your vegetables? They were right all along. B vitamins boosts serotonin, dopamine, and GABA which balances out brain chemicals so your mind can stay focused. They also increase energy and motivation levels and prevent low self-esteem, anxiety, and insomnia.
You can get a good portion of B vitamins from peas, broccoli, spinach, eggs, and meat. A quick and easy Bbroccoli parmesan pasta dinner recipe, that only takes 20 minutes to complete, is a great comfort food for your upcoming interview.
4. Whole Grains
One of the worst mistakes you can make in an interview is to get stuck on a question. But don’t fret, cause whole grains are great for memory, concentration, and brain health. Not only that, whole grains slowly release glucose into the bloodstream, which means your brain can run on this fuel for longer periods of time.
There’s plenty of ways to get whole grains in your meal before your interview. Try switching white bread on your sandwich for whole grain or eating whole grain spaghetti with meatballs.
If whole grains are not enough and you start to feel sluggish, coffee may be just the thing to give you that sorely needed jolt of energy. In case you didn’t know, coffee contains caffeine, a stimulant that simulates the production of adrenaline and dopamine. This increases your concentration and give you a short-term mental boost that’s great for an interview. There’s even added health benefits to coffee other than these mentioned.
Though coffee is great for staying alert in your interview, it’s important to note that drinking too much before your interview can have unpleasant consequences. Because its effects wear off after 3 hours, make sure to drink it an hour before to reap the full benefits. Coffee also has a laxative effect that affects 3 out of 10 people, so avoid coffee if you are one of them.
With all of these food tips under your belt, you can definitely ace that interview. Just remember to prepare, stay confident, and be aware of what you eat.