Friday, April 09, 2010

Job interview advice? Eat well...

This entry goes out to all of my many friends currently interviewing for jobs...I recently came across a fascinating Atlanta Journal-Constitution article that discusses the best pre-interview meals and beverages. As the author says, "what you eat and drink before the important interchange can make a difference." How so, you might ask? If you're a morning person who scored a late afternoon appointment with career destiny, you can structure your meals and snacks to help keep you alert later in the day. The same goes for heeding advice on what you should avoid eating before a face-to-face interview, such as garlic and onions. For example, eggs are high in protein and choline, which can help boost mental alertness. And opt for tea instead of coffee before an interview. It will still keep you alert, but without the jitters.
A Massachusetts Institute of Technology study compared two groups who ate either a high-protein or high-carbohydrate breakfast. Two hours later the carb group had levels of the sleep inducing amino acid tryptophan that were four times higher than the protein group. So make sure to add an egg to that breakfast biscuit, drink a glass of nonfat milk or add some peanut butter to a bagel to boost the protein power of your morning meal. Lean protein foods such as eggs, chicken, turkey, fish and beans help your brain stay alert by supporting the production of neurotransmitters needed for smart thinking.
Here are some other tips, courtesy of the AJC.
* B vitamins, such as folate or folic acid, also play a key role in forming the brain’s memory cells and have been shown to improve alertness in adults. It's found in orange juice, green vegetables, cantaloupe and whole grain foods including those enriched with folic acid such as breads, cereals, pasta and rice.
* A new study highlights the benefits of drinking tea. Researchers found that theanine, an amino acid present in the tea plant increases alpha brain-wave activity, which induces a calmer, yet more alert, state of mind. Theanine is found in green, black and oolong teas.
* Dehydration can make you feel listless, lethargic and contribute to concentration problems. Make sure to drink water or other thirst-quenching drinks to keep your brain hydrated.
* While gum chewing during an interview is not advised, research shows that it can help you stay focused and alert. Researchers at Baylor University found that chewing gum improved students’ scores on math tests. And in a lab setting participants who chewed gum showed reduced stress and improved mental alertness. So chomp on a stick before the interview starts.

Read the entire article for more interview/food-related goodies. And because it's Friday, here's some serious cute overload for you!

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