What And When To Eat Before An Interview

It’s the morning of your interview and you’ve been preparing for weeks. You have answers ready for many of the possible questions they will ask, even some of the more difficult ones. You’ve done ample research on the company; you have the perfect outfit picked out and ready to go, and you got just the right amount of sleep last night. Basically, you’ve done almost everything you need to do to ace the interview. Don’t mess it up now by eating foods that may come back to hurt you later in the day. Here are some tips on what’s good and what not to eat the morning of your interview.


1) Choose lean meats over carbohydrates for breakfast.

You know how on Thanksgiving, almost everyone has to take naps after dinner because it feels you’ve been hit by a brick wall of sleepiness? Well, that’s because of all the mashed potatoes, dinner rolls and pie you just enthusiastically ingested. All of those foods are filled with carbohydrates. Carbohydrates can cause your tryptophan levels (an amino acid that makes you sleepy) to be as much as four times higher than if you eat a meal containing mostly lean proteins. So while it may seem like a no-brainer to pick up that bagel in the morning as you head out the door, consider trying some eggs, turkey bacon or apples dipped in peanut butter instead! If you do decide to have a bagel, try to reach for the whole grain one and add some peanut butter. A bowl of oatmeal with fruit and nuts is full of nutrients as well, and won’t make you tired.


2)  Avoid too much sugar coffee-blackor caffeine before your interview (with some exceptions…).

We all know sugar can make you alert and awake…until the crash happens. If you’re not reliant on either of these things to get through the day, then avoid consuming them pre-interview. However, if you typically rely on coffee throughout the day to keep you awake, then make sure you have a cup before the interview to ensure that you’re not dozing off as your potential employer is giving you a brief on their company policies.


3) Don’t drink too much water.

While it’s always important to stay hydrated, you don’t want to be excusing yourself for the bathroom every 20 minutes. Your potential employers may lose their patience with you.



4) If your interview is in the afternoon, make sure you’re eating well throughout the day.

Normally like to stop at McDonald’s during your lunch hour? Well, skip that today. Avoid eating greasy foods that can cause bloating or even worse, smelling like a Super Sized french fry box mixed with a 20 piece nugget. Another pro of skipping McDonald’s today? No chances of leaving greasy fingerprints on your resume. Instead, eat a chicken salad or maybe some type of fish and vegetables today.


5) Avoid foods like beans, broccoli, Mexican of Chinese food.

These foods can make you bloated or upset your stomach. ‘Nuff said.



6) Don’t eat garlic (or anything else that makes your breath stink).

This may seem like an obvious one, but still important enough to be mentioned. There are few things that can ruin a first impression more than a case of bad breath. Try not to eat any garlic even within 24 hours of your interview, just to be sure.


7) Don’t chew gum before or during your interview.

Nothing is more distracting to your potential employer than watching you chomp a blue piece of mint putty around your mouth. If you’re worried about fresh breath, pop a breath mint before the interview or take a travel-sized bottle of mouth wash with you to swish around. Chewing gum before your interview can signal to your stomach that it’s time to eat, so when your stomach never gets any food after all of your chewing, it’ll signal to your brain that its hungry. Being hungry during your interview can slow down your thinking process and distract you, so it’s best to just avoid it.


Basically, be sure to eat healthy foods that make you feel good before an interview! Fruits, veggies and foods filled with protein such as lean meats, eggs and nuts are your friend. Hopefully by now, you know your body and how it reacts to most things. Your pre-interview time is not the time to test out the new spicy burger at your favorite restaurant, or eat an entire chocolate cake in one sitting (however, there are certainly other times where this is completely necessary). Eat conservatively and be smart. Wait until after you ace the interview to celebrate with all of your favorite foods. 

Note that it is important to make sure that you do actually eat something before your interview, even if you feel like you’re too nervous to swallow. In this case, stick with something bland, like a handful of nuts or a small bowl of oatmeal. 

As you prepare for your interview, keep these tips in mind and go into the interview with confidence. You can always visit the CCO for mock interviews, resume reviews and more to ensure that you are the best you during the interviewing process.

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