6 things to do before your job interview

Young business woman sitting on chair with a briefcase at the office lounge iStockphoto

(MoneyWatch) Before you walk into a job interview, you want to give yourself every opportunity to show your best self. Even if your interview is later today, there's still time to improve your chances. Here are six things to do in the hours and minutes before your meeting:

Eat brain food

Put down the glazed doughnut -- it'll just leave you susceptible to an energy crash during your big moment. Instead, fill up on meals and snacks that will sustain you and won't leave your stomach growling mid-question. "Eat meals that are low on the glycemic index and combine carbohydrates, fats and proteins," says Tony Morrison, vice president of Cachinko, a social networking and professional community. "Proven brain food includes fish, blueberries, spinach, nuts and legumes."

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Warm up your mind

You want to be firing on all cylinders by the time your interview begins. If your meeting is first thing in the morning, consider doing the crossword or Sodoku while you're already stoking your cerebral fires with coffee. "It's a great way to get into the problem-solving mode," says Morrison.

Get handy with deodorant

Sweaty palms leave a soggy first impression, and just feeling yourself melting down can cause you to lose focus. "For those of us who occasionally get sweaty palms under stress, rub a dab of unscented deodorant on your palms," suggests Roy Cohen, career coach and author of "The Wall Street Professional's Survival Guide."

Call a positive pal

"Don't spend time with someone who tends to discourage you, makes you nervous, or who you envy and/or feel inadequate to be around," says Cohen. Instead, call a cheerleader -- a friend, partner, mentor or even a relative -- who can give you a last-minute boost.

Put away your notes an hour before

Many candidates have a tendency to rehearse talking points in the car or cab ride on the way to an interview. But preparing up until the very last second can backfire. "Don't over-practice," says Bruce Hurwitz, CEO of Hurwitz Strategic Staffing. "You don't want to memorize your answers. You have to be genuine."

Take a quiet moment

Before you enter the office where your meeting will take place, try to briefly clear your head. "Find a quiet place near your interview -- a church, a library or a far corner of a hotel lobby - - to meditate and to calm your brain," says Cohen. You'll enter your meeting prepared and on point.

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    Amy Levin-Epstein is a freelance writer who has been published in dozens of magazines (including Glamour, Self and Redbook), websites (including AOLHealth.com, Babble.com and Details.com) and newspapers (including The New York Post and the Boston Globe). To read more of her writing, visit AmyLevinEpstein.com.

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