Job interviews can be nerve-wracking, but with a little preparation, you can alleviate much of your interview stress and leave employers impressed. One way to prepare and de-stress is by engaging in some physical exercise before your interview. This can go a long way toward calming your nerves, and making you feel energized and at your best mentally. Exercising can also boost your confidence, making you feel more self-assured and relaxed. So, here are a few ideas for a great pre-interview workout routine.
1. Lifting light weights
Squeezing in a quick resistance exercise before your interview can help to alleviate a lot of your stress. One idea, if you’re already familiar with weight training (if you're new to weight training, you’ll want to be properly trained first), is doing some light dumbbell lifting exercises for a few minutes on the day of your interview. This can do wonders for your mental health, as it can help to de-clutter your thoughts, rev up your energy levels, and make you feel good about yourself—since you've already achieved something that day.
2. Engaging in low-intensity exercises
Your first instinct before a stressful event might be to sit around waiting anxiously. But that’s the last thing you should do. Instead, you want to try to get rid of your nervous energy. And you don’t have to engage in a high-intensity workout to do that. In fact, low-intensity exercises are far better when it comes to feeling more refreshed and relaxed. Whether you’re more into yoga, jogging, Pilates, or swimming, any of them will surely calm your mind down. This will help to give you more clarity around your thoughts during your interview, so your words will flow more coherently. Plus, you won't feel as stressed and restless.
3. Light stretching
Stretching increases the flexibility of your muscles and joints, which helps prevent injury and makes you feel more comfortable when you’re working out. And even if you don’t have a regular stretching or yoga practice, on the day of your interview you can try doing a few light stretches to help you calm down. If you're feeling tense in your shoulders, arms, or hands, you can try some very simple stretches to help those areas feel more at ease. Of course, if you’re new to stretching, it’s important to be properly trained in the right technique.
Going for a walk before your interview can help you clear your mind and give you energy. Walking has been proven to release certain chemicals in your brain, resulting in the improvement of your mood. Walking can also provide your body with energy, since it increases levels of hormones such as cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine. Note that even just a 20-minute walk can do wonders for your mental state before an interview.
Cycling can significantly reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. Cycling outside in natural light can reduce your stress while also regulating your breathing, which then calms your mood. When you’re stressed—like when you’re about to go on an interview—the levels of oxygen decrease in your brain, which can lead to a lack of concentration. An exercise like cycling can combat this effect by increasing blood flow to your brain, which in return boosts oxygen levels in your body. Another benefit of outdoor cycling (which is also true for outdoor walking) is choosing your favorite park or promenade to engage in it can even further boost your mood and energy—which will go a long way when you’re in the interviewee’s seat.
Leah Collins is an experienced security engineer and part-time writer. She is young and ambitious, and hopes to share her knowledge and experience with anyone willing to learn something new.