What to do the night before a job interview

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

(MoneyWatch) You probably know that pounding drinks and setting yourself up for a raging hangover isn't an advisable idea. Common sense dictates you avoid caffeine late in the day so you don't risk insomnia. And you're probably already taking a few minutes togo over questionsand pick out a suitable outfit. But what are some other ways to prepare yourself to be ready and steady before your big meeting in the morning? Here are three tips from Caroline Ceniza-Levine, career coach and author of How the Fierce Handle Fear. Try them and you might be that much closer to snagging a new job.

Prepare for a positive mindset.
To perform well, you need to psyche yourself up just like you would before an athletic competition. The night before an interview, you never want to do anything or see anyone who puts you in a foul mood, if you can avoid it, says Ceniza-Levine. If you're choosing between a slasher movie or a comedy, go with the latter. If your friend or relative wants to dive into a stressful discussion, take a raincheck. Instead, have dinner with someone who makes you feel capable and good about yourself.

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Fuel your body well.
Think of your interview as a big road race, and start fueling up the day before. "Know what you should eat for breakfast and lunch that won't make you sluggish or bloated," says Ceniza-Levine. Dinner should be something that won't keep you up all night and breakfast should be something that you usually eat, that agrees with your stomach -- and if you're heading straight to the meeting, won't give you dragon breath.

Find your "calm" trigger.
A "calm trigger" helps you begin to relax and focus while you're commuting or waiting interception, says Ceniza-Levine: "Maybe there's a motivational quote that inspires you. Write this on an index card to read while you wait. Or choose a picture of your family, significant other, or even a beloved pet." That a photo of your child or spouse may remind you that there's more to life than this interview -- but that today could lead to something interview for you and them, which can encourage you to do your best.

  • Amy Levin-Epstein On Twitter»

    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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