Whether it’s hunger making your stomach rumble so loudly that you need to blame the roadworks outside, or the giant jacket potato you had for lunch making you crave a nap, the food you eat, or don’t, can greatly affect an interview.
- Wholemeals – wholemeal cereal, pasta and bread are all great options. These release glucose into your bloodstream slowly and steadily, rather than having the ups and downs of a sugar rush, and will increase your concentration and focus.
- Lean protein – eggs or skinless chicken promote the production of both dopamine (the brain chemical for pleasure which also helps motor skills) and norepinephrine (the stress hormone for the ‘fight or flight’ reaction’) which work in harmony to enhance thinking and attention.
- Fatty acids – found in food such as salmon and tuna as well as chia seeds and walnuts. Fatty acids promote brain cell formation, so will help when trying to answer those difficult questions!
- Coffee – caffeine is a stimulant which will wake you up and make you more alert, and nobody wants to yawn in an interview.
- Water – you’ll most likely be doing a lot of talking during your interview and the last thing you want is a dry mouth or, even worse, a coughing fit! Stay hydrated, but make sure you’ve been to the toilet before you sit down with your prospective employer!
- Coffee – yes, it’s on both lists! While great for waking you up, be careful; too much coffee could make you jittery and uncomfortable. And make sure to avoid the dreaded coffee breath!
- Garlic/onions – so delicious, but so stinky. Abstain from both for at least 24 hours before your interview, as their impressive staying-power could cause bad breath and even odours from your sweat glands!
- Sugar-free gum – while trying to avoid garlic or coffee breath, you may reach for the chewing gum, but beware the sugar-free brands. ‘Sugar-free’ gum often contains an artificial sweetener called sorbitol which can cause bloating. Avoid the discomfort by avoiding the gum!
- Carbohydrates – ‘no carbs before Marbs’ or before an interview. White bread, pasta and potatoes are the worst thing you can do before an interview, as they make you slow and sleepy.
Bearing all this in mind, make sure the ‘Don’ts’ don’t put you off eating at all. Eggs, veggies and a single cup of coffee should be all you need to banish the tummy-grumbles and make sure you‘re on the ball for those tricky interview questions.