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The Best Workout to Do Before a Job Interview

With the unemployment rate hovering at 4 percent, it’s generally a good time to be out in the job market. Many employees are even interviewing at firms in their field to see if they can hop to a higher-paying gig. But as we all know, the process of interviewing with a prospective employer is imperfect.

For you, the job seeker, it can be filled with nerves and anxiety about how to make the best impression. Meanwhile, for the employer, it can often be hard over the course of an hour or two to truly gauge a candidate’s strengths and weaknesses.

Given the natural stress induced by a big job interview, we recommend squeezing in a workout that morning or the day before. By exercising beforehand, you can clear your mind, boost your energy, and feel confident as you walk into the interview knowing you’ve already accomplished something tangible that day.

Best Workouts to Relieve Interview Stress

Among some of my favorite pre-interview workouts:

Half-hour yoga session.  Few exercises promote calmness and mental acuity such as the practice of yoga. But while a longer group class can be hard to squeeze in when you’re already trying to fit a job interview into your schedule, Livekick has found that an at-home class conducted one on one is a great way to invigorate your system while also achieving a sense of inner peace ideal for your big interview day.

Body-weight exercises. Another tenet of the at-home fitness movement is that you don’t need to invest in bulky or expensive fitness equipment to get in a good workout. At Livekick the trainers specialize in body weight conditioning rounds that pair lunges, pushups, burpees, and squats with timed rest periods in between. You’ll get your active heart rate up during the session, meaning your resting heart rate will be in a great place when you’re answering an interviewer’s tough questions.

Interval cardio workouts. Another way to get in a good, quick workout is to try an interval cardio routine where, for example, you’re rowing hard on a machine for 30 seconds and then rowing at a slower pace for the remaining 30 seconds of a minute, repeated for 10 to 15 minutes. The same can be done to a treadmill or bike. The goal is to have bursts of high intensity followed by active recovery. Like the previous exercises, this will help you boost energy, release any pre-interview jitters, and walk into an interview with a relaxed vibe.

Connect With a Fitness Professional

Of course, not everyone can figure out a workout on their own; many of us like feedback and direction, and rely on a trainer or yoga teacher to keep us on point. If you’re setting up a big job interview in the next few weeks, I recommend reaching out to a fitness professional.

Even if you don’t intend to work with someone long-term, having a person to guide you through the best movements for you to do both in terms of your goals as well as your safety and conditions is the best way to go.

If a personal trainer is out of your budget (because let’s face it, they are expensive), there are many digital options these days. Some include ClassPass Live, which streams live and on demand workouts into your home,  Mirror, a similar concept streaming a trainer into your home through a full-length actual mirror for a one-on-one session, and you can check out Livekick where I work, which allows you to train one-on-one and live with a trainer or yoga teacher over 2-way video (like FaceTime).

Whether you use Livekick, hit your Peloton, or bang out a round of pushups in your hotel gym, a quick workout before a job interview will leave you feeling refreshed, focused, and ready to land your dream gig.

Shayna Schmidt is a certified personal trainer and nutrition coach who serves as Livekick’s VP of Operations. She has almost a decade of in-person training under her belt as well as the experience of starting her own personal training and meal prep coaching business prior to co-founding Livekick. Her certifications include her CPT from NASM, nutrition coaching certification from Precision Nutrition, as well as TRX Suspension Training, TriggerPoint therapy, kettlebells, Pre & Postnatal Fitness, and more. She has been featured on Well + Good, in Shape magazine, & more for her expertise.