Should you drink coffee before an interview?

Coffee. Nectar of the gods. Fixer of the morning. If you’re a coffee person, the day doesn’t begin until you’ve had a cup (or three). Of course, coffee affects different people in different ways, so while you may be an avid coffee drinker, having excess caffeine running through your system isn’t always helpful in everything you do. Take interviews for example. Should you really be drinking something that, studies have shown, triggers anxiety? While it truly does come down to personal preference (you know what you can handle), here are some tips on making sure that your coffee (or green tea) doesn’t get in the way of a great interview.

Stick To Your Routine… But Don’t Overdo It

If you’ve never had coffee before, the morning of your interview is not the time to start. In addition, if coffee is part of your morning ritual, the morning of your interview isn’t the time to stop. Sticking to your normal routine is a good thing before your interview, so if you are used to drinking coffee and you can handle the caffeine, by all means, you should drink it. Just do so in moderation. If you want a second cup, but you know it makes you a little jumpy, don’t risk it.

Stay Away From Sugary Drinks

Look, we all love a café mocha or a blended drink that has an unfathomable amount of whipped cream topping, but that amount of sugar isn’t conducive to sitting in an interview for an hour. We all know sugar is not the greatest thing for you, but studies have also shown that sugar can mess with your memory and cognitive skills, functions that should be in peak form during your interview. Coming down from a sugar high can be harsher than from caffeine, so if you have a sugary drink and start to come down during the interview, you’ll really feel it.

Keep It Out Of the Car

Interview outfit… sipping dark liquid out on a bumpy road… what could go wrong? The problem with coffee is that a single drop of it will stain your clothes, and unless you happen to be wearing all black, it’s going to be noticeable. Why run the risk of this happening to you? With that in mind, drink your coffee in a safe space where you’re unlikely to spill, or even better, before you get dressed to impress.

One more thing…

Caffeine is a diuretic, meaning that it can (and probably will) cause increased urination. It’s not just that you may need to interrupt the interview, it’s that having something like this on your mind will distract you from the interview itself.

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