What to Eat Before Acing Your Interview

InterviewFood_Dec2011_webYou are ready and primed for your big interview. You have everything prepared and are confident in your ability to market yourself and make a good impression. But when it comes to having a meal before the big occasion, what do you eat? It’s best not to drink cola or coffee before an interview to avoid spilling a colored drink on your attire. But, what should you eat for breakfast or lunch to help keep you focused and alert when meeting your potential employer? 

Knowing what to eat for top performance is just as important for an interview as it is for an athletic event. Just as athletes know what to eat and what to avoid on a daily basis and what to eat before their big activity, so should you know what to eat and what to avoid before your big interview. Think of your interview from a body perspective and consider these helpful hints to keep you top notch for your big day.

Stop Stress and Annihilate Anxiety
Sometimes we feel nervous about an upcoming interview, and the stress and anxiety can affect your performance. An excellent way to combat stress early in the morning is by eating some nuts or yogurt. A study published in the European Journal of Nutrition measured the effects milk fermented with yogurt had on the immune system of subjects under stressful academic examinations.  The conclusion was that those eating yogurt had half as much anxiety according to measurements of stress hormones in their bloodstream than those without. You can start your morning calmed and centered by including some yogurt, nuts like almonds or cashews, or granola in your breakfast.

With the fast-paced lifestyle most live today, we can feel the stress of rushed deadlines and nonstop schedules. This can lead to grabbing the first, quickest, and easiest foods to eat before leaving the house. This doesn’t mean you have to be rushing out to your car with a bottle of nuts in your hand or a spoon of yogurt in your mouth, but Fitness Magazine recommends eating certain foods in moderation an hour before your interview can have strong benefits. Eating lean protein like fish, chicken, low-fat cottage cheese, an egg-white omelet and a slice of whole-grain bread or brown rice, or a cup of fruits or vegetables are known to help you be calm, collected, and sharp.

Problem-Solving Power
It’s expected that you’ll be asked questions you might not be ready for and may need time to figure out. Such problem-solving skills will require your brain to be ready and able to think outside the box. In order to help your brain with these processes, try adding some fruits to your de-stressing yogurt to give you an antioxidant boost. The Online Education Database recommends eating foods that have antioxidants to help improve focus, problem-solving skills, and memory. Antioxidants are commonly found in fruits and vegetables, but they can also be found in certain green teas and beans.  Healthy, fatty meats like fish can help increase blood flow in the brain. Don’t forget that monosaturated fat in avocados will help increase your brain power also. But most importantly, no matter when your interview is, don’t skip breakfast. It’s the meal that kick starts your brain to work throughout the day.

Turn Your Mind into a Think Tank
It’s important to eat foods throughout the day that will help brain function and enhance performance. WebMD recommends foods with omega-3 essential fatty acids like salmon, foods high in vitamin E, like nuts and legumes. Peanut and almond butter may also help increase brain function. WebMD also suggests eating avocado, which will help with healthy blood flow and brain health. Other mind meals include oatmeal, brown rice, wheat germ, dark chocolate, pomegranate juice, breads, and freshly brewed tea. The Mayo Clinic recommends putting flax into your diet since it is one of the best sources of alphalinoleic, which is a healthy fat that enhances the performance of the cerebral cortex—where your brain processes sensory information.

If you want memory boosting power, include vitamins B6, B12, and folic acid, which help increase red blood cells that clear your head and improve your sense of happiness. You can find B vitamins in whole grains like brown rice, as well as broccoli, parsley, cauliflower, and brussels sprouts.

Diet can have a big impact on your performance. Many times we don’t think about it and, stopping to eat a proper meal can become a hindrance on our day. But if you follow some basic nutritional advice, you can be better fitted when looking for a job.


    1. Post
      Jared Cole

      I’m no nutrition expert, so I can’t say whether or not you should completely stop eating garlic and onions for breakfast. I’d consult your doctor before making dietary lifestyle decisions.

      All kidding aside, It would depend on when your interview is. If it’s later in the afternoon, eat whatever you’d like for breakfast that would keep you energized and focused on preparing for the interview, then follow the blog’s guidelines for lunch. If you’re worried about breath, there are several products available that can freshen breath and are relativity cheap.

      Thanks for the question, Jose

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