You already know how important it is to prepare for a job interview. When the big day comes, you’ve probably done your research about the company, prepared the right questions and printed copies of your resume (you followed this checklist, after all).
But what you perhaps haven’t thought about is the physical preparation. And in order to make a great first impression, this is arguably as important as the mental side. Calming our nerves, relaxing our bodies and preventing stress are all necessary for nailing the interview.
Here are a few unexpected ways to prepare for your interview:
This is such an effective way to increase your alertness. You don’t need to do a full workout or even work up a sweat in order to boost the blood flow to your brain. Try doing 10 pushups (or as many as you can), some light stretching or going for a 30-minute walk the morning of your interview.
2. Deep breathing
One way to significantly calm the mind is to practice deep breathing. This is great news, because you can instantly feel better in a matter of minutes, with a simple technique! Try this an hour before your interview: take a deep breath for four counts, holding for eight counts and exhaling for seven counts before repeating 4-5 times. Here are a few more short exercises to help you relax in 10 minutes or less.
3. Rest up
This may be a given, but many people don’t realize the connection between sleep and performance. When you get a full night of sound sleep, you’re far more likely to feel alert the next day, increase productivity and give your best impression during an interview. The day before your interview, be sure to eat well and drink water (dehydration can lead to tiredness), after your prepare for the meeting try to relax and practice your deep breathing techniques at night, and then get to bed early.
4. Listen to music or an inspiring talk
Audio can have a powerful effect on your alertness and mood. Some of us find inspiration by listening to great speeches, podcasts or TED talks, while others feel energized by listening to upbeat music. Figure out what works for you, and try it right before an interview. Once you find something that works well for your mood and energy, stick with the same process each time.
5. Practice a power pose
Speaking of inspiring TED talks, check this one out by Amy Cuddy. She’s a social psychologist whose research on body language reveals that we can change other people’s perceptions (and our own) simply by changing poses. Watch her explain how standing in a “power pose” even when we don’t feel confident, can affect the cortisol levels in our brain and impact our success. Try it right before your interview, and immediately notice a shift.
Now that you’re prepared both mentally and physically for your interview, you’ve got this! Have confidence in the fact that you’ve done the work and all that’s left to do is be yourself.